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Program Details

Students must complete a 30-unit program of study, approved by the department’s director of graduate studies, with at least 27 units of 600- and 700-numbered courses. 

The program includes a specialization in one of five program areas: American literature, British literature, children’s literature, comparative literature, or rhetoric and writing. 

Requirements & Specializations

The following courses are required to receive an M.A. in English:

Students must take ENGL 600: Introduction to Graduate Study.

With prior approval by the graduate adviser, a student will select nine units from the following:

  • ENGL 604A Seminar: Literary Period or Movement: American Literature (3 units)
  • ENGL 606A Seminar: A Literary Type: American Literature(3 units)
  • ENGL 625 Literature of the United States (3 units)
  • ENGL 700 Seminar: A Major Author or Authors (3 units)
  • ENGL 725 Seminar: Issues in Literature of the United  States (3 units)

(With the prior consent of the graduate adviser, ENGL 798, with appropriate content, may be substituted for one of the above  courses.)

With prior approval by the graduate adviser, a student will select nine units from the following:

  • ENGL 604B Seminar: British Literary Period or Movement (3 units)
  • ENGL 624 British Literature (3 units)
  • ENGL 700 Seminar:  A Major Author or Authors (3 units)
  • ENGL 724 Seminar: Issues in British Literature (3 units)

(With the prior consent of the graduate adviser, ENGL 798, with appropriate content, may be substituted for one of the above courses.)

With prior approval by the graduate adviser, a student will select nine units from the following:

  • ENGL 604D Seminar: Children’s Literature Literary Period or Movement (3 units)
  • ENGL 606D Seminar: Children’s Literature Literary Type (3 units)
  • ENGL 700 Seminar: A Major Author or Authors (3 units)
  • ENGL 727 Seminar: Issues in Children’s Literature (3 units)

(With the prior consent of the graduate adviser, ENGL 798, with appropriate content, may be substituted for one of the above courses.)

With prior approval by the graduate adviser, a student will select nine units from the following:

Three units acceptable for graduate credit, in the literature of another language, taken in another department. All readings for these units have to be in a non-English language.

Six units from the following:

  • ENGL 626 Comparative Literature (3 units)
  • ENGL 700 Seminar: A Major Author or Authors (3 units)
  • ENGL 726 Seminar: Issues in Comparative Literature (3 units)

(With the prior consent of the graduate adviser, ENGL 798, with appropriate content, may be substituted for one of the above courses.)

With prior approval by the graduate adviser, a student will select nine units from the following:

  • RWS 600 Reading and Writing Rhetorically (3 units)
  • RWS 601A History of Rhetoric I (3 units)
  • RWS 602 Modern Rhetoric and Composition Studies (3 units)
  • RWS 640 Research Methods in Rhetoric and Writing Studies (3 units)
With the approval of the graduate adviser, fifteen units selected from other English and comparative literature departmental graduate offerings. At least six units of these elective units must be taken outside of the student's own specialization and from other literary specializations within the English M.A. program.

Students may choose Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (portfolio assessment).

  • Plan A (Thesis): ENGL 799A—the thesis is a sustained body of writing of around 70-90 pages.
  • Plan B (Portfolio Assessment and Defense): ENGL 790--The portfolio includes a seminar paper that has been revised and expanded to become a scholarly article. 

Please see our Courses page for detailed descriptions.

Sample Time-line

The M.A. in English is a two-year program. As our time line for current students illustrates, students would be wise to plan ahead in order to fulfill all requirements and take advantage of the opportunities SDSU and the English Department has to offer.

Advising

The Graduate Director is Professor Quentin Bailey. To make an advising appointment, please contact Mary Garcia at [email protected].

Important Links

Class Schedule | SDSU Graduate Bulletin | Academic Calendar 

“I wouldn't have my job at the law firm without my MA. It made me a more attractive candidate to the firm. I’m really glad that I got my MA in English at SDSU. It has definitely opened doors in the legal field for me.”

—Stephanie Sandler