The Department of English offers two Master’s degree programs:  a two-year 4+1 M.A. program for Tulane undergraduate English majors, and a three-semester external M.A. program for English or Literature majors with B.A. degrees from Tulane or from other institutions.  Each has its own admission requirements and its own timetable to completion. 

A Certificate in Documentary Literary Studies is offered in both programs.

Students who have earned M.A. degrees in our programs have gone on to doctoral programs and law schools.  They have embarked on careers as journalists as well as editors at magazines and publishing houses.  Several of our graduates now teach in public and private secondary schools.  We have graduates who work on staff as museum curators and in rare book libraries.  But some of our graduates go on to careers not directly related to the degree.  They chose to pursue the M.A. in order to challenge themselves, to continue the study of literature they enjoy, and to acquire a credential that adds value to their employment profile.


The 4+1 M.A. Program

The 4+1 M.A. program in English serves Tulane English majors who are interested in pursuing careers or further education in literary studies, museum studies, library science, secondary teaching, and publishing, to name a few of the areas to which our students gravitate.  The program begins in the student's senior year and continues for one additional year (the "+1" year) towards completion of the M.A. degree. 

During the "+1" year, tuition is approximately one-third the cost of regular undergraduate tuition, not including fees.  Regular tuition applies to the senior year. More information on "+1" year tuition is available on the School of Liberal Arts' Applying to an SLA Graduate Program page.

Undergraduate scholarships do not transfer to the "+1" year.

The 4+1 M.A. Course of Study

The program is designed so that students can complete the program in two years by taking two required graduate courses in their senior year, Fundamentals of Literary Theory (ENLS 7890) in the fall term, and Bibliography and Research Methods (ENLS 7050) in the spring term.

These two courses count as a 4000- or 5000-level elective course in the undergraduate English major, and they count as well toward the credit hour total for undergraduate graduation. Students must fill out and submit to their academic advisor a Degree Audit Substitution Form supplied by the Academic Advising Center to obtain undergraduate credit for these courses.  This form must be signed for approval by the English Department's Director of Graduate Studies or Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Of course, both courses concurrently count toward the graduate degree.)

In the second, "+1" year, students are expected to take four courses in each semester.

Students taking the Certificate in Documentary Literary Studies enroll in the Internship Course (ENLS 7920) in the Fall term of their "+1" year, in addition to three graduate seminars/proseminars. In the Spring term of their "+1" year, they take four seminars/proseminars, and complete a certificate portfolio under the supervision of a departmental mentor. 

A typical course of study for an entering student in the 4+1 program would be:

Fall Senior Year: ENLS 7890, Fundamentals of Literary Theory

Spring Senior Year: ENLS 7050, Bibliography and Methods

Fall “+1” Year: 4 seminars/proseminars OR, if pursuing the certificate, ENLS 7920 + 3 seminars/proseminars

Spring "+1" Year:4 seminars/proseminars

Students are encouraged to take up to two graduate courses in other departments, by direct petition to the Director of Graduate Studies (to receive credit for such coursework, students are required to submit a Degree Audit Substitution Form).  No graduate courses are offered during the summer term.


How to Apply to the 4+1 Program

Junior English Majors with a 3.6 GPA in the major are eligible to apply to the 4+1 Program. To begin the program in 2017-2018, students should submit an application by April 17, 2017.

Select Junior English majors will receive a personal invitation to apply from the Director of Graduate Studies, based on recommendations from faculty instructors. These invitations typically go out in March.

In order to apply, send to the attention of the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English, a hard copy of:

  1. An application cover letter.
  2. A completed Application Form and a $50 processing fee check made out to Tulane University School of Liberal Arts. The form is available in the English Department main office and on the Forms for Students section of the English Department website.
  3. A 10-20 page writing sample on a topic in Literary Studies.
  4. Your undergraduate degree audit.

In addition, please ask two faculty persons to email letters of recommendation to the Director of Graduate Studies (

Students applying to the 4+1 program may submit their hard copy application materials to Professor Rothenberg's mailbox in the English Department. 

Applicants will be notified of the department's decision on their application by the Office of Graduate Programs in Tulane's School of Liberal Arts.


The External M.A. Program

We accept highly qualified students with B.A.s in English or Literary Studies from excellent undergraduate institutions.  The external M.A. Program has the same curricular requirements and opportunities as the 4+1 program, including the Certificate in Documentary Literary Studies.  The external M.A. is designed for students who are enhancing their education for eventual application to a doctoral program. 

We accept up to four courses of graduate work completed at other universities for transfer credit toward the M.A. degree.  Although the program is designed to be completed in three semesters, students are permitted to complete it in four semesters. 

The tuition for the program is approximately one-third of undergraduate tuition, not including fees. More information on tuition is available on the School of Liberal Arts' Applying to an SLA Graduate Program page.

The External M.A. Course of Study

The external M.A. program requires 10 courses.  No M.A. thesis is required.  Students typically take three or four courses per term.  There are two required methodology courses, which students usually complete in their first year: ENLS 7890 Fundamentals of Literary Theory (offered in fall) and ENLS 7050 Bibliography and Research Methods (offered in spring).   

A typical course of study for an entering student in the external M.A. program would be:

           Year 1  Fall: ENLS 7890-Fundamentals of Literary Theory + 2 graduate seminars/proseminars.

           Year 1 Spring: ENLS 7050-Bibliography and Methods + 2 graduate seminars/proseminars.

           Year 2 Fall: 4 graduate seminars/proseminars.

If students are pursuing the Certificate in Documentary Literary Studies, they would take the internship course (ENLS 7920) in the first or second of the three semesters, and complete their portfolio in the following semester.

How to Apply to the External M.A. Program

The application deadline is February 1, 2017.  Application forms are available online through the School of Liberal Arts

Via the form, please submit the following materials:


  1. Statement of purpose.
  2. Names and electronic contact information of two persons who will electronically submit letters of academic recommendation on your behalf.
  3. Self-reported GRE scores in Verbal and Quantitative. (All applicants are also required to submit official GRE scores. They should direct ETS to send official GRE scores to Tulane's School of Liberal Arts, Code 6183.)
  4. An unofficial transcript from each university attended.
  5. A 10-20 page writing sample on a topic in Literary Studies.

Applicants will be notified of the department's decision on their application by the Office of Graduate Programs in Tulane's School of Liberal Arts.

Molly Rothenberg,  Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118
Office: Norman Mayer Rm 212
Phone: (504)862-8166
Fax: (504)862-8958


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000