Master’s in English: Education Emphasis

Master of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Education

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Median annual wage for postsecondary English language and literature education careers1

Become an English Teacher With a Master’s in English: Education Emphasis

The Master of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Education at Grand Canyon University (GCU) can prepare you to pursue a teaching career at two-year and four-year institutions of higher learning. If you enjoy rhetoric, literature and pedagogy, this graduate-level study in English will teach you the skills to become an educational leader in a world of undergraduate English education.

The master’s in English: education emphasis at GCU provides you with advanced training in the discipline of English, while satisfying the requirements for ongoing professional development. Using various techniques and strategies for communication, including the use of logical reasoning, emotional appeals and ethical arguments, you have the opportunity to graduate with professional skills that can be applied in many different contexts.

This evening or online master’s in English with an education emphasis combines both literature and pedagogy, incorporating various pedagogical approaches and techniques that can promote student engagement, critical thinking and a deeper understanding of literary texts.

Benefits of Earning Your Master’s in English: Education Emphasis at GCU

There are several potential benefits to earning an MA in English: education emphasis at GCU:

  • Increased career opportunities: A master's degree may open up job opportunities in education, including a college professor who may perform duties that include curriculum design and coordinating instruction materials.
  • Enhanced knowledge and skills: You will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of the English language and literature, as well as study advanced teaching strategies and techniques to use in the classroom.
  • Professional development: Learn how to develop as a professional and keep up with the latest trends and research in the field of English education.
  • Networking opportunities: Throughout your master’s program, you will have the opportunity to make connections with other educators and professionals in the field, potentially leading to future job opportunities or collaborations.
  • Personal fulfillment: Earning a master's degree in a subject you are passionate about can provide a sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment, as well as help you become a more effective educator.2

In this MA in English education program, you can choose to take online master’s in English: education emphasis classes, allowing for a work-life balance while pursuing an advanced degree, or you can attend in-person classes in the evening on the GCU campus.

Coursework Offered in the MA in English: Education Emphasis

The master of arts in English: education emphasis program at GCU is built around four important domains:

  • Pedagogy
  • Teaching writing and literature
  • Practice of professional writing
  • Theories of writing a rhetoric

Courses and topics in these domains work together to help you be well-versed in areas that will support your future work. These topics of study may also provide you with skills and knowledge that can be applied to other areas of your personal and professional life.

This domain teaches GCU students how to design curriculum that meets the needs of students, as well as aligns to academic standards and institutional programming requirements. English education master’s degree graduates have the opportunity to gain knowledge of best practices for adult learners. Distance technology teaching methods are emphasized to support the future of online learning.

This domain teaches graduates to apply specific writing, literature and rhetoric practices. GCU graduates of this program practice developing materials that can engage learners and support student outcomes. As a master’s in English: education emphasis student at GCU, you will study and be taught to apply current theories and practices related to teaching and assessment.

This domain encourages you to practice writing for different situations. As a student pursuing a master’s in English with an education emphasis, you will be taught the skills necessary to understand the ethical implications of writing. In addition, master’s of English: education emphasis students study and apply the features of various types of writing in order to recognize the expectations of genre and audience.

This coursework emphasizes the role of technology in writing and vice-versa. You will be taught to analyze theories of communication in order to address contemporary writing and rhetoric issues in the classroom.

Career Pathways for Master’s in English: Education Emphasis Graduates


The estimated number of new jobs to open for postsecondary English language and literature teachers from 2021 to 2031.3

The need for postsecondary English teachers is growing,3 and may be an ideal career path for those who have a passion for writing and literature.

Some MA in English: education emphasis GCU graduates may become postsecondary English and literature teachers at local colleges and universities. Others may find work in less traditional fields, as well as other higher education institutions.4 

Empowering students across all disciplines for their professional journeys starts with a strong command of the English language. Seize the opportunity to build a solid educational foundation by pursuing your Master of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Education degree at GCU.

Master’s in English: Education Emphasis FAQs

To help you make an informed decision about your academic and professional goals, we’ve gathered a few frequently asked questions about the MA in English with an Emphasis in Education degree.

