Sep 22, 2023  
2021-2022 School of Graduate Studies Catalog 
2021-2022 School of Graduate Studies Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, Master of Arts

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Program Objectives

If you are a lover of books, the M.A. in English program can enrich your reading experience by providing a structure and historical framework, insights and information shared by professors who are experts in their fields, and the opportunity for stimulating exchange of ideas in the classroom. If you are a writer looking to improve your skills, the M.A. in English program offers the opportunity to share your work with faculty and students, many of whom are published writers. If you are a teacher whose professional advancement depends upon a graduate degree, the M.A. in English program offers an opportunity for advanced study and research in the field of literature. Successful completion of the program leads to fulfillment of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requirements for professional licensure to teach English at the secondary level. If you are interested in pursuing doctoral studies in language and literature, the M.A. in English program offers solid preparation in the field.

Program Requirements

Upon acceptance into the program, you will complete a tentative Plan of Study in consultation with the program coordinator. You must request that any transfer credits be considered at this time. PLEASE NOTE THAT NO MORE THAN THREE COURSES TAKEN AT SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY BEFORE ADMISSION CAN BE COUNTED TOWARDS THIS PROGRAM. You should meet regularly with the program coordinator to discuss your progress and revise your plan of study as needed.

All candidates for the M.A. in English must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by one of the following options acceptable to the department graduate committee: a) proof of satisfactory completion of six hours of undergraduate credit beyond the elementary level of a foreign language; or b) a passing grade in a departmental reading language examination. Students who have not completed a foreign language prior to entering the program will have the opportunity to take a foreign language exam; or c) approval by department graduate coordinator and department graduate committee.

Course Requirements

Option L – Literary Studies (30-33 credits)

  1. Eighteen (18) credit hours in ENG literature courses, including ENG 725  .
  2. Twelve (12) additional credit hours in ENG courses including a capstone (ENG 994  or ENG 998  )


Fifteen (15) additional credit hours in ENG courses.

Upon approval of the program coordinator, students may use three credit hours from a related discipline such as history, theatre arts, or philosophy toward their 12-15 additional credit hours.

Students must apply to complete the portfolio or thesis the semester before they begin. Students must have a minimum 3.75 GPA for the thesis option. The thesis must be read by both an advisor and a second reader. Students planning to continue on to a doctoral program are strongly encouraged to choose the thesis option. The portfolio will follow the guidelines for the Portfolio Capstone (ENG 994  ). The thesis will follow the guidelines for the Thesis Capstone (ENG 998  ).

Students choosing option “L” may opt to complete a 39 credit program. In this case, the capstone thesis or portfolio project would be replaced with an additional six credits of coursework (two English electives as approved by the program coordinator).

Option W - Writing (30 credits)

  1. Eighteen (18) credit hours in ENG writing courses, including a capstone and at least two workshop courses in the major genre
  2. Twelve (12) credit hours in graduate English courses including ENG 725  
  3. A capstone manuscript in the student’s major genre. The manuscript may be poems, fiction, and dramatic forms, and will follow the guidelines for the Manuscript Capstone in Writing course (register for ENG 996 , repeatable once as needed.)

Total Credits for the Degree: 30-33

Additional Information and Notes

Additional information on any of the capstone options is available from the program coordinator.

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