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How do I Choose the Best English Graduate School?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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Going to an English graduate school can be a great way to further your career and learn more about your chosen field. There are many things to consider when choosing an English graduate school, but the primary concerns are the types of programs and classes offered, as well as the location of the school. It is important to compare a few different schools to see which one might be the best fit.

First, determine the type of English graduate school degree you want; it is possible to get a master's degree or even a doctoral degree in English. English degrees are primarily literature degrees; an advanced degree in creative writing or journalism will typically not be referred to as an English degree. Some schools only offer master's degrees in English, so if you know you eventually want to pursue a Ph.D., it might be best to choose a school where you can get the complete degree, rather than needing to transfer after the first degree.

Next, if you've determined that you want to focus on a specific area of literature while in English graduate school, consider this as well when choosing a school. For instance, some people prefer to focus on British or American literature, or a specific facet of one of those genres. Some schools have professors that specialize in certain areas of literature, which can be invaluable when pursuing an advanced degree if you have the same interest.

Consider the location of the school as well. For instance, are you willing to relocate to attend graduate school, or do you want to attend a local university? Keep in mind that a public school in the same state where you are a resident with be cheaper than an out of state school. Distance or online learning is another option that is becoming more and more common, and there are a number of English graduate school degrees that can be obtained entirely online. Of course, you will need to determine the requirements of each school, and be sure that you have taken the appropriate classes during your undergraduate degree.

Financial information will also likely be a concern when choosing an English graduate school. Explore opportunities such as scholarships, grants, and graduate assistantships or fellowships, all of which can be helpful when paying for graduate school. Finally, you should be certain that the university is accredited; you may also choose to check the rankings of the university as compared to other schools for graduation and employment rates, for example. Researching schools ahead of time will ensure that you have a positive experience in English graduate school.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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