Master of Arts in English

Shouhua Qi, Graduate Coordinator, Literature
Phone: (203) 837-9048
qis@wcsu.edu

Professor Casey Rudkin, Graduate Coordinator, Writing
Phone: (203) 837-3943
Email: rudkinc@wcsu.edu

Laurel Richards, Secretary
Phone: (203) 837-9041
Fax: (203) 837-8912
Email: richardsl@wcsu.edu

English Overview

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in English at WestConn has two options: Literature Option and Writing Option. The program is housed in the English Department, which coordinates the Literature Option, whereas the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process coordinates the Writing Options.

Program Mission, Goals and Objectives

The M.A. in English offers courses of study that students can apply toward advanced degrees or toward careers as writers or as teachers on the primary and secondary levels. All students graduating with the M.A. in English are expected to have developed an advanced knowledge of authors, literary genres and literary periods, also an advanced ability to analyze texts, contexts and important literary issues, using current critical approaches. Research, critical thinking and writing skills are integral components of all course work.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the M. A. in English program must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education. In general, students who have completed a substantial number of credits in English at the undergraduate level will receive preference for admission to the program. However, the M. A. in English program welcomes applicants from diverse educational backgrounds. Applicants with other undergraduate concentrations or majors will be considered. In all cases, a record of strong undergraduate academic achievement will merit preference over any other criterion for admission.

Prospective students for the Literature Option must include the following in their application:

  1. A 500-word statement of purpose explaining why they want to pursue graduate studies in English
  2. A writing sample, i.e., a substantial research essay on a literary topic (approximately 10 pages, typed, double- spaced, printed on 8 1/2” by 11” white bond paper).

Prospective students for the Writing Option must include the following in their application:

A substantial writing sample, an essay, 1,250 words minimum, typed, double-spaced, printed on 8 1/2” by 11” white bond paper. The department welcome business reports, conference papers and articles on nonacademic subjects, as well as formal research papers previously submitted for undergraduate or graduate credit.

Examples of creative writing and/or lesson plans do not satisfy the writing requirement. All submissions will be retained by the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process.

All applicants must have an entrance interview with the appropriate graduate coordinator. After the entrance interview, the graduate coordinator recommends whether or not to accept the applicant, or whether to accept the applicant conditionally (i.e., students may be asked to make up academic deficiencies), and forwards this recommendation to the Graduate Office.

Teaching Assistantships available.
Contact Chris Shankle (shanklec@wcsu.edu), Associate Director of Graduate Studies, for details.

Degree Requirements

Students in the Literature Option have two paths to fulfill degree requirements: Thesis or Comprehensive Examination, whereas a thesis is required of all Writing Option students (see below).

Literature Option students electing to take the comprehensive examination to complete their graduate studies in English will be tested on a reading list prepared by the English department. The three-hour comprehensive is a closed-book exam administered in November and April of each year. Students should indicate in writing to the graduate coordinator of the English Department their intention to take the comprehensive at least one full month in advance of either the November or April examination. The graduate coordinator will announce the specific time and place for each examination. “Comprehensive Examination Guidelines” is available from the graduate coordinator.

Literature Option students electing to write a thesis must register for ENG 592, Independent Thesis Research in English. A student electing to write a thesis must do so under the guidance of an English Department faculty member who agrees to direct the student’s work. The English department’s graduate committee must approve all thesis proposals and final drafts. Students choosing the thesis path should therefore consult with the graduate coordinator as well as the thesis director and closely follow the department’s “Thesis Guidelines.”

The Writing Option student must obtain a copy of the Writing Department Thesis Guidelines and follow the procedures described therein.

Master of Arts in English - Literature Option (30 SH)

Completion of the following

ENG 502 Critical Theory (3 SH)
ENG 506 History of the Language and Linguistics (3 SH)
One course in English literature (ENG 509, 513, 532, 534, or 541) (3 SH)
One Course in American Literature (ENG 552, 567, or 568) (3 SH)
One Course in Topic/Genre Studies (ENG 544, 570, 572, or 574) (3 SH)

Path A: Thesis
One more literature course in the MA program (3 SH)
ENG 592: Independent Thesis Research in English (6 SH)

Path B: Comprehensive Exam
Three more literature courses in the MA program (9 SH)
Completion of the Comprehensive Exam

Electives
Any other two courses in the MA program (6 SH)

Master of Arts in English - Writing Option (30 SH)

Completion of four English writing courses (12 SH)

Completion of the following
One course in English literature (ENG 509, 513, 532, 534, or 541) (3 SH)
One Course in American Literature (ENG 552, 567, or 568) (3 SH)
One Course in Topic/Genre Studies (ENG 544, 570, 572, or 574) (3 SH)
One more course in the MA program (3 SH)

Completion of Thesis
ENG 592: Independent Thesis Research in English (6 SH)

 

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