Online Master’s Degree in Literature Reading Between the Lines


Credit Hours

View Courses

100% online, 8-week courses

Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total

Do you love learning about other people, places, and time periods? Are you easily captivated by the power of a well-told story and excited to dive into the deeper meaning of a book, poem, or play? Does the way literature has grown and changed over time fascinate you? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then a Master of Arts (MA) in Literature may be right for you!

Liberty University’s 100% online master’s in literature program is designed to provide a well-rounded look at great literary works across the globe. In this program, you’ll explore influential authors from many different times, places, and literary genres – equipping you to think critically about culture and the way that ideas are disseminated through stories. You can also hone your writing abilities and practice crafting persuasive, logical arguments – skills that are essential in nearly all professional career endeavors.

Furthermore, this degree can help equip you to analyze literature, produce independent, scholarly research in the field, and understand how premises and presuppositions influence the conversations taking place in today’s public square – and in literary text. Partner with us and earn a flexible degree that can prepare you to communicate important ideas and share the beauty of literature with others.

Niche Best Colleges

Ranked in the Top 10% of’s Best Online Schools in America

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Private Nonprofit University
  • 600+ Online Degrees
  • No Standardized Testing for Admission
  • Transfer in up to 75% of an Undergrad Degree
  • Transfer in up to 50% of a Grad/Doctoral Degree

Liberty has been a pioneer in distance learning since 1985. A lot has changed since then, but our commitment to providing a flexible, world-class education has not. Our master’s in literature is offered 100% online with mostly 8-week courses and no set login times – giving you the freedom to continue your education without putting your life on hold. Not only that, but you can complete this program in 36 credit hours – much faster than a standard residential degree!

At Liberty, you won’t have to sacrifice quality for flexibility. We are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Additionally, our courses are taught by experts in the field who have spent years teaching at the college level, contributing to publications, and diving into niche areas of literature. By pursuing your degree from an accredited university that offers top-notch mentorship, you can better prepare to pursue your future goals.

As a master’s in literature student, you’ll have the opportunity to develop essential skills that are applicable to many different industries – skills such as writing, critical thinking, research, communication, and reasoning. Maybe you want to eventually earn your PhD, write for scholarly journals, and pass on your love of literature to the next generation as a university professor. Or perhaps you’d prefer to pursue an industry job in editing, publishing, copywriting, marketing, or another area where you can apply your expertise. Either way, our master’s in literature program can help you work toward the next step in your professional journey.

Our online master’s in literature includes several core courses that cover writings from different cultures, time periods, and countries. In particular, you’ll study British, American, classical, contemporary, African-American, and world literature. You’ll also take a course dedicated to reading and examining the works of William Shakespeare.

In addition to conducting an extensive survey of literature throughout history, you’ll learn about graduate-level research and bibliography methods – so you can prepare to contribute new research and scholarship to your field. You’ll also explore literary theory as a practical tool for interpreting texts and practice analyzing literature from a variety of critical approaches.

Additionally, you will complete a research seminar – then customize your degree by either completing a thesis or taking 2 graduate-level English and writing elective courses. The thesis may be the best option for you if you plan to pursue a terminal degree, as many doctoral programs look for applicants who have completed a master’s thesis. Researching and writing a thesis could also help you get published in an academic journal – which is important if you’re considering a long-term career in academia.

Alternatively, if you’ve determined that you don’t necessarily need a thesis to pursue your particular goals, you may want to consider taking elective courses instead. Electives give you the chance to broaden your horizons and customize your degree with studies in the topics that most interest you. Some of the subjects you could explore include rhetoric, editing and publishing, writing as cultural engagement, etymology, English grammar, or grant writing. Many of these courses may be especially helpful if you want to branch into a career outside of academia.

Degree Completion Plan (PDF)

Top 1% For Online Programs

Not sure what to choose?

Speak to one of our admissions specialists to help you choose the program that best fits your needs.

Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for the majority of our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.

Graduate Full Time $565/Credit
Graduate Part Time $615/Credit
Military Graduate $275/Credit

Ready to Apply?

Submit your application online or over the phone.


Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe.

Who May Qualify?

  • Active Duty
  • Reserve/National Guard
  • Veterans/Retirees
  • Spouses of Service Members and Veterans/Retirees
  • Current Department of Defense Employees

Available Benefits:

  • Tuition discounts – $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
  • Additional discount for veterans who service in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)*
  • 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)

*Not applicable to certificates.

Chat Avatar