MA in English (Teaching Option)

The M.A. in English (Teaching Option) offers a balance of advanced studies in composition, linguistics, literature, critical theory and pedagogy. Graduate students have two options for completing the M.A. in English (Teaching Option): Strand One is designed to extend and enrich the professional development of experienced middle school and high school teachers of English language arts. Strand Two is designed for individuals who have a B.A. in English or related field and who wish to be licensed to teach English at the secondary level (grades 5-12) while they work on the M.A. in English (Teaching Option). With additional coursework, field experiences, and student teaching, individuals may receive secondary english licensure and an M.A. in English. After admission to the M.A. in English (Teaching Option), Graduate students must apply to the Teacher Education Program in Curriculum & Instruction in order to take licensure courses at the graduate level. Strand Two is also appropriate for individuas who wish to learn teaching pedagogy but do not need secondary licensure.

The English Teaching Program is also the home of the Montana Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, which is dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of writing at all grade levels.


M.A. in English (Teaching Option) graduates pursue opportunities in secondary education and/or go on to leadership positions in middle and high school English departments and/or curriculum programs. Candidates may apply for admission at any time of the year. In a typical year, 7 - 10 students enter the program; rates of acceptance are higher than for the other two programs.


The requirements for the MA in English (Teaching Option) degree include thirty-six (36) credits of graduate-level course work, an in-house professional paper, and an oral defense of the paper. Course requirements include three 500-level workshops in English teaching pedagogy, two 500-level literature seminars, and up to 4 professional paper credits. Students must also complete 20th Century Critical Theory, and either Introduction to Linguistics or Structure and History of English for Teachers (unless these courses or their equivalents have already been completed). Students may take up to nine (9) credits in courses outside the department, and up to nine (9) credits of Graduate Independent Study. Excluding professional paper credits, half of the remaining credits must be earned in 500-level courses.

GRE Scores are not required.

Application Deadline and Requirements

The English Teaching Program has no application deadline. However, if you wish to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship, your completed application including a TA application must be uploaded in the Graduate School application no later than January 6.

Downloadable TA application here.

In addition to the materials required by the Graduate School, the English Department also requires:

  • A short (100-300 word) essay of personal goals for graduate study.
  • An expository writing sample (a critical essay or research paper).

More Information

To learn more about this program, visit the English Teaching webpage and/or contact the program´s Director Beverly Chin with questions and inquiries.