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M.A. English: Literary Studies & Teaching Specialization

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis after February 1st (priority deadline for assistantship applications)

Request Information     |     Apply to Graduate Program     |     4 Quarter Program of Study

The Literary Studies & Teaching specialization offers a rigorous, individualized program of advanced study of literature in English, while preparing graduates for careers in secondary school and college-level teaching, professional training and research, and writing in a range of disciplines and modalities. Students work closely with a faculty mentor and gain practical experience in teaching composition and literature. Students choose from an array of courses and select a thesis, exam, or portfolio option. Although allowed flexibility in their course of study, students are required to complete courses in transnational literary studies, literary and critical theory, literary genre, and teaching practice. Students may also select from approved elective courses in literary studies, linguistics, and writing. Students enter the program to further their understanding of literature, to strengthen their teaching qualifications, to broaden their writing experiences, and to prepare for doctoral work. This specialization may be completed either in-person or online.

Admission Requirements
In addition to the university guidelines concerning admission to graduate degree programs, students applying to the Literary Studies & Teaching specialization must also submit a 7-10 page writing sample of literary analysis (critical analysis of a literary work with reference to secondary works of literary criticism and/or literary theory). Note: GRE scores are no longer required for admission and assistantship applications. A limited number of teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis for resident on-campus students.

General Requirements of the Program
Students will complete a thesis, exam, or portfolio option. Students in each option take a minimum of 45 credits. At least 30 credits must be at the graduate level in English. Up to 10 credits may be taken in approved courses at the 400 level in English. Up to 5 credits may be taken in approved courses offered outside the English department.

Two-year Schedule

Core Courses (15 credits)

Select THREE of the following core English Studies courses:

Core Courses (15 credits)



ENG 513 Composition Theory (5)






ENG 518 Advanced Literary and Critical Theory (5)



ENG 556 Studies in Rhetoric (5) Fall


ENG 585 Publishing Strategies and Practice for Writers (5) Fall     Fall    


Required Courses (17 credits)

Intro Course (2 credits) 2022-2023 2023-2024
ENG 512 Introduction to English Graduate Study (2) Fall           Fall     



Select ONE of the following Literary Studies courses:

Literary Studies Courses (5 credits) 2022-2023 2023-2024
ENG 515 Advanced Studies in American Literature (5*)     Spr     Spr
ENG 517 Advanced Studies in World Literature (5*)   Win     Win  
ENG 519 Advanced Studies in British Literature (5*) Fall     Fall    

*May be repeated for credit under different subtitle


Select ONE of the following Literary Genre courses:

Literary Genre Courses (5 credits) 2022-2023 2023-2024
ENG 553 Advanced Studies in Fiction (5*)     Sum     Spr
ENG 554 Advanced Studies in Nonfiction (5*)   Win     Win  
ENG 555 Advanced Studies in Poetry (5*) Fall     Fall    
*May be repeated for credit under different subtitle


Select ONE of the following Teaching Practice courses:

Teaching Practice Courses 2022-2023 2023-2024
ENG 510 Teaching First Year Composition (5) Fall     Fall    
ENG 592 Teaching Practicum (5*)            
*Arranged course requires permission from instructor

Thesis Option (13 credits)

Students who choose the Thesis Option and who have the requisite GPA (see link below) may complete a research thesis. To prepare a thesis prospectus and complete their thesis, students must take two credits of English 596 (Individual Study) and six credits of English 700 (Thesis) with the chair of their thesis committee. Students will create, in conjunction with a three-member faculty thesis committee, an introduction and a reading list for their thesis that includes both texts central to their thesis and texts that contextualize their thesis within their chosen field of study. After completing their thesis, students must pass an oral exam administered by the committee over the thesis, introduction, and reading list.

Exam Option (13 credits)

Students who choose the Exam Option create, in conjunction with a three-member faculty exam committee, an individualized reading list of the material covered in that student's coursework and must pass a comprehensive written examination developed by the committee over that material. To prepare for and complete the exam, they will take three credits of English 596 (Individual Study) with the chair of their exam committee.

  • ENG 596: Individual Study for Exam (3)
  • Approved Electives (10)
  • Exam Procedures

Portfolio Option (15 credits)

Students who choose the Portfolio Option may complete a publishable article-length paper or a multi-disciplinary writing project with the requisite GPA (see link below). A multi-disciplinary writing project requires dedicated preparation in literary analysis, research, and writing coursework and is not intended for primarily creative writing projects. Students completing a writing project must take two 400-level or 500-level writing courses (at least one in the genre of their proposed writing project). Students completing the Portfolio Option must take three credits of English 596 (Individual Study) with the chair of their paper/project committee and English 589 (Portfolio)

Elective Courses (select from courses above or alternative electives below)

Alternative Elective Courses 2022-2023 2023-2024

ENG 420 English Linguistics (5)

Fall Win


  Win Spr

ENG 504 Advanced Technical Writing (5)





ENG 564 Advanced Fiction Writing (5)     Spr  


ENG 565 Advanced Poetry Writing (5)   Win




ENG 566 Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing (5)




ENG 568 Contemporary Writer's Colloquium (5)     Spr     Spr
ENG 572 Workplace Writing Research Methods (5)     Spr      
ENG 573 Grant Writing: Theory and Practice (5)     Sum      

ENG 574 Professional Writing in New Media (5)





Total Credits: 45-47


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