May 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

English Language and Literature, M.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: All Programs

The faculty of English offers a flexible program leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree, providing professional preparation for teaching and for doctoral study and scholarly research, as well as opportunities for creative expression. Coursework is offered in the full range of subjects defined by our faculty’s expertise and by our internationally renowned archival holdings of manuscripts and books in McFarlin Library. Specific clusters of study that carry the advantage of faculty depth and the potential for original research are: (1) Victorian and Modern British and Irish literature; (2) American studies, cultural and gender/sexuality studies, African American literature, Indigenous literature, and women’s literature; and (3) Early Modern, Restoration, and Eighteenth-Century British and Transatlantic Literature. The department also offers seminars in critical theory, in the pedagogy of composition, and in creative writing. Each M.A. student works closely with the Director of Graduate Studies and the faculty to develop an area of emphasis suited to the student’s particular interests and professional goals.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the M.A. degree program will be able to:

  • create independent work that analyzes, evaluates, and synthesizes aspects of Anglophone literature.
  • understand, analyze, and evaluate diverse areas of Anglophone literature.
  • understand, analyze, and evaluate theories on human, gender, and cultural diversity as they apply to cultural materials.
  • write and present effectively about issues in the field.


Candidates for admission to the Master of Arts (M.A.) program in English must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, including language proficiency, found in the Admission  section of this Bulletin.

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with at least 18 hours, or the equivalent, of undergraduate work in literature and language (or a closely related field) exclusive of basic composition and basic foreign language courses. A strong undergraduate GPA must be presented.

The GRE requirement is no longer required for applicants to the English M.A. program.

Curriculum Requirements

The M.A. program requires 36 hours of graduate-level coursework, all of which are drawn from the full range of graduate offerings. The M.A. is a non-thesis program: in place of a thesis each student elects, in the final year, an independent research project, defined by the student in consultation with the graduate program director and a member of the faculty. These projects are meant to build upon the student’s individual interests and program of courses, and so range widely in subject and approach.  M.A. students are encouraged to take ENGL 7003 : Proseminar to establish a professional grounding, though it is not required.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: All Programs