Master of Arts in English (MA)

Literature Option

The M.A. in Literature is a 30-unit program, divided among core requirements and electives. The following core courses may be completed either on the undergraduate or graduate level:

  • Chaucer (one course)
  • Shakespeare (one course)
  • English Literature (two additional courses)
  • American Literature (one course)
  • World Literature (one course)

Core courses must be completed in the department; however, electives can be selected from outside departments in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. Recent graduate courses include: Textual Communities and Literary Kinship; Early British Women Writers and Feminist Orientalism; International Fantastic; Queer Theory

Of the 30 units required for completion of the M.A. degree in English, no more than 8 units may be from undergraduate, upper division courses. Undergraduate, upper division courses which do not count towards the English major may not be used for the M.A. degree.

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 RequirementThe 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.