MA in Literature

The English Department offers a terminal Master of Arts degree to students who qualify for an advanced education in the study of literature and literary criticism. Most students seek this degree as an end itself to further their professional and personal educational goals; others plan to pursue a doctoral degree in other programs. Students entering the M.A. program should be prepared for the time-consuming rigors of research and for writing at levels well above the undergraduate level. Graduate students at the M.A. level must become familiar with not only the primary literature but also the pertinent research and scholarship and a variety of ways of thinking about literary culture.

The program’s goals are to teach students scholarly techniques, to introduce them to literary criticism, critical theory and the study of the English language, as well as to provide access to a broad range of literatures written in English. The M. A. curriculum allows students to mold their own education, encouraging them to learn about literature and to master approaches their previous training might have slighted. Students should endeavor to deepen and expand their knowledge of literatures in English, begin to understand what critics and theorists past and present have contributed to the study of literature, and start forming coherent approaches to literary texts.