Students completing the Master's Degree in English--with areas of specialization in literature and literary analysis or in creative writing--will have a deepened knowledge and appreciation of world, British, and American literatures (including multicultural literatures); they will have achieved a greater mastery of the language and of critical thinking, through study of linguistics, grammar, literary criticism, and composition/rhetoric; they will have honed their creative abilities in the areas of poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction; and will have acquired habits of speaking, listening, reading and writing that are the essence of reflection, dialog, and academic discourse.
English MA recipients will be able to conceive, undertake, research, and complete extended projects (whether through the thesis option or the portfolio option) that indicate a much greater mastery of arts and skills than is expected at the undergraduate level. Through these endeavors, students will enhance their personal lives, their knowledge of their world, their ability to make a difference, and their personal sense of values.
In addition to the students' life-long learning, they will reach a level of competence sufficient to be able to take the next step, whether that be into the professions, into more secure and useful roles as teachers, into jobs that value creative and critical thinking and communications, or into further study in doctoral or MFA programs.
A student who completes the MA program will demonstrate (through discussion, class assignments, and extended projects and, for some, through their own teaching, tutoring, or assistance with editorial and research projects):
- Proficient levels of knowledge of literary periods, creative genres, and the language of literary and creative study.
- The mastery of skills and arts necessary to creative, expository, or critical writing.
- The ability to undertake and present textual analysis and discourse analysis from a variety of theoretical positions.
- The capacity to think and communicate clearly and objectively.
- The ability to employ research methods and critical terminology.
- A readiness to connect literature and creative writing to humanity's greatest concerns.
- Some awareness of how persons think, learn, create, and evaluate.
- A life-long commitment to their own literacy and that of others, including the experience of literature's and language's joys and constraints.
- An intellectual curiosity and honesty and an appreciation for the private and public roles of the intellectual life and of intellectual communities.