Children's Literature (MA)


The Master of Arts (MA) degree in Children’s literature offers specialized study of literature for children and young adults to students who are, or who intend to be, involved in teaching, library work, editing, publishing, writing, affiliated professions, and/or further research and scholarship in the field.

Learning Outcomes

Students leave Master of Arts (MA) in Children’s Literature with an extensive theoretical context and a broad knowledge of contemporary literature for children and young adults. In graduating, they have:

  • Developed a critical voice and demonstrated the capacity for original argument;
  • Analyzed literature for children and young adults;
  • Assessed and interpreted scholarship in the field of children’s and young adult literature;
  • Applied critical perspectives across genres in children’s and young adult literature;
  • Understood historical works, contexts, and influences in the field;
  • Valued the diversities of human experiences (re)presented in literature for children and young adults and in the scholarship in the field; and
  • Demonstrated individual and collaborative leadership.

Requirements for entry into program

Admission requires a baccalaureate degree, often with a major in English and American and/or comparative literature from an accredited institution. The program also welcomes applicants with study or practice in elementary or secondary education, fine arts, social sciences, or sciences and with demonstrated engagement children’s /young adult literature. Applicants must submit official transcripts of all degree work, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a resume, and, for international students, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An interview, though not required, is strongly recommended. Admission deadlines are rolling for all three semesters. A maximum of four semester hours of transfer credit will be allowed toward the degree; the petition for transfer credit is due at the time of application.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements (36 credits)

Graduate students in the MA degree program typically carry between eight and ten credits in the fall, spring, and summer semesters after their first semester of eight credits. Students considering registering for more than ten credits per term must consult with the graduate program director.
CHL 401Criticism of Literature for Children


CHL 403The Picturebook


CHL 413Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Young Adults


CHL 414Fantasy and Science Fiction





History Electives

Coursework in the history

of children's literature,

selected from courses with 

a chronological focus

To total 4.00




 Coursework in genres of 

children's and/ or young adult literature

To total