M.A. Program in Literary and Cultural Studies

Course distribution Course Listing
Thesis option

Exam option


Course Distribution for Literary and Cultural Studies Concentration

There are two main course requirements for all students in the LCS concentration; the rest of your courses are electives. Therefore, to create a coherent program of study, you need to meet regularly with the Chair of your committee. Your electives should be selected in close consultation with the Chair of your committee. (The Graduate Liaison is also available for all advising questions before and after you select a Chair.) Finally, in consultation with your Chair, you will decide how you will complete your program: 1) Exam Option; 2) Critical Thesis Option; 3) Creative Writing Thesis Option.

Students should familiarize themselves with the Graduate College's webiste which has all the forms required for each option.

Required Courses

One course (3 hours) in Literary Criticism and Theory (Engl 5313)
One course (3 hours) in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy

Both required courses must be at the 5000 or 6000 level. No directed readings allowed. The course in C/R/L may be either in teaching composition (Engl 5113) or in history of rhetoric and rhetorical theory.

Elective Courses

Seven courses (21 hours) at the 5000 or 6000 level.*

Total credit for Required and Elective courses: 27 hrs

*If you and the Chair of your committee decide there are good reasons for taking a 4000 level course within the English department, a graduate course outside the department, or a directed reading within or outside the department, you may petition the Graduate Committee to take such classes. All petitions must be accompanied by a letter or email of support from the Chair of your committee. (NB: only two directed readings in total within the English department count towards an M.A. degree with the exam option; only one directed reading in total within the English department counts towards an M.A. with the Critical or Creative Thesis Option.)

1. Non-Thesis (Exam) Option in Literary and Cultural Studies

In addition to the Required Courses and the first seven Elective Courses, a student in the Exam Option must take (a) one additional course (3 hours); (b) one directed reading (English 5960; 3 hours); (c) the M.A. Examination.

(a) One Additional Course (3 hours) This must be in addition to, and other than, the Required and Elective Courses done in the first 27 credit hours and should be in your primary area.

(b) One Directed Reading; English 5960 (3 hours) This course must be with the Chair of your committee and focuses on your primary area.

(c) M. A. Examination The M. A. Examination is the culmination of the student's coursework in the program. It should therefore test: (a) the overall knowledge of his or her chosen area(s) that the student has acquired cumulatively up to that point through coursework and independent preparation; and (b) his or her skills as a researcher, scholar, and critic.

Students must file the Admission to Candidcacy form according to the Graduate COllege's deadline. This deadline is characteristically around October 1 for a spring exam date, and April 1 for a fall exam. Deadlines and forms can be found on the Graduate College's website.

The M. A. Examination will have two portions: written and oral. Optimally, the exam should be taken in the semester immediately after the one in which coursework is completed, and no later than the second semester after completion of coursework.

As early as possible in their career, but not later than the semester prior to that in which the examination is taken students in the Exam Option should develop with their advisor

(a) two fields in Literary and Cultural Studies(one designated primary and the other secondary). With approval of the examination committee, a student may choose Composition, Rhetoric and Literacy as the minor field;

(b) a three-member Comprehensive Examination Committee. In particular students in literary and cultural studies should have at least two members from the major field with one of these members serving as chair; and

(c) a reading list of 30 items from the primary area in the Concentration and 10 items from the secondary area, with a balanced selection of book-length primary texts and scholarly books and articles.

Students will draft three exam questions for the primary area and two questions for the secondary area and submit them, first to their Chair, and then to their Committee. These questions should cover all the items on the list, without citing each of them.

Once the Committee approves final versions of the questions, the exam must be taken no more than 30 days later. The Exam will require three essay-type answers. The Committee will choose two questions from the primary area and one from the secondary area for the student to answer. No answer should exceed 10 double-spaced typed pages (approximately 2500 words). Students can select from these schedules for their exams:


Weekday M.A. exam schedule

Receive exam at 8:00 AM on:

Turn in exam by 5:00 PM on:

Monday

Wednesday

Tuesday

Thursday

Wednesday

Friday

Weekend M.A. exam schedule

Receive exam at 5:00 PM on:

Turn in exam by 1:00 PM on:

Friday

Monday



Oral Component The oral component, scheduled by the Chair after the successful completion of the written component, will provide an opportunity for both the student and his/her Committee to review, analyze, contextualize, and supplement the written component. Students should expect to be questioned on items from their reading lists not covered in the written component of the exam. Ability to demonstrate to the exam committee familiarity with and comprehension of all the works on the reading lists is expected for the successful completion of the oral component.

