Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

English, MA


At a Glance: program details



Study with award-winning faculty in a dynamic, multidisciplinary English department. Fulfill your interests with coursework focused on exciting inquiries into culture and language, digital literacy, environmental studies, film analysis, linguistics, medieval and early modern cultural studies, or young adult literature. Take advantage of internship and professional development opportunities.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA English

The MA program in English allows for a variety of studies within four distinct tracks:

Comparative literature --- Students interpret cultural productions in English and at least one other language, utilizing approaches including textual criticism, critical theory, and translation and cultural studies.

English studies --- Students in this online track learn how to interpret complex cultural, historical, literary and language-related materials, as well as articulate and mobilize this knowledge for general audiences through a series of courses from across disciplinary areas of study.

Literature --- Students develop skills in literary and cultural analysis, explore social and historical contexts, address theoretical issues and pursue interdisciplinary modes of inquiry.

Writing, rhetorics and literacies --- Students engage with various approaches to the history, theory and practices of rhetoric and pedagogies of writing and composition.

For specific information about each degree concentration, see the Degree Track Details section below.



Degree Track Details

Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Faculty Advisor

Samantha Franze, Graduate Academic Advisor

FAQ

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in English (comparative literature track) introduces students to the study of literary and cultural phenomena beyond linguistic, national or academic boundaries. Students are asked to study cultural productions in English and at least one other language, and to explore approaches ranging from textual criticism, critical theory and translation to cultural studies and the social sciences. Comparative Literature invites students to investigate the interactions of literary and cultural productions with adjacent fields like film, theater, linguistics, history, philosophy, American Indian, ethnic, area, women and gender studies and with the social sciences. The field of Comparative Literature also encourages the exploration of cultural phenomena from a transnational and global perspective.

In coordination with the program advisor and with the students’ supervisory committee or applied project director, students can largely design their own programs of study within a general set of requirements. The M.A. in English (comparative literature) can provide students with an excellent education in the humanities as well as with the flexibility to pursue other fields of interests if desired. The M.A. qualifies for admission to doctoral programs in comparative literature, English and other language-based literature and culture programs of a student's specialization as well as to interdisciplinary programs more generally. The degree also prepares students for careers in business, government and the media. Fluency in at least two languages is required to be successful in this program. Students may specialize in any language and culture to the extent that they are sufficiently covered at ASU.

At least 30 hours at the graduate level are required, with a minimum of 12 hours in a language other than English. In addition, special needs can be met with reading and conference (ENG 590).

Program Requirements (30 credit hours total): 

  • ENG 501 Approaches to Research (3 credits)
  • One course in concept and methods (course in comparative literature, criticism, or translation) (3 credits)
  • Four courses in a language other than English (12 credits)
  • Electives (6-9 credits)*
  • Culminating Experience: Thesis (6 credits)^ or Applied Project (3 credits)'

*Depending on chosen culminating experience, Applied Project students take 9 electives and Thesis students take 6 electives.

Thesis: (24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of Thesis ENG 599). Under the direction of the supervisory committee, the student writes a master's thesis and defends it at an oral examination. Each candidate in the program is closely advised by a three-member supervisory committee, chosen by the student. Each examination will be evaluated by the student’s supervisory committee as named on the student's plan of study.

Non-thesis Option: (27 coursework and 3 hours of Applied Project ENG 593). Student works with an Applied Project director and one additional committee member. There will be an oral presentation of the project.

Kathleen Hicks, Online Program Director

Elizabeth Downs, Graduate Academic Advisor

Program Overview: The Master of Arts in English with an Online track in English Studies is a unique master’s degree that provides a selection of representative courses from across our disciplinary areas of study (literature; writing, rhetorics and literacies; linguistics; film and media studies; cultural studies) including some courses that investigate the relationship between our discipline and others across the campus, such as science and English. After completion of this degree, you will be able to articulate and translate complex cultural, historical, literary, and artistic ideas into accessible material for a general audience and prepare yourself for career opportunities in public humanities, libraries, teaching, and museums.

New funding opportunity for MA English (English Studies) online students. For more information, see this webpage.

