Master of Arts in English Degree Requirements

Arcadia student

36 credits of graduate-level coursework are required for completion of the degree program.

1. Required Foundation Courses (9 credits)

  • EN 500 Critical Writing for Success
  • EN 510 Theories of Writing
  • EN 543 The History and Teaching of Rhetoric

2. Elective courses (21-24 credits)


Either seven or eight courses in English and related Humanities disciplines chosen in consultation with the program advisor. These may include a maximum of two graduate-level courses taken among the following Humanities disciplines: History; Philosophy; Religion; International Studies; International Peace and Conflict Resolution; Art History; Music; Theatre; and courses identified specifically as Humanities courses (e.g., The Introductory Humanities Seminar, The Philadelphia Seminar, and the Humanities Colloquium).

Students in the program are allowed to take up to two Independent Study research projects (EN 689) under the supervision of qualified and willing professors during their degree work. Application for the approval of independent studies must be made in writing to the Department of English ahead of the semester in which the Independent Study is to be undertaken. Students may not undertake Independent Study during their first semester in the program. Again, a Career Internship in English (EN 670) may be undertaken once in the course of the student’s program, pending the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in English, who must be consulted prior to the beginning of the internship. As with Independent Study, the Career Internship in English may not be pursued during the student’s first semester in the program. The Internship is a graded course, as are all the other courses offered in the program. No courses are offered on a Pass/fail basis.


3. Culminating Activity (3–6 credits)

  • EN 698 Master’s Project (3 credits) or EN 699 Master’s Thesis (6 credits)


Students in the program are normally expected to complete degree requirements by undertaking a 3-credit culminating project under the supervision of one or more members of the Department. Under exceptional circumstances, students will be granted the opportunity to write a master’s thesis for 6 credits under the supervision of one or more members of the Department. To undertake a thesis, students must submit a thesis proposal and accompanying documents as required by the Department. Students do not automatically have the right to write a thesis; they may do so only if their application for the thesis is approved.

Students who do not complete the thesis or master’s project at the end of their coursework, or at the end of the semester or session in which they are enrolled in a departmental thesis or culminating project course, are required to enroll in an ongoing non-credit thesis writing course until all work is completed and approved (EN 697). A fee equivalent to 1 graduate credit for a 3-credit culminating master’s project and 2 graduate credits for a 6-credit culminating thesis will be assessed for each semester or part thereof during which the thesis or capstone project is incomplete. (For these purposes, all the summer sessions together will count as one semester.)


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