Studies in Children's and Adolescent Literature & Culture

The Department of Literature and Languages offers a Certificate in Studies in Children’s and Adolescent Literature and Culture. The certificate, consisting of 15 hours of graduate study, provides students with a solid foundation for analyzing children’s and adolescent literature and will enhance their understanding of and capacity to teach the cultural, ideological, and historical nature of children’s and adolescent literature in primary, secondary, and post-secondary settings.

The individuals who will most likely be interested in this program include the following: English K-12 educators who are required to engage in graduate work for professional development or who desire to enhance their understanding of the literature produced for their students; post secondary educators who are interested in teaching or initiating courses in children’s and adolescent literature in community college settings; students who already have a graduate degree but would like to further specialize in the study of children’s and adolescent literature and culture; adults who do not necessarily wish to enroll in a traditional graduate program but who nonetheless want to engage in intellectual activities that contribute to their understanding of children’s and adolescent literature and culture.



Required Coursework

Illustration of the Wizard of Oz

Eng 504: Picture Books, Graphic Narrative, and the Art of Images: Three semester hours.

An examination of the historical, cultural, ideological, aesthetic, material, and critical contexts that influence and produce picture books and graphic narratives written for young readers, including a study of how words, images, and institutions shape our response to those texts'.

Eng 505: The Invention of Children's Literature and Childhood: Three semester hours.

Illustration of the Wizard of OzA survey of the historical development of children's literature in relation to its cultural, intellectual, and political contexts. Could include how British and American writers changed paradigms for and perceptions about "childhood" and "children's literature" by developing literature that entertained and instructed young readers, as well as how conditions of print culture, political change, and social status influenced the delivery and reception of the genre.

Eng 506: Problems in Adolescent Literature: Three semester hours.

An overview of the various problems associated with adolescent literature including the "problem novel" and "new realism," how adolescent literature is defined, issues associated with censorship, and the problems adolescents experience in the texts.

Eng 507: Narrative Transformations in Literature for Children and Adolescents. Three semester hours.

A study in the adaptation or appropriation of familiar or traditional story forms such as folk and fairy tales into more contemporary narrative forms including novels and film.

Eng 508: Constructing Reality and Reconstructing History in Children's and Adolescent Literature: Three semester hours.

An overview of historical fiction and realistic literature that emphasizes the cultural and social milieu that produced the texts as represented by the genres. Particular attention will be paid to the construction of history and the social realities addressed in the texts, including ethnic, racial, and global considerations.


  • Ensure you complete the required coursework for the certificate.
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA in each course required for the certificate. This means you cannot earn less than a B in a course that is required for the certificate.
  • After you complete all the requirements for the certificate (if you are also enrolled in a graduate program, this may be done before you actually complete your graduate degree) complete this FORM and submit it to the Graduate School. This will ensure that the name of the certificate is listed on your official transcripts.



This certificate cannot be completed fully online. Most courses are regularly offered face-to-face here in Commerce, TX. Our face-to-face courses typically meet one day a week in the evenings during the Monday-Thursday timeframe. Saturday courses are also occasionally available.



We do not have an application deadline. New students applying for a graduate certificate should click the Apply Texas application link and complete a Graduate Certificate application. In Apply Texas you will be asked to select your "Major Area of Interest/Specialty." This is where you will select the graduate certificate you wish to pursue.

Application Requirements for:

Keep two things in mind about pursuing a graduate certificate:

  • Students only pursuing a certificate are not eligible for financial aid.
  • International students need admission in a graduate program to pursue a certificate.


Considering a Master’s or Doctoral degree? You can earn this certificate in conjunction with your graduate degree! Each course in your certificate will count towards your course requirements in the Master's in English and PhD in English. Other University graduate programs outside of those listed above may also count your certificate coursework towards their degree.



Email your Graduate Recruiter with questions.