Specific Requirements for the Emphasis in Literary Studies

The M.A. in English with Emphasis on Literary Studies provides concentrated study of English, American, and World literatures and cultures. The following are requirements in addition to those common to all four of the program emphases.

Two Seminars

Students in the Literary Studies Emphasis of the English MA Program will complete two 8000-level seminars beyond the required ENGL 8906 (ENGL 8171, ENGL 8181, ENGL 8191, WRIT 8500, or others with approval), which are normally offered only in spring semesters.  For this emphasis, WRIT 8902 cannot be counted toward this requirement. 

The Optional Related Field

Within the required 32 credits, students have the elective option of taking six credits in a related field or fields. Related field courses may be at the 4000, 5000, or 8000 level and must be offered for graduate credit. If the related field option is chosen, a faculty member from that field will participate in the comprehensive exam.

Language Requirement

Candidates in the Literary Studies Emphasis are required to have a reading knowledge of one of the following languages: French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Russian, or Spanish. A language not on this list may be chosen by students who can show its relevance to their degree program. No candidate may satisfy this requirement with English. Under certain circumstances the requirement may be waived for foreign students.

Comprehensive Examination:

Under the supervision of an examining committee, the candidate will be given a 2-day, 6-hour written examination on:

  1. A literary text to be selected and approved at least four weeks before the examination (2 hours).
  2. A list of 25-30 literary works to be chosen and approved at least four weeks before the examination. (3 hours).
  3. The related field(s), or a set of synthetic questions (1 hour).

On the fourth working day after completion of the written exam portion, the candidate will meet with the examining committee for the oral portion of the comprehensive exam (one hour).

For details, see The Comprehensive Exam for the MA in English: The Literary Studies Emphasis.