English: English Studies Option (M.A.)


Our M.A. program offers you the opportunity to explore the formal, historical, cultural, and theoretical dimensions of diverse forms of the written word.

Degree Requirements

M.A. candidates must complete 36 credit hours at the 800 or 900 level, including two seminar courses and a third seminar in literature or ENGL 998 Master's Paper .

At least six courses must be literature courses offered by the English department (as distinct from courses in critical theory, linguistics, writing, or teaching methods).  If a student chooses the Master's Paper option, the six-­course requirement is reduced to five literature courses.

M.A. candidates must pass a reading examination in a foreign language or demonstrate that they have passed a fourth-semester college-­level language course with a grade of B or better. Students whose native language is not English may be exempt from this requirement.

Required Courses
ENGL 925Graduate Study of Literature4
Select two courses from the following:8
Seminar: Studies in American Literature
Seminar: Studies in 19th Century American Literature
Seminar: Studies in 20th Century American Literature
Seminar: Studies in Shakespeare
Seminar: Studies in Milton
Seminar: Studies in 20th Century British Literature
Seminar: Studies in Post-Colonial Literatures in English
Select five courses from the following:20
Teaching Writing: Seminar in English Teaching
Spec Top/Composition Studies
History of the English Language
Special Topics in English Teaching
Historical and Theoretical Studies in Rhetoric
Theory and Practice of Composition
Special Topics in Composition and Rhetoric
History of Composition
Research Methods in Composition
Practicum in Teaching College Composition 1
Concluding Experience
ENGL 998Master's Paper 24
Total Credits36

ENGL 910 Practicum in Teaching College Composition is reserved for graduate teaching assistants.


The alternative to this requirement is a 4 credit 900 level literature seminar in which students, with the consultation of the course instructor and/or the program advisor, produce a substantial (30 page) paper

This graduate program is approved to be taken on an accelerated basis in articulation with certain undergraduate degree programs.

General Accelerated Master's policy, note that some programs have additional requirements (e.g. higher grade expectations) compared to the policy.

Please see the Graduate School website and contact the department directly for more information.

  • Demonstrate expertise in a variety of theoretical approaches, such as gender theory, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, postcolonial theory, intersectionality, and so on.
  • Engage in the close reading of complex texts across a range of national traditions.
  • Perform literary critical writing and speaking that adheres to the conventions of the field.
  • Undertake original research using primary and secondary sources, and responding to existing knowledge in the field.