English, MA

The MA in English, offered face-to-face or online, prepares students to be teachers, scholars, writers and editors and to work in a variety of professions, including government, public humanities, libraries, museums, advertising, fundraising and public relations. MA in English students choose one of four distinct tracks in order to pursue their unique interests: comparative literature; literature; writing, rhetorics and literacies; or English studies (online).

Employers and medical schools are increasingly seeking applicants who have skills honed in the humanities. ASU Department of English students are particularly well-placed since they are afforded flexible options for degree-culminating experiences to meet their professional and academic needs. As one of the largest English departments in the country, the number of avenues to explore here are virtually limitless.

2 years to degree
4 unique tracks
Accelerated option

Degree Overview

This 30-hour program requires 27 or 24 hours of coursework and either 3 or 6 hours toward the culminating experience. There is a language requirement. The ideal candidate will have an interest in literature, writing, language and cultural studies with career goals in teaching, writing, publishing, and communication. The GRE is not required for the application.

Accelerated Degree Option

This degree is also offered in an accelerated format with the English, BA literature track. This accelerated option is often referred to as a 4+1 program. 4+1 programs provide top undergraduate students in the literature concentration the flexibility to begin taking classes toward their master's degree in English with a track in literature during their undergraduate degree program. You can find out more information at https://english.clas.asu.edu/4-1-ba-ma-english-literature.

 

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior and senior years, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

Tracks

The MA in English encompasses four distinct tracks:

  • Comparative literature --- students interpret cultural productions in English and at least one other language, and they explore approaches ranging from textual criticism, critical theory and translation to cultural studies and the social sciences.
  • English studies (Online) --- Students in this online delivery format learn how to interpret and articulate complex cultural, historical, literary and language related ideas into accessible material for general audiences through a series of courses from across disciplinary areas of study.
  • Literature --- students develop and hone skills in oral presentation, writing and critical thinking while exploring social, historical and cultural contexts.
  • Writing, rhetoric and literacies --- This program offers a wide array of courses encompassing the history, theory and practice of rhetoric and pedagogy of writing.

How to apply

All applications for admission to the program must be approved by the admissions committee in the Department of English and by the Graduate College. There are several requirements for admission, none of which will be arbitrarily disregarded, and the best applicants will meet or exceed all of these criteria. However, the admissions committee will consider the individual aspects of each application.

For details, see the Application Procedures link or the Apply Now button in the left menu.

I chose ASU because of the diversity it offers. It’s a place where you are able to gain different perspectives. New ideas are welcome. ASU is the place for innovation and cutting-edge research. There are professors here who are doing amazing work in their fields, and I love being part of that.

--Victoria Baugh, MA in English 2017

Curriculum

Comparative literature

To earn the Master of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in comparative literature, a candidate must complete at least 30 hours at the graduate level with a minimum of 12 hours in a language other than English. In addition, special needs can be met with reading and conference (ENG 590). Depending on chosen culminating experience, applied project students take 9 elective credits and thesis students take 6 elective credits.

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.

Requirements and electives

Hours

Core Course - Approaches to Research

3

Required Courses

15

Electives

6 or 9

Thesis or Applied Project

6 or 3

Total hours required

30

English studies

An ambitious and hardworking student may be able to complete the Master of Arts degree in English studies online in one academic year. Although, it does depend on several factors: A student would need to take 2 courses per 7.5 week session, which is a heavy workload but doable if you have enough time every week to devote to studying.

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.

Requirements and electives

Hours

Core Course - Approaches to Research

3

Required Courses

12

Electives

12

Graduate Capstone Seminar

3

Total hours required

30

Literature

To earn the Master of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in literature, a candidate must complete at least 30 hours of graduate courses (i.e., courses that carry 500-level credit).

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.

Requirements and electives

Hours

Core Course - Approaches to Research

3

Required Courses

9

Electives

12 or 15

Thesis or Applied Project

6 or 3

Total hours required

30

The MA in English with a track in literature program is highly flexible, allowing students to take courses broadly in their areas of interest. See the graduate catalog for a list of possible courses and descriptions.

https://webapp4.asu.edu/catalog/courselist?s=ENG&l=grad&t=2187&college=LA&hon=F&gg=F

Writing, rhetorics, and literacies

To earn the MA in English with an emphasis in writing, rhetorics, and literacies, a candidate must complete at least 30 hours of graduate courses. Students work closely with their chair to pursue individual interests in rhetoric and composition and to make connections with other fields.

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.

Requirements ane electives

Hours

Core Course - Approaches to Research

3

Required Courses

6

Electives

15 or 18

Thesis or Applied Project

6 or 3

Total hours required

30

Courses and electives

Minimum Course Requirements:

  • 30 credit hours including the required applied project course (ENG 593) and a foreign language exam, or 
  • 30 credit hours including the required capstone course (ENG 597) and a foreign language exam, or 
  • 30 credit hours, a thesis (ENG 599) and a foreign language exam

In coordination with the program director and with the student’s committee chair, students can largely design their own programs of study within a general set of requirements.  

