Fall down the rabbit hole.

From picturebooks to young adult literature, classic works to contemporary prize-winners, explore the artistry of literature for children and young adults. Apply varied theoretical frameworks to historical and contemporary texts to discover their imaginative ambitions and critical successes.

Immerse yourself in a wide range of genres — poetry, nonfiction, fantasy, and young adult realistic fiction — and investigate the ways that children's literature constructs childhood.

Explore the diverse professional perspectives shaping literature for today’s children and young adults with faculty from across professional fields. Take a course in publishing, writing for children, book reviewing. Track the intersections of children’s literature and pop culture. Evaluate hot trends and seek new perspectives in a growing field.

Chat with editors, authors, and illustrators at the summer institute. Participate in the many programs sponsored by the Simmons Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons, such as Horn Book at Simmons Symposium and the Boston Book Festival.

Program Requirements

Admission Requirements:

Admission requires a baccalaureate degree preferably with a major in English and American and/or comparative literature from an accredited institution. However, the program is also open to students with majors in elementary or secondary education, fine arts, or social sciences who have done substantial work in English. Applicants must also submit official transcripts of all degree work, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a resume, and, for international students, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An interview, though not required, is strongly recommended. Admission deadlines are rolling for all three semesters. Part-time students must agree to complete the degree requirements within five years of registration as degree candidates. A maximum of four semester hours of transfer credit will be allowed toward the degree.

Degree Requirements:

Thirty-six credits are required for the degree. The following four courses are mandatory:

CHL 401 Criticism of Literature for Children 
CHL 403 The Picturebook 
CHL 413 Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Young Adults
CHL 414 Fantasy and Science Fiction

Electives:

History Elective
CHL 411 Victorian Children's Literature
CHL 418 Australian Children's Literature
CHL 419A Canadian Children's Literature: Fantasy
CHL 424 Nonsense and Subversive Rhymes
CHL 427 Special Topics in Folk & Fairy Tales
CHL 428A The Graphic Novel and The Wizard of Oz

General Electives
CHL 404A Poetry for Young Readers
CHL 415 The Whole Book Approach
CHL 419B Humor
CHL 420 Thesis, supervised study
CHL 421 History of Children's Book Publishing
CHL 422 Editing the Children's Book Manuscript
CHL 430 Writing for Children I
CHL 434 The Child and the Book
CHL 436A Nonfiction-Narrative
CHL 436B Nonfiction-Expository
CHL 450 Independent Study, supervised study
CHL 451 Reviewing
Summer Symposium and Institute

Customize Your Program
You'll work with a faculty advisor to tailor your program to your interests and career goals.
Internships and Research
You'll cultivate the incisive analytical tools to thrive in fields like teaching, library services, publishing, academia, writing and related fields. Our students have found success as agents, managing editors, children's librarians, teachers, and professors at organizations like The Sheldon Fogelman Agency, The Horn Book, Chronicle Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Roaring Brook Press, the Boston Public Library, the Worcester Public Library, Boston Collegiate Charter School, and the University of Memphis.
Faculty
    Cathryn Mercier
    • Cathryn Mercier
    • Director of the Children’s Literature Program and Director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature
    • Phone: 617-521-2541
    • Office: P310A
    Megan Lambert
    • Megan Lambert
    • Senior Lecturer
    • Phone: 617-521-2576
    • Office: P310Q
    Kelly Hager
    • Kelly Hager
    • Associate Professor, English
    • Phone: 617-521-2173
    • Office: C301F
Eric Carle Museum

Programs at the Eric Carle Museum
Simmons College and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art offer four graduate programs in children's literature at The Carle: M.A. in Children's Literature, M.F.A. in Writing for Children, M.A. in Children's Literature/M.F.A. in Writing for Children, M.A. in Children's Literature/M.S. in Library Science.

The Carle
In collaboration with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Simmons offers all four graduate programs in Children's Literature onsite at The Carle. This includes our M.A. in Children's Literature, M.F.A. in Writing for Children, M.A. in Children's Literature/M.F.A. dual degree, and M.A. in Children's Literature/M.S. in Library Science dual degree offered in collaboration with Simmons's School of Library and Information Science program at Mount Holyoke. Founded in part by Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art. The Carle is located in Amherst, in the heart of the Five Colleges area of Western Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.carlemuseum.org.

How to Apply
Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

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