Jason McEntee, Department Head
Sharon Smith, Associate Professor/Graduate Coordinator
Department of English
Pugsley Continuing Education Center 301, Box 2218
SDSU’s English department offers the M.A. degree in English. There are two emphases available to students:
- Studies in Literature
- Studies in Writing and Rhetoric
Within these two areas of study, the department offers three options for completing the degree:
- Option A requires twenty-four credit hours of coursework, six credit hours of thesis, a thesis project, and an oral examination. Within this option, the student may write a critical or a creative thesis.
- Option B requires thirty credit hours of coursework, two credit hours of research, a research/design project, and an oral examination.
- Option C requires thirty-six credit hours of coursework, a comprehensive written examination, and an oral examination.
Each option will support a variety of educational or professional goals. Students generally complete the program in two to three years.
Student Learning Outcomes
The English department’s M.A program prepares students for professional careers or further graduate study by developing their capacities for textual analysis, research, theory, and creative and critical writing.
Upon completing the English M.A. program, students will be able to:
- Textual Analysis: Demonstrate an advanced ability to analyze and interpret literary and cultural texts.
- Literary History: Examine significant texts, authors, periods, movements, genres, theories, and modes from literary history, interpreting the relationship between texts and their historical, aesthetic, cultural, and ideological contexts.
- Writing: Compose sophisticated argumentative, creative, and reflective texts that demonstrate focus, content, structure, evidence, style, and grammar appropriate to their rhetorical contexts.
- Theory: Demonstrate an advanced ability to apply theoretical concepts to the writing and analysis of texts.
- Research: Produce original research that advances knowledge within the discipline; generates questions for scholarly inquiry; identifies its methodological and theoretical foundations; employs library resources and discipline-specific databases; evaluates and integrates secondary criticism; and documents sources using MLA style.
- Diversity: Explain how literature both reflects and enriches the diversity of human experience through its exploration of the ways in which race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, and class shape identity and influence perception. (Transferable Skill: Diversity Awareness)
- Teaching: Deliver instruction that demonstrates a growing mastery of course content (cultural analysis, rhetoric, grammar, and research) and increasing skill in helping students of varying abilities improve their cultural awareness, critical acumen, reading comprehension, and writing competence. (Graduate teaching assistants only.) (Transferable Skill: Teaching/Training)
Course Delivery Format
The English Department offers both face-to-face and online M.A. programs. Graduate courses are delivered in small, seminar settings.
Student Support and Engagement Opportunities
The department offers a number of graduate teaching assistantships for the nine-month academic year. Teaching assistants take two graduate classes each semester and teach either two sections of composition or one section of composition with duties in the Writing Center. The assistantship is renewable each year, providing the student is making good academic progress and receives satisfactory teaching evaluations. Graduate teaching assistants receive a stipend, office space, faculty library status, and a full tuition waiver. Applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship should indicate their interest in the statement of purpose submitted to the Graduate School as part of their online application.