Jul 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

English, M.A.

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The Master of Arts degree in English from the College of Arts and Sciences , leads to increased knowledge and understanding of culture as manifested in two sequences - literature and writing - in a graduate program that emphasizes the twin pillars of higher literacy: advanced skills in both reading and writing.

The Literature Sequence curriculum offers opportunities for students to explore, analyze, and debate texts in their critical, social, and political contexts, and determine the implications of their differing cultural, historical, and philosophical perspectives. Students encounter a broad range of Anglophone and world literatures and important theoretical approaches. They also learn a variety of reading and interpretive strategies that can be applied to challenging professional and cultural conditions. The literature sequence develops a more sophisticated scope and proficiency in interpretation, analysis, writing, and the analytical skills that one acquires through the literary study than is required of the bachelor’s degree. This study of literature is designed to meet not only the needs of persons involved in the teaching of language arts and literature but also those of adult students who wish to develop abilities that transcend any narrow specialization or particular career orientation.

The Writing Sequence curriculum is based on an English Studies “fusion” model, as it works to meld what are generally the curricular goals of sequences in professional writing and rhetoric and composition, in order to provide specialized and advanced education in the production of written texts and their theoretical underpinnings. Students who choose this sequence will study applicable rhetorical theories and produce complex, primarily written texts of various non-fiction genres and modalities. Students enrolled in the sequence will also study theories in writing pedagogy, giving them the opportunity to consider the relationships between writing production and the teaching of rhetoric and composition.

The MA in English program enriches lives and improves the work of those who undertake it.

Program Expected Outcomes

Upon completion of the English MA program, students should be able to: 

1. Describe threshold concepts, foundational knowledge, and theoretical approaches pertinent to English Studies, demonstrating advanced content knowledge in the discipline. (Content Knowledge)  

2. Analyze and interpret a wide range of texts, insightfully and originally, attentive to style and form as well as relevant social, historical, cultural, and rhetorical contexts. (Analysis/Interpretation) 

3. Develop sophisticated methodologies and theoretical frameworks to address focused research questions in literary studies and writing studies, in the creation of high-quality, original texts. (Research; Theory) 

4. Compose high-quality, original texts in a variety of genres and modalities for both scholarly and public audiences, in line with disciplinary expectations for writing process (rhetorical awareness, drafting, peer review, revision); discourse conventions; and students’ rights to their own language. (Writing Process; Rhetorical Awareness) 

Special Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the university admission criteria, applicants must:

  1. have completed a bachelor’s degree in English or in a very closely related field from a regionally accredited college or university with a 3.0 G.P.A.;
  2. have an undergraduate major in English, literature, language, linguistics, or a closely related field;
  3. complete prerequisite course work with a “B” or better in each course.

Required Preparation

  1. Students without the following undergraduate prerequisite course work will be granted conditional admission and be required to complete all prerequisites before full admission to the M.A. in English program: three hours in English (or British) Literature I or II, three hours in American Literature I or II, three hours in literary criticism, and three hours in Shakespeare, Chaucer, or Major British Author.  Students selecting the MA in English Writing Sequence in lieu of Shakespeare, or Chaucer, or Major British Author are required to have completed three hours in Advanced Composition or Rhetorical Theory. Completion of all prerequisites is required in addition to graduate degree requirements noted.
  2. Students must maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 for the first nine credit-hours to continue enrollment. Only one course in which a student earns less than a “B” may be repeated once.

Admission to Candidacy

After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student will also apply for candidacy after completing her or his course work. Application for candidacy should be made at the beginning of the term in which the student expects to fulfill the candidacy requirements (successful completion of ENGL-8950  for non-thesis students; after 18 credit hours are earned for thesis students). Application forms are available in the college office. To qualify for degree candidacy for the thesis option, a student must do the following:

  1. complete each course for the M.A. in English with a “B” (3.0) or better;
  2. complete a detailed, approved proposal for a master’s thesis; and
  3. complete thesis proposal form with the signatures of three full time English graduate faculty who have agreed to serve on the student’s thesis committee; the primary thesis advisor must be from the tenure-stream faculty.

More detailed candidacy information is available through the M.A. in English advisors.

Degree Requirements Literature Sequence

Required Courses Thesis Option (21 Hours)

With faculty approval, students in the Literature Sequence may choose a thesis option. To receive approval for the thesis option, a student must propose a thesis project after 18 credit hours have been completed to the English program tenure-stream faculty. At least two of the faculty members must vote ‘yes’ for the student to receive approval. In the thesis option, a student completes research and prepares a formal thesis manuscripts. The thesis option would be appropriate for students who have research interests or who intend to pursue doctoral studies.

Required Courses Non-thesis Option (25 Hours)

In the non-thesis option, a student takes ENGL - 8950 Comprehensive Examination in English (1) . More information concerning the options is available in the English Graduate Student Handbook.

Additional Requirements (9 Hours)

Three of the required courses may be repeated with different topics as electives (ENGL-8540  ENGL-8550  ENGL-8560  ENGL-8570 , and 8000 level English courses not listed above may not be used as electives here. No more than two 6000 level courses may be used as electives to fulfill the additional 9 credit hour requirement here. Other elective courses should be selected in consultation with and approval of the academic advisor and the English Program Coordinator. The courses selected will be related to student’s previous preparation and/or relevant interests.

Total - 33 - 34 Hours*

Total Thesis Option = 33 Hours

Total Non-thesis Option = 34 Hours

Degree Requirements Writing Sequence

Additional Requirements (9 Hours)

With the advisor’s approval, students will select 9 credit hours of 6000-plus level courses in literature, composition, rhetoric, or closely related fields.

Total - 34 Hours

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