The Master of Arts in English affords students the flexibility to tailor their course of study to meet their individual wishes and professional goals. This highly versatile program offers courses in three areas of emphasis—literary studies, cultural studies, and professional and academic writing.
The program enables students to pursue a variety of goals. One could prepare for or advance in a career in instruction; embark on a professional career as a writer; pursue an advanced degree in literary study; be employed in the non-profit sector; or work in the fields of publishing, editing, and technical or professional writing, for example. The program stresses effective writing in a broad array of genres, critical thinking, and interpretive skills, even as it fosters the growth of initiative and self-confidence—qualities much in demand in today's professional world. Smaller classes and the dedicated attention of graduate faculty ensure a nurturing environment for personal growth.
Literary and Cultural Studies
This is the principal "area of emphasis" in Arcadia's English M.A. program. The richness and variety of its offerings attest to the breadth of the faculty's varied interests in literature and Cultural Studies, and can truly be said to be unusual in its scope. Students who aspire to go on for doctoral studies; current high-school and community college teachers; professionals from different backgrounds who hunger for the stimulation of literary study and serious critical thinking—these are among the individuals who come together in Arcadia's graduate English classes. The range of offerings encompass courses that cover sweeping historical epochs; courses that focus on a single author or on a cluster of such authors; courses that revolve around a literary theme, genre, or movement; courses that look at the literature of a given region, ethnic group, or cultural background.
In all of the courses in this area of emphasis, effective writing is central. Proud of its pioneering role in the nation's Writing Across the Curriculum movement, Arcadia—and specifically the Master of Arts in English program—stresses the centrality of rigorous critical thinking, argumentation, and refined interpretive skills to the serious study of literature.
Professional Writing, Composition, and Rhetoric
This area of emphasis is valuable for those who are interested in the power of critical writing, communication, and new media. While this area has the least number of courses in this Master's program, and does not feature studio courses in media training, the university offers a number of courses pertinent to the student's interest: journalism; technical writing; writing and editing for magazines; language study, rhetorical writing, writing for radio and television; writing for the health industry, for the web and the new media, and grant writing for non-profits. Such courses as these enhance the student's preparation for professional work. Students pursuing this area of emphasis are especially encouraged to undertake a Career Internship in English to fortify their credentials for when they enter the marketplace.
Master of Arts in English Degree Requirements
36 credits of graduate-level coursework are required for completion of the degree program.
1. Required Foundation Courses (9 credits)
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 ([COURSE:EN689]) 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, [COURSE:EN670] 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)
[COURSE:EN698] (3 credits) or EN699 Master's Thesis in English (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 ([COURSE:EN697]). 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.)
In addition to the general admission requirements, the following requirements must be met:
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a recommended GPA of 3.0 or better. The undergraduate major should be in one of the traditional liberal arts or in a professional or pre-professional field and accompanied by strong undergraduate training in English.
One official transcript from each college, university or professional school attended. Transfer credits included on a transcript must include grades earned; if not, an official transcript from the original school must be submitted. Transcripts must be sent from the issuing school in a sealed envelope and contain the appropriate signatures and seals to be considered official.
Two letters of recommendation. The letters must be of a professional not personal nature. If the student has been out of school five years or less, at least one letter must come from a professor.
A personal interview with the program Coordinator.
A writing sample, if deemed necessary by the program Coordinator.
International applicants should visit www.arcadia.edu/international for detailed information on admission requirements and application procedures. Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS are required for all students for whom English is a second language or who have not earned degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand). A course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts by an independent evaluation service based in the United States also is required.
All application materials must be sent to the Office of Enrollment Management.
Rolling Admission: Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year. Students may start in the Fall, Spring or Summer semester.
2017-18 Tuition: $735/credit
Deferred Payment: $40
Full-time (9 or more credits): $60 per year
Part-time (less than 9 credits): $30 per semester
Evening Parking (attending class after 4 p.m.): No charge
Graduate students who have been accepted into a degree program and are enrolled for at least 6 credits per semester are eligible to apply for financial aid. Please visit www.arcadia.edu/financialaid for information regarding required forms and documents, most of which can be submitted online.
Graduate assistantships are available to all students registered for at least 9 credits per semester, or 6 credits throughout the summer session. Students may apply for assistantships upon acceptance and registration. Questions regarding graduate assistantships should be directed to the College of Graduate Studies at 215-572-2925. Click here for more information on financial aid.
Graduate students are eligible to borrow through the federal Stafford Loan and federal PLUS Loan programs. Arcadia University, in partnership with AES/PHEAA, offers the no-fee Arcadia University Preferred Stafford Loan Program, which provides students with benefits that include:
Origination and guarantee fee waivers
Interest rate reduction during repayment
Superior administration and servicing
All financial aid paperwork not submitted online should be sent to the Office of Enrollment Management/Financial Aid. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-ARCADIA (1-877-272-2342) with additional questions.
Arcadia University offers graduate students in English a variety of short-term study-abroad opportunities. These courses, Global Field Studies (GFS), are led by faculty in the Department and across the campus. Currently, up to 9 of a graduate student's 36 total required graduate credits may be derived from relevant short term study-abroad courses. Students may pursue these endeavors in many countries, but the connections to the degree program must be evident. In the recent past courses have included intensive study of language, literature, and cultures in France, Belize, England, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, and Virginia.
While most of the study-abroad courses for graduate students are short-term, there is one 9-credit career internship in London option that lasts for one full semester and which may be pursued during either the fall or the spring semester.
Specific information on short study-abroad opportunities for graduate students is available on the Global Field Study website. It is also recommended that graduate students interested in any study-abroad opportunities speak with both a mentor within The Office of International Affairs and with the English Graduate Program Director.