City College is ranked among the top Graduate Creative Writing Programs in U.S. News and World Report. Graduates have gone on to start publishing houses and magazines, to teach in colleges and literacy programs, to write for newspapers, television and films, as well as to organize community readings and international assemblies of writers. Among the several hundred who've published books of fiction, memoir, poetry and criticism are Salar Abdoh, Linsey Abrams, Carolyn Ferrell, Oscar Hijuelos, Ben Marcus, Ted Mooney, Walter Mosley, Ernesto Quinones, Judith Rossner and Michelle Wallace. Former students have won the Pulitzer Prize and LA Times First Book Prize.
Emphasizing adult learners & education, the program combines professional graduate education with the study of literature and writing in an English Department. Language & Literacy faculty are active teacher-scholars whose courses combine theoretical knowledge with professional expertise and whose publications are widely influential in their fields. MA alumni have won educational fellowships and professional awards and found employment as teachers, program administrators, editors, and writers. Two former students won the 2007 Literacy Assistance Center's "Outstanding Literacy Practitioners" award; another recently won a scholarship to study at a university in China. A distinguishing feature of this program is its dual focus on teaching both students whose first language is English and students who are learning English as a second language or are bilingual.
Courses are given by a distinguished faculty who are equally committed to teaching and to writing in all forms, from traditional scholarship to literary criticism. Our broad range of courses encompasses traditional topics in English and American Literature (such as Shakespeare and Hawthorne) as well as African-American, Latino and feminist literatures. We also offer seminars that explore the research interests of the faculty members teaching them. Some students take our MA by way of strengthening their capacity to teach high school English courses, while others want to expand and deepen their knowledge of literature. For students who wish to continue to a Ph.D. program, the Director of Literature provides all necessary information and help for prospective candidates.