MA in English Literature


Program Description

This graduate program in English is designed to provide advanced study in Composition Studies. It provides for personal and professional advancement, particularly in teaching, research, writing, journalism, publishing and editorial work. The program also prepares students for studies at the Ph.D. level.

Two Major Options:

  • Concentration in Composition, MA
  • Concentration in Literature, MA

Courses in this program will help students achieve substantial preparation in a variety of areas, including writing theories, writing pedagogies, alternative literacies and the relationship between composition and literature. It will be up to each student to determine his or her personal and professional needs and, with the graduate advisor, to create a program that will address both program requirements and individual needs.

Career Options

Students who graduate with an M.A. in English can find a career as a:

  • teacher/instructor (community college levels)
  • creative writer
  • editor
  • journalist
  • critic
  • public relations specialist
  • speechwriter
  • communications specialist

Degree Requirements

All graduate credits must be at the 400 level, except for a maximum of two 300-level courses specifically approved for graduate degree credits in English (see list below). Be sure to consult with your program advisor before registering for any 300-level course.

ENGL-300 Russian Literature: From Gogol To Chekhov 3
ENGL-307 Medieval Studies- The Development Of The Arthurian Legend 3
ENGL-308 English Literature From Beowulf To Malory 3
ENGL-314 Chaucer And His Age 3
ENGL-316 Forms Of Poetry 3
ENGL-368 American Realism 3
ENGL-376 Advanced Composition 3
ENGL-377 Argumentative Prose 3
ENGL-381 African-American Literature 3

A student’s coursework should be planned with a view to achieving adequate and substantial preparation in British and American literature, with some work in world literature. In addition to coursework, students must maintain good academic standing in the program and pass a comprehensive examination in English Literature. The program includes the following coursework:

Required Courses
ENGL-410 Literary Methods And Practice 3
Eight 400-level electives selected through consultation with the graduate advisor 24
Thesis Hours - (or two additional 400-level courses) 6
Total Hours 33

Good Standing in the Program

All students must maintain a minimum 3.0-grade point average in the program.

Regardless of overall grade point average, grades of C or below at the master’s level indicate a need for the increased academic application. If more than one grade of C is received, a student must petition the departmental Graduate Committee in writing for permission to continue.

Thesis Option

An optional scholarly thesis is open to degree candidates enrolled in either degree track and may be written in place of two 400-level electives. This option is subject to departmental approval. The student, in consultation with a thesis advisor and the Graduate Coordinator, will submit a thesis proposal that must be approved before they can register for the Thesis Hours (ENGL-5901, ENGL-5902, and ENGL-5903). Students completing the thesis option will give an oral defense of their thesis before a departmental committee prior to filing the project with the Graduate College.

Major Project

Students in the M.A. Literature track, in consultation with a faculty advisor, will develop and deliver in a public presentation a major research project as a degree requirement.

Last updated Oct 2018

About the School

Pursue your goals with top-notch faculty and small class sizes. Explore over 80 rigorous programs in the arts, sciences, education, and business. At Northeastern, find yourself among a welcoming and d ... Read More

Pursue your goals with top-notch faculty and small class sizes. Explore over 80 rigorous programs in the arts, sciences, education, and business. At Northeastern, find yourself among a welcoming and diverse community of scholars who are as serious about their education as you are. Read less