The M.A. Exam will be graded Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction. Students are allowed only two attempts at the Examination, in successive semesters.

Credit for Required and Elective Courses: 27 hours
Credit for Additional Course: 3 hrs
Credit for Directed Reading: 3 hrs
Total credit for Exam Option in Literary and Cultural
Studies: 33 hrs



Thesis Options for Literature and Cultural Studies
Only M.A. students with a 3.5 GPA in the first 18 hours of their graduate coursework in the program can take these options.

2. Critical Thesis Option:

Thesis Committee Before the final semester of coursework, the student must constitute a three-member Thesis Committee with his/her areas of interest.

Students must file the Admission to Candidcacy form according to the Graduate COllege's deadline. This deadline is characteristically around October 1 for a spring exam date, and April 1 for a fall exam. They must also file the Master's Thesis Topic and Committee Membership form.
Deadlines and forms can be found on the Graduate College's website.

Thesis Proposal Early in the semester immediately after completing coursework, the student will meet with the Thesis Committee and obtain its approval of the Thesis Proposal. A Proposal approved by a Committee will contain

(a) a cogent, substantive overview of topic and research;
(b) a brief chapter outline; and
(c) a thoroughly researched select bibliography on the topic.

Thesis Defense After the student has completed the thesis, he or she must defend it in an oral examination administered by the Thesis Committee.

Credit for Required and Elective Courses: 27 hours
Credit for Critical Thesis: 6 hrs (3 hrs Directed Reading [5960]; 3 hrs Thesis [5980])

Total credit for Thesis Option in Literary and Cultural
Studies: 33 hrs


3. Creative Writing Thesis Option A student electing this option must complete all the Required Courses and the first five Elective Courses (15 hours) as specified for the M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies.

In addition to those 21 credit hours, he or she must take at least two creative writing courses: one must be a 5000-level creative writing seminar (3 hours) and the other may be a 4000-level creative writing course (3 hours). In addition to these Required and Elective Courses, a student in this option must apply, receive approval, and complete a Creative Thesis.

Thesis Committee. Two members of the Thesis Committee must be published creative writers. The third will be a member who is not a creative writer. One of the creative writers will serve as the chair of the Committee.

Students must file the Admission to Candidcacy form according to the Graduate COllege's deadline. This deadline is characteristically around October 1 for a spring exam date, and April 1 for a fall exam. They must also file the Master's Thesis Topic and Committee Membership form. Deadlines and forms can be found on the Graduate College's website.

Thesis. The Thesis will consist of (i) a significant collection of short stories, poems, or plays, or a work of creative prose; and (ii) a critical introduction to the work by the author, situating it in its historical and generic contexts.

Thesis Defense. After the student has completed the thesis, he or she must defend it in an oral examination administrated by the Thesis Committee.

Credit for required and Elective Courses: 21 hours
4000 level Creative Writing Class; 5000 level Creative Writing
Class: 6 hrs

Credit for Creative Thesis: 6hrs (3 hrs Directed Reading [5960];
3 hrs Thesis [5980])
Total credit for Creative Option: 33 hrs

Course Listing

• Special Topics in English, American or Comparative
• Teaching College Composition and Literature
• Teaching Technical Writing
• Film
• Women Writers
• Literary Criticism
• Contemporary Cultural Studies
• Native American Women Writers
• Native American Fiction
• Native American Poetry
• Native American Non-Fiction and Criticism
• Special Topics in Native American Literature
• Issues in Composition Rhetoric and Literacy
• History of Modern Composition Studies
• Classical Rhetorical Theory
• 18th and 19th Century Rhetoric and Composition
• 20th Century Rhetoric and Composition Theory
• Rhetoric and Technology
• Women’s Rhetorics and Writing Practices
• Rhetorical Perspectives on Literacy
• Medieval Language and Literature
• 16th Century English Literature
• 17th Century English Literature
• Postcolonial Theory and Writing
• 18th Century English Literature
• 19th Century English Literature
• 20th Century English Literature
• 20th Century American Literature
• Blackness, Coloniality, Gender
• Methods of Graduate Study
• Advanced Fiction Writing
• Advanced Poetry Writing
• Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
• Research Seminars in Composition, Rhetoric, or Literacy
• Introduction to Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition
• Issues in Contemporary Theory and Cultural Studies
• Research Seminar on Women’s Writing
• Research Seminar in Medieval Literature
• Seminar in the Renaissance
• Research Seminar in American Literature Before 1900
• Research Seminar in American Literature After 1900


An advising form for the M.A. in Literary and Cultural studies may be found here.

Literary and Cultural Studies
Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy

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