The Graduate Program: The PhD and MA in English

The Department of English and Language Arts offers two graduate degree programs with a number of concentrations, making it suitable for a variety of scholars looking to expand their knowledge and develop their careers in research, teaching and writing. We offer progams leading to an MA or a PhD in English, and each year we admit scholars with a variety of skills and experiences to join us as they pursue these degrees.

The PhD in English

As one of only two English PhD programs at an HBCU -and one of a handful of English graduate programs in the nation to offer concentrations in creative writing and cinematic arts & sciences - our program is deeply grounded in the study of the literatures and cultures of Africa, African Americans and the African diaspora. We recognize that this rich, distinguished, and exciting past continues to influence our present realities.

Morgan's small doctoral program in English offers training in a wide range of fields within literary studies, including traditional historical fields as well as theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches. Our faculty have strengths in a variety of areas, including post-colonial literature, Black diasporic and Caribbean literature, American and British literature, African American literature, screenwriting and visual storytelling, film and popular culture, creative writing, rhetoric and composition, technical writing, linguistics, and gender studies, feminist literature and poetics; gender and sexuality; queer theory; literary theory; American cinema and film theory. All of our courses weave in the program's emphasis on the Black diaspora.
Our PhD in the English program prepares graduates for careers in teaching, research, and professional writing. Students will develop skills in effective research, critical analysis, creative writing and instructional methods. The program offers three distinct areas of concentration in English:

    • British and American Literature and Literary Theory
    • Multicultural and Gender Studies
    • Language and Professional Writing
      • Creative Writing
      • Screenwriting and Visual Storytelling
      • Technical and Expository Writing

The MA Program

Our Master of Arts program in English offers the following areas of concentration:

  • Literature and Language
  • Creative Writing
  • Screenwriting and Visual Storytelling

This program is designed for students who contemplate pursuing graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree, for those who are preparing for a career in secondary school teaching or in creative writing and screenwriting, and for those seeking a foundation for later PhD degree work.


The department only accepts students for fall admission. The deadline for all materials to be submitted and complete is 1 May. Funding options are available through the School of Graduate Studies for some students, and half-time teaching opportunities may be available through the Department of English and Language Arts.

To be considered for financial support from the School of Graduate Studies, applications for admission for the Fall semester must be received by February 1, and applications for the Spring semester by November 1 of each year.

Required Documents

  • Online Application through the School of Graduate Studies
  • Official Transcripts from all graduate and undergraduate institutions attended
  • Official GRE test score (The subject test in Literature in English is not required.)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Academic Writing Sample (15-20 pages)
    • Students seeking admission into the creative writing concentration should also submit a 15-20 page creative writing sample in addition to their academic writing sample

For additional information about applying, funding or the scope of our graduate programs, please contact the English Department directly at (443) 885-3165, or the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Dr. Julie Cary Conger at


  1. Graduate Catalog (Course listing, full program description and requirement)
  2. Full PhD Description and Requirements (Currently under revision | Document will return soon)
  3. Guidelines for PhD Comprehensive Exam Reading List

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