M.A. in English Studies and Communication

The master of arts in English Studies and Communication is a flexible, 36-credit program in English language, literature, and communication.

  • Teachers who want to advance in their careers or expand their teaching repertoire (for example, to teach dual-credit high school and college courses)
  • Current and aspiring professional writers
  • Individuals preparing to teach the English language and in the U.S. and abroad
  • Individuals preparing to teach American literature and culture in other countries
  • English majors from other countries who want to improve their general proficiency in the English language for use in business or industry
  • Individuals preparing for “gap-year” programs such as Fulbright and Peace Corps
  • Students preparing to apply for Ph.D. programs in English literature, rhetoric and composition, or communication
  • Students earning or planning to earn a second master’s degree, such as an MFA in Creative Writing or a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences
  • Individuals preparing to teach introductory composition and literature courses at qualifying universities and community colleges.

Graduates of the English Studies and Communication program have worked as professional writers, in business, non-profit, and humanitarian work, and in k-12 settings and in universities in the U.S. and internationally.  Students who have completed the English Studies and Communication degree, with or without the optional TESOL certificate, have also pursued further study in doctoral programs in English literature, Education, Linguistics, and TESOL and Composition.

Ours is a flexible, faculty-advised program in which:

  • Students build community as they undertake core courses in American literature and culture, the history and structure of the English language, rhetoric and composition, digital media, intercultural communication, and interdisciplinary seminars in humanities and the arts
  • Electives in literary studies, linguistics, TESOL, the teaching of writing, and creative and professional writing allow for a customizable program of study
  • Students interact with fellow graduate students and others in Valparaiso University’s vibrant international community
  • Students may overlap thesis credits toward an optional certificate in TESOL.  (For Indiana teachers with initial licensure, a teacher certification program in TESOL is also an option.)
  • Students gain practical experience through a hands-on practicum in teaching, writing, or related fields such as curriculum development
  • Students may pursue a six-credit thesis option as an alternative to the practicum
  • Students may take classes as full-time or part-time students. Select courses are available in the evenings and during the summer.
  • ESC students must meet general Graduate School admission requirements, plus have completed an undergraduate or graduate major or minor in English
  • Additional requirements for international students:
  • An applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a TOEFL score of at least 550 (213 computer based version or 80 iBT version), an IELTS score of at least 6.0, a Duolingo score of at least 110, or a PTE score of at least 56.
  • Currently enrolled undergraduate students at Valparaiso University may apply for Early Entry in the program, and, if provisionally admitted, to enroll in graduate coursework during their senior year that may be applied to both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. For the latest in information about Early Entry, please see the graduate catalog.

Please click here for the Graduate School admission site and application materials.

The Master of Arts in English Studies and Communication is a 36-credit program for international and U.S. students wanting to develop their understanding of and skills related to the English language, English literature, and English communication. The program goals include the following: 1) contextualize key points in the history and structure of the English language; 2) identify conventions of literature in American traditions; 3) summarize critical analytic traditions in the fields of English Studies and Communication; 4) write critical analyses appropriate to the fields of English Studies and Communication; 5) Communicate in multiple modes across cultures; and 6) complete supervised practical work toward professional development or further studies in field of English Studies and Communication.

For more information about specific program requirements, please see the graduate studies catalog below.