English Master of Arts

Learning Goals for the Master of Arts in English

Students will:

  • Broaden their understanding of English as a field and find their places within it;
  • Think critically about language and the contexts in which it is produced and received
  • Engage with and apply multiple research methodologies in order to express themselves in written and other media.

Program Description

The Master of Arts in English offers students multiple opportunities to engage with the diverse field of English studies. Students develop their skills as reflective readers, writers, and researchers. Starting with ENGL 500: Introduction to Graduate Studies, students will approach contemporary issues and problems through multiple methodological lenses, as they discover their own specific professional interests. By exposing students to fresh pedagogical initiatives, interdisciplinary critical methods, and historical currents, the program encourages students to work toward a required degree project that will best suit their professional needs. Courses will be selected from three streams. The program structure supports wide faculty participation to work closely with students in individual and collaborative research settings. Students will participate in departmental and campus events that showcase their research, culminating in a degree project which will provide them with tangible entry into the profession.

The division of our courses into three streams is part of what makes our graduate programs in English at Fredonia distinctive. This framework allows our students to customize their studies in ways that utilize our faculty expertise and advance the learning outcomes of our program, while demonstrating the interrelation between texts, the contexts in which they’re produced and read, and the theories that provide interpretive frameworks for engaging them.

TEXTS stream: Offers the opportunity for students to study in-depth textual production in a variety of forms from various regions and/or time periods. Individual courses could include a focus on a particular writer’s oeuvre, or a particular genre (for example, silent film, non-fiction essay, the bildungsroman, psychoanalysis) and the retracing of any significant developments therein.

CONTEXTS stream: Engages the multiple contexts in which texts are produced and received at particular moments in time. It promotes the study of the effects of such issues as globalization, institutionalization, class relations, gender, and race on the production and reception of texts. Individual courses could include, but are not restricted to, the study of particular movements and the presentation of a variety of methods, including cultural and interdisciplinary studies, historical approaches, pedagogical and rhetorical practices.

THEORIES stream: Provides opportunities for students to illuminate the underlying conceptual logics that govern texts and textual analysis. Theories of writing, critical theory, pedagogical theory, literary theory are all possible contributions to this stream, through which students will further develop their critical thinking process, their deeper sense of the history of the discipline of English, and their understanding of literature, language, teaching, and culture.

Program Requirements

  • The Master of Arts in English requires a minimum of 30 graduate-level credit hours.
  • All students must receive a B or better in all graduate courses earned toward the degree. In order to enroll in ENGL 696 (Degree Project Completion), students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or B.
  • All students must successfully complete a degree project: submission and oral defense of a thesis or action research thesis; a grade of "pass" or above on a comprehensive examination; submission of a critical essay to an approved professional publication in the field of English studies with a professional conference presentation based on that research.
  • All students must submit a portfolio as part of their assignments in the program capstone course, ENGL 695 (Capstone in English Studies).
  • Students are assigned a faculty advisor at the time of their admission to the program and are encouraged to meet regularly with him/her. Students' progress will be reviewed after their first 13.5 hours of course work to determine eligibility for ongoing study. A mandatory advising session will provide feedback to students on their progress in the program and help to consolidate the student’s choice of degree project.
  • Students may, with the chairperson's approval, transfer up to 6 credit hours of graduate-level credit from another department or institution. Such credit will only be given for courses in which the student has earned a B or better; such courses may not be more than five years old, unless an extension is granted by the chairperson.
  • Some courses are variable content courses and may be taken more than once for credit; those that may not be taken more than once for credit include: ENGL 500, ENED 554, ENGL 690, ENGL 695, and ENGL 696.

Core experiences

ENGL 500Introduction to Graduate Studies in English


ENGL 502Directed Study


ENGL 690Degree Project Research


ENGL 695Capstone in English Studies


ENGL 696Degree Project Completion


One course from each "stream" can include Texts, Contexts, and Theories (see announced course offerings for topics) *


Total Credit Hours:22.5


  • * These 9 credit hours must be completed prior to taking ENGL 690. Please check Your Connection for course descriptions.

Additional courses to complete 30 credit hours

Additional courses from at least two of the three "streams": Texts, Contexts, and Theories (see announced course offerings for topics) *


Up to one additional directed study


ENGL 694English Graduate Internship


Total Credit Hours:7.5

Total Credit Hours: 30.0