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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

For the most update information, please visit the live UNC schedule and latest graduate catalog.