MA in English

Azusa Pacific’s M.A. in English prepares students for careers in literary studies, which includes the subfields of literature, cultural/film studies, and creative and/or professional writing.

APU offers an MA in English that provides professional preparation and personal enrichment to students in the field of literary studies, broadly conceived to include literature, cultural/film studies, and creative and/or professional writing. In keeping with the mission of Azusa Pacific University, this program encourages an active conversation between Christianity and literature, preparing scholars, writers, and teachers for cultural engagement from a Christian perspective through the development of analytical and creative writing skills enriched by a theologically informed approach to reading, writing, teaching, and thinking about literary and other cultural texts.

Students in the program complete a total of 10 courses of 3 units each (30 units).

No more than 12 units (or 4 courses) may be taken in a given term, and students usually complete the program in 3-4 terms by taking 2-3 courses each term. Exceptionally promising undergraduate students admitted into the 4+1 BA/MA degree option may complete up to 9 units of 500-level graduate coursework during their senior year, and the remaining 21 units over the next academic year (fall, spring, and summer terms; e.g., 9 units in the fall term, 9 units in the spring term, and 3 units in the summer term). For more information about the 4+1 option, contact Windy Petrie, department chair, at


In consultation with the director of graduate studies, students design a program consisting of 27 units of coursework and 3 units of thesis/portfolio preparation and assessment. Individual programs vary depending on the student’s personal and professional goals and on the availability of courses in any given term. It is highly recommended that students consult with the director of graduate studies regarding course selection as they begin their coursework and throughout the program.

Core Courses6
Select two of the following: 1
The Christian Imagination
Literature and the Bible
Literature and Theology
Thesis Course3
Elective Courses21
Select seven of the following: 2, 3
British Literature Seminar
American Literature Seminar
World Literature Seminar
Creative Writing Seminar
Writing for Religious Audiences
Graduate Research Methods in English
Critical Theory Seminar
Writing Center Pedagogy and Practice
Literature Pedagogy for Adult Audiences
Introduction to Composition Studies
Independent Study
Total Units30

If the student wishes, the third core course may be taken as an elective.


ENGL 500, ENGL 510, and/or ENGL 520 may be repeated as an elective choice, even if the course was previously taken as part of the core, as long as the topic differs from previous enrollments. Consult with the director of graduate studies for the MA in English program.


ENGL 530, ENGL 540, ENGL 550, ENGL 560, ENGL 580, ENGL 599 may be repeated if the seminar topic differs from the previous enrollments.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.


Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Synthesize theology, biblical studies, and the history of Christian thought and practice to inform the reading, writing, and critical analysis of literary and other cultural texts.
  2. Explain the ways Christian faith illuminates and/or enriches vocation and the creative process.
  3. Compare, contrast, and critically examine literary theory from a variety of schools and perspectives, including perspectives conversant with Christian faith and practice.
  4. Utilize advanced research and/or creative writing skills to produce and analyze texts across a variety of literary forms, styles, and genres, culminating in a capstone project.