English (MA)

Literature and English Studies

The Master of Arts in Literature and English Studies (offered online and on-campus) provides students with a firm foundation in British, American and World Literature with coursework that includes theory, teaching college-level literature, broader surveys and more specialized author, period, and genres courses. The students' electives are chosen from courses throughout the English department and their capstone project (Alternate Plan Paper) gives them an opportunity to further shape their program to fit their career goals. The program prepares students for teaching positions at the post-secondary level, particularly technical and community colleges, and provides a foundation for doctoral work in English and careers in the literary marketplaces. Students work with a dedicated faculty who provide numerous opportunities for professional growth.

The MA degree in Literature and English Studies is a fully online program, ideal for working adults. In practical terms, this means that all 600-level core courses and seminars for the program are currently offered online. Because we believe that live discussion of literary texts is an important component of graduate-level education, many of our online classes incorporate synchronous virtual meetings. Scheduled times for such meetings will be listed with the course information. Contact specific instructors with questions about expectations for synchronous courses.

Program Requirements

Common Core

The course focuses on the major writers, genres and periods in British literature with an emphasis on historical and critical trends in order to provide an analytical framework that will support subsequent work. Must be taken during the student's first year in the program.

Prerequisites: none

The course focuses on the major writers, genres and periods in American literature with an emphasis on historical and critical trends in order to provide an analytical framework that will support subsequent work. Must be taken during the student's first year in the program.

Prerequisites: none

Studies in selected national literature or in topics/periods of world literature. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Research/Methods Course(s)

Topics of interest to the teacher or professional working in the field of children's and young adult literature. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Emphasis Restricted Electives

Theory - Choose 3 Credit(s).

Introduction to the major theories of the nature of composition and their pedagogical application.

Prerequisites: none

Advanced study of theories of literature and its production and use.

Prerequisites: none

Trends in film theory and criticism. Practice in critical analysis.

Prerequisites: none

Literature - Choose 11 - 12 Credit(s).

Studies in selected authors in British, American, Multicultural, or World Literature. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Study of works of Shakespeare, including comedies, histories, tragedies, tragic-comedies, and some shorter poetic works, including sonnets.

Prerequisites: none

Studies in topics/periods in British Literature to 1800. Emphasizes close readings of primary works, analysis of pertinent secondary works, detailed class discussion, and analytical writing. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Studies in topics/periods in British Literature after 1800. Emphasizes close readings of primary works, analyzing pertinent secondary works, detailed class discussion, and analytical writing. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Analysis of topics/periods in American Literature before 1865. Emphasizes close reading of primary works, analysis of pertinent secondary works, detailed class discussion, and analytical writing. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Analysis of topics/periods in modern and contemporary American Literature, i.e. fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Emphasizes close reading of primary works, analysis of pertinent secondary works, detailed class discussion, and analytical writing. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Study of selected works about gender and gendered experiences up through the present with attention to gender and sexuality within cultural contexts. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Studies in selected authors, topics, or periods of American multicultural literatures, particularly those of Native American, African American, Chicano/Latino American, and Asian American groups. Emphasizes close readings of primary works, analyzing secondary sources, and analytical writing. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the teaching of literature across collegiate levels and is designed for English graduate students. It is both practical and theoretical, examining topics such as: the purposes for teaching literature and teaching critical thinking; pedagogical approaches for teaching literature; and designing syllabi, lesson plans, and assignments. We will explore these topics through a variety of texts and perspectives. Assignments will include creating syllabi and lesson plans, reviewing scholarship on a particular topic related to the teaching of literature, and a conference paper on some aspect of the teaching of literature.

Prerequisites: none

Topics of interest to the teacher or professional working in the field of children's and young adult literature. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Emphasis Unrestricted Electives

Choose 5 - 7 Credit(s). Choose courses with the approval of your advisor.

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Course

Choose 1 Credit(s).

This course will involve the preparation of a portfolio in consultation with instructor.

Prerequisites: none

Independent capstone experience, focusing on secondary research sources; paper may have other guidelines specific to the program option.

Prerequisites: none

Degree Plan

The Degree Plan is a model for completing your degree in a timely manner. Your individual degree plan may change based on a number of variables including transfer courses and the semester/year you start your major. Carefully work with your academic advisors to devise your own unique plan.
* Please meet with your advisor on appropriate course selection to meet your educational and degree goals.

First Year

Fall - 9 Credits

The course focuses on the major writers, genres and periods in British literature with an emphasis on historical and critical trends in order to provide an analytical framework that will support subsequent work. Must be taken during the student's first year in the program.

Prerequisites: none

Studies in selected national literature or in topics/periods of world literature. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Topics of interest to the teacher or professional working in the field of children's and young adult literature. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Spring - 9 Credits

The course focuses on the major writers, genres and periods in American literature with an emphasis on historical and critical trends in order to provide an analytical framework that will support subsequent work. Must be taken during the student's first year in the program.

Prerequisites: none

Advanced study of theories of literature and its production and use.

Prerequisites: none

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Second Year

Fall - 9 Credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Spring - 7 Credits

Independent capstone experience, focusing on secondary research sources; paper may have other guidelines specific to the program option.

Prerequisites: none

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits