Graduate FAQs

This page contains answers to frequently asked questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact the department office.

How do I apply to the graduate program in English?

Applying for admission to the Graduate Program in English requires two separate applications. Applicants must apply for admission to graduate study at Cal State L.A. by completing and submitting an application through CSU Mentor. Applicants must also complete and submit a Departmental Application for Admission to the Department of English. For more information on the graduate admissions process, visit /academic/english/gadmit.php.

What are the deadlines for application?

To see the filing deadlines listed at the university's Office of Admissions, visit /univ/admiss/deadlines.php.

What are the requirements for admission to the English Graduate Program?

To be admitted to the Graduate Program in English, an applicant must first meet the minimum requirements set by the University for admission to all graduate programs. Click here to see the University's minimum requirements. In addition to meeting these minimum requirements, an applicant must meet the additional requirements of the English Department. For more information on the departmental requirements for admission, visit /academic/english/gadmit.php.

Can I apply to the graduate program in English if my undergraduate degree is not in English?

Applicants with undergraduate degrees in fields other than English can apply for admission to the graduate program in English. Such students, however, must complete a 24 semester unit program of upper division prerequisites (which may include courses previously taken) prior to beginning their graduate work. Read more on the 24-unit requirement for non-English B.A. students seeking an M.A. degree in English.

Are there special requirements for international students?

Read more about the University's graduate admissions requirements for international students.

In addition to meeting the University's minimum requirements for graduate admissions, international students interested in the English Graduate Program need to demonstrate competency in English language and literacy.

Do I have to take the courses on my program of study in a particular sequence?

English 5001 and English 5002 must be completed within the first 16 units of a program, and either English 5001 or 5002 must be taken in the first quarter in which the student is eligible to take 5000-level courses. Other than English 5001 and 5002, however, students can choose to take courses on their program of study in whatever sequence they choose. Also, students do not need to complete their program of study in sequence. In other words, a student does not need to complete all of his or her coursework in Section A (The Required Core) prior to taking courses in Section B (Electives), and so on.

How do I change my program of study?

When formally admitted into the graduate program in English, each student in consultation with the graduate adviser sets up a program of study. This program becomes the basis for evaluating the student's eligibility for receiving the degree. Changes in the program of study may be made only with the approval of the graduate adviser and the Dean of Arts and Letters. To make changes in your program of study, make an appointment to meet with the graduate adviser.

Can I take courses that are not on my program of study?

While students can enroll in courses of interest to them, only those courses listed on the program of study can be counted towards fulfilling the requirements for the Master's degree. If you want the course to be considered as part of your program of study, you must meet with the graduate adviser as soon as possible to request the addition of the course to your program and the deletion of some other course.

Please note that a course can not be added to or deleted from a master's degree program after it has been taken. Any change in the master's degree program must be approved in advance by the graduate adviser, the department, and the college graduate dean.

Why does my program of study indicate that I must take the comprehensive examination?

The two-part comprehensive examination (no units) is automatically designated as the culminating experience for all newly admitted students. After making sufficient progress and maintaining a GPA in their program of at least 3.0, students can opt to write a thesis (three or six units) or a pedagogical portfolio (three units) instead of taking the two-part comprehensive examination. To switch to the thesis option, the student must meet with the graduate adviser. Read more about the two-part comprehensive examination and the master's thesis.