MA in English Literature

Northeastern Illinois University

Program Description

MA in English Literature

Northeastern Illinois University

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.

Requirements for Admission to the Program

Note: Applications for this program are accepted three times a year.

  • Fall admission – July 1
  • Summer admission – April 1
  • Fall admission – November 1

Students must fulfill the general requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. In addition:

  1. Applications must indicate a degree concentration: Literature or Composition.
  2. In their personal Statement of Goals and Objectives, applicants to the Program in English should specify their reasons for pursuing graduate-level studies in Literature or Composition, and they should identify the background, strengths, and academic skills that they feel will ensure their success as an MA student.
  3. All applicants must submit a representative sample of academic or professional writing that demonstrates their critical thinking and/or research strengths and indicates their ability to do well in advanced study in English Literature or Composition. The writing sample should not exceed 15 pages in length, and should preferably be work completed for an upper-division undergraduate course in English or for a graduate-level English course. (Those who cannot meet this requirement may petition the Graduate Coordinator for admission in a written statement.)
  4. GRE scores are not required for admission, but they may be submitted to supplement an application.

Literature Concentration:

As the Master’s degree is understood to build upon an already solid foundation of literary study, applicants seeking admission to the MA program in English, Literature concentration, must have a BA in English (or a minimum of 30 credit hours of undergraduate work in literature and composition), including reasonable coverage of British and American literature and at least one course in Literary Criticism. Students who do not meet these requirements may be offered a provisional admission and allowed to complete their undergraduate training at NEIU prior to taking courses toward the MA degree.

Composition Concentration:

As the Master’s degree is understood to build upon an already solid foundation of study, applicants seeking admission to the MA program in English, Composition concentration, must have a BA in English, English Education, or a related field subject to the approval of the Graduate Committee in Composition. Students who do not meet these requirements may be offered a provisional admission and allowed to complete their undergraduate training at NEIU prior to taking courses toward the MA degree.

NOTE: All petitions to transfer between degree concentrations are subject to the admissions requirements of the track into which a student is transferring.

Requirements for the Degree

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
Good Standing in the Program:



  1. All students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in the program.
  2. <li> Regardless of overall grade point average, grades of C or below at the master’s level indicate a need for 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.</li>

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 or 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.

Examination:

In contrast to traditional Master’s programs in which graduate students are handed several literary fields that they are supposed to “master,” in our program, students will be at the helm of producing three literary fields that will be the basis of their take-home exams. Each field will be accompanied by a rationale and a combination of primary texts (8-15 works); secondary texts (3-10 works); and theoretical works (3-10 works). These lists will be created with the assistance of the Graduate Coordinator and other faculty. For more information, please contact the Graduate Coordinator.

Literature Concentration:

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 course work:

Required Courses
ENGL-410 Literary Methods And Practice 3
ENGL-430 Studies In Literary Criticism 3
Two American literature courses at the 400 level 6
Three British literature courses at the 400 level 9
Two electives chosen from 300-level (only those approved for graduate degree credit) and/or 400-level courses 6
Thesis Hours - (or Two additional 400-level courses) 6
Total Hours 33
Composition Concentration:

Students must complete the 6 hours of Core Requirements, 18 hours of Core Electives and 9 hours of Free Electives. In addition, students must maintain good academic standing in the program and pass a three part comprehensive exam.

Core Requirements
ENGL-433 Seminar In Composition Theory 3
ENGL-435 Writing Assessment: Theory And Practice 3
Core Electives 1 18
Select six of the following:
ENGL-410 Literary Methods And Practice</td>

ENGL-430 Studies In Literary Criticism</td>

ENGL-431 Bibliography And Research In English</td>

ENGL-432 Alternative Literacies</td>

ENGL-434 Seminar In Basic Writing Theory</td>

ENGL-436 Rhetorics Of Composition</td>

ENGL-437 English Studies And Technology</td>

ENGL-438 Research In Composition</td>

ENGL-439 Stylistics</td>

FREE Electives 9
Literature: any 400-level or graduate approved 300-level course
Writing
ENGL-316 Forms Of Poetry</td>

ENGL-376 Advanced Composition</td>

ENGL-377 Argumentative Prose</td>

ENGL-482 Contemporary Poetic Forms</td>

Language
See advisor to choose TESL or LING courses relevant to your career goals.
Total Hours 33
Comprehensive Exam:

Students will be tested on three reading lists that they have developed in conjunction with faculty members on topics of particular interest to them. There will be three separate tests, one on each reading list, which students will schedule at times convenient for them, complete at home, and then email back to the advisor. See the advisor for more information. Note: You may get permission from the Graduate Advisor to take courses not included on this list to meet the elective requirement.
This school offers programs in:
  • English


Last updated October 23, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
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1 - 4 years
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USA - Chicago, Illinois
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USA - Grayslake, Illinois
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Sept. 2018
USA - Chicago, Illinois
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USA - Grayslake, Illinois
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Price Per credit hour: $356.36 Graduate; $712.71 Non-Resident Graduate