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 Degrees Offered

The English department offers three master's degrees:

The M.F.A. in Creative Writing is a terminal degree for writers, and for many years the University of Montana´s program has been ranked highly among the top programs nationwide. Many of the program´s graduates have become high–profile and critically acclaimed authors and poets; many teach or work in publishing; an increasing number (including those who have completed both the MFA and the MA in Literature degrees at the University of Montana) proceed to interdisciplinary PhD programs.

In addition to providing students with workshops in which to develop their writing skills, the program requires that its students take classes in the study of literature, valuing as it does the idea that the writer is both an artist and a critical thinker; the cumulative effect of their coursework is to allow students to develop their creative work and expand their understanding of literary technique. The program also offers training appropriate to collegiate–level teaching of creative writing and sponsors the graduate literary magazine CutBank, now in its fourth decade of publishing works of poetry, prose and art.

In a typical year, 300-400 students apply. Following a highly competitive admissions process, 20 – 30 successful applicants are accepted into Fiction, Nonfiction or Poetry and begin a two–year course of study that culminates in a polished body of work and a public reading. During these years, students work closely with our nationally (and internationally) recognized regular faculty, as well as with the talented and highly–regarded visiting writers who annually fill the program´s Hugo and Kittredge fellowships.

For information regarding faculty, requirements, applications, scholarships and teaching assistantships, visit the UM Creative Writing Program website:

The UM Creative Writing Program accepts applications October 1 – January 6. The Program uses a two-step application process: part one through the Graduate School website and part two through the Creative Writing website. First, applicants must apply to the Graduate School where they will fill out an application form, pay their fee, and submit GRE scores. Second, applicants use the Submittable application on the Creative Writing website to submit writing samples, unofficial transcripts, emails for recommenders and other information:

The M.A. in Literature is often pursued by individuals thinking of eventually applying to a Ph.D. program elsewhere; in recent years, graduates of our program have gained admission to prestigious Ph.D. programs around the country. Less frequently, this degree is sought by secondary teachers and by students thinking of a career in private secondary teaching. In a typical year, 10–20 students enter the program out of the 35–60 who applied in January. M.A. students select graduate seminars in American, British, comparative and ethnic literatures, as well as in critical theory, cultural studies, poetics, environmental literature, postcolonial studies and other areas; after three semesters, typically, of intensive coursework, their work culminates in a research thesis. 

For information regarding faculty, requirements, applications and teaching assistantships, visit the M.A. Literature Program website:

The M.A. in Teaching offers a balance of advanced studies in composition, linguistics, literature, critical theory and pedagogy. Graduate students have two options for completing the M.A. degree in English Teaching: Strand One is designed to extend and enrich the professional development of experienced middle school and high school teachers of English language arts. Strand Two is designed for individuals who have a B.A. in English or related field and who wish to be licensed to teach English at the secondary level (grades 5 -12) while they work on the M.A. in English Teaching. With additional coursework, field experiences, and student teaching, individuals may receive licensure and an M.A. degree. In addition to applying to the M.A. in English Teaching, prospective candidates should apply as well to the M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in order to take licensure courses at the graduate level. The English Teaching Program is also the home of the Montana Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, which is dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of writing at all grade levels.

M.A.T. graduates pursue opportunities in secondary education and/or go on to leadership positions in middle and high school English departments and/or curriculum programs. Candidates may apply for admission at any time of the year. In a typical year, 3 - 10 students enter the program; rates of acceptance are higher than for the other two programs.

For more information regarding faculty, requirements, applications and teaching assistantships, visit the M.A. in Teaching website:



Department website

Campus Location
Liberal Arts Building - Room 133

Federal Express Delivery - Street Address
English Department
32 Campus Drive #6120
Missoula, MT 59812-6120

Phone: (406) 243-5231
Fax: (406) 243-2556