Program Requirements

Course requirements are grouped into distributional categories to reflect the various focuses of the profession, particularly the emphases on composition and rhetoric, creative writing, and cultural studies and theory.  The number of units required for the MA is 30, not including the courses necessary to satisfy the program's language requirement.  In addition to coursework requirements, students must complete a project and portfolio as specified below.

I.  Graduate Distribution Requirements: Classes are distributed among four categories; students will select at least one course from three of these categories.  They may then choose to specialize, via electives, in one of the fields designated within the M.A. program.  The fields of inquiry identified are the following:

  • Language, Composition and Rhetoric
  • Creative Writing
  • Cultural Studies/Theory
  • Literature

The M.A. in English 30-unit Course of Study requires the following:
ENGL 500 Introduction to Graduate Studies (to be taken during the first year)
1 course each from three of the four categories listed above
5 electives
ENGL 595 Project Writing [and Portfolio Preparation] course (to be taken during the final semester)

In addition, students must satisfy a language requirement by taking a 400 level course in Linguistics, taking a 400 level course in a foreign language or literature course, or completing the equivalent of two years of study in a foreign language.  With adviser approval, students may include up to 6 units of 400 level courses on their study plan and up to 3 units of study from a discipline other than English.

Areas of Study:

Language, Composition, and Rhetoric
ENGL 401               Writing as Student and Teacher
ENGL 402               Theories of Response to Written Composition (2)
ENGL 402S             Tutor Supervision (1)
ENGL 510               Rhetorical Criticism and Discourse Analysis
ENGL 525T             Proseminar in Literature, Rhetoric, or Writing (Topics on Rhetoric)

ENGL 575T             Graduate Seminar: Topics in Teaching
ENGL 590               Writing Theory and Practice for Teaching Associates (2)
ENGL 590S             Teaching Associate Supervision (1)
ENGL 591T             Seminar: Topics in Rhetoric and Composition

Creative Writing
ENGL 509T             Creative Writing Workshop (Fiction, Non Fiction, Poetry, or Playwriting)
ENGL 515               Professional Editing and Journal Production
ENGL 525T             Proseminar in Literature, Rhetoric or Writing (Topic: Poetic Form and Theory)
ENGL 404T             Advanced Creative Writing (Fiction, Non Fiction, Poetry, or Playwriting)

Cultural Criticism/Theory
ENGL 491               Traditions of English Literary Criticism
ENGL 492               Modern Critical Theory
ENGL 574T             Graduate Seminar: Special Problems in Literature (same as CPLT 574T)
ENGL 579T             Graduate Seminar: Problems in Criticism (same as CPLT 579T)

ENGL 525T             Proseminar in Literature, Rhetoric, or Writing (same as CPLT 525T)
ENGL 571T             Graduate Seminar: Major Writers (same as CPLT 571T)
ENGL 572T             Graduate Seminar: Literary Genres (same as CPLT 572T)
ENGL 573T             Graduate Seminar: Cultural Periods (same as CPLT 573T)

II. The Culminating Experience: M.A. Project and Portfolio
In the process of completing their 30-unit course of study, students must complete a Culminating Experience consisting of a Project and a Portfolio.

A. Project/Portfolio Proposal
Based on their interests and in conjunction with their adviser, students must choose a project topic and one of the portfolio options. In the semester before submitting the project/portfolio proposals--two semesters before the final semester--students will attend a mandatory workshop on writing and submitting a proposal.  Students will submit to the Graduate Studies Committee their project/portfolio proposals the semester prior to their final semester, using the form provided herePDF File Opens in new window .  The proposal must include a description of their project (see project guidelines below) as well as an explanation of the project's anticipated relationship to the particular portfolio option that the student has selected.  The project/portfolio proposal must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.  A detailed description of each element of the Culminating Experience is offered below.

B.  Part One:  Project
With an adviser and in conjunction with ENGL 595, Project Writing, students must complete a minimum 25-30 page project (excluding bibliography and other ancillary materials). The project can emerge from their own professional and personal interests in the discipline, from papers or presentations completed in seminars, or from work that complements the material in their Portfolio.  The project must consist of an intensive exploration of a student's chosen subject matter resulting in the creation of a professional quality document.  Projects may be written in a variety of genres and may have a critical, pedagogical, or creative emphasis.

The project will be evaluated by each student's faculty adviser in conjunction with the instructor in ENGL 595.  Each project will be evaluated for its completeness and quality in relation to the parameters the student has set in the original proposal, the thoroughness of its research (where appropriate), and the extent to which it has been revised and polished in light of the feedback received from the faculty advisor and the instructor in ENGL 595.

C. Part Two:  Portfolio
Based on their interests and in conjunction with their adviser, students must choose one of the portfolio options.   Work on the portfolio may begin with course work completed in English 500, Introduction to Graduate Studies in English. Papers written for other graduate seminars may also form the basis of work included in the portfolio.  Contents of the portfolio may be reviewed by the student's adviser or other faculty members as they are completed; the entire portfolio must be completed and reviewed by a faculty review committee in week 8 of the student's final semester in the graduate program.