department of english

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M.A. Non-Thesis Option

The English Master of Arts Non-Thesis Option consists of the following:

Thirty (30) credits of coursework, including ENG 595 (Master’s Project)

M.A. Portfolio (with Introduction)

  • M.A. Portfolio: In the non-thesis program, students are required to submit a portfolio of professional writing.  At the beginning of the third semester of the program, the student will choose a group of three or four Faculty members to serve as the portfolio committee; one of these Faculty members will be designated by the student as the committee chair. During the fourth and final semester, the student enrolls in ENG 595 (Master’s Project) with the committee chair. Under the guidance of the chair of this committee, the Faculty members will work with the student to develop, evaluate, and approve a professional portfolio.  Once the portfolio is revised to the satisfaction of all committee members, the student is eligible for the M.A. Comprehensive Exam.
  • Portfolio Introduction: After successful completion of the M.A. Comprehensive exam, and before the M.A. Oral Defense, the student generates a written introduction to the Portfolio. The written introduction is a statement of intent that articulates an intellectual rationale for the selection of the work included in the portfolio, describes the processes of revision, provides a retrospective commentary on the portfolio and its intellectual coherence, and indicates future directions for scholarship and writing.  Usually this statement is expected to be about 4-5 pages in length.

M.A. Oral Defense

  • This is a one-hour oral defense of the portfolio and its written introduction. Portfolio Committee members serve as oral defense committee members. Results of the oral defense shall be reported promptly to the student and to the Dean of the graduate school.

M.A. Comprehensive Exam (scheduled when formal coursework is nearly completed)

  • The M.A. Comprehensive exam is a written exam of no less than 4 hours duration in which the student answers a question or series of questions pertaining to the material in the portfolio. These questions are developed by the committee members and communicated to the student by the committee chair. Results of the written exam are communicated to the graduate school with copy to the student, the portfolio committee members, the Graduate Program Administrator and Director.



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