Graduate and Professional Degrees
The Department of English offers a PhD emphasizing Cultural and Critical Studies, and two Master’s degrees: an MA in English and an MFA in Writing. The PhD in English, open to applicants with at least a BA or its equivalent, encourages interdisciplinary scholarship. PhD students typically base their work in Composition/Rhetoric, Film Studies, or Literature, but the department fosters interdisciplinary work that draws on more than one program. The department has a strong national reputation in composition and literacy studies, children’s literature, global film studies, and cultural theory. Based in the Literature Program but including faculty members and PhD students across programs are four focal areas that provide curricular and extracurricular support for student work: Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies; Genealogies of Modernity; Media and Material Practices; and Race, Politics, and Empire. The MA in English provides broad familiarity with advanced studies in Composition/Rhetoric, Film Studies, and/or Literature. The MFA in Writing allows students to specialize in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, while also integrating courses in literature and literary history. The department also offers a graduate-level certificate in Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy and Rhetoric.
Requirements for the MA
General Requirements. The MA requires the completion of ten courses (30credit hours). Three of these courses are a one-credit Introduction to Graduate Studies; a core course for one of the programs of the PhD (in Composition, Film, or Literature); and a course in the scholarship of pedagogy. MA students must complete a master’s research paper in an elective course of their choice (see below), and must fulfill a language requirement by demonstrating reading knowledge of a language other than English or take the appropriate coursework in the study of a language other than English, undertaking the advanced study of a language, or beginning a new language.
Master’s Research Paper. All MA students must also complete a master’s research paper in an elective course of their choice. The master’s research paper should be of professional article length, defined by the Modern Language Association (MLA) as 6,000-8,000 words not including documentation. Students must engage in primary research beyond course readings and/or what is ordinarily required for a term paper, and the Master’s Research paper must reflect that research. Students must consult an instructor, and receive the instructor’s approval, no later than the end of the add/drop period if they wish to write their master’s research paper for that instructor’s seminar. The instructor of the seminar will be solely responsible for evaluating the paper. The master’s research paper must be completed no later than the last day of the spring term of a student’s second year, or fourth term in residence. In order for the master’s research paper to count toward earning the MA, a student must receive a grade of B or better on the paper and as a final grade for the course in which the paper was completed.