The Master's program

We offer the MA and the PhD in British, Canadian, American, Irish, and Postcolonial literatures in English, as well as Critical Theory. Students may also receive an MA in English by completing a concentration in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought (CSPT). MA students may also do a concentration in Literatures of the West Coast (LWC), Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), or Nineteenth Century Studies (NCS).

The MA program consists of course work only, course work and a Master's Essay, or course work and a Master's Thesis. Students doing a concentration in CSPT must complete a thesis; students doing a concentration in MEMS or NCS must complete course work, or course work and a Master's Essay. All other students normally complete course work, or course work and a Master's Essay, but may apply to pursue a thesis; however, the Graduate Committee does not always approve a student's plan to pursue a thesis program. Students--other than those in the CSPT concentration--who wish to pursue a thesis program must find a supervisor willing to direct their thesis and submit a thesis proposal by April 30 of their first year in the program.

Program aims

The course work provides a broader range of experience with different historical periods, methodological approaches, and literary genres than the Master's Essay degree. Such experience is particularly valuable for future teaching at the College and University level. Also, because courses generally demand a final research paper and at least one lengthy presentation, this stream provides students with rigorous training in scholarly writing and communication. And as with the Master's Essay MA, the course-only route provides research, presentation, and writing skills that are considered excellent preparation for a variety of positions such as those in the cultural industries, public service, and business.

The Master's Essay offers students the opportunity to take many courses over a broad and diverse range of offerings. Students can participate in courses that vary not only in subject material, but also in critical approaches, requirements, and pedagogical methodologies. The wider background in literature and theory acquired through the Master's Essay program provides excellent preparation for admission into PhD programs in general, and for doctoral candidacy examinations in particular. Further, it offers students the broad knowledge necessary to pursue a university or college teaching career. The Master's Essay also benefits students wishing to seek non-academic employment: the research, presentation, and writing skills honed in courses are considered excellent preparation for a variety of positions such as those in the cultural industries, public service, and business.