Department of English Graduate Programs


We're very excited to hear you wish to earn a graduate degree in English from WWU! The Department of English offers two Master’s Degrees:

  • The Master of Arts (MA) Degree in English (English Studies)
  • The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in Creative Writing 

Our graduate program is fairly small, enrolling fifteen to twenty new students each year. We deliberately limit the size of our program so that we can offer close working relationships between faculty and graduate students. For this reason, our graduate seminars are limited to twelve students, and two graduate classes per quarter is the normal load. Graduate students work closely with faculty in graduate seminars, through internships, and on academic and literary journals published by the Department. We consider our intellectual environment to be an essential part of our graduate program.

We schedule an exciting and diverse range of graduate seminars each year, with topics in national and global literatures, creative writing, composition and rhetoric, cultural studies, film, linguistics, literary theory, and pedagogy. Additionally, for those interested in becoming college-level teachers, our program offers in-depth experience and training.

Publishing and Editing Experience for Graduate Students

Our graduate students are also able to gain significant editing and publishing experience through work on the editorial staff of one or more of the journals supported by the English Department at Western. The Bellingham Review is a nationally recognized journal that has recently published creative writing by such authors as Charles Wright and Gary Soto, among others. One paid Managing Editor position is available for a second-year student, awarded on a competitive basis.

Our program can benefit you if your future plans include:

  • Application to a Ph.D. program
  • Teaching English, Creative Writing, or Composition in a college or university setting
  • Returning to a public or private school teaching job with refreshed ideas and knowledge
  • Working as a professional writer, a technical writer, or editor
  • Expanding your reading and writing abilities and enriching your experience with literature


Note: The Office of the English Graduate Studies Program closes during the summer and reopens in early September.


Director of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor Christopher Loar
English Department
516 Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055
Phone: 360.650.2722