Department of English
M.A. Program in English
M.A. Program in English
300 Pompton Road, Atrium 220, Wayne, NJ 07470
Director: Dr. Phoebe Jackson; (973) 720-3704
The Department of English offers graduate programs leading to an M.A. in English with a concentration in either literature or writing. Graduate courses are scheduled during the late afternoons and evenings. Classes are small enough to allow a close working relationship with the faculty.
The literature concentration offers students advanced study and enrichment in English and American Literature and contextual studies, literary criticism, history of the language, and modern linguistics.
The writing concentration offers aspiring writers, pre-professionals, teachers who wish to update their skills, and individuals interested in writing as process enough structure to supply a firm foundation and enough flexibility to accommodate individual writing goals.
Our faculty publish literary criticism, fiction, poetry, biography, autobiography, gender studies, interviews, editions of essays and letters, and textbooks. Their most recent books include: A Precious Seeing: Love and Reason in Shakespeare's Plays; Senhora - Profile of a Woman; Dream House: A Memoir; "Bad Girls"/"Good Girls": Women, Sex, and Power in the Nineties; The Crane Log: A Documentary Life of Stephen Crane; Literature and Society; City Life: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara; The Tapestry Grammar: A Reference for Learners of English; A Life of Kenneth Rexroth; Approaches to Teaching Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury"; The Letters of Gertrude Stein and Carl Van Vechten, 1913-1946. Their publishers include the University of Texas Press, New York University Press, W.W. Norton, Rutgers University Press, Prentice Hall, and Knopf.
The M.A. in Literature requires the following distribution of courses (33 credits):
- English 6990 - Research and Thesis Seminar
- English 6560 - Contemporary Modes of Criticism
- English 6140 - Applied English Linguistics: Grammar and Style or
- English 6180 - Modern English and Its Background
- Two courses in Contextual Studies
- Two courses in English literature from any period
- Two courses in American literature from any period
- Two electives from any category, including writing courses
The M.A. in Writing requires the following distribution of courses (33 credits):
- English 6990 - Research and Thesis Seminar.
- English 6560 - Contemporary Modes of Criticism
- English 6160 - Creative Writing I
- English 6260 - Creative Writing II
- Four additional writing courses
- Three courses in American literature, English literature, or Contextual Studies
ADMISSION TO THE MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAM IN ENGLISH
The requirements for admission are:
1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university;
2. A cumulative grade point average of no less than 3.00 on a ?4.00 scale in the undergraduate major;
3. A minimum score of 150 on the verbal portion and 4.5 on the analytical portion of the Graduate Record Examination or a minimum score of 400 on the Miller Analogies Test.
4. Two letters of recommendation that attest to the applicant’s academic qualifications;
5. An essay of 500 to 750 words that addresses any one of ?the following questions: (1) What led you to apply to the graduate program in English at William Paterson University? (2) What are your personal reasons for pursuing an advanced degree in literature or writing? (3) Why are you engaged by a particular issue, book, or idea?
6. Students with a limited background in English can be admitted, but may be required to take additional courses with the approval of the graduate program director.
THE MASTER OF ARTS THESIS
Students write the graduate thesis in the last semester of graduate work with the advice of a faculty member, and while taking English 699: Research and Thesis Seminar. Before you can write your thesis, however, you must be assigned a faculty advisor, and you must submit a thesis proposal. Here is the timeline for submitting these documents.
1. Declaration of Intent. This one-page form briefly describes the area in which you will be writing your thesis, and asks you to list three faculty members with whom you would like to work. In consultation with the faculty, the committee will determine the best fit and assign you an advisor. This form must be filled out TWO semesters before you plan on writing your thesis and taking English 699. The due date for this form is announced in graduate classes, and posted on the listserve but is generally due two weeks before the Thesis Proposal Workshop. This form must be filled out and returned on or before the due date. Forms handed in late or not handed in at all may prevent you from securing an advisor.
2. Thesis Proposal Workshop. Approximately one month before the thesis proposal is due, a one-hour workshop will be held to explain in detail how a thesis proposal should be written. The workshop is widely advertised in the Atrium, announced in graduate seminars, and posted on the listserve generally two weeks before the workshop.
3. Thesis Proposal. This document specifically details your thesis project. The thesis proposal must be prepared in consultation with your thesis advisor, and must be signed by your advisor. The thesis is general due one month after the workshop. Late proposal may not be considered. After the proposals have been handed in, the Graduate Committee will review them and either accept them without change, or ask that specific changes be made before you are allowed to continue. You will be notified by mail about the committee’s decision. Revisions to the proposal are generally due three weeks after the notification.
4. Thesis. In order to enroll in English 699 and write your proposal, you must have completed at least 27 credits in the Graduate Program. You may take other classes while enrolled in English 699 and while writing your thesis. You will be writing your thesis in consultation with your advisor, and you will be sharing your work with your colleagues in the Thesis Seminar. You will receive a grade in the Seminar based on your final project and your participation in the seminar. Your faculty advisor and the faculty member who teaches the seminar consult in giving you a grade for this class. You must receive at least a B- for your thesis to be considered complete, and for you to finish the program.
5. Graduate Colloquium. At the end of the Thesis Seminar, a colloquium will be held where you will give a brief presentation of your project. Your participation in this colloquium is required, and is your opportunity to share your work with the English faculty, and with family and friends.
6. Handing in the Thesis. After you have successfully completed the Thesis Seminar, and shortly after your presentation at the colloquium, you will hand in a copy of your thesis to the Graduate Program Director. A binder will be given to you near the end of the semester for you to use. A second copy of your thesis should be presented to your faculty advisor. If you are in the writing concentration, you will also hand in your portfolio.
7. Graduation and Diploma. It is your responsibility to file for graduation with the Registrar. Once your final grades have been handed in, you will be cleared for graduation, and your diploma will be mailed to you. Link for graduation application: http://www.wpunj.edu/graduate/pdf/app_for_graduate_degree.pdf
Students preparing the thesis proposal should consult the following documents: