Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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Department of English
M.A. Program
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M. A. PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The M.A. Program gives students a comprehensive grounding in literature, critical theory, and a variety of research methodologies. Designed to develop the skills associated with literary and cultural criticism, the M.A. degree prepares students for doctoral studies, as well as careers in other fields that require highly developed critical, editorial, research, writing, and teaching skills. Master’s students may choose Plan A (thesis option) or Plan B (portfolio option). Master’s students may apply to continue on to the Ph.D. in the department, applying either during the final year of the program, or at the end of the first year, under the process for accelerated admission. At the end of the course work, students should be able to participate in professional discourse in the field, define a critical problem within an area or areas of study, and produce a publishable paper. The thesis is a practicum in producing a professional publication under the guidance of a faculty member. The portfolio is designed to help synthesize course work and to show the student’s ability to engage a specific critical problem within the field.

Master’s candidates in English are expected to,

  • Know the broader context of English studies;
  • Employ and interrogate the theories, philosophies, and assumptions of critical, cultural and textual analysis and interpretation;
  • Develop an area of expertise appropriate to their long-term objectives;
  • Produce publishable work for an academic journal in the field;
  • Practice professional pedagogical methods for teaching at the college level;
  • Contribute to the professional life of the department by attending departmental talks.