English Department

Handbook for Graduate Students in English

CONCENTRATIONS: REQUIREMENTS FOR M.A. DEGREE

Concentration in Literature

The M.A. in English with a Concentration in Literature allows students to focus on literature, critical theory, cultural studies, linguistics, and/or pedagogy.

Literature Concentration: Degree Requirements (33-credit minimum)

  1. Core courses (8 credits): ENG 510 and ENG 511
  2. Graduate Seminars (8 credits): ENG 695 (taken twice, with change in topic)
  3. Electives (12 credits): Courses numbered ENG 506 and higher; at least one additional graduate seminar is recommended.
  4. Thesis (5 credits): ENG 699. To earn these credits, the student must prepare an acceptable master's thesis of 30 to 50 pages, written under the direction of two English graduate faculty members.
  5. A successful Master's Examination based on the student's thesis topic (graded Pass, Honors, or High Honors).

There is no foreign language requirement, though students are encouraged to learn at least one foreign language.

Composition course requirements for teaching assistants: Graduate students who are beginning as teaching assistants must take ENG 506 and ENG 507. Graduate students who completed ENG 308 Composition Theory as undergraduates are required to attend ENG 506 sessions in fall semester but should not register for credit for this course. Graduate students who completed four credits of ENG 309 Writing Center Practicum as undergraduates are required to attend ENG 507 workshops in fall semester but should not register for this course.

Outcomes

M.A. Graduates in the Literature Track should be able to

  1. Demonstrate the ability to interpret texts and to defend these interpretations effectively.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to focus on and define a problem; work on this problem must have the potential to advance scholarly or pedagogical work in the field.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to synthesize an approach to the problem by drawing on the significant relevant scholarship.
  4. Render his/her analysis in compelling prose, and in a form suitable for publication in reputable venues. The writing ought to be as clear as the nature of the subject will permit.
  5. Situate his/her findings within current scholarly or critical debate on this topic; the student should be able to do so both orally and in his or her written work.
  6. Demonstrate awareness of the limits of his or her claims or analytic approach.

Concentration in Creative Writing

The M.A. in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing gives students critical and linguistic training together with graduate level work in the writing of poetry, fiction, drama, and literary non-fiction under the supervision of full-time faculty members and visiting writers-in-residence. The program is coordinated by Dr. Neal Chandler.

Admission to the Concentration is based on a portfolio of writing, in whatever genres the student wishes to submit. Portfolios will normally include at least 20 pages of work. Students who are not accepted into the writing curriculum at the time of their original application may enter the regular M.A. program, take courses in writing and otherwise strive to improve their portfolios, and apply again. For further information, consult with Dr. Chandler at (216) 687-4522. Course requirements for the M.A. in English-Creative Writing (33 Credits) are defined as follows:

Creative Writing Concentration: Degree Requirements (33-credit minimum)

  1. Core courses (8 credits): ENG 510 and ENG 512
  2. Graduate Seminars (8 credits): ENG 695 (taken twice, with change in topic); creative writing students may substitute ENG 535 or another modern or contemporary literature course for one of the ENG 695 seminars.
  3. Electives (12 credits): Courses numbered ENG 506 and higher; at least one creative writing course (ENG 602) is recommended.
  4. Thesis (5 credits): ENG 699. To earn these credits, the student must prepare a successful master's creative writing project under the direction of two English graduate faculty members. The project may be a collection of short stories, essays, or poems, a play, or part of a novel, judged to be of high quality.
  5. A successful Master's Examination based on the student's creative writing project (graded Pass, Honors, or High Honors).

Students will be advised by the members of the English department regularly assigned to teach creative writing.

Outcomes

M.A. Graduates in the Creative Writing Track should be able to

  1. Demonstrate the ability to revise.
  2. Demonstrate progress toward producing publishable creative work.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of literary journals and magazines.
  4. Demonstrate a knowledge and an ability to speak of the literary tradition of her/his particular genre, including contemporary work, and where she/he fits in.
  5. Demonstrate technical mastery of various elements of genres.