CSULA Department of English | Subtitle

Master of Arts Program

Requirements for the Degree for Students Admitted for Summer 2007 or Later (45 units)

A minimum of 45 units is required, with at least 23 units in 500-level courses. Students must have completed course work in several major periods of British and American literature. Consult the Department of English for specific requirements and period descriptions.

Applicants for the Creative Writing option must submit a portfolio of writing for review by the department's creative writing faculty. For more on the portfolio, click here.

Students preparing for the M.A. degree in English must complete ENGL 501 and ENGL 502 prior to enrolling in ENGL 530, 541, 560, 570, 580, 590, and 598. ENGL 510 may be taken concurrently with 501 and 502. Both 501 and 502 must be completed in the first 16 units of the program.

Required Core (16 units)

ENGL 501 Theoretical Foundations of Literary Studies (4) 
ENGL 502 Research Methods in Literary Studies (4) 
ENGL 510 Proseminar in Literature (8)

Option in Literature 

Required Literature Core (12 units)

With adviser approval, students select from:

ENGL 541 Seminar: Contemporary Critical Approaches (4) 
ENGL 560 Seminar: British Literature (4) 
ENGL 570 Seminar: American Literature (4)
ENGL 580 Seminar: World Literature (4) 
ENGL 590 Seminar: Special Studies in Language and Literature (4)

Electives (12-17 units)

Select from 400 or 500-level ENGL courses with adviser approval; 8 units may be in a related field. A maximum of 5 units in ENGL 598 is applicable toward the degree.

Comprehensive Examination or Thesis (0, 5 units)

ENGL 596 Comprehensive Examination (0) or
ENGL 599 Thesis (5)

Students must successfully complete either the comprehensive examination or a master’s degree thesis as the culmination of their program. Students are expected to have selected an area of specialization as reflected in course work in preparation for either the examination or the thesis.

Comprehensive Examination (0 units)

One section of the comprehensive examination will focus specifically on the student’s chosen area of specialization and the other portion of the examination will assess the student’s general critical skills and ability to elucidate and interpret a designated text.

The comprehensive examination (ENGL 596) may be taken no earlier than the quarter in which all course work for the degree is completed. Students must notify the department one quarter before they intend to take the examination.

Advancement to candidacy and approval of the department’s Graduate Studies committee are required prior to taking the examination.

Thesis (5 units)

The thesis option entails writing a master’s degree essay about a subject in the student’s area of specialization. Students who choose to do a thesis are subject to the following requirements: advancement to candidacy, formal approval of the thesis proposal by a thesis director and by the graduate studies committee, enrollment in 5 units of ENGL 599, and an oral defense of the thesis. (One unit of ENGL 599 is to be devoted to preparation of the thesis proposal. A student may not enroll in the remaining 4 units of ENGL 599 until the proposal has been approved.)

Option in Composition, Rhetoric, and Language

Required Composition-Rhetoric Core (12 units)

ENGL 504 Seminar: Theories of Composition and Rhetoric (4) 
ENGL 505 Seminar: Language and Literacy (4) 
ENGL 550 Seminar: Topics in Composition, Rhetoric, and Language (4)

Electives (12-17 units)

Select 400- or 500-level courses with advisor approval. Students are to select 4 units in literature and the remaining electives from courses in composition-rhetoric, linguistics, creative writing, or literature with particular relevance to their professional goals and interests.  A maximum of 5 units of ENGL 598 may also be included.

Comprehensive Examination or Thesis (0,5 units)

ENGL 596 Comprehensive Examination (0) or
ENGL 599 Thesis (5)

Students must successfully complete either the comprehensive examination or a master's degree thesis as the culmination of their program.

Comprehensive Examination (0 units)

One section of the comprehensive examination will focus on key texts in the field of Composition, Rhetoric, and Language, and the other portion of the examination will assess the student's general critical skills and ability to elucidate and interpret a designated text.

The comprehensive examination (ENGL 596) may be taken no earlier than the quarter in which all course work for the degree is completed. Students must notify the department one quarter before they intend to take the examination.

Advancement to candidacy and approval of the department’s Graduate Studies committee are required prior to taking the examination.

Thesis (5 units)

The thesis entails writing a master’s degree essay about a subject in the field of language, composition and rhetoric. Theses may be of two kinds, a critical essay or an empirical study. A critical essay might, for example, critique or reanalyze a particular body of research or the work of a single researcher, or present a rhetorical analysis of text. A theory-based empirical approach might test new hypotheses or replicate earlier studies with a different population.

Students writing a thesis are subject to the following requirements: advancement to candidacy, formal approval of the thesis proposal by a thesis director and two thesis committee members, enrollment in 5 units of ENGL 599, and an oral defense of the thesis. (One unit of ENGL 599 is to be devoted to preparation of the thesis proposal. A student may not enroll in the remaining 4 units of ENGL 599 until the proposal has been approved.)

Option in Creative Writing

Required Creative Writing Core (12 units)

With adviser approval, select 12 additional units from creative writing courses, including at least 4 units of ENGL 507 or 508. The remaining 8 units may derive from some combination of the following courses: ENGL 406, 407, 408, 507, 508. ENGL 507 or 508 may be taken concurrently with ENGL 501 or ENGL 502.

Electives (12 units)

Select 400 or 500-level courses with adviser approval. Students are to select courses in literature with particular relevance to the focus of their creative work. A maximum of 4 units of ENGL 598 may also be included.

Thesis (5 units)

Students selecting the Creative Writing Option must write a creative thesis typically consisting of three or more short stories of 3,000-5,000 words or a novella or a substantial portion of a novel, or two one-act plays, or a full-length play, or between 12 and 20 short poems. The thesis is to include a brief preface, stating the literary, ethical, or social concerns that have informed the student’s work.

To begin work on the thesis the student must have been advanced to candidacy and must have formal approval of the thesis proposal by a thesis director and two additional thesis committee members. A student must complete 5 units of ENGL 599. (One unit of ENGL 599 is to be devoted to preparation of the thesis proposal. A student may not enroll in the remaining 4 units of ENGL 599 until the proposal has been approved.) The student will be required to defend the thesis before a committee of three, one member being the student’s thesis director and one member being a member of the faculty from outside the creative writing area. The third member may be either from the creative writing area or from a different area.