Master of Arts | Department of English | SIU

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College of Liberal Arts

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree in English introduces students to advanced teaching and scholarly research in literature and language. The MA is designed to broaden students’ intellectual interests and, thus, encourages them to explore a wide variety of literary periods and rhetorical issues. It prepares students for continued graduate study at the doctoral level, but also for work in a variety of other roles: public history and professional writing, arts and educational administration, grant writing and fundraising, publishing (digital and traditional), and other forms of public humanities work.

The Department offers three concentrations for the MA: literary studies, rhetoric and composition studies, or English studies.

The Master of Arts specializing in literature or rhetoric and composition requires completion of thirty credit hours of course work and reading knowledge of one foreign language. Students in literary studies take a qualifying examination and have the option of also writing a thesis. Students in rhetoric and composition complete a thesis or portfolio as their capstone project.

The Master of Arts specializing in English Studies requires thirty-six credit hours of course work. The English Studies concentration is designed for working professionals, especially high-school teachers, interested in a substantial MA program to enhance their credentials and broaden their knowledge in the areas in which they teach and work.

The MA in literary studies or rhetoric and composition studies is a two-year degree. The MA in English Studies is designed to be a two and a half year degree.

Applicants to the MA program in English must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. International students must submit TOEFL scores.