Jul 03, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Master of Arts in English


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. Students pursuing the M.A. in English have the option of taking a final comprehensive examination or writing a thesis 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 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


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


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.

Areas of Study


British and American Literature


At least one course from each of the following groups (12)


Literary Criticism and Theory or History of the Language (3)

Diverse Literatures (3)

  • Credits: 3
  • Credits: 3 A. African American Literature
  • ENGL 693 - Ethnic American Literature Credits: 3 B. Native American Literature
  • ENGL 693 - Ethnic American Literature Credits: 3 C. Latina/Latino American Literature
  • ENGL 693 - Ethnic American Literature Credits: 3 D. Special Topics
  • English topics course with approval of academic advisor (3)

At least two courses from each of the following groups (12)


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.

Electives in Language, Rhetoric, and Literature (18-24)


  • In consultation with the advisor, the student should choose at least one course from linguistics, one from rhetoric (one semester of ENGL 600 may be used to satisfy the rhetoric requirement), and three from literature.
  • Among the three literatures courses, the student is required to take one diverse literature course that provides significant exposure to, immersion in, and dialogue with historically marginalized subject positions from the following: ENGL 602D, ENGL 671, ENGL 693A, ENGL 693B, ENGL 693C, ENGL 693D, or any literature course or topics class designed to include substantial diversity content, with approval of advisor.

At least one course from the following


Literary Criticism and Theory, History of the Language, or Traditions of Rhetoric (3)

At least two courses from the following


British, American, and/or Postcolonial Literature since 1900 (6)

At least one course from the following


Diverse Literatures (3)

Electives in literature (3)


Non-literature electives


These can include courses in rhetoric, English education, or theory and criticism within the English Department. If taken outside the English Department, courses can include COMS 556, COMS 562, COMS 656, or other film-related electives with consent of advisor (3-9)

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)

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).


Diverse Literatures (3)

  • Credits: 3
  • Credits: 3 A. African American Literature
  • ENGL 693 - Ethnic American Literature Credits: 3 B. Native American Literature
  • ENGL 693 - Ethnic American Literature Credits: 3 C. Latina/Latino American Literature
  • ENGL 693 - Ethnic American Literature Credits: 3 D. Special Topics
  • English course with approval of academic advisor (3)

Electives (0-6)


Teaching English as a Second Language / TESOL


Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in ENGL 615 and ENGL 622 or LTIC 520 in their first semester, if offered.

Additional course work


Course work in the department of English in linguistics, rhetoric, or literature. (3)

Course work in English, Education, Languages, Anthropology, Philosophy, or other related disciplines, chosen in consultation with the advisor, in correspondence with course work accepted for the College of Education’s Certificate of Teaching English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education. (9-15)