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Master of Arts in English

The Master of Arts (MA) programme in English at Ashoka University aims to occupy an important space in the current landscape of higher education in India. Many young scholars of literature and culture in India are contemplating studying these subjects at the Ph.D. level, but have yet to be exposed to the liberal arts ethos and pedagogy. The MA programme in English will provide a unique intellectual experience for these students while carving out a much-needed path to higher studies abroad and in India.

Application forms are now open for the Academic Session starting in August 2024. Click here to apply.

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Why pursue Graduate Studies at Ashoka?

Ashoka University ranked among Top 5 Private Universities in India by QS Asia University Rankings 2022 and stood at number 1 among all Indian universities on ‘International Faculty’ indicator.


Notes from Faculty Members

 Brief Overview of the Curriculum:

“The MA programme in English acts as a bridge for students heading towards the next phase of their lives and careers. Students pursuing academic careers will find our preparatory courses in literary theory and the research-intensive final thesis helpful as they gear up for a PhD. Others looking at non-academic careers will benefit from the exposure to rigorous critical thinking and methods of inquiry that our courses provide. All students—whether headed for academic or non-academic careers, and those as-yet undecided—will find the plurality of perspectives across our wide-ranging concentrations transformative. 

The MA programme in English offers seven optional concentrations spanning diverse fields designed to cater to student interests. These seven concentrations bring together faculty research and student interests to create a programme of learning built around curiosity and exploration. For instance, the graduate courses I offer draw upon my research on caste, performance studies, and critical race theory. This year I teach Transnational Solidarities, which traces the history of exchange between the struggles against race and caste, and Introduction to Performance Studies, which orients students towards thinking about, and with, performance. In the future, I plan to offer courses on theatres of the Global South, performance and political resistance, and theories and practices of devised performance.”

Vivek V. Narayan, Assistant Professor of English, Theatre, and Performance Studies, Department of English, and, by courtesy, Department of Performing Arts, Ashoka University

MA English Classroom Culture:

MA students can expect to find a culture of inquisitive reading, writing, and discussion at Ashoka. Engaging in such discussion and debate in class prepares students to engage in scholarly conversations, as they not only develop their own interests, but also recognize the ways in which their unique perspectives contribute to the fields with which they are engaging. We take time to question the questions, asking, are the questions that have been asked of a given text good questions? What is at stake in asking these questions? What new questions might you formulate? Where do you want the field to go?”

Mali Skotheim, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Ashoka University

Voices of the Students

“If there is one good thing that happened to me in this pandemic, it definitely is being in/at and about Ashoka. Out of the many brilliant yet challenging things about the Ashoka fraternity, it definitely has to be the Professors who are just much more than facilitating academic engagements and encouraging discourses in an impeccable way. I had only heard of the peer learning model of education, however, I got the fortunate opportunity to experience it during these testing times when almost everything seemed not just difficult but impossible. Ashoka pushes your unimaginable limits of thinking, unlearning and engaging to re-learn and that according to me, makes it what it is – absolutely unique and creating room for a radical possibility of change. I am so grateful to be a part of this fraternity. Looking forward to making it more valuable and enriching for my own self and everyone around!”

Aafreen Shah, M.A. English 2020-2022

“I chose Ashoka for the independence that it offered me to move across conventional boundaries of disciplines, and to customize my graduate experience according to my needs and interests. I was drawn to the wonderful faculty that the Department hosts who specialise in an eclectic range of fields; no matter how conventional or niche your interests might be, the professors inspire you to think outside of the box to help you find your own unique voice. I am surrounded by driven and intelligent peers, and trust me, the classrooms are such dynamic and dialogic spaces to be in. One learns not only from the professors but also the amazing people that you share your classes with. The cheerful rapport that we share, while also encouraging each other to think more clearly and rigorously is precisely what makes it all worthwhile. It’s brilliant!”

Robin Singh Arya, M.A. English 2020-2022

I came to Ashoka University as a Young India Fellow, seeking new paths following a degree in Neuroscience. The year-long association with Ashoka’s social and intellectual spheres not only made me (un)learn a diverse set of topics but also transition into a new journey altogether. From studying neurological amnesias in the past to engaging with linguistic and cultural amnesias now at the MA English programme, I feel that I have finally come “home”. The Department has so much to offer, especially to those aiming to specialise in South Asian Literatures, like me.”

Sanchit Toor, M.A. English 2020-2022

Application Form and Timeline

Application forms are now open for the Academic Session starting in August 2024. Click here to apply.

M.A. in English – Admissions Timeline (2024 intake)

Application Forms Open 6 December, 2023
Application Submission Deadline 27 March, 2024
Assessments Date 28 April, 2024
Interviews 1 – 10 May, 2024
Decision Notification 24 May, 2024
Last Date of Admission 05 August, 2024
Commencement Date* 26 August, 2024*

*The Commencement Date is subject to change following government and UGC guidelines.

Eligibility and Criteria for Application

The MA in English will be open to students from all universities in India and around the world. Applicants should have completed their undergraduate degree from a recognised university or be enrolled in the final year of their study. Offers of admission will be provisional until final undergraduate transcripts are available.

