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 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 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) to earn 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.

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 may count toward the fulfillment of any 4000- or 5000- level course requirement in the English major, and they may also count toward the credit hour total for undergraduate graduation.  Students must fill out a Degree Audit Substitution Form supplied by the Academic Advising Center to obtain undergraduate credit for these courses.  Of course, the courses also 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

Sophomores should contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Thomas Albrecht,  if they are interested in the program, especially if they plan to be abroad during the junior year.   Any English major who has a 3.6 GPA or higher in the major is welcome to apply to the general e-mail invitation:  many of our best students earn enough credits to be counted as seniors by their junior year, which can result in their not appearing on the list sent out by the Registrar for our consideration.  So it is a good idea to contact the DGS during the fall of your junior year if you think you are eligible.

Invitations typically go out in March, with a deadline for application by the beginning of April.   

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.  A PDF copy of the form is available for download in 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 Albrecht's mailbox in the English Department. 

You will be notified by mail of the department's decision on your 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 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.

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.  Every student takes two required courses during his or her first year—ENLS 7890 Fundamentals of Literary Theory (fall) and ENLS 7050 Bibliography and Research Methods (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 ENLS 7920 and 3 additional graduate level courses in their final semester.

How to Apply to the External M.A. Program

The application deadline is February 1, 2016.  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.

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

Thomas Albrecht,  Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118
Office: Norman Mayer Rm 239
Phone: (504)862-8160
Fax: (504)862-8958


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