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Literature FAQ|Department of English

MA Program in Literature Frequently Asked Questions

What do students in the MA Program in Literature study?

Students focusing on literature learn to read, critique, and participate in literary culture at a high level. At this professional level in our field, students will develop knowledge with faculty who are internationally known in a range of fields (for example, Susan Aronstein on the Medieval and Medievalism, Susan Frye in Renaissance, Cedric Reverand in the Eighteenth Century, Caroline McCracken Flesher in Romanticism and Scottish Studies, Eric Nye in Victorianism and Book History, Caskey Russell in Native American, Beth Loffreda in twentieth-century American, Robert Torry in Film Studies, Julia Obert in postcolonialism and Irish Studies, to name but a few.) For a full list of faculty, click here.

What can I do with a Masters in Literature?

The MA in Literature is excellent preparation for being an instructor at a community college, for work in publishing and in the public sector, as well as for a career in business. It is also provides a solid foundation for further graduate work, whether in business, law, or the Ph.D. in English.

What are the requirements for completion of the degree?

In order to be awarded the degree, students must complete 26 hours of course work, a reading list oral exam and a thesis. Students are required to take a course in contemporary theory, and courses that fall into the categories of period, author, genre, and critical approach. Click here for more information.

How long does the program take to complete?

On average the MA in Composition and Rhetoric takes two years (four semesters) to complete. Typically students take 9-10 credit hours per semester. Staff and faculty members of the University of Wyoming have also completed the degree more gradually.

Currently, a group of Wyoming state residents are enrolled in the English Outreach M.A. Program, which will take three years for them to complete. The Outreach M.A. Program is not enrolling new students at this time, but please contact Gwynn Lemler if you would like to be notified if English is able to off this degree again.

What professional experiences do students acquire in the M.A. in Literature?

In addition to intensive preparation as researchers, M.A. students teach first-year composition and introduction to literature courses, experience that can lead to further teaching opportunities in community colleges and other venues. M.A. students also receive intensive professional mentoring in how to apply for, write, and deliver conference papers. We also mentor our students in fund raising. Still another area that we mentor all our M.A. students in is how to apply most effectively for further graduate work or positions outside academia. In addition, here at UW, English M.A. students have the opportunity to serve as editorial assistants for the acclaimed journal Eighteenth-Century Life, as technical writers for the Wyoming Survey Analysis Center, as special assistants to the President, as adjuncts with the Art Museum, and as developers of special programs for the U.W. Libraries.

What kinds of courses do students pursuing the M.A. in English typically take?

Students take cutting-edge courses on literary and social theory, feminist thought, the Disney phenomenon, Medieval Race and Gender Theory, Chaucer and Shakespeare, American Modernism, Texts and Textiles, Novels Made into Film, the Graphic Novel, Contemporary Poetry in English, the Early American Captivity Narrative, Studies in Modern and Contemporary Poets, and Tudor and Stuart Women. We have also begun a new course for second-year students on how to write the M.A. thesis and on what it means to be contributing to knowledge in the field of English in this way.

What kind of funding is available?

Graduate Assistantships teaching freshman composition are available on a competitive basis (prospective students must submit a separate application) which offer a tuition waiver, stipend and student medical insurance. The English Department also has a fund for travel and research for which its graduate students are eligible, as well as other departmental and Arts and Sciences scholarships. For further information on scholarships and financial aid available for graduate students please visit the University of Wyoming's Graduate Student Financial Assistance information page available online through Graduate Education.

Where can I find more information on the English graduate program and application requirements?

Please go to the English MA main page here.

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