Search form

The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002
  • Tues. – Fri. 10am – 4pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12pm – 5pm

Visit the carle

Antonio Frasconi, Variant illustration for The Zoo at Night by Martha Robinson, 1995 [Margaret K. McElderry Books]. Gift of the Frasconi Family. © Antonio Frasconi.


Simmons College

Simmons College at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

For nearly 40 years, The Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College has shared its passionate commitment to literature for young people through scholarly engaement. Since 2008, The Carle has been proud to partner with Simmons to offer its graduate courses in the creation, culture, and criticism of children's literature—from picturebooks and early readers to works for young adults. Classes meet regularly in The Carle's Reading Library and students are encouraged to take advantage of the Museum’s many resources. Simmons offers four graduate programs in children's literature, each encouraging a rigorous study of children's books with an emphasis on historical and critical analysis. Non-degree students are welcome to apply for specific classes.


Degree Programs

MFA in Writing for Children

A 32-credit MFA program taught at The Carle

This program consists of four academic courses and four writing courses, including a two-course sequence in which a student develops a manuscript from conception to submission.

MA in Children's Literature

A 36-credit MA program taught at The Carle

This program consists of four electives and the following five required courses: Criticism of Literature for Children, The Picture Book, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and a historical literature course.

MFA/MA in Children's Literature

Students who wish to pursue both degrees may combine both masters' programs in a 56-credit course of study that includes core requirements for both programs.

M.A. in Children's Literature/M.S. in Library Science

This dual degree is offered in collaboration with Simmons's Graduate School of Library Science program at Mount Holyoke.

Course Offerings

Courses are open to non-degree students, and are offered nights and weekends on site at The Carle. For registration information, please contact

CHL 431 - Writing for Children II (4 credits)
Tuesdays, January 23 – May 1 (4:00 – 6:50 pm)

Explores the writing of a book through various writing exercises and discussion of student work, and literature in the field. Elements of the picture book, such as illustration, design, format, and specific genres will be examined as they relate to the creation of a solid text. Instructor: Jeannine Atkins

CHL 429C – Culture Matters in Children’s Literature (4 credits)
Fridays, January 26, February 23, March 23, April 27 (4:00 – 7:00 pm); Saturdays, January 27, February 24, March 24, April 28 (10:00 am – 1:30 pm); Sundays, January 28, February 25, March 25, April 29 (9:00 am – 12:30 pm)

Pete Seeger, quoting his musicologist father, famously said that 'plagiarism is basic to all culture.' Taking as its premise the principle that culture is thus essentially a collaborative exercise, this course will examine how American children's literature written in English has moved from its monocultural roots in British literature to one that strives to include modern America's many cultures, including diverse racial and ethnic groups, sexual orientations and identities, and abilities. Students will grapple with issues of representation and intersectionality as they arise from identity politics-of the creators, the gatekeepers, and the putative and actual audiences-and consider how well traditional critical methodologies accommodate them. Instructor: Victoria J. Smith

A full description of courses is available online in the Simmons Graduate Course Catalog.

Classes may be subject to cancellation depending on enrollment.

Listen to what students and graduates say about the program!

More Information

To learn more about these programs, visit the Simmons website, email, or register for an Information Session at The Carle.  For tuition information click here.

Information Sessions

Saturday, March 3, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm and 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Saturday, April 28, 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Saturday, June 9, 2:30 - 3:30 pm  
Saturday, July 21, 10:30 - 11:30 am
Sunday, August 26, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

To Top