Program Requirements (10 courses; 30 credit hours)

With the exception of the capstone, classes can be taken in any order:

  • ENG 501 Approaches to Research (3 credit hours)
  • One course in linguistics (3 credit hours) 
  • One course in literature (3 credit hours)
  • One course in writing, rhetoric, and literacies (3 credit hours)
  • One course in English Education (3 credit hours) 
  • Electives (12 credit hours): 6 of these credits should be additional courses from those listed here and 6 of these credits can be taken outside of the department (Foreign Language^ is an example or they can be taken from other online 500-level courses in the department with an ENG, LIN or FMS prefix)
  • ENG 597 Graduate Capstone Seminar (3 credit hours) - taken in the last semester

Language Requirement A reading knowledge of a language other than English is required to graduate. Students should fulfill their language requirement early in the program so it does not delay graduation.

^Foreign Language (SPA/GER/FRE/ITA) courses are pre-approved electives, however, other courses (ie. BLE, History, etc.) will need to be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Online Director.

*For more information about the program, check out the online Guidebook.

Culture of Respect: Graduate students are expected to treat their peers, faculty, and staff with respect and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Disrespectful behavior on the part of students toward any member of the ASU community will not be tolerated. Students can expect to be treated with courtesy and professionalism, and the same is expected of them. Students are welcome to contact the department with any questions or concerns.

FAQs

1. How long will it take to complete the degree?

- An ambitious and hardworking student may be able to complete the degree in one academic year. Although, it does depend on several factors: A student would need to take 2 courses per 7.5 week session which is a heavy workload but not undoable if you have enough time every week to devote to studying. Also, some students have done some graduate work before entering the program which they are able to transfer into the program.

2. Can graduates of this program teach at a community college? Can they go on for a PhD?

- Yes, students with a MA in English can teach at the community college level and they can apply for PhD programs.

3. Can I take iCourses as an ASU Online student?

- No, ASU Online students can only take ASU Online classes. iCourses are courses offered to in-person ASU students only.

4. What are the options to fulfill the language exam?

- The MA English program has a language requirement, which requires the student to possess an intermediate level reading knowledge of a language other than English. MA online students, before completion of course requirements, must complete certification of their foreign language to graduate. To complete this requirement, students must translate a passage under electronic monitoring to earn certification. Please contact englishgradadvising@asu.edu for more information and to set up an exam. Students may also take one of the reading knowledge courses offered by School of International Letters and Cultures to fulfill the requirement, if offered as an ASU online course.

5. If I am admitted to the MA English online degree, can I count coursework taken prior to admission?

- Yes, with the approval of the advisor, 12 preadmission credits can be used on a graduate plan of study. The courses must be graduate level with a grade of B or better and must not be over three years old. The courses must not have been used on another degree. In order to apply these to the plan of study, ASU must have official transcripts from the accredited transfer institution. The student must have the advisor’s approval for any elective or transfer courses.

6. What if I do not have a degree in a related field?

- If students have experience in literature, rhetoric, writing or linguistics they may apply. This can be through a class they took during their BA. Those without a related degree should have strong scores in upper division undergraduate courses in literature, rhetoric, composition and linguistics, or film and media and proof of ability to complete high level undergraduate work. Also, courses such as Critical Reading and Writing about Literature (ENG 200) provide good background for applicants.

7. Can I be admitted to an in-person graduate certificate while working on my MA English Online degree?

- No, because they are offered on different campuses (Tempe and Online).

Lee Bebout, Director

Samantha Franze, Graduate Academic Advisor

FAQ

The Department of English offers instruction leading to the Master of Arts in English with a track in literature. Graduate students at ASU work closely with world-class scholars and teachers. This is an academic community that cares about its students and prepares them for successful careers in a variety of paths, including education, publishing, scholarships, and more. Students in the MA Literature program learn how to conduct dynamic new research, sharpen their analytical reading skills, argue persuasively, publicly present their work, and become professional writers. Our faculty offer seminars on exciting topics, such as Victorian Sexuality; Mysticism and the Body; American Shakespeares; Chicano Latino Autobiographies; Jane Austen's Novels, Fans, and Critics; The Sympathetic Republic; Representations of Empire and National Identity; Magical Realism; Faulkner and Morrison; and Science and Literature. In this flexible program, students may choose to write a traditional thesis or they may design creative intellectual projects connected to their individual professional goals through a non-thesis option.

Requirements

To earn the Master of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in literature, a candidate must complete the following MA requirements* (30 credit hours total):

  • ENG 501 Approaches to Research: Literature (3 credit hours)
  • One course in literary theory (3 credit hours)
  • Two distribution requirements (6 credit hours)^: one course in literature before 1800 and one course in literature since 1800
  • Electives (12-15 credit hours depending on culminating experience choice): 9 credit hours of graduate credit in the English department (ENG literature courses); 3-6 credit hours of graduate credit can consist of other ENG courses, or with prior approval, courses outside the English department.
  • Culminating Experience: Thesis (6 credit hours) or Applied Project (3 credit hours)

*At least two courses must be graduate seminars at the 600 level.

