Skip to content

Department of English Master of Arts in English

Browse Department

English Master's Classes

Whether you are seeking the non-thesis or the thesis option, the Master of Arts in English program is 36 credit hours. For those seeking the thesis option, six of those hours must be completed in thesis classes. The only required course that all graduate students must take is English 550: Literary Criticism. You have the chance to take a wide variety of literature courses, writing workshops and editing courses that will further your education and your career. View descriptions and availability of all English master's courses below.

See what classes will be offered in the next term ►
(Select your term and choose "English" for the subject)

Theory & criticism

This course provides graduate students with the opportunity for focused, in-depth study in the instructor’s area of expertise. Students may enroll in this course any number of times as long as the topic is not a repetition of one for which credit has been granted. 3 credit hours 

A study of major schools of literary criticism. The course acquaints students with the ways in which verbal structures in general—but literary texts in particular—may be approached and understood, and how understanding of literary texts may be molded into coherent, developed arguments. 3 credit hours 


Literary movements & historical contexts

This course examines literary texts and literary movements in their cultural and historical contexts. Topics may include representative works of the poetry, drama, and prose (fiction and nonfiction) emerging during the 16th and early 17th century. 3 credit hours 

This course examines literary texts and literary movements in their cultural and historical contexts. Possible topics include late realism, modernism, postmodernism, or a focus on a thematic preoccupation of 20th-century writers. 3 credit hours 

This course examines literary texts and literary movements in their cultural and historical contexts. Particular attention will be paid to postmodernism and 21st century writers’ responses to its texts and ideas. The impact of globalization on literary studies will be addressed also. 3 credit hours 

This course examines literary texts and literary movements in their cultural and historical contexts. Possible topics include romanticism, the age of revolutions, realism, Victorian literature, fin de siècle literature, or a focus on a thematic preoccupation of 18th- and 19th-century writers such as slavery, women’s emancipation, or sciences and pseudosciences. 3 credit hours 

Study of English literature from its beginnings in the eighth century to the beginning of the renaissance. Topics to be covered include old English poetry, research on medieval topics, pronunciation of middle English, romances, religious treatises, drama, and middle English lyrics. This course is usually offered once every three years. 3 credit hours


Multicultural literature

This course discusses American works by minority authors as a literary tradition. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which minority authors from different time periods and cultures represent their experiences in America. 3 credit hours 

This course discusses works by authors of colonized nations as a literary tradition.  Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which postcolonial authors from different time periods and cultures present their perspectives on colonialism and postcolonialism. 3 credit hours


Individual authors

This class studies representative plays from Shakespeare’s career, taking a chronological approach but spanning all principal genres—comedy, history, tragedy, and romance. Students approach Shakespeare’s work as both theatre and literature, with some emphasis on contemporary social and political influences. The course objective is to enhance the appreciation of Shakespearean drama in both its original and modern contexts. 3 credit hours 

Reading in Middle English of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. students examine the moral vision, artistic unity, humor and aesthetic beauty of Chaucer’s art.  Special attention is given to the narrative, dramatic and poetic devices through which Chaucer’s poetry achieves its effects. 3 credit hours 


Writing and editing

Special note: The Literary Arts Programming course is open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

This course will teach students how to plan and organize a reading series: scheduling writers’ campus visits, promoting the series, and hosting writers on the day of their reading. Students will work with various campus offices as well as off-campus arts organizations to promote and coordinate writers’ series events. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: ENGL 270

An introduction to current theory and best practices in the teaching of writing at various developmental levels. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.  3 credit hours 

This class aims at furthering students’ understanding of the craft and techniques of creative writing. Though the primary focus will be on workshopping student writing, students also will read and discuss essays by writers about technique, style and craft to enhance their understanding of the art of writing and hone not only their ability to write but also to critique their own work as well as that of others. As part of the class, students will have an opportunity to meet and hear contemporary poets and writers through the University’s Kellogg Writers series. The genre focus of this course will rotate. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours 

This course alternates between two national awards for established writers. In the fall, the English Department awards a prize to a published book of young adult fiction, graphic novel, or literary fiction. The books are submitted by the authors, and students read and choose the winner. In the winter, students run a chapbook contest based on criteria and submission guidelines they generate the previous spring or summer. Students are exposed to recently published or unpublished works in the fields. The Reading Prize course focuses on building editorial reading and judging knowledge while the chapbook Contest includes both editorial and publishing knowledge.

