May 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, MA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Graduate Program Coordinator:
Dr. Monifa Love

The Master of Arts in English is designed for (1) those individuals who have the traditional bachelor’s degree in English and allied fields (i.e., language arts, humanities, etc.) and wish to supplement that degree with training in literary and rhetorical theory and humanities computing, (2) those who now teach on the secondary or collegiate levels and wish to investigate literary and rhetorical theories and practices, and (3) those who wish to pursue doctoral studies upon completion of the master’s degree.

The program is distinctive in its emphasis on humanities computing as a research tool and as a system for imparting, accessing and using information. It is further distinctive in its pragmatic approach to the study of literature, language, and rhetoric because some emphasis will be placed upon how the knowledge and skills learned can be used for utilitarian purposes. The program, then, will provide a strong, solid background in rhetorical and literary theories and applications, humanities computing, literature, and language. It, thus, provides graduates the opportunities (1) to develop a solid knowledge base in the discipline by enhancing the knowledge and skills needed to explore literature and language of diverse populations and/or to successfully pursue careers in other fields requiring a strong background in English, (2) to deepen and broaden their knowledge in the discipline, and (3) to strengthen their analytical and research skills.

The course of study for the Master of Arts degree in English requires 36 semester hours, including six (6) semester hours for the thesis. In lieu of the thesis, students can also choose to pursue a Portfolio option. The core curriculum includes 15 semester hours: six (6) semester hours in research methods and humanities computing, six (6) semester hours in rhetorical theories and practices, and three (3) semester hours in literary criticism and theory. The other 15 semester hours of coursework will be composed of courses from which students may select any two seminar courses (6 semester hours); two special topics courses (6 semester hours) with no more than one in American, African American, or British literature; and any other course (3 semester hours) in language, literature, or rhetoric offered in this program. (All courses will be undergirded by the use of humanities computing in the teaching and learning process and in enhancing one’s career.) Students at the thesis level will register for the thesis (research) seminar until such time that the thesis is completed.

Admission to the Program

  1. Applicants who hold bachelor’s degrees in English or related areas must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better.
  2. Applicants who hold degrees in other areas must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better, and they will be required to take selected undergraduate English courses as prerequisites.
  3. Applicants must submit an Application for Admission, pay the appropriate fee, and submit an official copy of their undergraduate transcript.
  4. All applicants will be required to provide a writing sample before the final admission decision is rendered. The applicants will write the sample on the main campus of Bowie State University under the supervision of Master of Arts in English program personnel.

Program Objectives

  1. To provide an avenue for the student of English to keep abreast of current literary and rhetorical theories and practices.
  2. To provide an opportunity for the enhancement of knowledge and skills in the discipline.
  3. To provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to use the new technologies in accessing, analyzing and using information, especially the computer.
  4. To provide an opportunity to strengthen students’ analytical and research skills, enabling them to successfully pursue any of a variety of careers which require the application of such skills.
  5. To provide advanced study and research in English through the study of literary genre, special topics in literature, and cross-genre investigation of themes and literary modes – with special attention to the development of critical thinking and assessment skills needed not only in the discipline, but also required by both the academic and nonacademic workforces, especially the leadership in these workforces.
  6. To provide an opportunity for students to gain the knowledge and skills needed to explore the literature and language of diverse populations and to successfully pursue careers in related areas, such as journalism, public relations, writing, etc.
  7. To provide an in-service program for teachers of English.

Overview and Curriculum Sequence

  1. The student pursues core, elective, and any applicable qualifying courses. (This program presupposes that those students who are pursuing or wish to pursue careers in teaching have already met certification requirements.)
  2. Upon completion of 12 semester hours of core and elective courses, the student may advance to candidacy.
  3. Upon completion of 21 credits of program requirements (see specific stipulations that follow), the student may register for and pass the Graduate Written Comprehensive Examination.
After successfully completing a minimum of 21 credit hours of coursework that count toward the MA in English degree, students should be able enroll in ENGL 799 and ENGL 800, as long as they meet the following criteria:
  1. at least 9 of the 21 credits should be core requirements (501, 502, 601, 602, and 737);
  2. at least 3 of the 21 credits should be fulfilling the “Special Topics” requirements;
  3. at least 3 of the 21 credits should be fulfilling the “Seminar” requirements.
  1. The student completes and defends a thesis or complete and defends their porfolio.
  2. The student is awarded the Master of Arts in English.

Program Requirements

Select any one course from the following language or rhetoric courses in consultation with advisor.

III. Thesis or Portfolio option

Thesis option (6 credits)

  • ENGL 800 - Thesis Design and Preparation I
  • ENGL 801 - Thesis Design and Preparation II
  • ENGL 802 - Thesis Continuation (Optional, One credit)

*Students selecting this option will complete 30 course hours and six thesis hours.

Portfolio option (6 credits)

  • Complete ENGL 800
  • Complete an additional three credits of coursework in consultation with graduate advisor

*Students selecting this option will complete 33 course hours and three thesis hours (ENGL 800) 

Total: 36 Credits

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study