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Department of English Language and Literature

MA in English/MLIS in Library & Information Science (Joint Degree)

This joint degree program in English and Library and Information Science requires 55 hours of course work and culminates in two compatible and highly marketable degrees.


The English Department no longer requires GRE scores.

Prospective students must apply independently to the Department of English and to the School of Library and Information Science. Neither the MA in English nor the MLIS will be awarded separately. Students who wish to change from the joint program to a single program must reapply to the program they wish to enter.

Applicants for admission to the MA program must have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours of upper-division undergraduate courses in English or an appropriate related discipline, with grades indicating ability for successful graduate work. Successful applicants to the MA program typically have GRE verbal scores at or above the 75th percentile and an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or better.

Applicants should follow the procedures noted on the Admissions page.

  • a sample of academic writing (approximately 8-10 pages) and
  • a statement of purpose.

Your application is not complete until all materials are received by The Graduate School. Admission decisions are based on all parts of an application, with especially close attention given to writing samples.

Application deadlines are January 1 for those wishing to be considered for fellowships or assistantships and April 15 for all others.

MA/MLIS students will be assigned academic advisors in both the Department of English and the School of Library and Information Science. Prior to registering for classes each semester, you should make an appointment to talk with both advisors. Your MA advisor will help you plan and file a program of study.

The curriculum for this program is given below.

  • A reading knowledge of one foreign language

  • ENGL 700

  • One course from each of five course groups as listed in the Graduate Bulletin (Medieval and Renaissance non-dramatic; Drama; British Literature, 1660-1900; American Literature before 1900; Twentieth-century Literature)

  • One course in allied professional field (e.g., ENGL 796, 870-872, HIST 790, CLIS 719)

  • Two other English courses

  • One hour of Thesis Preparation (ENGL 799)

  • Course requirements in Librarianship (CLIS 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 706) and nine hours of electives

The thesis is a project of approximately 50 pages that demonstrates mastery of research methods in both English and library and information science. Typically the MA/MLIS thesis is a bibliographical study of a figure, text, movement, problem, or current question in literature. The director of the thesis and thesis writing (ENGL 799) will be a member of the graduate faculty in English. The second reader should have credentials in the field of library and information science. No thesis defense is required, and there is no comprehensive exam.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.