The Baylor University Department of English grants the M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American literature, offering training in all major historical periods, focusing on literary aesthetics and criticism. Literature and religion is a historical and ongoing strength of the graduate program. Our esteemed faculty strive to prepare all students for their individual plan post-graduation, whether it be a career in college or university instruction, continuting their graduate education, or embarking on various alt-ac pursuits.
From medieval to modern and from Shakespeare to Seamus Heaney, specialties in British literature are well-represented at Baylor. Baylor has become a center for Victorian studies partially due to our Armstrong-Browning Library, a research library devoted to the poetry of the Brownings and to nineteenth-century studies. Recent students have also pursued specialties in Irish literature, Old English literature, Milton & his contemporaries, Romanticism, and British modernism. A wide variety of classes is offered in fiction, drama, prose, and poetry.
From Early American to Digital Age and from Anne Bradstreet to Anne Lamott, the variety of American literature is also well-represented in the wide-ranging interests of faculty and graduate students. Recent faculty and student research focuses on Cotton Mather, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Wendell Berry, Sylvia Plath, Ecological Criticism, American Catholic writers, and American Literature of War, among many others.
The certificate in Literature & Religion is a unique interdisciplinary program that allows students to combine advanced literary analysis with formal theological studies. Professors are friendly towards and involved in exploring the intersections of faith and learning. This degree actually is an English degree, despite its hybridized appearance. Recent students have focused on Evelyn Waugh, George MacDonald, Flannery O'Connor, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the influence of Reformation theology on English literature.
Baylor has a growing creative writing faculty, and while the MA degree remains a literature degree, students may take up to two classes in creative writing over the two-year period and write a creative thesis in addition to their courses in literature.