English

Program Contacts

Conrad Shumaker, PhD: Department Chair (interim)
Telephone: (501) 450-5100 | Email: shumaker@uca.edu

Lori Leavell, PhD: Graduate Program Coordinator
Telephone: (501) 450-5118 | Email: lleavell@uca.edu

[1] MA in English

[1.1] Objectives

The Master of Arts (MA) program in English allows students three options: a Literature option for those interested in advanced study of literature; a Medieval and Renaissance Option for students interested in focusing their graduate study more narrowly in those areas; and a Language Arts option for teachers interested in enhancing their content area knowledge. The MA in English is designed to do the following:

  • teach and have students retain knowledge about the periods, authors, genres, and critical theory germane to the study of English and American literature and about the English language on a level befitting graduate-level study; in the case of the Medieval/Renaissance option, retain knowledge about the early periods of English literature in the context of English and American literature as a whole, focusing on authors, genres, and critical theory germane to the study of English literature on a level befitting graduate-level study.
  • teach students to conduct and present graduate-level research, including the discovery, evaluation, integration, and documentation of primary and secondary sources.
  • teach students to read closely and to think critically about literary works in order to form a thorough understanding of those works, their complexities, and how they fit into the larger scope of English and American literature.
  • teach students to compose graduate quality writing that presents arguments in clear, mechanically sound prose and supports those arguments with evidence drawn from primary and secondary sources.

The Medieval and Renaissance Option adds one more objective to the four listed above:

  • Students completing the MA program option in Medieval and Renaissance literature will demonstrate a reading knowledge of a language of value to the study of the literature of these periods.

In addition, the Language Arts option of the English MA program includes the following objectives:

  • teach and have students analyze key issues in linguistics and education through a written analysis.
  • teach and have students demonstrate the ability to apply composition theory to pedagogy through a written analysis.
  • teach and have students demonstrate the ability to apply creative writing theory to pedagogy through a written analysis.
  • help students identify strategies for teaching diverse literatures in the K–12 classroom.

[1.2] Program Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the applicant must have earned a minimum 3.00 GPA in an undergraduate major or minor in English literature to gain regular admission to the program. Applicants should supply the following to the graduate coordinator:

  1. Two letters of recommendation
  2. Writing sample (7-15 pages)
  3. Statement of purpose (1-2 pages), explaining the applicant’s interest in the program and academic/career goals

Students on either the Literature Track or the Medieval and Renaissance Track must document the equivalent of one year of undergraduate foreign language study or must remedy this deficiency before the MA Comprehensive Examination is taken.

Those international students required by the university to submit TOEFL scores for entrance to graduate study must score a minimum of 600 on the written exam in order to gain admission to graduate study in English. Further, the student must attain a minimum score of 5 on the essay portion of the exam.

For conditional admission to the program, consult the department chair or graduate coordinator. An applicant whose GPA does not meet the minimum requirement can submit scores for the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) to supplement the application for conditional admission. A minimum score of 153 on the Verbal Reasoning portion is recommended.

[1.3] Degree Requirements

In all three options, at least 15 of the student’s 30 hours must consist of 6000-level courses. All students pursuing the MA are required to pass the following courses:

ENGL 5360 History and Structure of the English Language
ENGL 5366 Literacy Theory and Criticism
ENGL 6393 Research Methods in English

The department strongly recommends that ENGL 6393 be taken at the earliest opportunity.

Students who completed ENGL 4360 and/or ENGL 4366 with a grade of C or better at UCA need not retake these courses at the 5000 level. Instead, students will need to substitute any 5000- or 6000-level course for each.

[1.3.1] Literature Option

Candidates for the English MA-Literature option must fulfill one of the following plans:

Non-Thesis: Satisfactorily complete 30 hours of English and pass a comprehensive examination based upon the department’s Master’s Reading List.
Thesis: Satisfactorily complete 24 hours of English, pass a comprehensive examination based upon the department’s Master’s Reading List, prepare a thesis for which 6 hours of credit are earned, and pass an oral examination over the subject matter of the thesis.

Upon acceptance into the graduate program, each student will be advised by a member of the department’s graduate faculty and will procure a Master’s Reading List from the departmental secretary. At or near the end of the candidate’s program, the Coordinator of Graduate Study and members of the graduate faculty will give the student a comprehensive, written examination. If the candidate’s performance is unsatisfactory, the student may be re-examined during one of the regularly scheduled comprehensive exam periods.

Should the student elect the thesis option, he or she will select a major professor to direct the thesis. When the thesis is submitted, an oral examination will be given by a committee composed of the major professor, a member of the graduate faculty (to be appointed by the departmental chairperson), and a member of the graduate faculty from outside the Department of English.

[1.3.2] Language Arts Option

Required Core Courses (9 hours – required of all MA candidates in English – see § 1.3 above):

Required Courses for Language Arts Option (9 hours):

LING 5310 Educational Linguistics
CRWR 5320 Teaching Creative Writing: History Theory and Practice*
WRTG 5330 Contemporary Composition: Theory and Application

*Prerequisite Creative Writing course is required. May be an undergraduate course.

Electives (9 hours):
Choose three courses from these approved electives (two must be literature courses):

ENGL 5325 Special Topics in Postcolonial Literature
ENGL 6306 Seminar in English Literature 1900 to Present
ENGL 6307 Seminar in American Literature 1900 to Present
ENGL 6321 Readings in American Literature
ENGL 6323 Literature of the Americas for Teachers
ENGL 6394 Graduate Independent Study
WRTG 6310 Advanced Topics in Discourse Analysis
WRTG 6610 Central Arkansas Writing Project [Note: choosing this option will add an extra 3 hours to the degree program, since this is a 6-hour workshop.]

