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English, MA

The Master of Arts degree in English (MA) is a flexible degree program aimed at students interested in research and advanced study in literature, composition/rhetoric, creative writing, TESOL, film, and English pedagogy.  Designed to deepen knowledge of the various fields of the discipline of English, the degree enhances students' understanding of the roles that language, literature, writing and rhetoric play in human societies and individual lives. Through coursework, students hone their critical thinking, reading, writing, editing, research, and presentation skills. Some students are practicing secondary school teachers who seek a master's degree in English for professional licensure and career advancement, and others intend to pursue college teaching and academic scholarship as a career. While the M.A. degree prepares the majority of students to teach English in secondary school and college settings, other English alumni employ skills developed in the program in their work as editors and copywriters, creative and technical writers, entrepreneurs, librarians, and administrators of cultural institutions. By strengthening students' communication and research skills and professional qualifications, our program provides a foundation for success in a diverse array of careers.  Matriculated students have the option to coordinate their electives to pursue a concentration in one of these four areas:  Literature and Film, Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, or Linguistics.  

“The skills I learned while completing my MA helped me to truly understand how to think critically and deeply about important world issues.  I got my start as a freelance travel writer by publishing a creative essay about cross-cultural encounter that I had written while I was a student at Bridgewater; my writing has been featured on Matador Network, BootsnAll, GoNOMAD, and Journey Beyond Travel. In my current position as Deputy Head of School and Curriculum Coordinator at ISHCMC - American Academy in Vietnam, I continually apply what I've learned at Bridgewater in my educational leadership.

Completing my MA in English at Bridgewater State University helped me gain a competitive edge in applying for international school teaching positions. Because of my success in the MA program, I was hired as an adjunct instructor with Syracuse University's dual enrollment program for high schools. I've since pioneered teaching Syracuse's Academic Writing and Creative Nonfiction Writing courses to students in Vietnam.”  

-Heather Carreiro, MA in English Graduate

Program Highlights

The Master of Arts degree in English (MA) is a flexible degree program aimed at students interested in advanced studies in literature, composition/rhetoric, creative writing, English Education, linguistics, and film. Many of our students are secondary school teachers who seek a master’s degree in their content area for professional licensure and career advancement, while others intend to pursue college teaching as a career. While our MA prepares the majority of our students to teach English in college and secondary school settings, others of our alumni use the skills they developed in our degree program in their work as editors, copywriters, creative writers, entrepreneurs, freelance writers, library assistants, administrators, or technical writing professionals. Motivated by their passion for reading and writing, some students pursue the MA for personal rather than simply professional goals.

Designed to deepen your knowledge of the various fields of English studies, this advanced degree will enhance your understanding of the roles that language, literature, and writing play in societies and individual lives. As a student of the program, you will also learn to hone your analytical, reading, writing, and editing skills. Whether you are pursuing a career as a secondary education teacher, journeying towards a PhD, or simply satisfying scholarly or creative interests, our program can provide the foundation to strengthen your personal development and professional qualifications.

The MA in English program offers:

  • Diverse faculty with advanced degrees and extensive teaching, writing, and research experience
  • A solid foundation in key skills, including effective academic research and writing, oral communication, critical thinking, and presentation skills.
  • Full- and part-time program options
  • Small classes of 10-15 students, facilitating a more personalized learning experience
  • On-site evening, Saturday, and hybrid (partially online) classes
  • Affordable tuition, whether you live in-state or out-of-state

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Kimberly Davis

Admissions Requirements

  • Online application and $50 application fee
  • Resume
  • Transcripts - Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Minimum GPA - Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 based upon four years of course work or a 3.0 undergraduate GPA based upon work completed in the junior and senior years.
  • Degree - An undergraduate major or minor in English, or at least 5 English courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. Comparable preparation in other humanities fields will be considered.
  • Letters of Recommendation - Three appropriate letters of recommendation. Ideally, at least two of the recommenders should be faculty members, although applicants with relevant and extensive work experience could submit letters from other professionals or supervisors. 
  • Personal Statement - A 400-500 word statement of purpose, including reasons for undertaking the degree, relevant experience and aptitude, career goals, and academic topics of interest within English studies.

