MA Program Course Plan

The Master of Arts in English allows students to develop their critical thinking, textual analysis, and writing abilities beyond the baccalaureate level through four tracks: literature, pedagogy, theater, and writing.

Students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and practicing writers in advanced seminars and workshops to study texts, hone editing skills, develop both original and research papers suitable for presentation at professional conferences, create original works for publication and gain experience in the production of a literary journal.

For many of our master’s candidates, including our teaching assistants, the program offers both theoretical and practical experience in the development of pedagogical approaches. It also serves as a preparation for further graduate study and as an arena for the development of employment skills such as teaching, editing and/or professional writing.

Each student’s program culminates in a thesis, internship, or portfolio suited to his or her interests and literary or professional strengths.

Program Requirements
Every Master of Arts degree candidate designs, in consultation with the program director and his or her adviser, a plan of study that includes a minimum 32 credit hours. Candidates for the non-degree graduate certificate program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) pursue a 20-credit-hour plan. TESOL credits can also count toward the pedagogy concentration in the master of arts program.

Each of the four concentrations has the following requirements:

  • EN 504 Principles of Critical Investigation (recommend taking during the first year)
  • 12 credits in the area of specialization (at least four credits at the 500-level)
  • Four credits of literature at the 500 level (considered part of the 12 credits in the literature concentration)
  • Up to four credits in the capstone project
  • EN 509 Teaching Colloquium (for teaching assistants only, taken during the summer and fall semester)

For department information or additional degree requirements, click here.

Total Credits Required for Degree:  32

EN 504 Principles of Critical Investigation (4
cr.)

Capstone Project
Choose one course from the following; see descriptions below: 1-8
EN 591 MA Practicum (1-6 cr.)
EN 592 Portfolio Project (1-3 cr.)
EN 599 Thesis (1-8 cr.)

Literature Requirement (500 level course considered part of the 12-credit Literature Concentration) 4

Choose one concentration from the following:

Literature Concentration
Choose 12 credits from the following: 12
EN 412 Chaucer (3-4 cr.)
EN 420 Shakespeare (3-4 cr.)
EN 430 Major Authors (3-4 cr.)
EN 462 Literature for Young Adults (3-4 cr.)
EN 495 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
EN 505 Genres of Writing (1-4 cr.)
EN 520 Topics in Literary Research (1-4 cr.)
EN 530 Major Authors (4 cr.)
EN 560 Literary Movements (4 cr.)
EN 570 Seminar in American Literature (4 cr.)
EN 590 Seminar in British Literature (4 cr.)
EN 595 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
EN 596 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
Or other adviser-approved literature courses

Pedagogy Concentration
Choose 12 credits from the following: 12
EN 414 History of the English Language (4 cr.)
EN 415 English Grammar and Usage (4 cr.)
EN 416 Second Language Acquisition (4 cr.)
EN 507 Advanced Writing Theory (4 cr.)
EN 509 Teaching Colloquium (4 cr.)
EN 510 Teaching Composition (4 cr.)
EN 511 Teaching Reading in the English Classroom (4 cr.)
EN 512 Teaching Literature (4 cr.)
EN 514 Seminar in the English Language (4 cr.)
EN 515 English Grammar and Usage (4 cr.)
EN 516 Second Language Acquisition (4 cr.)
EN 517 TESOL Methods and Materials (4 cr.)
EN 588 Upper Peninsula Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute (5 cr.)
EN 595 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
EN 596 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
Or other adviser-approved pedagogy courses

Theater Concentration
TH/SP credits (at the 400 and 500 level) chosen by student and adviser 12
including EN 500 level Literature Seminar (4 cr.)

Writing Concentration
Choose 12 credits from the following: 12
EN 400 Narrative Writing Seminar (4 cr.)
EN 401 Poetry Writing Seminar (4 cr.)
EN 402 Nonfiction Writing Seminar (4 cr.)
EN 403 Drama and Script Writing Seminar (4 cr.)
EN 405 Technical Writing Seminar (4 cr.)
EN 407 Feature and Magazine Writing Seminar (4 cr.)
EN 495W Special Topics: Writing (1-4 cr.)
EN 500 Fiction Workshop (1-6 cr.)
EN 501 Poetry Workshop (1-6 cr.)
EN 502 Nonfiction Workshop (1-6 cr.)
EN 503 Technical and Professional Writing Workshop (1-6 cr.)
EN 505 Genres of Writing (1-4 cr.)
EN 595 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
EN 596 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
Or other adviser-approved writing courses

Electives
400 level or above courses that qualify for graduate credit 0-12

Capstone Project Options

EN 591 Practicum (1-6 cr.)

Sometimes an appropriate form for a student’s final project is a practicum or practical experience. Students who complete a practicum as their capstone project must work with a faculty supervisor or a site supervisor on a defined project approved by the thesis selection committee that meets objectives suitable to the student’s ability and goals. The prospectus for a practicum should be three to five pages long and include objectives, nature of activities, a description of the site and the participants. The project will include 50 practical hours for each hour of academic credit, a concluding report of 35-40 pages, which must include the original prospectus, the data and materials generated, samples of writing produced, as well as conclusions on the effectiveness of the project.

EN 592 Portfolio Project (1-3 cr.)

A long thesis, research project, or internship may not be the best capstone alternative for particular students, such as current teachers, technical writers, administrators or students pursuing a dual concentration. Such students might benefit more from additional course work and a portfolio development project. EN 592 Portfolio Project requires revisions of at least one critical paper and one paper in the student’s concentration. The portfolio must be a minimum of 20 pages, or 15 pages per credit hour for 2-3 credit hours. Papers may be new works or revisions of previously written papers. Each student, however, will be expected to work with a faculty director to revise, update and prepare the materials for his or her portfolio.

EN 599A Thesis (1-8 cr.)

This option requires a thesis chair and a reader. A 500-word proposal is submitted to the thesis selection committee for literary analysis, creative writing (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction or drama), technical writing and research projects. Poetry theses will be a minimum of 25 pages and all other theses must be a minimum of 40 pages.

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