Literature and Writing Graduate Degrees (Creative Writing, Technical Writing & Literature)

Literature and Writing Graduate Programs offer students interested in the writing process or the study of different types of literature the opportunity to enhance technical proficiency and expand their theoretical understanding of different topics.

Literature and writing Degrees

Some graduate writing programs include the study of literature in support of writing skills. It is perhaps more common for writing graduate programs to focus on practice in writing essays, research papers, and creative genres such as poetry and short fiction.

Graduate level literature programs emphasize theory, critique and cultural studies. For those who want to build on an undergraduate education with more focused knowledge and training, graduate level literature and writing programs and master of fine arts (MFA) degrees warrant consideration.

Literature and Writing Graduate Program Essentials

Literature and Writing Graduate Programs are available as graduate certificates, masters in literature and writing and doctorate degrees in literature and writing whether your passion is critical literary theory or creative writing. Prospective applicants typically need a bachelor’s degree for master’s programs and a master’s degree for PhD programs; submission of writing sample and GRE scores may also be necessary.

Requirements may vary between universities and colleges so it is a good idea to find out whether you need a background in a specific field or whether a related prior degree is acceptable.


Technical writers also have job titles such as Engineering Writer, Expert Medical Writer, Technical Communicator and Narrative Writer (O'Net). [i]

Is There a Difference Between Literature and Writing?

If you aspire to use a graduate degree in literature and writing as a preparation for a potential career, it may be helpful to differentiate between the two to see what type of program best aligns with your goals and interests.


Literature generally refers to any kind of writing.This could mean technical business writing, scholarly writing that has an intellectual or artistic essence, as well as genre. Literature is usually defined by category such as poetry, fiction, non-fiction, prose (e.g. novels, short stories), as well as by techniques.[ii] Graduate Literature courses often focus on the research and analysis of major genres such as poetry or the novel, or on specific periods of history such as the Renaissance. Literary study may also focus on the writings of various cultures such as American or Russian literature, or literature designed for specific populations (e.g. children’s literature).


Writing is a form of communication, the result of which is called text.[iii] Writing takes into account things like language, vocabulary, and grammar. Graduate writing programs are often given in a small class format to encourage active student participation. This might include peer editing, group projects and reading assignments that support various writing skills, such as narrative development.

Literature and Writing

In terms of choosing a Literature and Writing Graduate Program, literature classes generally encompass extensive readings and research in critical writings about literature, whereas writing classes focus on writing skills and fluency and may concentrate on a specific style of writing.

For the student interested in research, critical reading, rhetoric, literary traditions and theory, a Literature and Writing Graduate Degree might be considered professional training for further graduate study in English, or as a preparation for potential careers in library and information science, and for careers in teaching.

Types of Graduate Programs in Literature and Writing

For the student interested in a concentration area, Literature and Writing Graduate Programs are available in:

  • Comparative Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Literature
  • Professional Writing
  • Technical Writing

Comparative Literature

For the student interested in the study of literature and cultural expression, the academic study of comparative literature is influenced by critical and literary theory. Often, this is an interdisciplinary approach that may involve learning another language.

Creative Writing

For the student interested in written expression using narrative, character development and tropes, the academic study of creative writing is usually separated into fiction or poetry. Often, classes help students uncover their own style as opposed to teaching them to copy an existing genre.


For the student interested in studying fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose of a particular period in history, or a specific genre such as Greek drama. Literature covers historical, scientific, philosophical, and journalistic writings.

Professional Writing

For the student interested in learning techniques associated with writing as a profession, professional writing involves communication, persuasion and rhetoric, information or entertainment.

Technical Writing

For students interested in conveying scientific, engineering or other technical information, technical writing involves research methods, documentation and factual communication about products and services.

Campus or Online Graduate Program in Literature and Writing?

For many students, deciding on a program format is really important. Do you want the opportunity to study amongst others or are you currently working and better suited to distance learning? If you are looking for campus-based Literature and Writing Graduate Programs you can use the navigation tabs on to locate sponsored listings by city, state or country, for those who want to study abroad. Otherwise, use the ‘online’ program type to generate results. For instance, review options such as Master of Arts in Science Writing, Master of Arts in Literature and Writing and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Then, request info from the school to find out more.

Find Graduate Programs in Writing and Literature

Do you want to learn how to communicate effectively in specific writing situations and to specific audiences? Do you want to question, interpret, research and critique literary movements and periods that have shaped the way we view literature today? If so, combine your creativity and attention to detail with critical-thinking in a Literature and Writing Graduate Program.

Sources: [i] | [ii] | [iii] | | | |

  • No application fee for April & June terms
  • Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
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