Department of English


The Department of English offers the opportunity for an education at the BA, as well as MA and MFA levels. Here you’ll focus on developing close reading and writing skills, as well as training in critical thinking—skills that are essential in today’s high-tech global economy.  We offer programs of study in literature and writing within a highly interdisciplinary learning environment that includes hands-on learning, as well as student research and internship opportunities. 

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BA in English
    Students have the option to concentrate in either literature or writing. Our literature program spans historical periods and movements of British, American, and European literature, as well as courses in Caribbean, South American, African, Native American, and Indian literature. Our writing program includes courses in fiction writing, business writing, nonfiction, and critical writing. In this program students will gain an understanding of both the historical significance and the contemporary need for strong writing and analytical thinking skills in a pre- and post-industrial world.
  • Minor in English
    Students have the option to concentrate in literature, creative writing, or critical and professional writing. Each of these minors offers students a core of literature and writing courses to develop close reading and writing skills, and opportunities to explore literary periods, or hone creative writing (both fiction and nonfiction) and professional writing skills, respectively.
  • MA in English
    Students have the option to concentrate in either literature or writing. In this rigorous program, students gain a deep comprehension of literary figures and periods spanning the globe, as well as in-depth training in fiction and critical writing skills. The literature concentration offers students advanced study and enrichment in English and American literature and contextual studies, literary criticism, history of the language, and modern linguistics. The writing concentration offers aspiring writers, pre-professionals, teachers who wish to update their skills, and individuals interested in writing as process the structure to supply a solid foundation and enough flexibility to accommodate individual writing goals.
  • MFA in Creative and Professional Writing
    Students will benefit from the program’s applied focus on developing a substantial manuscript portfolio, targeting appropriate markets, and submitting work for publication according to professional standards.
A William Paterson degree in English helps you acquire the tools that will enable you to flourish in a wide variety of career paths in the private and public sectors, and will give you career flexibility in a constantly changing world. Our graduate programs' rigorous course of study prepares students for a wide variety of careers, including secondary education and university-level teaching, book and magazine publishing and editing, journalism, copywriting, public relations, and professional writing. Teaching opportunities at William Paterson University are available to outstanding alumni.
Links to the University Course Catalog:

BA in English with concentrations in:
Literature for Education
Writing for Education

Minor in English

MA in English with concentrations in:

MFA in Creative and Professional Writing