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EIU Master of Arts in English

Program Requirements

Graduate Studies Programs

Our concentrations and programs have minimal required courses, allowing students maximum flexibility in designing a study plan for their career goals.

The MA degree has both a thesis or non-thesis path to completion. The graduate coordinator will assist you in determining which option is best for your study plans.

Literary & Cultural Studies

Coursework in the literary and cultural studies concentration allows students to focus on a diverse range of topics, periods, genres, media, and theoretical perspectives. Faculty research informs graduate seminars and introduces students to cutting-edge conversations about literary and cultural texts--their historical and social contexts, and the evolving networks of production and consumption in which they circulate.

Requirements: 33 credits

  • Thesis Option: 10 courses + ENG 5950 (Thesis Writing)
  • Non-Thesis Option: 11 courses
  • Required course:
    • ENG 5000 (Intro to Methods in English Studies)

Composition & Rhetoric

This concentration's flexible curriculum includes a course in composition theory and pedagogy as well as various special topics courses. Recent courses have focused on genre theory, grammar instruction, visual rhetoric and multimodal composition, and the evaluation of writing. This concentration is ideal for professional educators or students preparing for careers in such fields as grant writing, public relations, technical writing, and publishing.

Requirements: 33 credits

  • Thesis Option: 10 courses + ENG 5950 (Thesis Writing)
  • Non-Thesis Option: 11 courses
  • Required courses:
    • ENG 5000 (Intro to Methods in English Studies)
    • ENG 5007 (Composition Theory)
    • ENG 5011 (Studies in Comp & Rhetoric)

Creative Writing

Mentored by faculty who are working, publishing writers and editors, students in the creative writing concentration hone their craft in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama through a combination of genre-specific graduate workshops, literature courses, and a professional course that prepares them to send out their first submissions, take on editorial duties at a literary magazine, make applications to M.F.A. and PhD programs in creative writing, and seek out and apply to writing-related jobs.

Requirements: 34 credits

  • Thesis Option: 11 courses + ENG 5950 (Thesis Writing)
  • Non-Thesis Option: 12 courses
  • Required courses:
    • ENG 5000 (Intro to Methods in English Studies)
    • ENG 5020 (Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing)
    • ENG 5025 (Creative Writing Prof. Development. 1 cr.

Certificate in the Teaching of Writing

Full-time teachers with a year of experience may earn an 18-hour Certificate in the Teaching of Writing (CTW). Interested teachers should start by applying to the Eastern Illinois Writing Project (ENG 5585), a 4-week course that provides 6 hours of graduate credit. All 18 credits from the CTW apply to the MA degree if students determine to continue their studies. Contact Dr. Randall Beebe (Graduate Coordinator) for more information.

Secondary English Language Arts Teaching Licensure

English MA programs or certificates can be folded into the English Language Arts Post-Baccalaureate Program. A customized plan of study can be created so that graduate coursework completed for any of the above certificate/degree programs can also fulfill the requirements for the English Language Arts Teacher Licensure program. If you are interested in exploring this option, please send a copy of your academic transcripts to the English Education Director, Dr. Melissa Ames (mames@eiu.edu). More information on EIU's post-baccalaureate teaching programs can be found here.

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