Master of Arts English (Literature)
The MA in English (literature) offers a rigorous, individualized program of advanced study of literature in English. Students choose from an array of courses and select a thesis/project or exam option. Although allowed flexibility in their course of study, students are required to complete courses in British, American, and world literatures, as well as literary and critical theory. Students enter the program to further their understanding of literature, to strengthen their teaching qualifications, to broaden their writing experiences, or to prepare for doctoral work.
In addition to the university guidelines concerning admission to graduate degree programs, students applying to the MA in English (literature) Program must also submit a writing sample of 5-10 pages directly to the English department. The writing sample must include the student’s name, birth date and student ID number for identification. The GRE general test is also required for applicants to the MA in English (literature) Program.
General Requirements of the Program
Students will complete a thesis/project or comprehensive examination. Students in each option take a minimum of 48 credits. At least 30 credits must be at the graduate level in English. Up to 15 credits may be taken in approved courses at the 400 level in English. Up to 10 credits may be taken in approved courses offered outside the English department.
Students who choose the thesis/project option may complete a research thesis or a creative writing project. Students completing a creative writing project must take two 400-level creative writing courses, at least one in the genre of their proposed creative writing project. To prepare for and complete their thesis/project, students must take English 588 and 6 credits of English 700 with the chair of their thesis/project committee. In all cases, students will create in conjunction with a three-member faculty thesis/project committee an analytical introduction and a reading list for their thesis/project that includes both texts central to their thesis/project and texts that contextualize their thesis/project within their chosen field of study. After completing their thesis/project, students must pass an oral exam administered by the committee over the thesis/project introduction and reading list.
Students who choose the exam option create, in conjunction with a three-member faculty exam committee, an individualized reading list of the material covered in that student’s coursework, and must pass a comprehensive written examination developed by the committee over that material. To prepare for and complete this exam, they will take three credits of English 596, Individual Study, with the chair of their exam committee.
Program Learner Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Read and interpret American, British, and World literatures in English.
- Describe and apply various literary critical theories and strategies.
- Demonstrate their knowledge of scholarly research practices appropriate to the discipline of English literary studies.
- Demonstrate their commitment to professional development.