MA in English


Applicants must submit a writing sample of scholarly work. The student is normally expected to have completed an undergraduate concentration in English. No transfer of credit is allowed toward fulfillment of the eight semester courses required for the degree.

Course Requirements

Eight semester courses (32 credits) are required for the degree, normally completed within one year. At least six of the eight courses must be graduate seminars (700 or higher). Candidates for the MA are required to take at least one course that focuses primarily on critical theory, critical method, or the history of criticism.

All courses are chosen in consultation with the candidate’s advisor. The candidate must demonstrate, by a proposed program of courses together with a completed undergraduate program of courses, a reasonably comprehensive coverage of British and American literature across multiple historical periods.

Course Credit in Related Fields

As part of the total program of eight semester courses required for the degree, candidates may, with the approval of their advisor, elect a one-semester graduate-level course in a related area.

Foreign Language Requirement

All candidates must demonstrate proficiency in one classical or modern language at the intermediate level. Intermediate proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  1. By achieving a score of 530 on the SAT II language test currently offered in French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Latin.
  2. By earning a B or better in a non-credit foreign language reading course for graduate students (GRS LF 621 or equivalent).
  3. By earning a B or better in a graduate-level (500 or higher) course in foreign literature taught in the literature’s language. Such a course may count toward the MA as a course in a related field.
  4. By earning a B or better in a graduate-level course in Old English.

Academic Standards

To be awarded the MA degree, the candidate must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in both semesters. No grade below a B– will count toward the MA degree.


Courses are listed in three categories: creative writing, language and linguistics, and literature.

Creative Writing & Playwriting

  • CAS EN 503, 504 Fiction Workshop
  • CAS EN 505, 506 Poetry Workshop
  • CAS EN 507 Seminar in Creative Writing: Fiction
  • CAS EN 508 Seminar in Creative Writing: Poetry
  • CAS EN 509, 510 Exercises in Dramaturgy
  • GRS EN 706 Writing Plays

Language and Linguistics

  • CAS EN 513 Modern English Grammar
  • CAS EN 515 History of the English Language I
  • CAS EN 516 History of the English Language II
  • CAS EN 518 Linguistic Problems in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language


  • CAS EN 521 Middle Ages Medieval Romance
  • CAS EN 525 Literature of the Seventeenth Century I
  • CAS EN 527 Literature of the Eighteenth Century I
  • CAS EN 529 Romantic Age
  • CAS EN 531 Victorian Age
  • CAS EN 533 American Literature: Beginnings to 1855
  • CAS EN 534 American Literature: 1855 to 1918
  • CAS EN 535 Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry
  • CAS EN 542 The Rise of the Novel
  • CAS EN 543 The Nineteenth-Century English Novel
  • CAS EN 544 The Modern British Novel
  • CAS EN 545 The Nineteenth-Century American Novel
  • CAS EN 546 The Modern American Novel
  • CAS EN 547 Contemporary American Fiction
  • CAS EN 566 Milton
  • CAS EN 572 Studies in American Literary Movements
  • CAS EN 576 Studies in Literature and Gender
  • CAS EN 578 Studies in British Writers
  • CAS EN 579 Studies in American Writers
  • CAS EN 580 Studies in American Writers
  • CAS EN 582 Studies in Modern Literature
  • CAS EN 584 Studies in Literature and Ethnicity
  • CAS EN 585 Contemporary American Poetry
  • CAS EN 586 Studies in Anglophone Literature
  • CAS EN 587 Studies in African American Literature
  • CAS EN 591 Studies in Literature and Society
  • CAS EN 592 Studies in Literature and Society
  • CAS EN 593 Studies in Literature and the Arts
  • CAS EN 594 Studies in Literature and the Arts
  • CAS EN 595 Studies in Literary Topics
  • CAS EN 596 Studies in Literary Topics
  • CAS EN 604 Literary Criticism I
  • GRS EN 606 Literary Criticism II
  • CAS EN 665 Critical Studies in Literature and Society
  • GRS EN 666 Critical Studies in Literature and Society
  • GRS EN 675 Studies in Literature and Gender
  • GRS EN 680 Critical Studies of American Writers
  • GRS EN 686 Studies in Anglophone Literature
  • GRS EN 694 Critical Studies in Literature and the Arts
  • GRS EN 695 Critical Studies in Literary Topics
  • GRS EN 696 Critical Studies in Literary Topics
  • GRS EN 699 Teaching College English
  • GRS EN 727 Enlightenment, Philosophy, and Fiction
  • GRS EN 730 Romantic Selves
  • GRS EN 743 Victorian Ideas of Culture
  • GRS EN 744 The Novel in Theory and Practice
  • GRS EN 745 Problem of the South in American Literature
  • GRS EN 746 Fiction and Social Theory in the 1950s
  • GRS EN 748 Turn of the Century U.S. Literature
  • GRS EN 751 Idolatry, Images, Iconoclasm
  • GRS EN 727 British Poetry from 1660 to 1780 in Cultural Context
  • GRS EN 763 English History Play
  • GRS EN 787 Birth of Modern Drama
  • GRS EN 788 Transnational Modernism
  • GRS EN 790 Theories of Gender and Sexuality
  • GRS EN 792 Introduction to Recent Critical Theory and Method
  • GRS EN 794 Postcolonial Literature and Theory

Metropolitan College Courses

A limited number of courses are offered in Metropolitan College (MET) under the auspices of the Department of English and are approved for graduate credit for students enrolled in the MA and PhD programs. For further information, see the Metropolitan College Bulletin.