Graduate Students

The Department of English offers a wide variety of graduate coursework in British and American literature, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, linguistics, pedagogy, literary theory, and film. We host or support three graduate programs: the M.A. in English, the M.A.T. in English Education, and a post-baccalaureate licensure program for secondary English education. On this page you will find details of the final projects and/or exams for the M.A. and the M.A.T. as well as upcoming courses in the English program.

English M.A. Program Tracks

The M.A. program offers two tracks in order to fit students’ goals and proclivities: one in which students complete a research-based project and one in which students complete the comprehensive exams.

Master’s Project

Students may choose to complete a Master’s Project, which is worth three hours of course credit. The Project usually takes the form of a research paper of approximately thirty pages, often on a topic initially developed in a graduate course. However, the Master’s Project may also involve a creative work (poems, short stories, or chapters of a novel, for example). In order to complete the degree requirements, the student makes a public presentation of the Project before an audience of students and faculty. The public presentation of the Master’s Project is an approved equivalent for the comprehensive examinations.


Comprehensive Examinations

The comprehensive examinations are written examinations, administered over a two-day period, in response to questions about texts that are taken from reading lists constructed according to the student’s areas of interest. Prior to the exam, students construct three reading lists, to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, according to the following criteria:

  • Genre: literary texts in one genre from at least three chronological periods;
  • Period: literary texts drawn from three periods of British and American literary history;
  • Criticism and theory: critical and theoretical essays and books that address the works on lists (1) and (2).


English M.A.T. Final Project

As a culmination of the program, students seeking the MAT with an emphasis in English Education will complete a final project that demonstrates mastery of both English and Education content. The project has two parts, a scholarly essay and a complete unit plan.

The Essay: Students must produce a scholarly essay of at least 25 typed pages. The essay must incorporate content from both the English and Education facets of the program.

The Unit: Attached to the essay, students must submit a brief yet complete unit plan that demonstrates how the content of the essay can be used in classroom practice. The unit must contain at least five lesson plans.

Final Project Process

  • After the completion of coursework, students will submit a prospectus to Drs. Chaves and Kraver, outlining the plan for completion of the final project.
  • Students are encouraged to work with appropriate English and Education faculty as they develop and revise the essay in preparation for submittal. 
  • There is no formal defense of the final project. An advisory committee is not required.
  • Upon completion, Drs. Chaves and Kraver will evaluate the project.

Upcoming Graduate English Courses

Below you will find the English graduate courses offered in Fall 2016. Disclaimer: The course descriptions provided here are for the guidance of students. Faculty reserve the right to change course descriptions and schedules without prior notice.

For additional details please visit:

  • ENG 594: Practicum in Teaching
      • Faculty: Jeraldine Kraver
  • ENG 600: Introduction to Graduate Study
  • ENG 629: 20th Century British Literature
      • Faculty: Sarah Cornish
  • ENG 639: The Arabian Nights in the Western Imagination
      • Faculty: Lahcen Ezzaher

ENG 639 Course Description: The Arabian Nights, Scheherazade, Aladdin, magic carpets, magic lamps, djinns and demons, archangels, and magicians and "Open sesame!" These are words and phrases that spark the imagination of American and European audiences even today, for they conjure up images of magic and desire from a distant land known as the exotic Orient.

Since its appearance in Europe in 1704, the medieval Arabic cycle of stories Alf Layla wa Layla, known in the West as The Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights, is a classic of world literature. In the first part of the semester, we shall explore the power of storytelling in this work. We shall proceed with a close reading of a selection of tales, paying special attention to themes, such as deceit, love, lust, revenge, violence, and justice. Also, we shall study the reception of this literary corpus in the Western literary and artistic tradition. In particular, we shall examine the ways in which the tales have inspired authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, John Barth and Salman Rushdie in English, and Jorge Luis Borges in Spanish. We shall also explore how some of the themes in the tales have made their way to the Western imagination, particularly in film (Walt Disney).

“It’s in words that the magic is—Abracadabra, Open Sesame, and the rest—but the magic words in one story aren’t magical in the next. The real magic is to understand which words work and when, and for what: the trick is to learn the trick…. It’s as if—as if the key to the treasure is the treasure.” - John Barth, “Dunyazadiad”