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Graduate Programs

The Department of English at Syracuse University offers three graduate programs: a Master's degree of Fine Arts in creative writing, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English. Most of our graduate courses are workshops or seminars, giving students in all three programs an opportunity to work closely with internationally known creative writers, literary critics, cultural historians, and film and media scholars.

The M.F.A. program in Creative Writing offers promising fiction writers and poets an opportunity to study and practice their art with dedicated fellow writers. For three decades, one of the prime strengths of our program has been the excellence of our students. The strictly limited enrollment, with six poets and six fiction writers admitted each year, guarantees that students work closely together with a faculty that includes four fiction writers and four poets of national acclaim. We typically offer our students support, in the form of teaching assistantships and fellowships, for all three years of the program.

The M.A. and Ph.D. programs in English offer professional training in criticism, theory, research, and the teaching of literary and filmic texts. We recognize that the boundaries and contents of the discipline of English are subjects of collective investigation and debate. To that end, we ground our students broadly in literary and filmic history, research, and teaching, while also attending closely to the critical conversations, theories, methodologies, and emerging fields that continue to reshape and enliven the discipline. Our diverse and distinguished faculty has particular strengths in early modern literature, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, American studies, and film and screen studies, but cover other areas as well. We generally share a strong interest in literary history and forms, critical theory, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, and nationality, race, and ethnicity studies. Our particular specializations thus allow for both continuity and flexibility in the work that students can do while in our programs. The M.A. is a two-year program designed primarily for students intending to pursue further graduate study. We typically offer support for both years, in the form of teaching assistantships or fellowships. The Ph.D. program gives students opportunities for specialized research while preparing them for college and university teaching. We typically offer five years of support, in the form of teaching assistants and fellowships, to applicants from both the B.A. and the M.A.

The signature of all three of our graduate programs is close collaboration between individual students and faculty within a dynamic community of scholars, teachers, and writers. Our department also intersects with a variety of other communities both inside and outside the university. Many of our faculty have close ties with interdisciplinary departments and programs at Syracuse University, including African-American Studies, Asian/Asian-American Studies, Jewish Studies, Latino-Latin American Studies, LGBT Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, South Asian Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Members of our department also participate regularly in an array of educational and service programs in the community.


The department's graduate programs are supervised by the Chair of the department, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Director and Associate Director of Creative Writing. The Graduate Committee, consisting of five members of the faculty and one doctoral student representative, supervises the M.A. and Ph.D. programs, while the Creative Writing Committee, consisting of all creative writing faculty and one graduate student representative supervises the M.F.A. program.

Terri A. G. Zollo is the Graduate Studies Coordinator. She has worked with the graduate program for many years and can provide lots of useful information and assistance. She is located in the English office in 420 Hall of Languages. Her office number is 315.443.2174 and her email address is

The Director of Creative Writing is Christopher Kennedy. His office is Hall of Languages 416 and his email address is

The Associate Director of Creative Writing is Sarah Harwell. Her office is Hall of Languages 420A and her email address is

The Creative Writing Coordinator is Nana Adjei Brenyah. His office is Hall of Languages 418 and his e-mail address is

The Director of Graduate Studies is Harvey Teres. His office is Hall of Languages 420B, his phone number is 315.443.9470, and his email address is

There is also a graduate student organization, called the English Graduate Organization (EGO). EGO meets regularly to discuss and act upon graduate student interests, concerns, and problems.