Degree or Program Details


The master of arts in English allows students to develop their critical thinking, textual analysis and writing abilities beyond the baccalaureate level through four tracks: literature, pedagogy, theater and writing.

Students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty scholars and practicing writers in advanced seminars and workshops to study texts, hone editing skills, research and write papers suitable for presentation at professional conferences, create original works for publication and gain experience in the production of a literary journal. For many of our master’s candidates, especially our teaching assistants, the program offers both theoretical and practical experience in pedagogy. It also serves as a preparation for further graduate study and as an arena for the development of marketable skills such as teaching, editing and/or professional writing.

Each student’s program culminates in a thesis, internship or portfolio suited to his or her interests and literary or professional strengths.

Program Requirements

Every master of arts degree candidate designs, in consultation with the program director and his or her adviser, a plan of study that includes a minimum 32 credit hours. Candidates for the non-degree graduate certificate program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) pursue a 20-credit-hour plan. TESOL credits can also count toward the pedagogy concentration in the master of arts program.

Each of the four concentrations has the following requirements:

  • EN 504 Principles of Critical Investigation (recommend taking during the first year)
  • 12 credits in the area of specialization (at least four credits at the 500-level)
  • Four credits of literature at the 500 level (considered part of the 12 literature concentration credits)
  • Up to four credits in the capstone project
  • EN 509 Teaching Colloquium (for teaching assistants only, taken during the summer and fall semester)

For department information or additional degree requirements, click here

For course description, click on the course.

Total Credits Required for Degree 32

Capstone Project 
Choose one course from the following; see descriptions below: 1-8
EN 591 MA Practicum (1-6 cr.) *
EN 599 Thesis (1-8 cr.) *
    *No more than 4 credits count toward the capstone. 
Literature Requirement - One 500 level course (considered part of the 12-credit literature concentration) 4
Choose one concentration from the following: 
Literature Concentration 
Choose 12 credits from the following: 12
EN 412 Chaucer (3-4 cr.)
EN 420 Shakespeare (3-4 cr.)
Or other adviser-approved literature courses 
Pedagogy Concentration 
Choose 12 credits from the following: 12
Or other adviser-approved pedagogy courses 
Theater Concentration 
TH/SP credits (at the 400 and 500 level) chosen by student and adviser 12
    including EN 500 level Literature Seminar (4 cr.) 
Writing Concentration 
Choose 12 credits from the following: 12
Or other adviser-approved writing courses 
400 level or above courses that qualify for graduate credit 0-12

Capstone Project Options

EN 591 Practicum (1-6 cr.)

Sometimes an appropriate form for a student’s final project is a practicum or practical experience. Students who complete a practicum as their capstone project must work with a faculty supervisor or a site supervisor on a defined project approved by the thesis selection committee that meets objectives suitable to the student’s ability and goals. The prospectus for a practicum should be three to five pages long and include objectives, nature of activities, a description of the site and the participants. The project will include 50 practical hours for each hour of academic credit, a concluding report of 35-40 pages, which must include the original prospectus, the data and materials generated, samples of writing produced, as well as conclusions on the effectiveness of the project.

EN 592 Portfolio Project (1-3 cr.)

A long thesis, research project or internship may not be the best capstone alternative for particular students, such as current teachers, technical writers, administrators or students pursuing a dual concentration. Such students might benefit more from additional course work and a portfolio development project. EN 592 Portfolio Project requires revisions of at least one critical paper and one paper in the student’s concentration. The portfolio must be a minimum of 20 pages, or 15 pages per credit hour for 2-3 credit hours. Papers may be new works or revisions of previously written papers. Each student, however, will be expected to work with a faculty director to revise, update and prepare the materials for his or her portfolio.

EN 599A Thesis (1-8 cr.)

This option requires a thesis chair and a reader. A 500-word proposal is submitted to the thesis selection committee. The thesis will focus in the student’s area of concentration:  Literature, Writing, Pedagogy or Theater. All theses must be a minimum of 40 pages long, with the exception of poetry theses in the writing concentration, which must be 25 pages minimum.