Villanova’s graduate school tuition is very competitive, and there are a number of ways to finance your MA in English. All of the classes are held in the evenings, permitting you to work while in the program, whether you are studying part-time or full-time.

We offer a number of tuition scholarships and graduate assistantships, including our department’s exclusive Taught by Literature Graduate Assistantship. In addition, Villanova offers Presidential Fellowships for Underrepresented Students, as well as tuition benefits for teachers. You can learn more about these opportunities below.

Tuition Scholarships and Assistantships

The program offers a considerable number of graduate Tuition Scholarships and Assistantships. The Tuition Scholarships cover tuition for the program in exchange for seven hours per week of work as a research assistant for one of the graduate English faculty members. The Graduate Assistantships cover tuition and provide a stipend of more than $19,000 per year. In exchange for this aid, Graduate Assistants work 13 hours per week in the University Writing Center and seven hours per week as a research assistant. To be considered for these funding sources, you should apply for admission in the fall semester. Applicants for spring admission cannot be considered for these awards.

There are also assistantships offered by other Villanova departments and offices. If you apply for other University assistantships, you will still be considered for internal department funding. The deadline to apply with consideration for department scholarships and assistantships is March 1.

For more information, visit Financing Your Education.

Taught by Literature Graduate Assistantship

Photo of Alice-Dunbar Nelson
Alice-Dunbar Nelson, circa 1902

The  Taught by Literature graduate assistantship offers research experience in a dynamic digital humanities project focused on public outreach and recovering underrepresented voices. 

Founded in 2021 and funded by the Idol Family Fellows Program of the McNulty Center for Women’s Leadership at Villanova, the Taught by Literature Project honors the legacy of Black author, educator, and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935). In partnership with the University of Delaware’s Department of Special Collections, the project is producing a freely accessible digital edition of “The Annals of ‘Steenth Street,” a short-story collection Dunbar-Nelson wrote based on her work teaching Black children at the White Rose Mission in New York City in the 1890s. The project also conducts professional development training on early Black women writers for teachers in the School District of Philadelphia, and is collaborating with award-winning producer and director Hezekiah Lewis, a Communication professor at Villanova, to produce short videos featuring contemporary Black women scholars reading speeches written by nineteenth-century Black women. 

The project’s co-founders are Denise Burgher, senior team leader for curriculum and community engagement with the Colored Conventions Project and co-director of Douglass Day at the Center for Black Digital Research at Penn State; Brigitte Fielder, associate professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Jean Lutes, Luckow Family Endowed Chair of English Literature, Villanova University. You can learn more about the Taught by Literature project by visiting its website.

All applicants will be considered for this assistantship, but those with a special interest are encouraged to mention it in their personal statement.

Benefits for Teachers

Villanova offers a 20% tuition discount if you teach in a public or private school, and a 40% discount if you teach at a Catholic school.

We have enthusiastically welcomed teachers into our program since its creation in the early 1950s. Each year some of the brightest and most ambitious English teachers in the Philadelphia area pursue our degree in order to enrich their understanding of their subject matter and enhance their pedagogical repertoire. If you are a certified teacher, our program also helps you to meet the requirements of Act 48 and to achieve the official designation of “Highly Qualified Teacher.”

Our program offers the flexibility that you need as a teacher. All of our two-hour seminars are held in the evening, at 5:20 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., to accommodate your work schedule. If you wish, you may pursue the program part-time on a schedule that is comfortable for you. You will also have opportunities to complete coursework during the summer months. 

Our MA curriculum schedule fits well with the teaching schedule and lifestyle. If you prefer an additional pedagogical emphasis, we welcome you to pursue the teaching track within our program. This track permits you to do the following:

  1. Take two courses in the Education program as part of your English MA studies.
  2. Design final seminar paper topics in two of your classes that address pedagogical issues related to the course materials.
  3. Develop your thesis or field examination topic in line with your pedagogical interests.

If you have questions or would like to talk to a teacher who is currently in the program or has recently completed it, please contact the Graduate Director, Evan Radcliffe, PhD.

Graduate Presidential Fellowship for Underrepresented Students

We ask applicants to self-identify as underrepresented students if they wish to be considered for the Graduate Presidential Fellowship for Underrepresented Students—this opportunity is one way the University upholds its commitment to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Recipients also demonstrate their capacity to engage in dialogue about issues of equity, justice, and social change. Many have overcome significant social and/or economic barriers to achieve educational excellence and transform their communities and Villanova. 

Examples of underrepresented students include those who identify as low-income (normally Pell Grant eligible), those who are the first in their family to pursue a college education, and candidates who demonstrate a sustained commitment to social change.

Eligible candidates for the Presidential Fellowship for Underrepresented Students must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident and must have a submitted application to a graduate program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Recipients of this award will receive full tuition remission and a stipend.

Apply for the Graduate Presidential Fellowship for Underrepresented Students

Research Conference Grants

The Graduate Studies Office offers grants to allow graduate students to attend various research conferences. The funds pay for travel, housing and registration costs.

You will also have the opportunity to apply for Summer Research funding to support travel and other expenses related to your research while in our program. Through the Villanova Irish Studies Program, you can compete for the opportunity to receive funding to travel to and work at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

Department of English
St. Augustine Center
Room 402

Dr. Evan Radcliffe
Graduate Program Director

Mike Malloy
Graduate Program Coordinator


March 1: For admission with funding consideration

August 1: For admission without funding for the fall

December 1: For admission without funding for the spring

If you have missed a deadline, please contact Dr. Radcliffe to discuss your options.

Begin your application.


Hannah Kahn and Caitlin Salomon, grad students at a conference

Graduate English Students Present at Christianity & Literature Conference

English MA students Hannah Kahn and Caitlin Salomon recently presented at The Conference on Christianity and Literature’s (CCL) 2022 Western Regional conference, “Literary Geographies – Space, Place, and Environments.” READ MORE