Core Course (3 credit hours):

  • ENG 501 Approaches to Research

Required Courses (15 credit hours):

  • One course in concept and methods (course in comparative literature, criticism, or translation)

  • Four courses in a language other than English

Electives (6 or 9 credit hours):

  • These choices must be approved by the program director or the student’s committee chair.

Culminating Experience (6 or 3 credit hours):

  • Thesis: (24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of ENG 599 Thesis). Under the direction of the supervisory committee, the student writes a master's thesis and defends it at an oral examination. Each candidate in the program is closely advised by a three-member supervisory committee, chosen by the student. Each examination will be evaluated by the student’s supervisory committee as named on the student's plan of study.

  • Non-thesis Option: (27 hours of coursework and 3 hours of ENG 593 Applied Project). Student works with an applied project director and one additional committee member. There will be an oral presentation of the project.

Questions about the degree requirements can be directed to the Graduate Program Manager or the Graduate Academic Success Specialist.

Core course (3 credit hours):

  • ENG 501 Approaches to Research

Required courses (12 credit hours):

One course in linguistics:

  • LIN 510 Linguistics

  • LIN 517 History of English Language

One course in literature:

  • ENG 502 Contemporary Literary Theory

  • ENG 504 Cross-Cultural Studies

  • ENG 534 Shakespeare

  • ENG 535 Studies in 18th- and 19th-Century British Literature

  • ENG 536 Studies in American Lit Before 1900

  • ENG 539 Yeats and Irish Revival

  • ENG 560 Genre Studies

One course in writing, rhetorics, and literacies:

  • ENG 551 Rhetorical Traditions

  • ENG 552 Composition Studies

  • ENG 553 Technologies of Writing

  • ENG 556 Theories of Literacy

One course in English Education:

  • ENG 507 Methods/Issues Teaching Comp

  • ENG 540 Teaching Young Adult Literature

  • ENG 541 Teaching Texts in Secondary Classrooms

Electives (12 credit hours):

  • 6 of these credits will be courses within the department (ENG, LIN or FMS)

  • 6 of these credits can be taken outside of the department*

*MLS and Foreign Language courses (SPA/GER/FRE/ITA) are pre-approved electives, however, other courses (ie. BLE, History, etc.) will need to be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Culminating experience (3 credit hours):

  • ENG 597 Graduate Capstone Seminar (3) - taken in the last semester

Course work in literature should not all be from the same national tradition. ENG 590 Reading and Conference will not ordinarily be used as a portion of the 30-hour MA in English, especially when it would duplicate study available through regularly scheduled courses, but may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Students should consult the director of the Master's in literature program for advice.

Core course (3 credit hours):

  • ENG 501 Approaches to Research

Required courses (9 credit hours):

  • A course in literary theory (ENG 502 Critical Theory or an equivalent)

  • Two graduate seminars at the 600 level

Distribution requirement - one class is required in each of these areas:

  • A course in literature before 1660

  • A course in literature 1660-1900

  • A course in literature since 1900

Electives (12 or 15 credit hours):

  • These choices must be approved by the program director or the student’s committee chair.

Culminating experience (6 or 3 credit hours):

  • Thesis: (ENG 599 - 6 credits) 24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis. Under the direction of the supervisory committee (chair and two members), the student writes a master's thesis and defends it at an oral examination.

  • Non-thesis Option: (ENG 593 - 3 credits) 27 hours of coursework and 3 hours of ENG 593 Applied Project. Student works with an applied project director and one additional committee member. There will be an oral presentation of the project.

This program emphasizes rhetorical strategies of oral, written, material, and digital texts through classical and contemporary theories, methods, and contexts. Students work closely with the director to pursue individual interests and to make connections with other fields.

Core course (3 credit hours):

  • ENG 501 Approaches to Research

Required courses (6 credit hours):

One course in rhetoric theory:

  • ENG 551 Rhetorical Traditions

  • ENG 554 Rhetorics of Race, Class, and Gender

  • ENG 556 Theories of Literacy

One course in composition theory:

  • ENG 552 Composition Studies

  • ENG 553 Technologies of Writing

Electives (15 or 18 credit hours):

  • These choices must be approved by the program director or the student’s committee chair.*

*At least two electives must be at the 600 level, for example:

  • ENG 651 Advanced Studies in the History and Theories of Rhetoric

  • ENG 652 Advanced Composition Studies

  • ENG 654 Advanced Studies in Rhetoric, Writing, Technology, and Culture

  • ENG 655 Disciplinary Discourses  

  • ENG 656 Studies in Cross-Cultural Discourse

Culminating experience (6 or 3 credit hours):

  • Thesis: (ENG 599 - 6 credits) 24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis. Under the direction of the supervisory committee (chair and two members), the student writes a master's thesis and defends it at an oral examination.

  • Non-thesis Option: (ENG 593 - 3 credits) 27 hours of coursework and 3 hours of ENG 593 Applied Project. Student works with an applied project director and one additional committee member. There will be an oral presentation of the project.

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