All Programs and Certificates

Information for current students can be found here.

PhD in Linguistics

The PhD in linguistics trains students in the science of language. Students become specialists in the core areas of linguistics — phonology, syntax, and semantics — and learn to integrate this core with the study of second language acquisition. This 72-credit degree program prepares students for positions in academia, industry, and government working in a host of organizations that are concerned with language and second language acquisition. 

PhD student handbook

PhD in Writing and Rhetoric

George Mason's doctoral program in Writing and Rhetoric offers a curriculum that emphasizes theoretical, practical, and productive approaches to writing in organizations and in public spaces. Our program is built on the premise that writing and teaching in twenty-first century organizations requires the rigorous, integrated study of rhetoric, technology, culture, and research methodologies.

MFA in Creative Writing

Founded in 1980, Mason's MFA program boasts a national reputation with internationally recognized faculty who you will work with to develop your literary art. In addition to being regularly published, our faculty are active members in organizations like PEN/Faulkner, the Academy of American Poets, and the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, which are exactly the associations you need to sustain a vibrant writerly life. This 48-credit-hour, residential program offers concentrations in three genres--fiction, nonfiction, and poetry--and is typically completed in three years. The curriculum is designed to deliver a balance of scholarship and production with a generous amount of electives so that students can chart a path through the program that both adheres to our tradition and is unique to them. Mason Creative Writing, coupled with Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice, is a center of literary arts and publishing practice, and its graduates emerge as exceptional artists who are prepared for a variety of professional directions. 

MA in English

With concentrations in Literature, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, Professional and Technical Writing, and the Teaching of Writing and Literature, the Mason English department offers master's degrees aimed to meet a wide range of intellectual and professional needs and interests.  Graduate certificates may be combined with these programs to add additional areas of specialization, with courses counting toward both the degree program and the certificate when requirements overlap.  

Cultural Studies concentration in the MA in English

The master's degree in English with a concentration in cultural studies consists of courses in literature (defined to include film, media, folklore, and literary and cultural theory as well as more traditional forms of literature) with expanded requirements in theory and cultural studies.  Students planning to apply to the PhD program in Cultural Studies at George Mason who have not already earned an MA should pursue this concentration.  Consult for more information about the PhD program.

Folklore Studies concentration in the MA in English

The MA in English with a concentration in Folklore Studies offers students opportunities to explore folklore both globally and locally. Faculty in the program work in diverse geographies including Africa, China, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, as well as Appalachia and the vibrant cultures that comprise the Washington, D.C. region. You will also learn about both contemporary and historical folk cultures. Award-winning faculty in the program regularly receive grants for folklore research in which you will have an opportunity to participate.

Linguistics concentration in the MA in English

The master's degree in English with a concentration in linguistics is theoretically oriented and provides a solid foundation in the major subfields of linguistics: phonology, syntax, and semantics. It requires 30 credits and can be earned on a part-time basis in two years.

Literature concentration in the MA in English

This program consists of courses in literature (defined to include film, media, folklore, and literary and cultural theory) as well as required courses in research methods and literary theory.  Students may choose to write a master's thesis or complete a capstone project, or they may choose to complete their requirements by taking additional literature courses.

Professional and Technical Writing concentration in the MA in English

The MA in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing is oriented to workplace uses of language. In addition to the training in pragmatic skills offered, the concentration is characterized by a self-reflexive attention to workplaces as institutions. Courses on research and theory in nonfiction writing complement instruction in editing, technical writing, digital publication, and other current practices to prepare students for roles as writers and editors in the private and public sectors. Instruction in research methodologies melds archival research with the most current technological advances to equip students with valuable research tools and strategies, while courses in literature, media studies, folklore, and linguistics provide insight into language and writing practices across a variety of contexts.

Teaching of Writing and Literature concentration in the MA in English

At the core of this program are courses on teaching literature and teaching composition, reinforced by courses in literature, writing, linguistics, and composition theory.  The program offers practicing educators the opportunity to renew knowledge and envision new paths as instructors; students new to the field will benefit from an array of perspectives afforded by its breadth.

Accelerated MA in English (Concentration in Folklore Studies)

Accelerated MA in English (Concentration in Linguistics)

An accelerated master's degree program is available to highly qualified undergraduates in any major at George Mason. Students accepted to this program complete some graduate coursework as part of their undergraduate degree program. They can earn both a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and a master’s degree in English with a concentration in linguistics by completing 144 credits, often within five years.

Graduate Certificate in College Teaching (Offered by English Department)

This certificate is for graduate students planning a career in post-secondary education. It offers courses that develop pedagogical skills, explore pedagogical assessment or scholarship, and enhance the use of technology in instruction.

Graduate Certificate in Folklore Studies

Graduate Certificate in Linguistics: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The graduate certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) is an 18-credit program that focuses on the applied aspects of English linguistics. This program offers courses in  English phonetics, English grammar, second language acquisition, teaching ESL, and a practicum.

Graduate Certificate in Literature and Composition

Graduate Certificate in Professional and Technical Writing

Graduate Certificate in Publishing Practice