Graduate Certificate in Literature and Composition

The Graduate Certificate in Literature and Composition prepares students for teaching literature and composition at the college level. Students will learn about specific subject areas of literature (American, British, World) and theories of composition.

Why choose this Certificate?

The certificate is targeted to high school teachers in Prince William County who need 18 MA credits in English literature and Composition in order to be certified to teach in Dual Enrollment programs. The requirements for certification, as specified by Northern Virginia Community College, are six credits in composition pedagogy and twelve credits in literature from a range of literary periods. Aside from this specific audience, this certificate, as a synthesis of our Literature and Teaching of Writing and Literature concentrations, will be of value to many of our students who are going into high school or community college teaching, or are preparing to apply for PhD programs. They are able to get this certificate along with their MA.

What this program offers:

The certificate will prepare students to research and analyze literary works within their historical, formal, and theoretical contexts. Students will be trained in how to use writing as part of an effective classroom practice. Upon completion of the certificate program, graduates will be able to design literature and composition curriculum and assignments at the college level.

Our students and faculty:

Our students reflect the diversity in backgrounds that make up George Mason University as a whole. We have students coming directly from college as well as many high school and community college teachers looking for professional development. We have a diverse and  internationally-recognized scholarly faculty who have published research in specializations in many areas of composition and literature. 

A successful applicant:

Demonstrates an interest in teaching, literature, and writing, as well as a desire to use the MA credits as part of a process of growth toward their goals. The most important part of the application for the certificate is the writing sample. This should demonstrate skills in analysis and communication including grasp of MLA style citations, use of theoretical or argumentative frame, and the ability to read a text closely for style and significance. Applicants who are coming from a different professional or undergraduate background should submit a sample of professional writing that demonstrates their ability to manage complex information and communicate effectively.