The M.A. in English is conferred upon completion of 30 credit hours of coursework (normally ten courses), of which up to six credits may be transferred with the approval of the graduate director, and a capstone. Degree requirements are as follows:
- ENG 711: History and Theory of Literary Criticism (3 credits), to be taken at the student's first opportunity.
- At least one research seminar (800-level course) (3 credits).
- 8 additional courses (24 credits). Two of these courses may be devoted to pursuing the MA thesis option (see below).
- Reading knowledge of a foreign language, demonstrated by means of coursework or a proficiency exam, or by means of a passing grade in a graduate-level Old English course (e.g. ENG 501, 502, 503) or History of the English Language (ENG 621).
- Capstone: Either an M.A. thesis, written under the guidance of a faculty advisor and counting for two courses (6 credits) toward the coursework requirement, or a Comprehensive Examination in two parts (English literature to 1800, and English literature since 1800), both essay-based and taken in timed exam conditions.