Graduate Degrees-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

Graduate Degrees

We offer three Master of Arts degrees and two Ph.D. programs: the Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies, the Master of Arts in Rhetoric, the Master of Arts in Professional Writing, the Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies and the Ph.D. in Rhetoric.

The Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies and the Master of Arts in Rhetoric are both one-year masters' programs intended primarily, though not solely, for students who wish to pursue academic careers. The M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies is intended for students who wish to study interpretive approaches that regularly link individual texts to the conditions of their production and reception. The M.A. in Rhetoric features an interdisciplinary approach to discourse and the arts of inquiry, interpretation, and communication. Students in both programs take classes alongside Ph.D. students in the same fields and will find themselves well placed to apply to Ph.D. programs.

The Master of Arts in Professional Writing is a program designed for students who wish to directly enter the professional world as writers. Graduates of the MAPW program will be prepared to work as communication specialists in government, business, and industry. The program requires three semesters of coursework plus a professional internship.

MDes in Communication Planning and Information Design:
We currently have students enrolled in a fourth, 2-year MA program run jointly with the School of Design, the MDes in CPID.  That program is phasing out and we are not accepting applications for the Fall of 2014.

The Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies was among the first of its kind in the U.S. As the name suggests, the program in Literary and Cultural Studies is founded on interpretive approaches that regularly link individual texts to the conditions of their production and reception. The program combines extensive theoretical training, spanning many approaches, with an unrivalled flexibility of inquiry across the numerous subject areas of faculty expertise.

The Ph.D. in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon is one of the oldest Ph.D. programs in rhetoric in the United States and continues to be one of the strongest. The program focuses on how people produce and understand discourse across a variety of social, cultural, and material contexts, in schools, workplaces, and communities. Students learn about the history and theory of rhetoric as well as about a variety of methods, both qualititative and quantitative, for pursuing their research.

Both Ph.D. degrees are appropriate for students who wish to pursue careers in higher education and academic research. Both degrees require 72 hours of coursework, a qualifying exam, and a prospectus and dissertation for completion. (Please see the individual program pages for program-specific requirements.) Both degree programs also offer four years of tuition support and a yearly stipend in return for teaching undergraduate courses.

Applications for Fall 2014 admissions are now open.

Deadlines:




application deadlines