Feb 22, 2019  
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2018-2019 
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2018-2019

English, MA

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Department: English 

The Master of Arts degree in English (MA) is a flexible degree program aimed at students interested in research and advanced study in literature, composition/rhetoric, creative writing, TESOL, film and English pedagogy. Designed to deepen knowledge of the various fields of the discipline of English, the degree enhances students’ understanding of the roles that language, literature, writing and rhetoric play in human societies and individual lives. Through course work, students hone their critical thinking, reading, writing, editing, research and presentation skills. Some students are practicing secondary school teachers who seek a master’s degree in English for professional licensure and career advancement, and others intend to pursue college teaching and academic scholarship as a career. While the MA degree prepares the majority of students to teach English in secondary school and college settings, other English alumni employ skills developed in the program in their work as editors and copywriters, creative and technical writers, entrepreneurs, librarians, and administrators of cultural institutions. By strengthening students’ communication and research skills and professional qualifications, our program provides a foundation for success in a diverse array of careers.

Standard Admission Requirements

  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 based upon four years of course work or a 3.0 undergraduate GPA based upon work completed in their junior and senior years
  • An undergraduate major or minor in English, or at least five English courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. Comparable preparation in other humanities fields will be considered.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Ideally, at least two of the recommenders should be faculty members, although applicants with relevant and extensive work experience could submit letters from other professionals or supervisors.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Resumé
  • A 450-500 word statement of purpose, including reasons for undertaking the degree, relevant experience and aptitude, career goals and academic topics of interest within English studies

Expedited Admission Requirements

For students who graduated from Bridgewater State University with a BA in English (within the past 5 years) and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in English major course work:

  • One letter of recommendation from a member of the graduate faculty in English at BSU
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • A 450-500 word statement of purpose, including reasons for undertaking the degree, relevant experience and aptitude, career goals and academic topics of interest within English studies

Program of Study

Exit requirement (6 credits)

Complete one of the following culminating exercises:

Thesis option

Students who choose this option will research and write a thesis, a work of independent scholarship or creative writing. Those who choose to write a thesis should select a thesis director and committee and submit a thesis proposal to the graduate school for approval. The completed thesis must be approved by the thesis director and thesis committee. While a six-credit thesis is the norm, a three-credit thesis may be elected for a project developed out of and expanding prior course work. If a student chooses a three-credit thesis, then an additional three-credit elective (any 500-level ENGL course) is required to fulfill the exit requiremet. Theses in creative writing must also include a 10-15 page essay situating the craft of the creative work in relation to scholarship relevant to the genre, style or thematic concerns.

Non-thesis option

Students who choose not to write a thesis must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Two additional electives (6 credits) in any 500-level English (ENGL) courses
  • Electronic submission of portfolio of revised writing produced in course work. Students must submit two research papers of 10-15 pages each and two presentations or projects; concentrators in creative writing should also submit samples of their creative work. The graduate committee will evaluate portfolios to assess if the student has demonstrated proficiency in the skills outlined in the program’s learning outcomes. If the portfolio is deemed inadequate, students will be required to take a three-credit ENGL 503 - Directed Study  to revise the portfolio with faculty mentoring.

Total minimum credits: 33*

*For students who completed a graduate English course for undergraduate credit (with a minimum grade of “B”) at Bridgewater State, one course may be waived with approval of the DGCE Chair (Graduate Coordinator) to reduce the minimum number of credits to 30.

Optional concentrations

With their 15 credits of electives (including courses taken for the exit requirement), the student can opt to pursue a concentration in one of four fields. Those students wishing to take electives across the breadth of our curriculum areas would simply not choose a concentration. Students must have completed 12 credits for the MA in English, including ENGL 500 , before declaring a concentration for their electives. The four concentration areas are:

English, Composition and Rhetoric Concentration, MA  

English, Creative Writing Concentration, MA  

English, Linguistics Concentration, MA  

English, Literature and Film Concentration, MA  


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