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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Tue- Friday10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm


Visit the carle


Simmons University

Simmons University at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

For nearly 40 years, The Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University 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 403 – The Picturebook (4 credits)
Tuesdays, January 22 – May 7, 2019 (4:00 – 6:50 pm)
Explores picturebooks and their histories in detail. Considers medium, technique, and technology to investigate the development of the picturebook as a distinct artistic form. Develops a discerning eye and critical vocabulary essential for appraising text and illustration. Instructor: Megan D. Lambert

CHL 424B – Verse Novels, Narrative Poetry (2 credits)
Mondays, January 28 – March 11, 2019 (4:00 – 6:50 pm)
In this course we'll read and critique poetry for children and verse novels, which combine the pull of story with finely pared or lyrical language. We'll consider book-length narratives that rely on formal elements such as meter and rhyme and those written in free verse, depending for their power on well-chosen nouns and verbs, startling conjunctions, and echoing imagery. Some poetry may be more musical than linear, with an emphasis on concision and pacing, but poetry and prose exist on a spectrum, and we'll examine where borders blur. Instructor: Jeannine Atkins

CHL 438 – Greening of Children’s and YA Literature (2 credits)
Mondays, March 18 – May 6, 2019 (4:00 – 6:50 pm)
Grounded in literary analysis and respect for the earth, ecocriticism is a way to respond to global injustices and accelerating climate crisis. It asks, what is the role of the humanities in addressing environmental issues and in forming possible solutions? To answer, this course will build a theoretical foundation for ecocriticism as it applies to children's and young adult literature. Drawing from a diverse range of voices and texts (e.g., The Lorax, The Birchbark House, The Hunger Games, The Hate U Give), we will work to decenter dominant paradigms, which privilege (white) human life above all other nature, by troubling ideas of what constitutes wilderness, consciousness, agency, and growth. Instructor: Lauren Elizabeth Rizzuto

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

Thursday, December 13, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Sunday, March 3, 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Saturday, April 13, 10:00 - 11:00 am

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