The minimum percentage required to apply to the programme will be 55% for students from Indian universities, and a GPA of 3.0 or its equivalent from foreign universities. Admission to the programme does not necessarily require an English undergraduate degree, even though it may provide an advantage in transitioning to the masters-level study of English at Ashoka University.

Ashoka University Students, who have graduated with a B.A. in English can enrol for the one-year Ashoka Scholars Programme (ASP) for an Advanced English Major. These students can then join the M.A. in English and use an extra year of study to complete their coursework and convert their ASP into a year of credit towards the M.A. Since they have already opted for the ASP Advanced English Major and will write a thesis as part of its requirements, they will not be required to write a separate thesis for the M.A.

Admissions Process

  1. Candidates who are interested in applying for the MA in English programme are required to fill in an application form online through the website.
  2. An applicant cannot submit more than one form in one admissions cycle.
  3. There is no application fee.

The Written Test (On-the-spot essay)

The on-the-spot essay evaluates the following parameters: engagement with the prompt, critical thinking, clarity of thought, and creativity. The candidate will be given two topics to choose from at the time of writing the essay. The candidate cannot use any external resources to help them write the essay. The essay has no word limit and can be attempted with minimal preparation.

Interview with a panel

The Ashoka Interview seeks to understand and get to know the candidate, their background and story. It also evaluates various parameters of the application form submitted by the candidate to gauge the candidate’s suitability to Ashoka University’s academic programme. The candidate will be interviewed by a panel. The time taken for the interview might vary depending on the interaction.

The written test and the interviews will be conducted online and decisions will be declared post the interview round.

Once students have been admitted into Ashoka University, they will be given a common reading list designed to familiarize them with important canonical texts in the study of English. They will be expected to read these over the two summer holidays prior to each academic year they will be registered in the programme.

Fee Structure

The Fee Structure of the M.A. in English programme starting in August 2024 has the following components (In INR):

Components (2024 intake) Amount Per year (INR)
Tuition Fees 5,64,000
Residence: On-Campus Double Occupancy 1,91,000
Essential Services

(consisting of Medical Insurance and Laundry Services)

Total Cost  



Note: The Residence Cost for the Second Year (AY 2025-2026) is subject to revision in consonance with inflation. In the last three years, our fee has gone up by approximately 5% to 8% annually. However,  this percentage is not fixed and is subject to change.

Ashoka University provides Residence and Meal facilities for MA Students, on an optional basis. If you opt-in for Residence as provided by Ashoka University, please note the following details:

  1. Tuition Fees is inclusive of a Refundable Security Deposit of INR 20,000 (One-time payment made at the time of acceptance of offer of admissions, and to be refunded at the time of graduation from Ashoka University or withdrawal of admission, whichever is earlier).
  2. In case, the stay duration extends due to any reason, residence fee will be charged additionally.

Note: M.A. Students can choose to not opt-in for residence and meals provided by Ashoka University. M.A. Students who choose to not opt-in for residence can avail of meals on campus through the coupon system and/or pay on purchase from all vendors.

Refund Policy

In reference to the fee refund policy 2023-24 issued by University Grants Commission (UGC) dated July 03, 2023, please note the following details regarding the refund amounts from the time of withdrawal of admission till 31st October, 2023:

  1. Students will avail of a full refund on the Tuition Fees amount paid by them till 30th September, 2023. Residence and Meal costs will be charged on pro rata basis from 28th August, 2023, till the date of withdrawal or exit from the Ashoka University residential premises (campus), whichever is later
  2. There will be a deduction of INR 1000 from the Tuition Fees amount paid by the student from 1st October, 2023 to 31st October, 2023.  Residence and Meal costs will be charged on pro rata basis from 28th August, 2023, till the date of withdrawal or exit from the Ashoka University residential premises (campus), whichever is later
  3. There will be no refunds applicable on any amount paid by the student from 1st November, 2023 onward

Please click here to view the University Grants Commission’s Fee Refund Policy.

Please note that Ashoka University does not advertise or promote itself in newspapers, magazines, or through any third-party channels. The process for admission to Ashoka University is very transparent and does not engage the services of any third party to make calls or messages from, for, or on behalf of Ashoka University. Applicants should therefore protect themselves against any such persons who may approach them on the pretext of assisting them to get admission.

Financial Aid

Candidates who receive an Offer of Admission from the Office of Admissions and the Department of English will be given the option to apply for financial aid at this stage.

The financial aid application process will be accessible to you only if you receive a Firm Offer of Admission to the programme, and forms will be open for a period of 5 days from the day you receive the offer.

If you intend to apply for financial aid, we request you and your Parent(s)/Guardian(s) to visit www.ashoka.edu.in/financialaid, download a copy of the Financial Aid Form , and familiarise yourself with the process. Please collect all the relevant documents and necessary information ahead of time to ensure a seamless application process within the given deadline.

Contact Information

For Application Related Queries:

Ashoka University Admissions Office

Days: Monday – Friday

Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Email address:  mastersenglish@ashoka.edu.in

Address: Ashoka University Plot no.222, Second floor, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi-110020

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka