Why study English language and literature?

Because reading and writing shape the world.

The M.A. in Literature and the M.A. in Literature & Literary Theory provide students with a broad knowledge of literatures in English across a range of time periods, as well as an introduction to the basic concepts and methods of the discipline. This program has special strengths in ecocriticism and posthuman studies, African American & African diaspora literatures, nineteenth-century U.S. literature, science fiction & fantasy, and Victorian literature.

The M.A. in Rhetoric & Composition provides students with a broad knowledge of writing and the teaching of writing, including the study of composing across multiple genres, media and situations. This program has special strengths in genre and language theory, multimodality and digital rhetorics, public rhetoric, and writing pedagogy.

The M.A. in English Language Studies provides students with a broad introduction to empirical approaches to the study of the English language. This program has special strengths in historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Application and admission procedures for the Accelerated Master’s program are different from the regular master’s program.  For more information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Degree Requirements

Students in the B.A./M.A. program must complete all the requirements of the existing Bachelor’s degree in English, 6 additional hours of 600-level or above coursework as pre-requisite to the M.A., and 24 hours of graduate-level M.A. coursework. All the course requirements of the regular M.A. (any of the M.A. tracks) are required for the B.A./M.A.

There are two significant differences from the regular M.A. that enable students to complete both a B.A. and M.A. in 5 years:

  • Students begin taking 600-level or above coursework by their senior year.
  • Students complete a portfolio requirement, to be evaluated by means of a final oral examination, in their last semester of graduate study. This requirement will be substituted in place of a thesis or text-based exam. The portfolio requirement is no less rigorous than the thesis or exam, but draws much more on previous work produced during the student’s graduate work. The portfolio involves written as well as oral components.

Students in the B.A./M.A. program can complete the required 6 hours of pre-requisite coursework and 24 hours of graduate credit coursework by taking 10 courses. These courses might be spread over their Senior and M.A. years, for example:

  • 2 courses at 600 level or above during their Senior year, for 6 hours;
  • 2 graduate courses during the Summer after their senior year for 6 hours, or one graduate course that summer for 3 hours and one the following summer.
  • 3 graduate courses during the first semester of their M.A. year, for 9 hours;
  • 2 graduate courses during the second semester of their M.A. year, for 6 hours;
  • If students take fewer than 2 courses while an undergraduate or do not take a summer course, they might take 4 graduate courses in their final semesters of work toward the MA.

All B.A./M.A. students must complete:

English 897 Preparation for the MA Exam (3 hours).  This course is completed during the last semester of their M.A. year, for which they prepare a portfolio of work from their graduate courses over which they will be examined.