2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Sep 25, 2022  
2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, MA

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Claudia Klaver, Director of Graduate Studies, 401 Hall of Languages, 315-443-6133; or Christopher Kennedy, Director of Creative Writing, 401 Hall of Languages, 315-443-3755.


Crystal Bartolovich, Dorri Beam, Michael Burkard, Dympna Callaghan, Manan Desai, Susan Edmunds, Carol Fadda-Conrey, Arthur Flowers, Chris Forster, Ken Frieden, Mike Goode, Roger Hallas, Chris Hanson, Brooks Haxton, Mary Karr, Christopher Kennedy, Claudia Klaver, Erin S. Mackie, Kevin Morrison, Donald E. Morton, Patricia Roylance, George Saunders, Stephanie Shirilan, Bruce Smith, Dana Spiotta, Harvey Teres, Silvio Torres-Saillant, David Yaffe

The Department of English offers a range of graduate programs: the M.A. in English, the M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and the Ph.D. in English. The department welcomes students who plan to become writers and scholar/teachers, and it makes a serious effort to tailor its programs to each student’s interests. Classes are small, usually from 5 to 15 students, and there is ample opportunity for independent study and supervised research.

One of the department’s greatest strengths is its faculty, which includes distinguished scholar- teachers and internationally known writers.

The graduate programs in English ask students to attain some coverage of literary periods, genres, and major authors, while also devoting substantial attention to those modes of theoretical inquiry that have disrupted and enlivened the study of literature in recent years. To that end our current course offerings represent both traditional approaches to English and important work in contemporary theory and cultural studies.

For more information about our graduate programs, degree and program requirements, course offerings, and specific application deadline dates, visit our department web site at http://english.syr.edu/

M.A. in English

This master’s degree is seen as a step toward the doctorate; therefore the department welcomes applicants who wish to go on to the Ph.D. Applicants should have a strong undergraduate background, if not a major, in English. In their intellectual statements on the application for graduate study, students should define their intellectual projects and state their reasons for pursuing an advanced degree.

The department has particular strengths in early modern literature, 18th and 19th-century British studies, American studies, and film, but includes other areas as well. The faculty all share a strong interest in literary history and forms, critical theory, and cultural studies. Four semesters are usually required to complete the M.A. Approximately four students are admitted each year.


The minimum requirement for the degree is 30 credits of coursework in English (ENG 630 /ENG 730 ) and successful completion of the dossier. ENG 631  is a required part of the 30 credits. The 30 credits of coursework required for the degree must be taken in English at the 630 and 730 level and must include three 730-level courses. Students may take additional courses in English or in other departments above and beyond the minimum credits required for the degree.

Graduate Awards

Teaching assistantships, include tuition scholarships for nine credits per semester (plus six credits in the summer) as well as stipends from $14,535 to $15,479. New teaching assistants at the M.A. level are assigned to courses offered by the Writing Program. Teaching assistants have full responsibility for three sections a year, are expected to attend regular staff meetings and workshops, and participate in a coordinating group. There is also an ongoing mentorship and review of each teaching assistant’s performance as a teacher. New teaching assistants take a teaching practicum (WRT 670 ) closely related to their classroom duties.

Beginning Ph.D. students serve as teaching assistants in undergraduate lecture courses taught by full-time faculty in the English Department for two to three years. They receive ongoing mentorship and faculty review of their performance.

Advanced Ph.D. students teach independent courses of their own design in the English department for one or two years, and participate in the Future Professoriate Project. This project offers mentored teaching and participation in teaching seminars every semester. Students who fulfill all the requirements receive at graduation a certificate in university teaching.

The department also competes for University Fellowships, awarded annually to outstanding applicants, and it offers 10 one-year creative writing fellowships. All fellowships include tuition scholarships for full-time study as well as stipends from $14,250 to $23,830.

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