This course will prepare students to write and edit content effectively for websites and other online venues that they design and implement. Sometimes, written content is lost on web pages as a result of overpowering multimedia, bad design, poor editing, or many other reasons. Web 2.0 software programs allow almost anyone to develop a content-rich and interactive website that can integrate many users and provide relevant information. This course will focus on  making readable text an integral part of every page of a website. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor  3 credit hours 

Students enrolled in this course will focus on the necessary writing, editing, design and persuasion skills to develop a range of effective documents for nonprofit organizations. Service learning projects throughout the semester will culminate in writing a grant proposal for a local nonprofit organization. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours 


Individual studies (tailored to student interest)

An opportunity for the department to offer courses on topics of special interest. Students may enroll in this course any number of times so long as the topic is not a repetition of one for which credit has been granted. 3 credit hours 

Students pursue a focused program of readings under the direction of the instructor. Topics are tailored to the interests and needs of the student. May be repeated for credit. 1–9 credit hours 

Prerequisite: ENGL 589: Thesis Proposal. 1–5 credit hours 

The student engages in individual study and/or a project. The project may be of the nature of research or advanced study in a selected area of interest. Prerequisite: Consent of the department chair and supervising faculty member. 1–4 credit hours 


Courses offered online

This course will prepare students to write and edit content effectively for websites and other online venues that they design and implement. Sometimes, written content is lost on web pages as a result of overpowering multimedia, bad design, poor editing, or many other reasons. Web 2.0 software programs allow almost anyone to develop a content-rich and interactive website that can integrate many users and provide relevant information. This course will focus on  making readable text an integral part of every page of a website. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor  3 credit hours 

Students enrolled in this course will focus on the necessary writing, editing, design and persuasion skills to develop a range of effective documents for nonprofit organizations. Service learning projects throughout the semester will culminate in writing a grant proposal for a local nonprofit organization. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours 


Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL)

Special note: All TESOL courses are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

This course serves as an introduction to approaches, methods, and techniques in teaching English to speakers of other languages (and second languages in general), covering both theoretical material and practical applications of theory to language teaching. The course emphasizes an inquiry-based approach toward instruction with opportunities for individual focus and reflection and discussion with other practitioners. 

This course is designed to giver learners a solid background in the structure of human languages and to prepare them for further study in English language teaching.

This course addresses topics, issues, and methods related to assessing English language proficiency in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms. We’ll explore standardized language proficiency tests, as well as informal and alternative methods of assessment for English learners (ELs). In addition, we’ll consider issues relating to L1/L2 proficiency and academic achievement, as well as the sociocultural aspects of testing assessment.

Our course will offer an introduction to the types of instructional materials used in EFL/ESL classrooms, and addresses the selection and development of instructional materials for Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (TESOL). The course will include theoretical considerations and practical applications, including evaluating and adapting instructional materials.

This course is designed for students who are current or prospective ESL/EFL teachers in domestic or international settings, and focuses on the teaching of grammar in a variety of EFL/ESL contexts. It is not a ‘grammar course” per se, because emphasis of the course is on ways of teaching grammar rather than acquiring or mastering knowledge of grammar itself, but the development of your own English grammar knowledge will be a peripheral outcome of the course. You will become aware of different perspectives on grammar teaching and of the influence that your knowledge about language and language learning processes may have on your own teaching. We will engage in discussion, critical analysis, and reflections of your knowledge, experiences and beliefs about language learning and the implications thereof for grammar teaching and learning. 

What does it mean to learn and acquire a first language, and how and why is second language learning different? What does it mean to be a successful or so-called “good language learner”? How do individual and social differences affect L2 learning? How does an understanding of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research and theory contribute to teaching practice in the language classroom? These are but a few of the questions that we will address in our course, as we examine topics and issues in the field of SLA, and draw connections to the learning and teaching of foreign and second languages.  

This course enrolls two groups of students: 1) students completing a practicum/internship in the U.S., and 2) students completing a practicum/internship in an international setting. This unique mixture of participants will create for a hybrid situation for our course. Students in the U.S. will meet once per week in the classroom, and students abroad will “meet” with our group asynchronously online, via ACE. Both groups will have the opportunity to interact with each other via online discussion groups.

Our course functions as a forum to address practicum / internship experiences in the Pre-K-12 setting, community adult education, volunteer organization, or college-level ESL classroom in the U.S., or in a Pre-K-12, college, U.S.-international partnership, or language institute (“cram school”) setting internationally, with the learning of successful educational practices and models in contemporary ESL/EFL language education.  Through onsite and online discussions and tasks, coupled with the practicum/internship placement, the course creates a significant opportunity for you to reflect on and make connections between the knowledge and skills you have acquired during various components of your TESOL experience. Thus, it is expected that you take this course as you near completion of the TESOL program, so that you have acquired a substantial background in TESOL to apply your learning to the ESL/EFL teaching and learning context.

You are encouraged to use the course as a place to raise and address questions as well as engage relevant issues regarding all aspects of the profession of TESOL. While topics will be assigned for the various class sessions, there will always be ample opportunities to engage relevant issues regarding all aspects of the profession of TESOL. While topics will be assigned for various class sessions, there will always be ample opportunities to engage in additional questions and topics you wish to explore as new situations arise in your practicum/internship experience. What your are observing and encountering during your experience should always be of central importance in our class discussions.