^Prior to Fall 2021, students completed three distribution requirements (one course in literature before 1660, one course in literature since 1660-1900, and one course in literature since 1900). Those admitted before Fall 2021 can follow these requirements or the new requirements. 

Thesis: (ENG 599 - 6 credits)  24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of Thesis. Under the direction of the supervisory committee (chair and two members), the student writes a master's thesis and defends it at an oral examination.

Non-thesis Option: (ENG  593)27 hours of coursework and 3 hours of Applied Project. Student works with an Applied Project director and one additional committee member. There will be an oral presentation of the project.

ENG 590 Reading and Conference will not ordinarily be used as a portion of the 30-hour M.A. in English, especially when it would duplicate study available through regularly scheduled courses.

Important Notice to Current International Students: In order for international students to maintain good standing for their VISAs, they must take a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester (i.e., 3 classes), 6 of which should be face-to-face classes.

Mark Hannah, Program Director

Samantha Franze, Graduate Academic Advisor

The Department of English offers instruction leading to the Master of Arts in English with a track in writing, rhetorics, and literacies. This program emphasizes rhetorical strategies of oral, written, material, and digital texts through classical and contemporary theories, methods, and contexts. Our degree candidates come into the program with diverse academic backgrounds and interests, and many of our graduates go on to continue scholarly work in rhetoric, English studies, law, communication, and other related fields, and professional careers in teaching, public service, and industry. Students work closely with the director to pursue individual interests in rhetoric and composition – to make connections with other fields such as anthropology, communication, education, linguistics, literature, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, and sociology. Students also may write theses that employ a range of scholarly approaches, such as historical, theoretical, or empirical. A non-thesis option is also available.

To earn the M.A. in English with an emphasis in writing, rhetorics, and literacies, a candidate must complete at least 30 hours of graduate courses. Included in that number must be the following courses:

1.     ENG 501 Approaches to Research (3 credit hours)

2.     One course in rhetoric theory (3 credit hours):

·         ENG 551 Rhetorical Traditions

·         ENG 554 Rhetorics of Race, Class, and Gender

·         ENG 556 Theories of Literacy

3.     One course in composition theory (3 credit hours):

·         ENG 552 Composition Studies

·         ENG 553 Technologies of Writing

4.     Electives (15 to 18 credit hours depending on culminating experience choice); note that at least 6 elective credit hours must be at the 600 level:

·         ENG 651 Advanced Studies in the History and Theories of Rhetoric

·         ENG 652 Advanced Composition Studies

·         ENG 654 Advanced Studies in Rhetoric, Writing, Technology, and Culture

·         ENG 655 Disciplinary Discourses  

·         ENG 656 Studies in Cross-Cultural Discourse

5.     Thesis (6 credit hours) or Applied Project (3 credit hours) for non thesis option.

Thesis:  (ENG 599 6 hours) The thesis is a research project leading to the production of a scholarly paper appropriate for the degree. The thesis project begins with a prospectus colloquium and culminates in an oral examination.

Non-thesis Option: 27 coursework and 3 hours of Applied Project (ENG 593). Student works with an Applied Project director and one additional committee member. There will be an oral presentation of the project.

For more information, contact: enggrad@asu.edu or 480-965-3194.

Important Notice to Current International Students: In order for international students to maintain good standing for their VISAs, they must take a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester (i.e., 3 classes), 6 of which should be face-to-face classes.



Accelerated Degree Option (4 + 1)

Accelerated master's (previously called 4+1) degree programs combining undergraduate and graduate coursework in your senior year for dual credit, you'll save up to an entire year of schooling and receive both degrees in as little as five years.


