Jun 02, 2023
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The Department of English offers two tracks leading to the M.A. degree, the choice of which depends on the student’s academic and professional goals. Track I requires a minimum of 30 semester hours, and track II requires 36 semester hours. All students pursuing the M.A. in English are required to take a final comprehensive examination after completing a minimum of 24 semester hours in the Department of English.
Students pursuing the M.A. in English may choose one of seven areas of study: British and American literature; English education; film and literature; linguistics; literature and rhetoric/composition; rhetoric and professional writing; and teaching English as a second language/TESOL (for students and educators who wish to study teaching English as a Second Language [ESL], English as a Foreign Language [EFL], bilingual education, or applied linguistics). Substitutions within each area of study may be made at the discretion of the department’s director of graduate studies.
Check departmental information for any additional requirements.
The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.
Track I requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit in the Department of English and is designed to prepare students for graduate work at the doctoral level. Students in this track must pass a proficiency examination in one foreign language. Foreign language proficiency may be demonstrated in French, German, Greek (classical or koine), Italian, Latin (classical or medieval), Russian, or Spanish, or in another language approved by the director of graduate studies on the basis of demonstrated need. The student’s graduate adviser may permit limited study in fields closely related to English (subject to the approval of the director of graduate studies).
Track II requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit, including 27 semester hours in the Department of English. This track is designed for students who are currently teaching in secondary schools or community colleges or who plan to teach at one of these levels, whether in literature, composition, or professional, technical writing; students who plan to teach English as a second language; students who seek careers as technical writers, editors, or trainers; students interested in other careers, such as business or public relations, that require strong written communication skills; and practicing professionals in any other professional field seeking to sharpen their written communication skills. A graduate adviser and the student design a program of study (subject to the approval of the director of graduate studies) which must include 9 semester hours of study in subjects other than English and American literature, such as courses within and outside the department in the teaching of English, rhetoric, creative writing and composition, technical writing, linguistics, reading, mass media, public relations, or others that contribute to the student’s professional development.
British and American Literature
At least one course from each of the following groups (9)
Literary Criticism and Theory or History of the Language (3)
British Literature 1660-1900 (3)
American Literature to 1900 (3)
At least two courses from each of the following groups (12)
British Literature to 1660 (6)
Literature in English since 1900: British, American, and/or Postcolonial (6)
Education in English Language Arts
This area of study is primarily designed for English language arts professionals who are currently teaching in the schools and students interested in educator licensure in secondary English language arts. Those seeking licensure should consult the discipline coordinator as soon as possible.
Three of the following (9)
Additional course work and electives
- Course work in language, literature, and rhetoric chosen in consultation with the adviser, with at least two courses from literature, one course from linguistics, and one course from rhetoric (15-24)
- Electives chosen in consultation with adviser (0-9)
At least one course from the following
Additional course work (12-18)
Course work in anthropology, computer science, English, language, philosophy, and/or psychology, chosen in consultation with the adviser (12-18)
Literature and Rhetoric/Composition
Course work in rhetoric and communication (6-9) (If ENGL 601 is chosen, 9 semester hours are required in rhetoric and communication)
Course work in literature with at least one course from each of the following groups (12-15) (if ENGL 625 is chosen, 15 semester hours are required in literature).
British Literature to 1660
British Literature 1660-1900 or American Literature to 1900
Literature in English since 1900: British, American, and/or Postcolonial
Literature elective: 3 hours (if ENGL 601 is taken) or 6 hours (if ENGL 625 is taken) Electives (0-6)
Rhetoric and Professional Writing
Course work from the following (9)
Teaching English as a Second Language/TESOL
Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in ENGL 615 and ENGL 622 in their first semester, if offered.
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