Master of Arts in English (MA)

Composition Theory Option

The M.A. in Composition Theory is a 30-unit program, divided among core requirements and electives in rhetorical theory and history, pedagogical theory in writing studies, literacy studies, and composition theory. Required courses for the option include English 270, Writing Workshop for Teachers, and English 281, Current Writing Theory. Recent elective topics include Women’s Rhetoric; The Rhetorical Tradition; Race: Representations.

Language Requirement: The Department requires candidates for the M.A. to demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language. This requirement can be satisfied at the undergraduate or graduate level through two years (four semesters) of coursework in modern languages, one year (2 semesters) coursework in classical languages, or  by taking a translation examination from faculty in the English Department. 

Graduate Writing Requirement: The University mandates that MA candidates demonstrate the ability to write “commensurate with society’s expectations of persons who hold advanced degrees” and “in formats and styles appropriate to their disciplines.” To comply with this requirement, the department solicits and evaluates a sample essay that emerges from a student's work in a graduate seminar. A rating of "Accomplished," according to the evaluation rubric, demonstrates appropriate skill and readiness to undertake the thesis. Evaluation can occur at any point once the program has begun; it must be met before the candidate can advance to candidacy and thus qualify to write a culminating project.