Degree Requirements

30 credit hours and a thesis - Comparative Literature Track

Required Core (3 credit hours)
ENG 501 Approaches to Research (3)

Track Coursework (12-18 credit hours)
Comparative Literature Track (15 credit hours)
one course in concept and methods (3)
four courses in a language other than English (12)

English Studies Track (18 credit hours)
one course in linguistics (3)
one course in literature (3)
one course in writing, rhetorics and literacies (3)
one course in English education (3)
two additional courses (6)

Literature Track (18 credit hours)
ENG 502 Contemporary Critical Theories (3)
one course in early literatures and cultures (3)
one course in modern and contemporary literatures and cultures (3)
one course in global, ethnic, and transnational literatures and cultures (3)
one course in methods and approaches (3)
one course in language and linguistics (3)

Writing, Rhetorics and Literacies Track (12 credit hours)
one course in composition theory (3)
one course in rhetoric theory (3)
two 600-level courses (6)

Electives (3-12 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 or 6 credit hours)
ENG 593 Applied Project (3) or
ENG 597 Graduate Capstone Seminar (3) or
ENG 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information

Students should see the academic unit for the approved lists of track coursework.

Students must choose one of the following tracks: comparative literature, English studies, literature or writing, rhetorics and literacies. Students complete 12 to 18 credit hours of track coursework and 3 to 12 credit hours of Electives depending on their track and culminating experience.

The capstone culminating experience option is available to students in the English studies track only. Students in this track must take the capstone. Students in one of the other tracks must select an applied project or thesis for the culminating experience.


Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose
  4. resume or curriculum vitae
  5. letters of recommendation
  6. academic writing sample relevant to the field
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency. Students should see the Department of English website for specific details about English proficiency requirements. Your application will not be processed without valid proof of English proficiency. More information about English proficiency requirements can be found here. Please note that official scores must be sent to ASU in order for your application to be processed.

Applicants to the comparative literature track must prove fluency in a foreign language at a level sufficient for graduate study.

The one- to two-page, single-spaced statement of purpose should detail the applicant's background, reasons for wanting to do graduate work in the track to which the applicant is applying and plans for the future.

Three letters of recommendation are required for applicants to the comparative literature, literature, and writing rhetorics and literacies tracks. Applicants to the English studies track are required to submit two academic or professional letters of recommendation; a third recommendation letter is optional.

An academic writing sample is required for applicants to the comparative literature, literature and writing rhetorics and literacies tracks. Applicants to the English studies track are not required to submit a writing sample as the statement of purpose serves as the writing sample.


Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

BA - English (Creative Writing)

Develop a literary voice that serves your academic, professional and artistic goals. Renowned, award-winning writers guide your engagement in supportive and rigorous workshops that enable your expressive growth.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BA - English (Literature)

Travel a world of literature as you read and analyze classic and modern texts. Begin your adventure here, where your studies will expose you to new cultures and perspectives while encouraging you to consider humanity and your place within it.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BA - English (Writing, Rhetorics and Literacies)

Learn to create compelling arguments, engage in collaborative problem-solving and transform words into action. This program is for those who want to be on the cutting edge of knowledge, using technology, language and design to make a lasting impact.

Website | Locations: TEMPE


Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.



Next Steps to attend ASU

Learn about our programs

Apply to a program

Visit our campus

Application Deadlines

Fall

Session
Modality
Deadline
Type

Session A/C
In Person
July 22nd
Final
Session A/C
Online
July 25th
Final
Session B
Online
September 18th
Final

Spring

Session
Modality
Deadline
Type

Session A/C
Online
December 11th
Final
Session B
Online
February 12th
Final
Session A/C
In Person
December 14th
Final

Summer

Session
Modality
Deadline
Type

Session A/C
Online
April 18th
Final
Session B
Online
June 3rd
Final


Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates from the MA program in English at ASU will be able to compose a compelling case, argument or creative work relevant to English studies that meets or exceeds standards of rigor in the field.
  • Graduates from the MA program in English at ASU will be able to use concepts from a discipline in English studies to analyze (break into constituent parts) a relevant creative, literary, rhetorical or linguistic artifact or other cultural phenomenon according to standards of rigor in the field.
  • Graduates of the MA program will be able to use theories, concepts and methods from a discipline in English studies to sustain an evidence-based line of reasoning that makes a grounded, situated and qualified contribution according to standards of rigor in the field.

Career Opportunities

Professionals with expertise in all areas of English studies are able to articulate and translate complex ideas for a general audience and are prepared for career opportunities in public humanities, business, digital media, teaching, museums, nonprofits and arts organizations. In addition, their advanced skills in writing, oral presentation and critical thinking are valuable assets for any career.

Career examples include:

  • communications director
  • copywriter
  • editor or author
  • human resources specialist
  • instructor
  • library or museum administrator
  • market research analyst
  • publisher
  • social media manager
  • technical writer
  • web content writer or specialist

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.