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Department of History

Master of Arts in English

Thesis Option

The Master of Arts degree in English with thesis is designed forthe student who wishes to develop advanced scholarly writing and research skills, often as preparation for seeking a doctoral degree. This program requires the completion of at least 36 hours of approved graduate-level courses in courses offered by the department, including 6 semester hours of thesis. Beginning in 2013, students will have the option of pursuing a Master of Arts degree in English with Thesis that includes a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition.

In recent years, thesis topics have ranged widely, from collections of short stories and a novella to studies of Shakespearean pedagogy to detailed critical analyses of works from a range of literary periods. The thesis option gives students the opportunity to probe deeply into a focused question, with the guidance of a faculty director and two additional faculty readers, which permits the writer to develop her or his scholarly voice, critical stance, and academic acumen.

At least half the work presented for the degree must be 600-level courses. Immediately upon entering the graduate program, the student should develop, with the graduate director, an individual course of study that meets the requirements for the degree and the student's objectives. The program of study for the Thesis Option requires that students take the following coures

Language and Literature Thesis Option

  • ENGL 600 Materials and Methods of Research in English*
  • ENGL 602 Critical Theory *
  • ENGL 695 Thesis **
  • ENGL 696 Thesis**
  • British Literature prior to 1784 *
  • British Literature after 1784 *
  • American Literature *
  • A Major Figures Course *
  • Collateral courses in supporting areas or departments * (0-9 semester hours, as appropriate)
  • 500-600 Level English Electives (0-24 semester hours)
  • To be eligible for graduation, a student must fulfill all course requirements, meet graduate school foreign language and eligibility requirements, and perform satisfactorily on a final comprehensive examination, and successfully defend the Master's Thesis.

Rhetoric and Composition Thesis Option

  • ENGL 600 Materials and Methods of Research in English*
  • ENGL 602 Critical Theory *
  • ENGL 695 Thesis **
  • ENGL 696 Thesis**
  • British Literature prior to 1784 *
  • British Literature after 1784 *
  • American Literature *
  • A Major Figures Course *
  • Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition (WRIT 610 or WRIT 615)
  • A course in New Directions in Rhetoric and Composition (WRIT 501, 502, 510 on an approved topic) or a course approved by the Graduate Director
  • Two elective courses at the 500- or 600-level in WRIT or ENGL from the following list: WRIT 500, 501, 502, 510, 599, 610, 615; ENGL 507, 510, 530, 615, 620, 655, 697, 698) or courses approved by the Graduate Director
  • To be eligible for graduation, a student must fulfill all course requirements, meet graduate school foreign language and eligibility requirements, and perform satisfactorily on a final comprehensive examination, and successfully defend the Master's Thesis.

The Department has created guidelines for ENGL 695 and 696 (pdf- 353 kb) that cover the thesis proposal (pdf- 275 kb), your schedule, and the work you must complete in ENGL 695 and 696 in order to complete the thesis.

* These requirements are to assure a variety of experiences. If a student has a strong background in a particular area, he or she may substitute another course or area, with permission of the graduate director.

** Before registering, student must have successfully completed 9 semester hours of a foreign language or have passed a language examination approved by the department.

For information about course offeringsand  program requirements, please contact Dr. Jo Koster.

Visit the Graduate School for more information.