Online English Graduate Courses

MU English offers online graduate courses for high school teachers and other qualified students seeking graduate-level credit hours, post-baccalaureate experience, or enrichment in English literature, language, and creative writing.

Schedule of courses:

All courses listed below are 100% asynchronous (no scheduled sessions to attend); other courses may be available with a synchronous component. Contact Frances Dickey at for more information.

Fall 2023: 16-week courses

Women Writers: The Brontë Sisters (English 7188)
  • Taught by Dr. Joshua Brorby
  • Novels by Charlotte, Emily, and Ann Brontë in the context of Victorian literature and the history of women's writing. Texts include Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and Villette.
Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature (English 7220)
  • Taught by Prof. William Kerwin
  • Shakespeare’s plays with some attention to other Renaissance texts
The Global Novel after 1945 (English 7179)
  • Taught by Prof. Karen Piper
  • Multinational fiction of the postwar and contemporary eras

Fall 2023: 8-week courses

Creative Writing: Advanced Fiction (English 7510)
  • Taught by Prof. Phong Nguyen
  • An intensive writing workshop in which student stories and related literary texts receive close reading and analysis

Spring 2024: 16-week courses

1789-1890: Romantic Poetry in England and America (7108)

Taught by Prof. Noah Heringman

This advanced course on transatlantic Romantic poetry follows the gaze of British and American poets as they looked back and forth across the Atlantic. The British Romantic poets came of age during the French Revolution and many of them saw the American Revolution as the spark that touched off the political and cultural transformation of Europe.  The American Romantics, writing more than a generation later, took their inspiration from the natural world, much as the British Romantics had done, and many of them read deeply in the European philosophy associated with earlier Romantic movements.  American abolitionists of the 1830s and 1840s also took inspiration from the abolitionist movement that had begun in England in the 1770s. These crossings resulted in a rich braiding of poetic traditions despite the ocean that separated them.

In this course we engage with four topics, five genres, and six poets. The topics of mutual interest to both Romanticisms are abolition, revolutionary politics, science, and industrialization. The five poetic genres that were most important to both groups of poets were the ode, the ballad, the elegy, the sonnet, and the epic. These sets of shared political and literary concerns enable us to read individual poems by a large number of poets from both sides of the Atlantic. A deeper study of three British poets (Charlotte Smith, William Blake, and William Wordsworth) and three American poets (Emily Dickinson, William Cullen Bryant, and Walt Whitman) allow us to examine the myriad influences on and developments of individual poets who came to define the field.  Writing for this asynchronous online class includes many informal exercises including discussion board posts and a reading notebook as well as three short formal essays, one each on a genre, an author, and an issue. 

Adaptation of Literature for Film: Tales about Human Nature (7580)

Taught by Prof. Carsten Strathausen

This upper-division course will explore adaptation principles and practices with a variety of forms of literature that were not originally written for film. We shall study the relation between literature and film via a detailed analysis of popular movies and the literary texts— novels in particular—that inspired them. Although we shall discuss some historical and theoretical texts, particularly at the beginning the course, the emphasis overall lies on close readings of the chosen texts and the corresponding films. A central goal of this course is to question the “fidelity” model on which most comparative analyses of film and literature are (still) based. A second goal is to explore the central theme commonly shared by all texts and movies we will discuss, namely “human nature”. What do we mean when we talk about “human nature”? How has the “other” of humanity (e.g. machines and monsters, vampires and aliens) been depicted in literature and film over the last 200 years?

Spring 2024: 8-week courses

Creative Writing: Advanced Poetry (7530)

Taught by Prof. Gabe Fried

In this eight-week online workshop, students will expand their notions of how poetry can engage the elemental, poignant, and often disquieting subject of childhood by drafting new poems that take up the its perceptions, language, and landscapes. In doing so, they will explore the potency and the vulnerabilities of children, as well as the thrall of childhood nostalgia. Students will rediscover and deploy the cadences of childhood rhymes, riddles, chants, taunts, and games, using those beats and melodies in new and surprising (sometimes creepy!) ways. Throughout, we will trace the sometimes fraught relationship of children to each other and to former children (a.k.a. adults).  In order to expand our sense of how we might portray and make use of childhood in poetry, we take inspirations from poets like Cameron Awkward-Rich, Catherine Barnett, Elizabeth Bishop, Paula Bohince, Lucie Brock-Broido, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jennifer Chang, Natalie Diaz, Cornelius Eady, Joy Harjo, Robert Hayden, Randall Jarrell, Stanley Kunitz, Brenda Shaughnessy, Craig Morgan Teicher, and others. 

Offered in the second eight-week session. 

The Story of English: Medieval to Modern (7611)

Taught by Prof. Lee Manion 

The Story of English explores the history of the English language through the history of English literature. Our main focus is to trace the development of English from its earliest written documentation in Old English to the flourishing of Middle English to its more familiar form of Early Modern English. We will approach this language history through study of literary texts representative of distinct linguistic stages of English, such as Old English prose writings and poems, selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Middle English lyrics, and Shakespearean sonnets. Our goal is to use the linguistic changes in phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, lexicon, and graphics that occurred in the English language between ca. 500-ca. 1700 C.E. to better understand English literature. In addition, we will study the historical contexts and cultural forces that have conditioned and shaped the linguistic changes of English.

Please note that this course is designed for delivery online in an asynchronous format over an eight-week period, and we will cover the same amount of material as in a typical semester at a more rapid pace, meaning you should expect to spend twice as much time per week on this course as you normally would.

Offered in the first eight-week session.

Summer 2024

Modern Literature (7140)

Taught by Prof. France Dickey 

Major Women Writers (7180)

Taught by Prof. Maureen Konkle

Creative Writing: Advanced Fiction (7510)

Taught by Prof. Phong Nguyen

Structure of American English (7600)

Taught by Prof. Michael Marlo

Create a schedule that meets your needs:

  • Work at home or on the road; no on-campus meetings or scheduled times
  • Courses may be taken in any order
  • Start in August, January, or June
  • Complete 18 credits in 18 months, or take courses at your convenience
  • Not necessary to take all six courses unless seeking to fulfill the 18-credit requirement
  • Earn Graduate Certificate in English with 18 credits

Develop key skills and knowledge:

  • Study classic works and encounter new authors
  • Deepen your knowledge of the English language and literature in historical and cultural context
  • Learn and apply a variety of critical methods for interpreting literature
  • Develop advanced analytic and writing skills through structured assignments and feedback from experienced doctoral faculty 


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university


  • For the 2021-22 academic year, distance graduate students pay $460 per credit hour including fees (= $1380 per 3-credit course) (see Cashier's office webpage for more information)

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Contact Mizzou Online with other questions about application, tuition, technology, or how to enroll

Contact online program director Frances Dickey with questions about course content, faculty, preparation, and other aspects of curriculum


Anne Myers
Director of Graduate Studies