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EIU Master of Arts in English

Independent Study, Cross-Discipline, and Study Abroad

The core identity of EIU’s MA program in English is flexibility in course selection—giving students control in selecting courses that foster professional growth and career enhancement. Features of this flexibility include independent studies, the ability to take courses in other departments, or the opportunity to fold a summer study abroad experience into your degree work.

Independent Study

An independent study project can play an important role in your graduate education, providing the means for you to address specific professional goals through a project that you have designed. Independent study projects (1 to 3 credits) can be completed in either an 8- or 15-week format.

Students can design a traditional project of researching a topic of interest and completing a critical/theoretical project, design an applied or pedagogical project, where your work aligns with something you are actually completing at your workplace (e.g. completing a grant project or implementing some kind of curricular project), or design a creative project, where you can begin a new writing project or build upon an existing one.

Students have completed independent studies on such projects as:

  • Theory & Practice of Digital Writing in the ELA Classroom
  • Collaborative Learning in Composition Studies
  • Critical Analysis of Contemporary Speculative Fiction
  • Developing a Multi-Genre War Stories Course for an Honors Curriculum
  • Creative Nonfiction Nature Writing by Women
  • Qualitative & Quantitative Study of Commenting on Student Writing
  • IBHE Grant for ELA Curriculum
  • Native Americans and Native Pacific Islander Peoples in Film and Literature

Cross-Discipline Opportunities

MA students in English have a vast range of interests and therefore the program encourages students to take courses in other programs where the coursework will enhance professional goals. Previous students have taken graduate courses in such programs as ESL, Curriculum Leadership, Communication Studies, and even courses in Health Studies.

Study Abroad

Pre-pandemic, EIU’s Office of Study Abroad offered a wide assortment of summer study abroad opportunities that we hope will return by Summer 2022. MA students in English are encouraged to participate by taking ENG 5997 (3-6 credits), where students design a project to complement the study abroad experience. Previous students have completed such projects in South Africa, Ireland, and various places throughout the U.K.


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