If you have a strong personal interest in English with a passion for teaching, this degree may be worth your time and effort as it will teach you how to build your practical teaching skills and classroom management strategies. This evening or online master’s in English with an education emphasis teaches advanced knowledge and skills in literature, composition, linguistics and pedagogy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, MA in English education graduates are also considered postsecondary teachers who instruct students in a variety of academic subjects beyond the high school level.4 For those in postsecondary English language and literature education careers, there is a median annual wage of approximately $74,280.1 

Like any graduate program, this MA in English education may require you to read, analyze and write extensively. It may also require you to develop lesson plans, teach classes and engage in research. The program may be challenging for students who have not studied English at the undergraduate level or who have limited experience teaching. However, experienced faculty can prepare you by teaching the necessary skills in curriculum that includes advanced coursework in literature, composition, linguistics and pedagogy. Moreover, you may be exposed to supervised teaching experiences that can push you out of your comfort zone with the potential to help you grow as a professional.

This evening or online master’s in English: education emphasis degree requires a total of 34 credits for completion. Most of the master’s in English: education emphasis classes are eight weeks in length. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor to better understand how long it takes to earn your MA in English education degree.

1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Postsecondary English Language and Literature Teachers as of May 2021, retrieved on May 3, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as postsecondary English language and literature teachers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

2 Master’s in Education Advancing the skills of educators (n.d.). Personal Benefits of Earning a Master’s in Education. Retrieved on May 23, 2023. 

3 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Postsecondary Teachers, retrieved on May 2, 2023. 

4 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022, Oct.4). What Postsecondary Teachers Do. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved on May 3, 2023. 

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Total Credits: 34
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance


Course List

34 credits
Degree Requirements:
34 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the liberal arts. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course provides historical, theoretical, and practical knowledge in rhetoric and writing. By studying classical and modern theories of rhetoric, contemporary theories of writing, and relationships between the two, students develop an understanding of key ways to think about writing today. To that end, this course emphasizes praxis: the relationship between practical and theoretical ways of knowing in the discipline. This course also offers an opportunity to practice rhetorical analysis, which is an important skill that will help students become effective, dynamic writers in their professions of choice.

Course Description

This course covers theoretical and practical scholarship about the social and technological dimensions of writing practices. At its core, this course explores writing as a situated social and technological act. To that end, students explore important theories of writing and technology that have impacted the discipline. This course demonstrates the relationship between theory and practice by considering how disparate peoples may think about the strategies and agendas embodied in various technologies and the artifacts that they produce. Electronic media are considered, as well as the artifacts individuals and organizations produce with them, such as Internet memes and viral videos. Students apply theories discussed in this course to analyze the sociotechnological contexts that give rise to artifacts from their professions.

Course Description

This course covers adult learning theory and instructional practices that are research-based and proven effective in higher education. Technology, online learning, and effective instructional methods for online and traditional instruction are emphasized. Participants research learning models, personalized learning and andragogy and apply their knowledge to improve student engagement and achievement in higher education.

Course Description

This course examines the process, purpose, and practicalities of grant writing with emphasis on the electronic nature of current communication between funding foundations and grant seekers. Students will learn about funders and their concerns, the parts of grant proposals, and techniques for successful grant research and writing. The course will culminate in the student's completion of a grant proposal.

Course Description

This course focuses on techniques and theoretical approaches foundational to teaching literary texts. Techniques include close reading, passage analysis, and mastering critical nomenclature. Critical theories pertinent to contemporary scholarship are explored.

Course Description

This course applies learning theories to classroom instructional methods and strategies. Effective communication, creating learning goals, developing student outcomes and assessments, and giving effective feedback are emphasized. Participants are asked to develop activities, assessments, and lesson plans that would be appropriate for a course taught at a community college or university. Prerequisite: EDU-534.

Course Description

This course covers advanced approaches to analyzing and teaching literature and provides learners with additional tools for reading and writing about literature using a master text.

Course Description

This culminating course provides learners with an opportunity to revise, gather, and synthesize their graduate work into a professional portfolio and showcase their research and writing skills in a thesis.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.