Graduate Catalog 2019-2020

English (MA)

Program Coordinator: 

Professor Katharine Goodland

Building 2S, Room 121

Telephone: 718.982.3639



The program is designed for those who wish to enlarge their knowledge of literature, improve their critical thinking and writing skills, and/or to improve their skills as high school teachers of English. It is of interest to recent graduates, to students who wish to resume their graduate education, and to teachers with initial certification who wish to deepen their knowledge of English and complete their professional certification requirements.

Two options are offered, one with a concentration in literature and one with a concentration in rhetoric. Students electing the literature option will take at least five of seven total courses in literature (ENG 700-level courses); students electing the rhetoric option will take three courses in linguistics or writing (ENG 600-level courses) and four courses in literature (ENG 700-level courses). In addition all students are required to take Methods of Graduate Study,  ENG 690 and the independent study, ENG 780 for writing their MA thesis (28-32 pages).

In sum, 34 credits are required for the degree: 7 subject matter courses totaling 28 credits, Methods of Graduate Study, ENG 690, for 3 credits, and the Thesis Independent Study, ENG 780 for 3 credits.

English Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited institution
  2. At least 32 credits of undergraduate courses in English (excluding freshman composition)
  3. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) or a grade point average of 3.0 (B) in English courses
  4. Two letters of recommendation from English professors.
  5. A personal statement of intent (500-700 words) describing the academic experiences that have brought you to this moment in which you have chosen to pursue graduate study in English and your reasons for pursing the degree.
  6. A minimum of 8-10 pages of academic writing in English courses with verified authorship. You may submit one paper or several to reach the required total of 8-10 pages.

The Graduate Record Examination is not required for admission.

Students may be admitted conditionally with the approval of the coordinator of the English MA program; their ad-mission will be reviewed after completion of two courses. Prospective applicants with questions concerning the application requirements are encouraged to email the coordinator of the program.

English Degree Requirements

  1. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) in all coursework.
  2. 28 credits of course work. Students may concentrate in Literature or Rhetoric:

    Literature Option: seven courses (28 credits), including at least five courses in literature (700-level courses) that must include at least one course in English literature before 1800.

    Rhetoric Option: seven courses (28 credits), including three in linguistics, writing, or the teaching of writing (6XX). Four courses in literature (7XX), at least one course in English literature before 1800.

    Note: Students who have received New York State Initial Teacher Certification and who desire the Professional Teacher Certification as teachers of Adolescent English are encouraged to take EDS 692, Advanced Studies in Teaching Secondary School English (3 Credits) in the School of Education. Please consult with the MA coordinator for help with registering for this course.

  3. All students are required to take ENG 690, Methods of Graduate Study within their first two semesters. This 3 credit course is offered each fall semester..
  4. MA Thesis of 25-32 pages in conjunction with ENG 780 (3 credits).
  5. Honors: To earn the degree with Honors, a grade point average of 3.5 and a grade of Honors on the master’s thesis are required.