Department of English

PO Box 172300
2-176 Wilson Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717-2300
Tel: 406-994-3768   Fax: 406-994-2110

Director of Graduate Studies

Kathleen Ryan
2-276 Wilson Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717
Tel: 406-994-5191  Email:

Department Chair

Kirk Branch
2-176 Wilson Hall, Bozeman MT  59717
Tel: 406-994-3768  Email:

The Master of Art in English focuses on writing, teaching, and literary studies. Serious intellectual work takes place in the landscape of the Northern Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone region. Students develop close mentoring relationships with faculty members who have expertise in fields such as British Literature, education and pedagogy, literature of the American West, and Writing Studies. Students may elect to write either a scholarly thesis (Plan A) or a professional paper (Plan B) in our two-year program.

Students’ interests for earning the degree varies. The MA in English can prepare students to go on to PhD programs in literature or writing studies, as well as MFA programs in creative writing. Students also go on to teach in secondary education and higher education, work in the business sector, and work for non-profit agencies. Others pursue the degree for personal enrichment.

The department awards up to six teaching assistantships to our top applicants each year. 


University standards for admission with full standing to The Graduate School:

  • 3.0 grade point average (A=4.0) and official transcripts for all undergraduate course work

Additionally, the Department of English requires:

  • Three letters of recommendation from people who can comment on the applicants potential for success in a graduate program in English
  • A personal essay in which the applicant discusses their reasons for pursuing the Master of Arts in English
  • 10-15 page writing sample
  • Optional--Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test score

*Deadline for admission and consideration for a teaching assistantship is January 31st. The final deadlines for admission only are July 1 (fall semester) and November 1 (spring semester). Deadlines for international students are May 15 (fall semester and September 15 (spring semester).

Financial Assistance

Graduate students may apply for departmental teaching assistantships, which are awarded on a competitive basis. To apply for an assistantship, discuss your interest in teaching in the personal essay you will submit as part of your application packet.

Graduate Program