Master of Arts in English  

Heather Levy, Graduate Coordinator, Literature Phone: (203) 837-3272
leveyh@wcsu.edu 
Writing Option – Consult with Department Chair
 
Laurel Richards, Department Secretary, HI 205 Phone: (203) 837-9041
  richardsl@wcsu.edu
Fax: (203) 837-8912

Literature Option Faculty:

Michael J. Chappell, Donald P. Gagnon, Anam K. Govardhan, Heather Levy, Margaret P. Murray, Ingrid Pruss, Shouhua Qi, Margaret Judith (Judy) Sullivan, Cigdem Usekes

Writing Option Faculty:

Brian Clements, Kelli Custer, Oscar De Los Santos, Edward A. Hagan, Patrick Ryan

Program Overview and Mission

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in English at Western has three options: literature, writing, and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). 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 and TESOL options. 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.

Learning Goals and Objectives

All students graduating with the M.A. in English are expected to have developed an advanced knowledge of authors, literary genres and literary periods, and 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 to 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:

  • a 500-word statement of purpose explaining why they want to pursue graduate studies in English
  • 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 and TESOL Options must include the following in their application: 

A substantial writing sample, i.e., an essay, 1,250 words minimum, typed, double-spaced, printed on 8 1/2-by-11 white bond paper. The department welcomes 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 Division of Graduate Studies.

Degree Requirements

Students in the Literature and TESOL options 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 examination 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. 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.” 

TESOL option (currently not offering program) students electing to take the comprehensive examination to complete their graduate studies in English will be tested on reading lists prepared by the English and writing departments. The three-hour comprehensive (two hours on literature, one hour on TESOL) is a closed-book exam administered in November and April of each year. Students should indicate in writing to the graduate coordinators of both the English and the writing departments their intention to take the comprehensive examination at least one full month in advance of either the November or April examination. The graduate coordinators will announce the specific time and place for each examination. “Comprehensive Examination Guidelines” is available from the English graduate coordinator.

TESOL 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 or Writing Department faculty member who agrees to direct the student’s work. TESOL students choosing the thesis path should, therefore, consult with the Writing Department’s graduate coordinator and closely follow the Writing Department’s “Thesis Guidelines.” 

Writing option Students must register for ENG 592, Independent Thesis Research in English, and write a thesis under the guidance of a Writing Department faculty member who agrees to direct the student’s work. The writing option student must obtain a copy of the Writing Department Thesis Guidelines and follow the procedures described therein.

Literature Option (30 SH)

Completion of the following:

ENG 502 Critical Theory 3 SH
ENG 506 Studies in the 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 M.A. program 3 SH
ENG 592: Independent Thesis Research in English 6 SH

Path B: Comprehensive Exam

Three more literature courses in the M.A. program 9 SH
Completion of the Comprehensive Exam

Electives

Any other two courses in the M.A. program 6 SH

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 M.A. program 3 SH

Completion of Thesis

ENG 592: Independent Thesis Research in English 6 SH

TESOL Option (30 SH) *Currently not offering program

Completion of TESOL Requirements:

ENG 506 Studies in the History of the Language and Linguistics 3 SH
ENG 515 TESOL Testing and Assessment 3 SH
ENG 516 TESOL Methodology 3 SH
ENG 517 Grammars of Grammars 3 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

Path A: Thesis

One more course in the M.A. program 3 SH
ENG 592: Independent Thesis Research in English 6 SH

Path B: Comprehensive Exam

Three more courses in the M.A. program 9 SH
Completion of the Comprehensive Exam

 

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