Program of study

English Department Commons

The M.A. in English gives you advanced training in literary studies, developing range and depth of knowledge about literature and literary cultures, as well as your voice and skills as a writer and speaker.

By the end of your first year you will choose whether to complete the degree on either the research or the non-research track. The non-research track involves a written examination that invites you to showcase your knowledge of several fields or periods of literature. The research track involves the writing of an M.A. thesis, an original piece of research and writing conducted under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

Degree Requirements

Non-research degree:

  • At least 33 hours of course credit (or 11 literature courses)
  • Three credit hours of exam reading
  • Passing a written examination based on a reading list of three literary texts (from various fields or periods of literature) and selected criticism, normally taken at the end of spring semester of the second year

Research degree:

  • At least 30 hours of course credit (or 10 literature courses)
  • Six credit hours of thesis research
  • Proficiency in one language other than English (demonstrated by passing an exam offered by one of the foreign-language departments)
  • Successfully completing and defending the thesis