Master of Arts

Developing critical awareness

The Master of Arts (MA) program develops scholars with a critical and comprehensive awareness of English studies. While offering specialization in one of various areas of strength in the department, the program requires a breadth requirement through course work and thereby grounds students’ interests in a wide and flexible understanding of English studies.

Project Guidelines

English MA Project Guidelines

All students must submit a proposal, of approximately 500 words, in which they describe how they will fulfill the project option of the MA. This proposal must be signed by two faculty members who have agreed to serve as readers of the proposed MA project. The proposal must be submitted to the graduate chair and graduate assistant, who will seek approval from the Graduate Program Committee. In evaluating the proposal, the faculty readers and GPC will consider the rigor of the proposal and whether the work outlined is equivalent to that of one graduate course. Students are expected to submit their signed proposals to the GPC by May 1 of their first year in the MA program.

MA Project (ENGL 882)

The precise scope of the project option will be determined by the student in consultation with their two faculty readers. We expect that most projects will take one of the following shapes:

  1. A single research paper, between 8,000–10,000 words, of publishable quality and written for a publication venue
  2. A digital project, to include a critical essay of between 3,000–5,000 words
  3. An archival project, to include a critical essay of between 3,000–5,000 words
  4. A research creation project, to include a critical essay of between 3,000–5,000 words

It is possible that a student will propose another kind of project; all projects will need the approval of two faculty readers, plus the Graduate Program Committee. It is expected that all projects will have an intended audience beyond the faculty readers, and this anticipated audience should be outlined in the proposal. The proposal should also offer a scholarly / critical rationale for the project, a description of the research to be undertaken, and an explanation any other aspects of the project necessary to determine its feasibility and academic merit.

The following is SSHRC’s definition of “Research-creation”: An approach to research that combines creative and academic research practices, and supports the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation. The creation process is situated within the research activity and produces critically informed work in a variety of media (art forms). … Fields that may involve research-creation may include, but are not limited to: architecture, design, creative writing, visual arts (e.g., painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles), performing arts (e.g., dance, music, theatre), film, video, performance art, interdisciplinary arts, media and electronic arts, and new artistic practices.