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but below are our priority deadlines:

Fall Semester: April 1
Spring Semester: October 1
Summer Session: February 1

Apply Today

Curriculum

Core courses (18 credits)
ENGL 500 - Introduction to Graduate Study in English
ENGL 565 - Critical Theory in English Studies
ENGL 570 - Topics in American Literature
ENGL 580 - Topics in British Literature
ENGL 590 - Topics in World and Comparative Literature
One course in composition/rhetoric, creative writing or linguistics, selected from the following:
ENGL 511 - Special Topics in Writing
ENGL 513 - Composition Theories and Pedagogy
ENGL 514 - Linguistics for TESOL
ENGL 516 - Theories of Second Language Acquisition
ENGL 517 - Critical Approaches to TESOL Methods
ENGL 518 - Issues in Second Language Writing
ENGL 519 - Language and Power
ENGL 521 - Special Topics in TESOL
ENGL 523 - History of Rhetoric
ENGL 524 - Cultural Rhetorics
ENGL 526 - Professional Writing Workshop
ENGL 591 - Topics in the Craft of Creative Writing
ENGL 592 - Fiction Writing Workshop
ENGL 593 - Poetry Writing Workshop
ENGL 595 - Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop

Electives in any field of English studies (9 credits)
Complete three 500-level English (ENGL) courses, selected from the following:
ENGL 503 - Directed Study
ENGL 511 - Special Topics in Writing *
ENGL 513 - Composition Theories and Pedagogy
ENGL 514 - Linguistics for TESOL
ENGL 516 - Theories of Second Language Acquisition
ENGL 517 - Critical Approaches to TESOL Methods
ENGL 518 - Issues in Second Language Writing
ENGL 519 - Language and Power
ENGL 521 - Special Topics in TESOL *
ENGL 523 - History of Rhetoric
ENGL 524 - Cultural Rhetorics
ENGL 526 - Professional Writing Workshop
ENGL 540 - Working with Archives
ENGL 555 - International Study and Travel
ENGL 560 - Topics in Film *
ENGL 567 - Literature Pedagogy
ENGL 570 - Topics in American Literature *
ENGL 580 - Topics in British Literature *
ENGL 590 - Topics in World and Comparative Literature *
ENGL 591 - Topics in the Craft of Creative Writing *
ENGL 592 - Fiction Writing Workshop **
ENGL 593 - Poetry Writing Workshop **
ENGL 595 - Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop **
ENGL 599 - Internship (maximum of six credits)
  
*Repeatable with different topics
**Repeatable

Exit requirement (6 credits)
Complete one of the following culminating exercises:

Thesis option
Students who choose this option will research and write a thesis, a work of independent scholarship or creative writing. Those who choose to write a thesis should select a thesis director and committee and submit a thesis proposal to the graduate school for approval. The completed thesis must be approved by the thesis director and thesis committee. While a six-credit thesis is the norm, a three-credit thesis may be elected for a project developed out of and expanding prior coursework. Theses in creative writing must also include a 10-15 page essay situating the craft of the creative work in relation to scholarship relevant to the genre, style or thematic concerns.
ENGL 502 - MA Thesis (6-credit thesis, or 3-credit thesis plus one additional 3-credit elective in English)

Non-thesis option
Students who choose not to write a thesis must fulfill the following requirements:
Two additional electives (6 credits) in any 500-level English (ENGL) courses
Electronic submission of portfolio of revised writing produced in coursework. Students must submit two research papers of 10-15 pages each and two presentations or projects; concentrators in creative writing should also submit samples of their creative work. The graduate committee will evaluate portfolios to assess if the student has demonstrated proficiency in the skills outlined in the program's learning outcomes. If the portfolio is deemed inadequate, students will be required to take a three-credit ENGL 503 - Directed Study to revise the portfolio with faculty mentoring.

Total minimum credits: 33

Optional concentrations
With their 15 credits of electives (including courses taken for the exit requirement), student can opt to pursue a concentration in one of four fields. Those students wishing to take electives across the breadth of our curriculum areas would simply not choose a concentration. Students must have completed 12 credits for the MA in English, including ENGL 500, before declaring a concentration for their electives. The four concentration areas are:

  • Literature and Film
  • Composition and Rhetoric
  • Creative Writing
  • Linguistics

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Funding Opportunities

The College of Graduate Studies provides various opportunities for graduate students to receive funding while working towards their degrees. Appointments are competitive and are determined by undergraduate and/or graduate grade point averages, pertinent experience, educational preparation and interviews.  For information on assistantships, fellowships and conference funding awards, please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

The MA in English is eligible for unsubsidized student loans and applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For more specific questions, please visit the Financial Aid Office website or contact them directly at finaid@bridgew.edu.

 

 

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Graduate Events

View our graduate events page to RSVP to information sessions, workshops and seminars.

Cost of Attending

Bridgewater offers competitive tuition and fees for graduate students both in and out of state.

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