English Literature Graduate Certificate Programs

Updated: Mar 18, 2024

Students who choose an online English Literature graduate certificate program typically want to enhance their understanding of narrative language arts. Study components include literature, film, and poetry, and most programs include a range of genres and authors from various historical periods. Graduates who complete this certification learn essential skills such as critical analysis, narrative interpretation, and how to lead discussions on English literature. Focus areas may include the works of particular authors such as Emily Dickinson or time periods, such as books written during the Civil War.

What Are the Online English Literature Graduate Certificate Requirements?

Many English literature graduate certificate programs are available online. This includes the program at Campbellsville University. Students who enroll in English literature graduate certificate programs already have their master’s degrees and want to deepen their skills in various writing and reading aspects. These programs allow students to acquire a broad range of literary knowledge and many graduates go on to pursue a Ph.D. or teach English in secondary schools or community colleges. The fully online format of Campbellsville University mirrors many other programs at accredited universities. Students should look for programs that closely match their interests and career goals to get the most out of their graduate certificates.

Here are typically requirements for English literature graduate certificates:

  • Complete an online application.
  • Submit official transcripts from their undergraduate and master’s degree programs.
  • Submit a 10-page argumentative research essay on a literary topic.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better OR submit GRE scores.
  • Submit a statement of purpose regarding your desire to attend the certificate program.
  • Three letters of recommendation (academic and professional preferred).

What Type of Classes Are Included in the Online English Literature Graduate Certificate Curriculum?

Some schools offer certification in English literature based on American, British, and world literature. This may include elective coursework and specific classes that specialize in authors, genres, and periods.

Examples of the course curriculum include the following:

Required courses:

  • British Literary History and Criticism
  • American Literary History and Criticism
  • Sem: World Literature
  • Graduate Research

Electives (choose 3 to 6 credits):

  • Shakespeare
  • British Literature to 1800
  • British Literature after 1800
  • American Literature to 1865
  • American Literature after 1865
  • Gender in Literature
  • Multicultural American Literature
  • Teaching College-Level Literature
  • Topics in Children’s & Young Adult Literature 2
  • Literary Theory and Criticism

What Type of Career Can I Pursue with an Online English Literature Graduate Certificate?

An online grad certificate in English Literature can enhance a career in the liberal arts and humanities, or open the door to a more niche role in education or publishing. Some career pathways include:

  • English Literature Professor: Professors educate college students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Courses typically range between selected authors, periods, and genres.
  • Journalist: students who wish to write about literature can pursue jobs as literary journalists. This may include blogging, writing for various publications, and authoring books on English literature.
  • Librarian: With a graduate certificate in English literature, you can become a librarian and work in public, private, or academic settings. Becoming a librarian also requires a master’s degree in library science. If you want to teach in a public school, you also need a teaching certificate.
  • Publishing Editor: As a publishing editor, you will curate and edit pieces written by authors and prepare them for publishing and online or print publications.

English Literature Graduate Certificate Programs List

Interested in an english literature graduate certificate program? Check out our listings below to find a traditional, online, or hybrid program near you.


San Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco, CATeaching of Composition


Colorado Mesa UniversityGrand Junction, CORhetoric and Literary Studies


Indiana University-KokomoKokomo, INOnline - Language and Literature
Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMarion, INOnline - ENGLISH


Wichita State UniversityWichita, KSOnline - English Literature and Composition Pedagogy


Boston UniversityBoston, MATeaching Language, Literature & Film

New York

University of RochesterRochester, NY Literary Translation


University of AkronAkron, OHLiterature
Youngstown State UniversityYoungstown, OHTeaching of Literature


University of MemphisMemphis, TNAfrican American Literature


Baylor UniversityWaco, TXLiterature and Religion


Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk, VALiterature

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