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The Master of Arts in English program offers graduate courses in all periods of English and American literature as well as electives in language, teaching, and writing. The program requires a Capstone Portfolio or Thesis at the end of a student’s course work, and provides options for independent study, internships, and thesis research.
Elective courses in the MA in English may be used for graduate certificate programs, such as the Certificate in Teaching English in Two-Year Colleges. With planning, combined MA + certificate programs may require no additional coursework to fulfill all requirements.
The MA in English may also be expanded to include select graduate certificate programs covering particular areas of interest. Students participating in a combined MA + certificate program should consult with their academic advisor to determine what coursework might count toward both programs. A separate application process for the certificate is required. Students who are interested in any of the following combination programs should contact the Graduate Student Services Office for additional information.
- English + Digital Humanities Certificate
- English + Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate
- English + Teaching English in Two-Year Colleges Certificate
- English + Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate
- English + Publishing Certificate
|Program Requirements||Quarter Hours|
|Total hours required||48|
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of the major movements, authors, and canons of literature in English from the medieval period through the present.
- Engage with foundational schools and methods of literary theory and criticism, and apply this knowledge to produce coherent and effectively supported interpretations of literary works.
- Complete effective research papers that:
- Survey and evaluate previous efforts in literary criticism.
- Offer an original contribution to scholarship on the topic at hand.
- Defend this argument with appropriate exposition and textual support.
- Document primary and secondary sources accurately.
- Analyze the meanings and values inherent in the terms "literature" and "literary studies" in a diverse and changing world.
- Apply knowledge, vocabulary, and tools of literary study in professional contexts and genres, such as classroom teaching, conference papers, multimedia content production, editing, course plans and syllabi, and/or oral presentations.
48 hours of graduate credit in English
Three Core Courses: 12 hours
|ENG 471||BOOK AND MEDIA HISTORY||4|
|ENG 472||LITERARY THEORY||4|
|Select one of the following language courses:||4|
|STRUCTURE OF MODERN ENGLISH|
|HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE|
|HISTORY OF ENGLISH PROSE STYLE|
|LANGUAGE AND STYLE FOR WRITERS|
Five Courses in Topics, Authors, and Genres in English: 20 hours
One each from these periods:
- Medieval Literature
- Renaissance Literature
- Restoration/Eighteenth-Century British and/or Early American Literature
- Nineteenth-Century British (Romantic and Victorian) and/or Nineteenth-Century American Literature
- Twentieth/Twenty-first century British and/or American Literature
Four Electives: 16 hours
Students may choose from
- English and American period courses,
- Language and Rhetoric, Studies in Literature
- Studies in Writing, Independent Study (maximum of four hours),
- Internship (maximum of four hours)
- Thesis Research (maximum of four hours; available for students exercising the thesis option)
A Passing Grade on the Capstone Portfolio
In the final quarter of coursework, or soon after completion of all other degree requirements, a student will turn in a Capstone Portfolio to be evaluated by a faculty committee. A Portfolio that does not initially earn a score of "pass" must be revised until it does so.
Instead of submitting a Capstone Portfolio, students may choose the Thesis Option (see below) as a Final Requirement for the MA in English.
To achieve good standing in the program, students must:
- Complete at least three courses within twelve months of their admission to the program (one of these courses must be ENG 471), and
- Maintain an overall grade-point average of at least 3.0 in their course work. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation and given two quarters to raise their average to the minimum 3.0 level. Students on probation are required to consult with the program director before registering for classes. Failure to meet these requirements constitutes grounds for dismissal.
A thesis option is available to students who have a promising idea for a scholarly or creative project. Proposals must earn the approval of an English Department graduate faculty member, who will serve as project director, and of the Program Director. Credit is earned through ENG 501. Students who choose to write a thesis need not submit a Capstone Portfolio, but can if they want. Please see the Program Director for more information on this option.