Truman’s Master of Arts in English allows you to explore literature, literary studies, composition theory, pedagogy, creative writing, and linguistics. Working closely with your faculty advisor, you can personalize a course of study to suit your interests and professional goals and choose which culminating project best matches your aspirations:

  • a thesis that displays the close reading, analytical skills, and research tools you have acquired
  • a portfolio that showcases the breadth and variety of the creative and analytical work you have produced in the program
  • a creative project (a novel, memoir, collection of short stories, a cycle of poems, or other creative work) that has benefitted from the intensive feedback, revision, and reflection on the artistic process

Degree Options

Graduates of our program often pursue careers in:

  • editorial work
  • higher education administration
  • business

They are also accepted into doctoral programs or go on to attain an additional professional degree in law, fine arts, or education.

Truman is known nationally for its Master of Arts in Education program, and our English M.A. students may apply to simultaneously earn a Master of Arts in Education.

Adding the M.A. degree to a Truman M.A.E. degree program is an especially attractive option because all the graduate English electives students take in fulfillment of the M.A.E. (at least 12 and usually 16 hours) count toward the M.A. degree as well.

Students interested in adding the M.A. in English to their M.A.E. should discuss the option with the M.A.E. program coordinator.

Students graduating with the combined degrees of Master of Arts in English and Master of Arts in Education with an English specialty are highly qualified for a variety of teaching positions:

  • Secondary English
  • Dual Credit
  • Advanced Placement
  • Community College

Those who have served as teaching assistants while completing their graduate work are especially well qualified and are sought-after candidates for those teaching positions.
About the MAE Program

Flexible Pathways

The flexibility of our online synchronous and asynchronous courses allows you to pursue a Master of Arts in English by taking classes that fit your schedule.

Full- or Part-Time
Variable Credit
Spring, Summer and Fall Courses

You’re busy with competing demands on your time, and we get that! You can apply for spring, summer, or fall admission. During Fall and Spring semesters, we offer a mix of synchronous and asynchronous courses, and you can choose from 1-, 2-, or 4-credit variations of most of those courses. Lower credit hour variations of the 4-credit course are clearly explained in registration materials. During the summer, we typically offer at least one creative writing course and one or two literature courses with unique topics. And you can move back and forth between part-time and full-time enrollment depending on your needs.

* The English MA degree program is delivered online with the following exceptions:

  • Anyone with a GTRA position will need to be on campus to attend teaching practicum courses and teach their in-person classes.
  • Anyone also completing the MAE program will need to be on campus for those education classes, as the MAE is not an online program.
  • 500-level courses (which are sometimes offered along with a parallel undergraduate section and taught on campus); and special topics courses taught in parallel with undergraduate sections offered on campus.
    • Note: The English MA program does offer enough classes online that you can complete the program without taking any classes in-person.
    • Note: The English MA program does not offer enough in-person courses to be completed entirely in-person, on campus. Many of your courses will be online, even if you are on campus (e.g. due to a GTRA position). 

Graduate Assistantships


Develop your skills and experience as a funded Graduate Administrative Assistant (GAA) or Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTRA). Students who apply for admission and for graduate assistantships by Feb. 15 will be given priority consideration.



Apply by August 1


Apply by November 1


Apply by April 1

Regrettably, we are unable to consider applications for fully-online programs by individuals who reside outside of the United States and its territories at this time.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the online application ($40 fee) to apply for the Master of Arts in English Program, you’ll need to submit the following:

Writing Sample
Professional Statement
2 Letters of Recommendation


credit hours
per credit hour
total estimated tuition*

*Total estimated tuition based on 2024-25 academic year. Tuition subject to change.

Financial Aid

Degree-seeking students taking at least six credit hours per semester are eligible for federal financial aid programs. For more information, see our Financial Aid Resources for Graduate Studies page or contact the Financial Aid Office at (660) 785-4130 or

Sample Courses

This advanced course in the writing of poetry and/or fiction and/or drama is for graduate students interested in creative theses.

Explore diverse authors, regions, themes, or movements in world literature.

Study representative works of a given genre from a variety of periods and national origins, with attention to the theoretical questions and critical practices raised by any system of literary classification.

Examine American Literature with a focus on diverse authors, regions, themes, or movements in American literature and explore American literature in an interdisciplinary way, focusing on how American thought manifests itself in literature, arts, music, philosophy, historiography, and culture.

Focus on authors, regions, themes, or movements in the literature of Britain or the (past or present) Commonwealth (ex. British Romanticism). You may also explore English-speaking culture in a particular time, place, class, and mood or examine works of literature, arts, music, philosophy, religion, and history.

Schedule a Virtual Visit

Students in Classroom

Virtual Visit

Get an inside look at the online learning environment, meet your professors, and get all your questions answered during a virtual visit.