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English Department Graduate Programs

ADMISSIONS PROCEDURES

Candidates applying for admission for the M.A. degree, the M.S. degree, or the M.S. degree with certification or for the English teacher certification program should make an appointment with the graduate director, Nicole Fluhr, at (203) 392-6739 or fluhrn1@southernct.edu. Candidates should also file an application with the Graduate Office and submit all official transcripts to them.

If you are hoping to transfer graduate credits taken at another institution, the course(s) in question must meet the guidelines described in the Graduate Catalog; during your initial meeting with the Graduate Coordinator, you can discuss whether and how your credits will transfer.  Transfer credits may not constitute more than 25% of a student's planned program (that is, no more than 9 credits for the M.A. and straight M.S. programs), whether the classes were taken prior to admission to Southern or while in a matriculated program at Southern.

Note:  Although the department has rolling admissions throughout the year, including the summer, candidates are encouraged to apply by May 1 for the fall semester and by December 1 for the spring semester to guarantee admission for that semester.  Prospective degree candidates may, however, register as part-time non-matriculated students in graduate courses.  Up to nine credits of non-matriculated course work may be applied toward the degree. 

MASTER OF ARTS IN ENGLISH  (36 CREDITS) 

The Master of Arts degree in English is designed for students who plan to pursue doctoral studies in English, who want to extend their knowledge and appreciation of literature, composition theory, or critical theory, or who are interested in a specialization in African American literature.  The degree is also appropriate for those who are already certified teachers.  Applicants are required to have a reading knowledge of one foreign language.   To be eligible to apply to the Master of Arts Program, candidates must:  

  • meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies;
  • have completed a minimum of 30 undergraduate credits in English with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher;
  • have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher (note: interested applicants who do not meet these requirements may contact the Graduate Coordinator);

Application Materials

  • 500-word statement of purpose explaining why they want to enter the degree program they have selected
  • 4- 5-page writing sample (academic or professional non-fiction prose),
  • three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from an academic referee (see the application packet for details). These materials  should be mailed together in a single envelope addressed to the Graduate English Admissions Committee.  Transcripts, application forms, and application fees should be mailed directly to the School of Graduate Studies, not to the Department of English;
  • have a reading knowledge of one modern foreign language.  This requirement should be met before the student begins the graduate program but must be met before the student enrolls for more than fifteen hours of course work; the requirement can be met by passing two years, or the equivalent, of college-level work in a foreign language; students may demonstrate proficiency by means of a transcript indicating a passing grade in four semesters of college-level foreign language study, by a waiver of equivalency from the Southern Connecticut State University Department of Foreign Languages, or through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). 

The submission of GRE or Miller's Analogy Test Results is optional.

Program Overview

Requirements-21 credits

  • ENG 517 - Research Methods and Critical Theory (3 credits)
  • ENG 508 - Contemporary Critical Theory (3 credits)
  • A course in the history of the English language, or a course in the early literature of the language (pre-1500 British literature) (3 credits)
  • Two courses in American literature (6 credits)
  • Two courses in British literature, including one course in English literature from 1500-1800 (6 credits)

Elective Courses or Optional Specializations - 9 credits

  • Three elective courses in any area of English studies (9 credits)

OR

  • Specialization in African American Literature (Students substitute 9 credits in African American Literature for 9 elective credits)

Thesis Option - 6 credits

  • Thesis proposal and Thesis (6 credits)

OR

Comprehensive Option - 6 credits

  • Comprehensive Examination
  • Two electives in any area of English studies (6 credits)

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MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN ENGLISH

(36 CREDITS)

The Master of Science degree in English is designed for students who wish the  option of supplementing work in American or British literature, African-American studies, composition theory, or critical theory with electives in related fields.  Such an option permits a student, through departmental advisement, to approach the humanities with the enthusiasm of a generalist or to develop an area of expertise with the focus of a specialist. This degree also may assist students in meeting admission requirements for the Ph.D. programs in English studies even if the candidates did not major in English as undergraduates.  However, the Master of Arts degree is the strongly preferred prerequisite for Ph.D. candidates.

This degree is particularly appropriate for in-service teachers, who may combine their English studies with up to 6 credits of coursework in a related field.  The coursework in a related field is intended to enhance professional skills or provide an interdisciplinary component to the degree. Options include English as a Second Language, history, psychology, reading, sociology, and interdisciplinary women's studies.  The opportunity to take courses outside of the English Department allows students to explore related fields or develop skills that may aid them in their teaching.  To be accepted into the Master of Science program, candidates must: 

  • meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies;
  • have completed a minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in English with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher;
  • have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (note: interested applicants who do not meet these requirements may contact the Graduate Coordinator);
  • submit a typed, 500-word statement of purpose explaining why they want to enter the degree program they have selected, a 4- to 5-page writing sample (academic or professional, non-fiction prose), and three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from an academic referee (see the application packet for details). These materials should be mailed together in a single envelope addressed to the Graduate English Admissions Committee.  Transcripts, application forms and application fees should be mailed directly to the School of Graduate Studies, not to the Department of English.

The submission of GRE or Miller's Analogy Test results is optional.

Program Overview:

Requirements-18 credits

  • ENG 517 - Research Methods and Critical Theory (3 credits)
  • ENG 508 - Contemporary Critical Theory (3 credits)
  • A course in the history of the English language, or a course in the early literature of the language (pre-1500 British literature) (3 credits)
  • One course in American literature (3 credits)
  • One course in British literature (3 credits)
  • One course in literature of non-dominant traditions (3 credits)

Elective Courses or Optional Specializations - 12 credits

  • Four elective courses in any area of English studies (12 credits)  (With the permission of the Graduate Coordinator, 3-6 of these credits may be taken in related areas outside of the English Department. Thesis students should choose electives with care so that they have a background in the area of their thesis)

Thesis Option - 6 credits

  • Thesis proposal and Thesis (6 credits)

OR

Comprehensive Option - 6 credits

  • Comprehensive Examination
  • Two Electives in any area of English Studies (6 credits)

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