Master of Arts in English

Overview

The Master of Arts in English is designed for (1) those individuals who have the traditional bachelor’s degree in English and allied fields (i.e., language arts, humanities, etc.) and wish to supplement that degree with training in literary and rhetorical theory and humanities computing, (2) those who now teach on the secondary or collegiate levels and wish to investigate literary and rhetorical theories and practices, and (3) those who wish to pursue doctoral studies upon completion of the master’s degree.

The program is distinctive in its emphasis on humanities computing as a research tool and as a system for imparting, accessing, and using information. It is further distinctive in its pragmatic approach to the study of literature, language, and rhetoric  because some emphasis will be placed upon how the knowledge and skills learned can be used for utilitarian purposes. The program, then, provides a strong background in rhetorical and literary theories and applications, humanities computing, literature, and language. It, thus, provides graduates the opportunities (1) to develop a solid knowledge base in the discipline by enhancing the knowledge and skills needed to explore literature and language of diverse populations and/or to successfully pursue careers in other fields requiring a strong background in English, (2) to deepen and broaden their knowledge in the discipline, and (3) to strengthen their analytical and research skills.

The course of study for the Master of Arts in English requires 36 semester hours, including six semester hours for the thesis. The core curriculum includes 9 semester hours:

  • 3 semester hours in research methods and humanities computing
  • 3 semester hours in rhetorical theories and practices
  • 3 semester hours in literary criticism and theory

The other 21 semester hours of coursework will be composed of elective courses. Students will select

  • Two seminar courses (6 semester hours)
  • Two special topics courses (6 semester hours)
  • One course (3 semester hours) in language, literature, or rhetoric
  • Two additional courses (6 semester hours)

Students at the thesis level will register for the thesis (research) seminar until such time that the thesis is completed.

Admission to the Program and Program Prerequisites

  1. Applicants who hold bachelor's degrees in English or related areas must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or better.
  2. Applicants who hold degrees in other areas must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better, and they will be required to take selected undergraduate courses as prerequisites. 
  3. Applicants must submit an application for admission, pay the appropriate fee, and submit an official copy of their undergraduate transcript.
  4. All applicants will be required to provide a writing sample before the final admission decision is rendered.  The applicants will write the sample on the main campus of Bowie State University under the supervision of Master of Arts in English program personnel.

Program Objectives

  1. To provide an avenue for the student of English to keep abreast of current literary and rhetorical theories and practices.
  2. To provide an opportunity for the enhancement of knowledge and skills in the discipline.
  3. To provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to use the new technologies in accessing, analyzing, and using information, especially the computer.
  4. To provide an opportunity to strengthen students’ analytical and research skills, enabling them to successfully pursue any of a variety of careers which require the application of such skills.
  5. To provide advanced study and research in English through the study of literary genre, special topics in literature, and cross-genre investigation of themes and literary modes—with special attention to the development of critical thinking and assessment skills needed not only in the discipline, but also required by both the academic and non-academic work forces, especially the leadership in these work forces.
  6. To provide an opportunity for students to gain the knowledge and skills needed to explore literature and language of diverse populations and to successfully pursue careers in related areas, such as journalism, public relations, writing, etc.
  7. To provide an in-service program for teachers of English.

Overview and Curriculum Sequence

  1. Students pursue core, elective, and any applicable qualifying courses. (This program presupposes that those students who are pursuing or wish to pursue careers in teaching have already met certification requirements.)
  2. Upon completion of 12 semester hours of core and elective courses, students may advance to candidacy.
  3. Upon completion of 21 credits of program requirements (see specific stipulations that follow), students may register for and pass the Graduate Written Comprehensive Examination.

After successfully completing a minimum of 21 credit hours of coursework that count toward the MA in English degree, students should be able to enroll in ENGL 799 and ENGL 800, as long as they meet the following criteria:

  1. at least 6 of the 21 credits should be core requirements (501, 601, and 737);
  2. at least 6 of the 21 credits should be fulfilling the “Special Topics” requirement;
  3. at least 6 of the 21 credits should be fulfilling the “Seminar” requirement.

Program Requirements

I. Core Courses

  • ENGL 501 Research Methods and Humanities Computing I
  • ENGL 601 Rhetorical Theories and Practices I
  • ENGL 737 Literary Criticism and Theory

II. Special Topics Courses

Select at least two of the following special topics courses in consultation with advisor.

  • ENGL 710 Special Topics in Fiction
  • ENGL 711 Special Topics in Poetry
  • ENGL 712 Special Topics in Drama
  • ENGL 713 Special Topics in Women’s Literature
  • ENGL 714 Special Topics in Ethnic/Multicultural Literature
  • ENGL 715 Special Topics in Autobiographical Literature
  • ENGL 763 Special Topics in Linguistics 

III. Seminar Courses

Select at least two of the following seminar courses in consultation with advisor.

  • ENGL 733 Seminar in Literature of the Caribbean
  • ENGL 734 Seminar in Literature of the East
  • ENGL 755 Seminar in American Literature
  • ENGL 756 Seminar in British Literature
  • ENGL 757 Seminar in African-American Literature
  • ENGL 758 Seminar in African Literature
  • ENGL 759 Seminar in World Literature

IV. Language or Rhetoric Courses

Select at least one course from the following language or rhetoric courses in consultation with advisor.

  • ENGL 545 Advanced Grammar
  • ENGL 760 Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 761 Rhetoric, Writing, and Assessment
  • ENGL 763 Special Topics in Linguistics

Exceptional students who are invited may substitute ENGL 600 Practicum in Teaching College Composition for the above requirement.

V. Additional Electives

  • ENGL 502 Research Methods and Humanities Computing II
  • ENGL 602 Rhetorical Theories and Practices II

VI. Thesis

  • ENGL 800 Thesis Design and Preparation I
  • ENGL 801 Thesis Design and Preparation II
  • ENGL 802 Thesis Continuation (optional, one credit)


Total: 36 credits

For more information, please contact:

Department of English and Modern Languages
Dr. Monifa Love, Coordinator
Master of Arts in English
301-860-3674

mlove@bowiestate.edu 

Office of Graduate Studies and Graduate Admissions
graduatestudies@bowiestate.edu 
gradadmissions@bowiestate.edu 
301-860-3406/3415