Explore UAB

Interested in the UAB Department of English Master's Program? We hope you'll consider joining us in the study and promotion of language and literature in Birmingham!

Listed below are some of the most common questions we field from prospective students. We hope you'll find them informative, and if you have further questions please don't hesitate to ask. We are easily accessible by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or by telephone (205-934-4250). You can also contact specific program directors through the Graduate Programs Contacts page.

  • How do I apply?

    You can apply to the program through the UAB Graduate School. Go to that site, and it will explain what you need to do to apply.

  • When are the deadlines?

    The Graduate School posts the deadlines for spring, summer, and fall applications; however, if you are trying to apply for a graduate teaching assistantship or a diversity fellowship, you will need to apply early for the fall (well before the Graduate School’s deadline) as the department makes the decisions about these fellowships in February and March. These separate applications are on the department website, and they need to be submitted after you have been accepted to the program. 

  • What should my application look like to succeed?

    Your personal statement should explain why you want to be in the program and what you hope to accomplish in it.

    Your recommendation letters should be from people who are familiar with your academic work and can speak highly of it.

    Your transcript(s) are important as they present your performance at all previous colleges from which you earned undergraduate or graduate credits.

    Your writing sample should demonstrate your skills as a writer and should be long enough (12-15 pages) to show that you have the capacity to do graduate work. 

  • How do I get an assistantship or other aid?

    The department offers (5) Graduate Teaching Assistantships per year (GTAs) and 1-2 Diversity Fellowships a year. These funding opportunities start each fall. You need to apply for these through the English Department website. These applications are competitive. 

  • Can I apply to this master’s program if I had a different major in college?

    If you have taken a number of English classes along with your other major, you should apply directly. If you had a different major and did not take many English classes, the best course of action is usually to take 1-2 classes in the program as a non-degree-seeking student first. If you succeed in and enjoy those classes, you should then apply to the program and, if you are accepted, transfer those credits to your MA degree. Doing this will also enable you to gather recommendation letters. You can apply as a non-degree-seeking student through the Graduate School.

  • Do you accept applications from international students?

    We welcome and accept applications from all international students. These applicants will need to obtain a visa to enter the United States and should have the capacity to obtain this.

  • Can international students get aid?
    International students can apply for the same forms of aid that American students can apply for.
  • What can I study in the English MA program?

    In the program, you can study literature, creative writing, or rhetoric, and composition. All students have elective possibilities, and their electives can be any classes we teach.

  • How long will it take me to get the MA?

    That depends on how many classes you take each semester. The program is 31 hours, which equals 10 classes plus the required one-hour introduction to the program class (605). If you are going to school full-time, it is easy to complete the program in 2 years, not including the second summer. If you are taking fewer classes (for example, working full-time and studying part-time), it could take you 3-4 years depending upon how many classes a semester you take. 

  • Can I complete the program at night?

    The program can be completed at night, but it will always take more than two years to accomplish this. While we consistently teach classes in the evenings, we do not teach all of our classes in the evenings, and the classes that are offered in the evenings rotate.

  • Can I complete the program online?

    It is not possible to complete this program online. We fully believe in the value of in-person classes. We do offer some classes online.

  • Are there opportunities for work in the department?

    There are some opportunities. Students can perform unpaid work for two professional journals: BPR and Nelle. Students may also apply for the department’s annual communication internship (paid work).

  • How many students are in the MA program?

    This is an interesting question because the program is growing; at present, we typically admit ~12 students a year, but it looks as if the incoming class (Fall 2023) may be closer to 20. The number of students enrolled depends on how many people have applied and how many have been admitted.

  • Who is my advisor when I get into the program?

    The Graduate Director, Rebecca Ann Bach, is the official advisor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

  • How do I choose my classes?

    With advising from the graduate director, you can choose from the wide array classes offered each semester.

  • What are the requirements in the program?

    The requirements vary depending on what you choose to study. To complete the program, students can either write a thesis or article, or they can take a 30-book exam, but all creative writers write theses. All graduate English students are required to take our EH 605: Introduction to Graduate Studies in English. This is a 1-hour class offered in the fall. In addition to this, each graduate student must take at least 15 hours of graduate seminars (600-level classes), and these hours do not include EH 605.