Department of English
When you enter the M.A. program in English at William Paterson University, you will undertake a rigorous course of study that will not only deepen your enjoyment and understanding of literary texts and movements, but also strengthen your abilities as an interpreter, writer, scholar, and teacher of literature.
Concentrations are available in literature and writing. The literature concentration provides you with an advanced education in English and American literature that enables you to extend your knowledge of specific genres and major authors, while exploring the social, historical, and political dimensions of literary production. You will receive a solid foundation in the theory and practice of literary criticism, the history of the English language, modern
linguistics, techniques of composition, and critical and creative writing. The writing concentration provides you with the practical skills necessary to develop your own writing. You will receive training in several modes of writing:poetry, the short story, nonfiction, and drama. You are encouraged to explore both the process and the product of composition, developing a greater sense of the craft and outcome of effective writing.
The program is large enough to offer a full range of graduate seminars and to provide you with flexibility in scheduling. It is also small enough to provide a sense of community and a high level of faculty-student engagement. You may also register for independent study, a program in which you develop, research, and write about a topic under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The graduate program culminates in the writing of a thesis—a substantial piece of creative writing or literary analysis, which you will present at a graduate colloquium.