M.A. Degree Requirements

The M.A. degree in English requires a 32-unit course of study in the Literature option, or a 30-unit course of study in the Rhetoric & Writing Studies option. The program is intended to take two years, and you are limited to five years to complete the requirements.

Visit the Fresno State catalog for full program information, for both the Literature and Rhetoric & Writing Studies options.

Literature option

The Master of Arts program in English, Literature Option, serves several categories of students: those teaching high. school and community college, those anticipating doctoral studies, those studying creative or expository writing, and those simply interested in extending and intensifying the knowledge acquired in their undergraduate studies.

Consult the M.A. coordinator every semester for program planning.

Coursework Requirements

The M.A. in English, Literature Option is a 32-unit program, divided among core requirements and electives.

Under the direction of a graduate coordinator, each student prepares and submits a coherent program, individually designed within the following framework:

Core Requirements
ENGL 205 (4 units)
ENGL 250T and/or 280T (12 units)
ENGL 299 (Thesis) (4 units)

Electives
Approved electives in English or other fields (see Specific Requirements) (12 units)

Total (32 units)

ENGL 205 should be completed during the first year of a student's program of study. The maximum number of combined ENGL 290 and 291 units that may be applied to a student's program is 4 units. Students will usually enroll in ENGL 299 (2 units each) over two consecutive semesters.

Specific Requirements - Breadth

Breadth Requirements: The following breadth requirements provide the necessary foundation for advanced literary study. They may be completed either at the undergraduate or graduate level:

  • Shakespeare (one course)
  • British Literature (two additional courses)
  • American Literature (one course)
  • World Literature (one course)

Most core courses must be completed in the English Department; however, electives may be selected from outside departments in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

Of the 32 units required for completion of the M.A. degree in English, Literature Option, no more than 8 units may be from undergraduate, upper-division courses. Undergraduate, upper-division courses that do not count towards the English major may not be used for the M.A. degree.

Specific Requirements - Language

Language Requirement: The English Department requires candidates for the M.A. in English, Literature Option to demonstrate a reading knowledge in a language other than English.

This requirement can be satisfied at the undergraduate or graduate level through two years (four semesters) of coursework in a modem language other than English, one year (two semesters) of coursework in a classical language, or by taking a translation examination approved by the English Department.

Students must satisfy this requirement prior to advancing to candidacy.

Specific Requirements - Graduate Writing Skills

Graduate Writing Skills Requirement: The university mandates that M.A. candidates demonstrate the ability to write "commensurate with society's expectations of persons who hold advanced degrees" and "in formats and styles appropriate to their disciplines."

In order to comply with this requirement, the department evaluates a sample essay that emerges from work in a graduate seminar. Evaluation can occur at any point once the program has begun; it must be met before the candidate can advance to candidacy and thus qualify to write a culminating project.

Students must satisfy this requirement prior to advancing to candidacy.

Rhetoric & Writing Studies option

The Master of Arts program in English, Rhetoric & Writing Studies Option, serves several categories of students: those teaching high school and community college, those anticipating doctoral studies, those studying creative or expository writing, and those simply interested in extending and intensifying the knowledge acquired in their undergraduate studies.

Consult the M.A. coordinator every semester for program planning.

Coursework Requirements

Under the direction of a graduate adviser, each student prepares and submits a coherent program individually designed within the following framework:

ENGL 205 (4 units)
ENGL 278T250T, or 280T (8 units)
ENGL 270 (4 units)
ENGL 281 (4 units)
Approved electives in English or other fields (4 units)
ENGL 299 (Thesis -- writing theory, pedagogy, literacy studies, rhetorical theory and criticism) (4 units)
ENGL 282 (2 units)

Total (30 units)

ENGL 205 should be completed during the first year of a student's program of study. The maximum number of combined ENGL 290 and 291 units that may be applied to a student's program is 4 units. Students will usually enroll in ENGL 299 (2 units each) over two consecutive semesters.

Electives may be selected from outside departments in consultation with the graduate coordinator.

Specific Requirements - Teaching

Teaching Requirement: At some period before the completion of the M.A. Rhetoric and Writing Studies Option, the candidate must be engaged in teaching or co-teaching a course with a strong writing component.

While most candidates would be teaching in the English Department, other teaching assignments will apply in consultation with the instructor of English 282. Enrollment in ENGL 282 should take place in the same semesters that the student is fulfilling the teaching requirement.

Specific Requirements - Language

Language Requirement: The English Department requires candidates for the M.A. in English -Rhetoric and Writing Studies Option to demonstrate a reading knowledge of one language other than English.

This requirement can be satisfied at the undergraduate or graduate level through two years (four semesters) of coursework in a modern language other than English, one year (two semesters) of coursework in classical languages, or by taking a translation examination approved by the English Department.

Students must satisfy this requirement prior to advancing to candidacy.

Specific Requirements - Graduate Writing Skills

Graduate Writing Skills Requirement: The university mandates that M.A. candidates demonstrate the ability to write "commensurate with society's expectations of persons who hold advanced degrees" and "in formats and styles appropriate to their disciplines."

In order to comply with this requirement, the department evaluates a sample essay that emerges from work in a graduate seminar. Evaluation can occur at any point once the program has begun; it must be met before the candidate can advance to candidacy and thus qualify to write a culminating project.

Students must satisfy this requirement prior to advancing to candidacy.

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