Language and Literature

Specific Requirements: 

M.A. in English: Language and Literature

Thesis Option

  • Five graduate seminars
  • ENGL-8970: Thesis/project
  • ENGL-8000: Scholarship and the Profession (a pass/ fail 3-week course)

Course Work Option

  • Eight graduate seminars
  • Scholarship and the Profession (a pass/fail 3-week course)


The thesis, a paper of approximately 20,000 words, incorporates the results of a student's independent research. The student works on the thesis under the guidance of a thesis director and two readers. Applicants are not required to have a faculty advisor in order to be accepted into the program. Students in program are required to select an advisor within their first term of study. Please visit our Faculty page to view each faculty members' research/teaching interests. 

Prior to beginning work on the thesis, students must submit a prospectus, which will be prepared in consultation with their thesis director. The prospectus (approximately 1,000 words) is a formal, detailed plan of work which includes a statement of the problem, the method or approach to be employed, an assessment of the relevant scholarly and critical work on the topic, some indication of the nature and significance of the expected results or conclusions, and a bibliography. The prospectus is circulated to a panel composed of some of the specialists in the particular field of the proposed work and other appropriate members of the Department. If the panel approves the prospectus, a Master's Committee consisting of a Chair and one other member from the Department of English and one faculty member from another department will be recommended.

Students in the Thesis Program must register in ENGL-8970 in every term in which they use University facilities for their work.


The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires that students maintain at least a 70% cumulative GPA at all times.  Courses in which a grade of 70% or higher is received will be accepted for graduate credit. A student whose grade in a graduate course is less than 70% may be allowed to repeat the course or to substitute another for it, at the discretion of the Dean of Graduate Studies and the program coordinator. The student may not repeat more than one course.