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Master of Arts in English

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M.A. Degree Requirements

While continuously enrolled, a student has a total of 5 years to complete the master’s degree. The candidate’s program should be arranged in consultation with the director of graduate studies or a member of the departmental committee on graduate studies.

Students who elect to write a master’s thesis must enroll in ENGL 899. M.A. candidates in Options Ia, Ib, and II must take at least 15 hours of their course work, in addition to ENGL 800, at the 700, 800, and 900 levels.

Option Ia—Literature

Requirements include

  • 1 graduate course in English language/literature in Old and Middle English, and one in English literature 1500-1800.
  • 1 graduate course in each of 2 of the following: English literature post 1800, American literature, composition/rhetoric/literary theory.
  • Introduction to literary studies (taken at the first opportunity).
  • A total of 30 hours in English courses carrying graduate credit. At least 15 of these, in addition to introduction to literary studies, must be at the 700 level or above and must include at least one seminar passed with a grade of A or B.

Students electing the M.A. examination take the final oral examination. For students electing the M.A. thesis, the thesis defense constitutes the final oral examination. Students may enroll in ENGL 899 (thesis/examination hours) as necessary, but ENGL 899 does not count toward the 30-hour course requirement.

Option Ib—Literature and Literary Theory

Requirements include

  • 1 graduate course in English language/literature in Old and Middle English, or one in English literature 1500-1800.
  • 1 graduate course in English literature post 1800, or in American literature.
  • 2 graduate courses in literary theory.
  • Introduction to literary studies (taken at the first opportunity).
  • A total of 30 hours in English courses carrying graduate credit. At least 15 of these, in addition to introduction to literary studies, must be at the 700 level or above and must include at least one seminar passed with a grade of A or B.

Students electing the M.A. examination take the final oral examination. For students electing the M.A. thesis, the thesis defense constitutes the final oral examination. Students may enroll in ENGL 899 (thesis/examination hours) as necessary, but ENGL 899 does not count toward the 30-hour course requirement.

Option II—Language, Literature, and Composition

Requirements include

  • Courses in literature: At least 6 hours, including at least 3 hours in English literature 1500-1800, and 3 hours in either English literature post 1800 or American literature.
  • Courses in language and composition: At least 6 hours in English language and/or in composition/rhetoric courses.
  • Introduction to literary studies.
  • A total of 30 hours in English courses carrying graduate credit. At least 15 of these, in addition to introduction to literary studies, must be at the 700 level or above and must include at least one seminar passed with a grade of A or B.

Students electing the M.A. examination take the final oral examination. For students electing the M.A. thesis, the thesis defense constitutes the final oral examination. Students may enroll in ENGL 899 (thesis/examination hours) as necessary, but ENGL 899 does not count toward the 30-hour course requirement.

No matter the option chosen, the student also must demonstrate reading knowledge of one of the following foreign languages: French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Old English, or Spanish. In each option, a final oral examination is required — either an examination covering a list of required and selected texts or a thesis defense.

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