Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation
College of Arts & Sciences
Department Header Top

English M.A. Program

Areas of Concentration

Admissions & Requirements

Program Overview

The Department of English offers an M.A. degree that can serve either as preparation for a Ph.D. and a career in English studies, or as an extension of education in the liberal arts beyond the bachelor’s degree. 

Faculty believe that all students should have a thorough grounding in the basic elements of literary study; thus, all students must satisfy a common set of core requirements. Students also should have the opportunity to give their studies a particular emphasis, and thus a choice of three departmental concentrations are offered:

  • Literary History
  • Creative Writing
  • Rhetoric and Composition

These are carefully selected groups of courses that give each master’s program a distinctive focus.

Time to Degree: Completion of the program generally requires two years of course work, but full-time students who are not teaching assistants may complete the program in less time.

Career Opportunities

Students enter M.A. programs in English for a variety of reasons. Some wish simply to extend their liberal education beyond the bachelor’s level, others want professional training for high school or junior college teaching, and still others require preparation for ongoing academic studies, including the doctoral degree.

Concentrations

Literary History: Students concentrating on literature history have the opportunity to study a diverse array of literary periods, national literatures, and genres. The coursework is conducted in small seminars, ensuring a high level of interaction between graduate students and faculty. 

Creative Writing: Students concentrating on creative writing have the opportunity to study with renowned writing faculty in three genres (fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). The coursework is conducted in small seminars combining workshop and academic approaches. Outside of the classroom, students have the opportunity to work on the department’s literary journals and to interact with visiting writers.

Rhetoric and Composition:  Students concentrating on rhetoric and composition explore rhetoric and composition theory, history, and research, and the ways these relate to the teaching of writing. Because most of our students are also teaching assistants, this theoretical, historical, and pedagogical coursework is supplemented by practical teaching experiences and administrative opportunities.

Program Mission

The M. A. is meant to serve a diverse range of students (from those who wish to extend their liberal education beyond the bachelor’s level to those planning to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in college teaching. We believe that all of these students should have a thorough grounding in the basic elements of literary study; thus all students must satisfy a common set of core requirements. We also believe, however, that students should focus on a particular emphasis, and thus we offer a choice of three departmental concentrations—literary history, creative writing, and rhetoric and composition.

Program Learning Objectives

The M.A. Program in English will:

  • Introduce students to the professional conversation in English studies in various fields and to texts from diverse eras and cultures, with the intention of provoking and supporting their intellectual curiosity.
  • Offer students instruction and practice in reading texts critically through multiple theoretical perspectives and in various historical, social, and aesthetic contexts.
  • Provide students opportunity for frequent and extensive writing, culminating in longer pieces (MA essay or thesis), and guidance in fashioning this writing to participate in shared public conversation (publication, conference presentation, reviews, etc.)
  • Introduce students to the theory and practice of the teaching of writing.
  • Prepare students for continued graduate work, careers in teaching, or other professions that require knowledge of language and/or literature and skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing.

 

 

Departmental Social Media

College of Arts & Sciences