Department of English and Languages
Master of Arts in English
Graduate studies in English are designed to continue, enrich, and enhance education in literature, rhetoric, and language. The Department of English and Languages offers the Master of Arts with a thesis and non-thesis track. The thesis track is designed primarily for students planning a career in college teaching; this track also prepares students to continue graduate studies toward the doctorate in English. The non-thesis track is designed primarily for students planning to continue their teaching careers at the secondary level. Students should choose between these two tracks according to their individual needs and goals.
To gain full admission to a master's program in English, students should have an undergraduate major in English and a minimum of 14 undergraduate hours (or the equivalent) in one foreign language. Those who lack the necessary background will be required to complete appropriate undergraduate leveling work. The departmental graduate admissions committee reviews transcripts and determines the nature and amount of leveling required. Students should take no more than six hours of graduate classes before completing leveling requirements.
Prospective students entering the Masters Program in English must submit (at the time of their general application to the Graduate College) to the English Department the following: a 10-15-page MLA, APA, or LSA scholarly research paper and three letters of recommendation. A minimum GPA of 3.0 during the student's last 60 hours of undergraduate course work is required for admission to the program.
The department head will assist students in selecting courses, establishing a graduate committee, and deciding between the thesis and non-thesis tracks. Once the student has selected a committee made up of three departmental graduate faculty members, the committee head will serve as the student's graduate advisor. The advisor will assist the student in developing a degree plan and will oversee the thesis (for thesis track) or directed reading (for non-thesis track). Students choosing the thesis track must also receive approval from the graduate admissions committee.
Master of Arts Degree in English - Thesis Track
The MA in English with thesis requires 36 semester hours of graduate English credit. All students must complete ENGL 598 Methods of Bibliography and Research Analysis. Students also complete departmental courses in the four following categories:
- American literature
- British literature
- Rhetoric or composition
Students may take one ENGL 586 Special Problems course; typically this course is taken the semester before the thesis and used to develop the thesis subject.
A written comprehensive examination (see below) must be taken and passed before students begin formal work on the thesis. When other requirements are completed, students enroll in 6 hours of ENGL 588 Thesis and complete the thesis according to the standards and policies determined by the English department and the College of Graduate Studies. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
Master of Arts Degree in English - Non-Thesis Track
The MA in English without thesis requires 36 semester hours of graduate credit. All students must complete ENGL 598 Methods of Bibliography and Research Analysis and ENGL 580 Studies in Teaching of Comp. Students also complete departmental courses in the three following categories:
- American literature
- British literature
- Other (courses in areas other than American and British literature or Rhetoric and Composition).
Students also complete one research-based course in directed readings (ENGL 586 Special Problems) as the culmination of the graduate course work.
Students on the non-thesis track may select up to six hours of graduate courses in an outside area (such as history or education) with the guidance and approval of the graduate advisor and the department head.
The written comprehensive examination is required of all students. This examination will be constructed, administered, and evaluated by the student's graduate committee. The committee consists of three members of the graduate English faculty. Non-thesis track students who choose to complete six hours of their course work in a field other than English must include on the committee an additional graduate faculty member from the outside area. An additional question pertaining to the outside specialization will be included on the examination.
If the student's performance is judged to be unsatisfactory, the committee may require the student to retake the examination. The committee may also stipulate additional course work in areas of perceived weakness as a prerequisite.
ENGL 510. Studies in American Literature. 3 Hours.
Focuses on restricted periods in American literary history. Examples include colonial American literature, the American Renaissance, American literary naturalism, post-World War II American literature, and minority literature in America. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
ENGL 520. Studies in English Language. 3 Hours.
Focuses on historical and/or linguistic study of the English language. Topics will vary. Examples include history of the English language and the English language in America. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
ENGL 521. Psycholinguistics. 3 Hours.
Deals with a variety of formal cognitive mechanisms that are relevant to the knowledge and use of natural languages. Primary emphasis is on the modular view of the mind and its consequences for both L1 and L2 language acquisition.
ENGL 530. Studies in Rhetoric. 3 Hours.
A study of written language theories. Course contents include readings from a wide spectrum including classical Greece and Rome, the European enlightenment, nineteenth century America, and modern and post-modern periods. May be retaken for credit when topics vary.
ENGL 540. Studies in Modern Fiction. 3 Hours.
An evaluation of English and American short stories, novels, and related criticism. Topics will vary and will include study of themes and development of the genre. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
ENGL 550. Studies in Literature Before 1500. 3 Hours.
A study of representative types of pre-1500 literature in English. Topics may vary. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
ENGL 560. Modern America and British Poetry. 3 Hours.
A study of representative themes in the development of American and English poetry. Related critical readings will be studied. Topics will vary. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
ENGL 570. Studies in Comparative Literature. 3 Hours.
A comparative study of great literature in the world in translation. Topics may vary and may include examination of theme, technique, and type. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
ENGL 580. Studies in Teaching of Comp. 3 Hours.
The course is devoted to the study of the aims, skills, materials, and practices of composition teaching at college and junior college levels. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
ENGL 585. English Seminar. 1-3 Hours.
Content varies according to the needs and desires of the students. When topic varies, course may be taken for credit more than once. Open to students of graduate classification.
ENGL 586. Special Problems. 1-3 Hours.
Conference course. Directed independent study under supervision of a senior faculty member.
ENGL 588. Thesis. 1-6 Hours.
Scheduled when student is ready to begin thesis. No credit until thesis is accepted. Prerequisites: 24 hours of graduate credit, including ENGL 598, and prior approval of department head.
ENGL 597. English Internship. 3 Hours.
Supervised professional activities in the college composition classroom including presentations, evaluation, and conferences. May be repeated once for credit. Field experience fee $50.
ENGL 598. Methods of Bibliography and Research Analysis. 3 Hours.
An introduction to methods of research and effective utilization of library resources. May include analytical bibliography, enumerative bibliography, and textual criticism.