What will I learn?

The Department of English at CSULB has over 40 tenure-track, tenured, and emeritus faculty whose research and teaching interests cover the range of periods, authors, and genres in British and American literature; focus on a variety of critical and theoretical approaches; and explore diverse topics in the study of reading and writing in English.Our graduate seminars are small classes that encourage students to examine and explore the topic intensively, and they are designed to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual, cultural, rhetorical, and aesthetic traditions of literature and writing in English.

The MA program in English is designed to broaden students’ knowledge and understanding of the literary and rhetorical traditions of writing in English, as well as to provide the opportunity for intensive study in one or more specialized area(s) of literature or rhetoric and composition. The MA program in English emphasizes close reading and critical analysis by developing students’ abilities to situate texts within their larger aesthetic, historical, and professional contexts, conduct independent research, and formulate original arguments in oral presentations and writing.

By the end of their MA program students should be able to

• demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of representative literary and rhetorical texts, including influential criticism of and commentary on those texts;
• examine the theoretical premises underlying the critical analysis of literature, rhetoric, and/or the teaching of reading and writing;
• investigate the functions of texts and their relations with historical, social, and political contexts;
• investigate how purpose, style, and genre function in texts to achieve particular literary, rhetorical, and aesthetic effects;
• locate, evaluate, and synthesize the available resources for researching a significant scholarly topic;
• write papers that construct logical and informed arguments; and
• prepare and deliver effective oral presentations and arguments that are appropriate for the English professions.

This site offers a concise summary of the MA program in English, including both requirements and opportunities. Students considering the pursuit of an MA in English will find that this brochure answers many questions, but it is not a binding contract, nor a complete statement of requirements. To make sure they are up-to-date on changes in requirements and making satisfactory progress towards their degree, students should consult University Catalog regulations concerning graduate study and see an advisor in the English Department at least once a semester.

Which department am I in?

College of Liberal Arts

Study options

Full Time (30 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$15,408.00 per year
Start date

20 January 2022, 22 August 2022


College of Liberal Arts

California State University, Long Beach,

1250 Bellflower Blvd.,



90840, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degrees.

For international students

The MA program in English welcomes applicants who were English majors as undergraduates, as well as applicants from other majors. Students can apply after they have earned their BA or in their last semester of their BA. If students apply successfully during the last semester of their undergraduate career, they receive contingent admission, i.e., admission contingent on their completing their BA and maintaining their GPA.

Admission for English Majors

There are three routes to admission for students with a baccalaureate degree in English from an accredited four-year institution, depending on their GPA in their upper-division English classes:

Students with a GPA of 3.3 or better in their upper-division English classes need only fill out the application (see below) and receive full admission.
Students with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.3 in their upper-division English classes have two options for applying:

Applicants with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.3 in their upper-division English classes may be admitted to the MA program if they take the GRE General Test and achieve a minimum score of 158 in Verbal Reasoning and 5.0 in Analytical Writing.

Admission for Other Majors

Students with a baccalaureate degree in a major other than English from an accredited four-year institution may also apply to the MA program in English. These students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. These students may receive conditional admission to the MA program in English, which means that they will need to complete prerequisite courses to bring their upper-division English courses to 21 units. These courses must be completed in one academic year and with a GPA of 3.3 or better.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Paper-based 550; Internet-based (iBT) 80

IELTS 6.0 each sub-section

Pearson Test of English 58

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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