Required Capstone Course (3 hours):

ENGL 6365 Diverse Literatures Seminar

[1.3.3] Medieval and Renaissance Option

In addition to the nine hours required of all MA candidates, students in the Medieval and Renaissance Option must complete the following course:

ENGL 6336 Manuscripts and Texts

Electives (9 hours)

Choose three courses (nine hours) from these approved electives. If 5000-level courses are chosen, they should NOT be courses for which the student has earned undergraduate credit.

ENGL 5301 The Renaissance
ENGL 5304 Studies in British and American Literature (Must be a Medieval or Renaissance topic, e.g., “Old English”)
ENGL 5305 Medieval English Literature
ENGL 5330 Shakespeare I
ENGL 5331 Shakespeare II
ENGL 5340 Chaucer
ENGL 5341 Milton
ENGL 5342 The Seventeenth Century
ENGL 5343 Tudor-Stuart Drama
ENGL 5383 Asian and Asian-American Literature
ENGL 5385 Travel Seminar in Literature (Focus of major project must be Medieval or Renaissance literature, e.g., “Dante” during trip to Florence)
ENGL 6301 Seminar in Medieval English Literature
ENGL 6302 Seminar in the Renaissance
ENGL 6337 Internship: Arkansas Shakespeare Theater Intensive
ENGL 6394 Graduate Independent Study (Must be a Medieval or Renaissance topic, e.g., “Old Norse Language and Literature”)

Required Course Outside of the Medieval and Renaissance Periods (3 hours)

The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that candidates have one minor area of study to help prepare them for the Comprehensive MA exam, where they must choose three essay topics: students in this option must write on the Medieval question and the Renaissance question, and choose one other area upon which to write. The required course should be chosen from these approved courses. (Again, if 5000-level courses are chosen, they should NOT be courses for which the student has earned undergraduate credit.)

ENGL 5311 The Neoclassical Period
ENGL 5312 American Provincial Literature
ENGL 5313 American Romanticism and Realism
ENGL 5315 Twentieth-Century American Poetry
ENGL 5320 The Romantic Period
ENGL 5321 The Victorian Period
ENGL 5325 Special Topics in Postcolonial Literature
ENGL 5354 Modernism
ENGL 5355 Postmodernism
ENGL 5372 Eighteenth-Century English Novel
ENGL 5373 Nineteenth-Century English Novel
ENGL 5374 Twentieth-Century English Novel
ENGL 5375 Twentieth-Century English Poetry
ENGL 6303 Seminar in Neoclassicism
ENGL 6304 Seminar in Romanticism
ENGL 6305 Seminar in The Victorian Period
ENGL 6306 Seminar in Modernism
ENGL 6320 American Romantic Period

Thesis and Non-Thesis Options (6 hours)

Students must choose one option or the other.

Thesis: In addition to the satisfactory completion of the above 24 hours of English classes, and to the passing of a comprehensive examination based upon the department’s Master’s Reading List, the student must prepare a thesis for which 6 hours of credit are earned,. The thesis must be on a Medieval and/or Renaissance topic, and the student must pass an oral defense of the thesis before a committee of graduate faculty.
Non-Thesis: In addition to the satisfactory completion of the above 24 hours of English classes, and to the passing of a comprehensive examination based upon the department’s Master’s Reading List, the student must take an additional 6 hours of credit chosen from the above list or from this list of non-ENGL courses:

HIST 5302 History of Witchcraft
HIST 5360 The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity, 300-900 AD
HIST 5361 The Mediterranean World in the Medieval Period, 900-1400 AD
HIST 5362 Tudor and Stuart England, 1485-1690
HIST 5374 The European Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 6341 Medieval History, 450-1450
HIST 6342 Early Modern Europe
PSCI 5340 Seminar: Selected Topics (Must be a Medieval or Renaissance topic)
PSCI 5V99 Studies in Political Science (Must be a Medieval or Renaissance study)

Students may petition to count any of the following courses (or other courses the student and his/her advisor deem appropriate) for the non-thesis option:

SPAN 5395 Advanced Spanish Literature: Theme Course (Must be a Medieval or Renaissance theme)
SPAN 6330 Hispanic Author Seminar (Must be a Medieval or Renaissance author)
SPAN 6335 Seminar on Literary Genre (Must deal with Medieval or Renaissance texts)

Comprehensive Examination

Prior to sitting for the MA comprehensive exam, students should study the annual reading list compiled by the department to ensure familiarity with the Medieval and Renaissance texts and texts from their elective period required for the exam for that year. Students will write three essays on the exam: one in Medieval literature, one in Renaissance literature, and one in a separate elective area. Finally, instead of a comprehensive essay covering several periods, students in this concentration would take an exam in a Medieval language.

Language Requirement

In lieu of independently studying the comprehensive MA reading list, students in this program will study a language appropriate to this area of specialization. This study may take place through a class or independently. For the second part of the comprehensive exam, students in the this option will have 90 minutes to translate a passage from Latin, Old English, or Old Norse, with the use of a dictionary or handbook in the language. Upon request, students may substitute a passage in another Medieval or Early Modern language, if they are familiar with it (e.g., French, German, or Spanish); note, however, that the passage for translation will be drawn from late Medieval or early Renaissance texts. Courses in Old English or another medieval language will be offered for credit every few semesters.

[2] Graduate Course Links

[2.1] Courses in English (ENGL)

Follow this link to ENGL course descriptions: course link.

[2.2] Courses in Other Areas (HIST, LING, PSCI, SPAN, WRTG)

Follow this link to CRWR course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link to HIST course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link to LING course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link to PSCI course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link to SPAN course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link to WRTG course descriptions: course link.