Program Emphases and Requirements

Requirements At a Glance

Emphasis Literary Studies Literature,
& Culture
Publishing &
Print Culture
Writing Studies Creative Writing
Total credits required 32 32 34 32 32
Total credits in major
(in addition to Plan B
credits, ENGL 8906, &
any related field courses)
20 20 21 20 20
Related field credits required Elective 6 6 Elective 6
Required gateway course ENGL 8906 ENGL 8906 ENGL 8906 ENGL 8906 ENGL 8906
Required 8000-level seminar courses 2
(in addition to
8906, 8094, or 8902)
(2 starting fall '18
in addition to
8906, 8094, or 8902)
(2 starting fall '18.
in addition to 
8906, 8094, or 8902)
(2 starting fall '18.
in addition to 
8906, 8094)
(in addition to
8906, 8094, or 8902)
Linguistics course Elective Elective Elective Elective Elective
Emphasis-specific required courses No Yes Yes No Yes
Foreign language required Yes Yes (or waived by 2 extra courses) Yes Yes (or waived by 2 extra courses) Yes
Plan B Projects required 2 2 2 2 2
Written exam required Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oral exam required Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

The requirements in the next section apply to all four of our program's emphases. At the bottom of the page are links to specific requirements for each of these emphases. 

Program Requirements Common to All Emphases

Prerequisites for Admission

In their undergraduate or previous graduate work, entering students should have completed at least

  • 30 credits in English or a related field (these may include credits in literature, language, and advanced composition, or other humanities disciplines),
  • 20 credits (among the 30 credits above) of upper division English courses
  • one course in English language or English linguistics.

Any deficiencies will be determined by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Graduate Committee. Certain course prerequisites may be taken concurrently with graduate work and may be applied toward degree.

Course Requirements for All Emphases

As summarized in the table above, successful M.A. candidates must:

  • take a minimum of total credit hours
  • achieve a total GPA of 3.0 or higher,
  • complete a minimum of credit hours within the major
  • pass 1 or 2 8000-level seminars, depending on the emphasis requirements, including ENGL 8171, ENGL 8181, ENGL 8191, or WRIT 8500
  • register for two credit hours of ENGL or WRIT 5591, as part of the hours required within the major, to account for work on the two Plan B Projects
  • establish proficiency in a foreign language or meet an equivalent requirement, depending on the emphasis
  • meet any linguistics requirement specified by the emphasis
  • take any specific courses required by the emphasis (within the minimum hours detailed above

Two Seminars

English MA students take two 8000-level seminars in addition to the introductory seminar, ENGL 8906.  See the descriptions of the specific requirements for each emphasis for details of which courses can and cannot satisfy this requirement.  

Two Plan B Projects

In the last year of the program, the candidate will submit two Plan B Projects, which will normally, but not necessarily, be developed from work completed in graduate courses in English, Writing Studies, or the related field(s). Each project must be supervised and, upon completion, approved by a member of the graduate faculty.

Comprehensive Examination

Under the supervision of an examining committee, the candidate will complete a comprehensive examination near the end of last semester of the program, including a 2-day, 6-hour written examination, as well as an oral exam.

Specific Requirements for Each Emphasis

Follow the links below to read further requirements specific to each emphasis of the M.A. program:

Literary Studies | Literature, Language and Culture | Publishing and Print Culture | Writing Studies