Master of Arts in English

Program Rationale:

The Master of Arts in English program is designed for students who wish to pursue the advanced study of English and American literature. The program offers students the opportunity to refine and expand both their knowledge of literature written in English and their facility with its criticism. The program begins with an introduction to the theory and practice of literary criticism and research and continues with coursework allowing students to work with faculty in small classes to investigate the discipline of literary studies and the scope of British and American literature from their beginnings to the present day. In this way, the MA program supports students' pursuit of careers in teaching at the elementary, middle, or secondary school level (or enhances the skills and qualifications of those already teaching); helps prepare students for further advanced study in a doctoral program; and gives them the tools necessary for other careers involving the reading, writing, and analysis of texts.

The program offers over 20 courses each year on a broad range of topics reflecting the diverse interests of the English Department's faculty. Typical approaches include in-depth examinations of individual authors, comparative studies of two or more authors, explorations of established or emergent literary forms, historical treatments of particular periods, and investigations of important critical or theoretical methods. Independent studies and guided readings are also available to allow students to pursue interests not addressed in scheduled courses.

With its diverse, engaged faculty and structured but flexible program, the MA in English offers both full-time and part-time students a thorough, rigorous training in British and American literature and literary studies that allows students to tailor their experiences to meet their professional and intellectual needs and interests.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Students in the program are expected to:

  • explain accurately the literal meaning of a work or works of literature at an appropriate level of complexity;
  • discuss effectively the literary aspects of a prose work or works, such as tone, point of view, characterization, imagery, etc.;
  • offer persuasive and technically accurate close readings of poetry, including analysis of prosody and other formal features;
  • employ technical language and appropriate literary terminology in service of a clear, effective treatment of material discussed;
  • analyze a work or works effectively from the perspective of genre;
  • analyze a work or works effectively from the perspective of the cultural issues it addresses (gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, etc.);
  • analyze a work or works considering accurately their engagement with relevant historical periods;
  • construct an effective analysis of a work or works informed by the tenets of a literary theory.

Admission:

To qualify for the Master of Arts degree program in English, an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree in English or American literature or a closely related field from an accredited college or university, or 30 hours of appropriate undergraduate course work in the discipline (as approved by departmental review). Additional undergraduate credits will be required of students who lack sufficient preparation in literature. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.00 on a four-point scale both in overall undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate course work and in English courses. Conditional admission may be offered to students who do not meet all of these requirements. Applicants must also submit the following:

To the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office:

  • Graduate Application Form
  • Official undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate transcripts from every institution attended except CCSU
  • Application fee

To the English Department (Attn. Director of Graduate Studies), at the same time that application materials are submitted to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office:

  • Letter of application detailing reasons for wishing to pursue graduate study in English;
  • Two academic letters of recommendation, preferably from a former instructor or someone who can otherwise attest to the applicant's preparedness for graduate literary study.
  • A writing sample of 10-15 pages showcasing the applicant's strongest analytical or critical writing about literature. Work written for previous courses is acceptable (indeed encouraged), but "creative" pieces (poetry, fiction, or memoir) are not appropriate.

No applications will be considered until all materials have been received. Applications will be evaluated by the department on an ongoing basis.

Students in the MA program will be assigned an English Department advisor upon admission. Before registering for course work, students should read the program brochure "English Master of Arts Program Student Handbook" (available from the department) and consult with their advisors. Students must file planned programs in consultation with their advisors before completing 16 credits of graduate course work.

Course and Capstone Requirements:
(30 credits)
Plan A (Thesis)
ENG 598 Research in English* 3
ENG 500 Seminar in American Literature 3
ENG 501 Seminar in British Literature 3
ENG 530 Topics in Literary Periods 3
ENG 540 Topics in Literature and Theory 3
ENG 599 Thesis 3
12 credits of English electives at the 400 and 500 levels, with no more than nine
credits at the 400 level, as approved by the faculty advisor
Plan B (Comprehensive Examination)
ENG 598 Research in English* 3
ENG 500 Seminar in American Literature 3
ENG 501 Seminar in British Literature 3
ENG 530 Topics in Literary Periods 3
ENG 540 Topics in Literature and Theory 3
15 credits of English electives at the 400 and 500 levels, with no more than nine credits at the 400 level, as approved by the faculty advisor

*To be completed during the first year of graduate study.

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