The M.A. Program


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Department of English

Creighton Hall, Room 134
Creighton University
Omaha, NE 68178
Phone: (402) 280-2822
Fax: (402) 280-2143

For information, contact
Jill Dickey
(402) 280-2822 or

The M.A. Program

Creighton University's Department of English offers a multi-track Master of Arts degree that allows students to design courses of study that meet their particular needs, whether they want to prepare a solid foundation for further graduate work, to lay the groundwork or build on a teaching career, to learn to apply the latest technology in the rhetoric and composition program, or simply to pursue the love of literature and writing with like-minded people.

Each track is carefully designed to lead from foundation courses to advanced seminars and finally to the thesis. The Introduction to Graduate Studies provides an overview of graduate studies in English and strategies for achieving success. Thorough training in the elements of literary criticism leads students through the maze of critical movements. Seminars allow students to delve deeply into various topics of literary studies. The teaching practicum brings students into the classroom with a faculty mentor to discuss all aspects of teaching and to take part in a hands-on teaching environment. And finally, the master's essay (or three-paper option) allows the student to explore one topic, or a limited number of topics, in greater detail.

The graduate English faculty at Creighton University are well-known for the high standards they set, for their high energy, and for their deep commitment to teaching and to the individual needs of each student. They are highly-respected professionals in their respective fields, with an impressive record of publications, honors, and achievements. In addition, they are equally committed to teaching. They know that, in the challenging world of higher education in English, it isn't enough to teach well. They mentor their students, training, advising, coaching, and encouraging them at every step. Class size is deliberately kept small in order to facilitate the mentoring relationship between teachers and students. The results are plain to see: Graduates from Creighton's MA program in English have gone on to many of the most competitive PhD programs in the country; they've delivered papers at major conferences; they've published in some of the best literary quarterlies; they've taken teaching jobs at every level of education; and they've gone on to rewarding careers where the special talents they developed at Creighton serve them well.

Fellowships are available for qualified students. The resources for training and experience are many, including editorial opportunities with area presses and local and regional conferences in language and literature. The literary community on campus and off is rich and robust, boasting two New York Times best-selling authors, two finalists for the National Book Award, and a former Poet Laureate of the United States. Throughout the year, award-winning writers, editors, and scholars visit campus for readings, presentations, and talks.

Here's what some of our former students said about the program:

During my time in Creighton's MA program in English, the professors provided individualized academic guidance, and my knowledge of literature and scholarly study increased tenfold. I didn't discover one of the best parts of the program until after I graduated, though: the professors continued to mentor me and actively contributed to my academic development. The professional and personal guidance I received from Creighton's English department faculty was invaluable as I made the transition from graduate student to Assistant Professor. — Jennifer Eimers, assistant professor, Missouri Valley College

Creighton's Masters program in English offered me several valuable opportunities that helped me become both a better scholar and teacher.  The professors that I worked with really cared about my progress, not only my advancement in the program but also the advancement of my craft. Research opportunities exposed me to a variety of specialties in the field; practicums and experience in the writing center exposed me to the dynamics of teaching-essential opportunities, I think, for the success of future teachers.  I felt more than prepared as I transitioned from Creighton into a PhD program, and I continue to look back to this time as essential for future success. — Patrick Phillips, Ph.D. candidate, University of Kansas

Creighton's MA in English program gave me the necessary preparation to undertake a PhD. Without having completed a Masters at Creighton, I would not have been able to apply competitively to PhD programs, nor would I have been ready to research at that level. At Creighton, I attained the professional training required to research, write, and effectively teach. — Natalie Roxburgh, Ph.D. candidate, Rutgers University

My focus at Creighton was creative writing, but my courseload was much broader than just that.  In Medieval Literature, Fidel Fajardo-Acosta taught me about the history and development of the English language. When I took Rhetoric and Composition Theory, it reshaped my view of the English classroom and the writing process.  And in my creative writing courses I was encouraged and criticized by students and faculty that took my work seriously.  By the time I left Creighton, I was as well-rounded and well-prepared for the next step as any graduate student could hope to be. — Danny Volin (M.A. '06) recently graduated from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars with an M.F.A. in fiction.

Creighton's MA program was perfect for me. I loved having the opportunity to concentrate in creative writing but still take literature classes unavailable in an MFA program. The professors and students at Creighton always encouraged me to take my work to the next level, and I couldn't have done it without them. — Liz Huett, Senior editor at

The graduate faculty really pushed me to raise my expectations for what I could achieve as a writer, not only within the program but in the discipline at large.  Whether it was Mary Helen Stefaniak pushing me to develop an imagination for precise details or Rob Dornsife encouraging us find an audience for our criticism, the teachers at Creighton know what it takes to succeed in the profession as both critics and writers.  Lucky for us, they are willing to share their secrets.
— Theodore Wheeler (MA, '08) has had his fiction featured in Best New American Voices 2009, Boulevard (as the prize-winner of their Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers), and elsewhere.

M.A. Learning Objectives

    • Understand the range of work in English studies, including its various skills, development and practices, as that work relates to each student’s professional goals.
    • Be prepared to join a community of learners though a fuller realization of each student’s status as a peer in the profession.
    • Contribute to the promotion of a collaborative and supportive professional work environment.