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The MA degree in English will provide students with the theoretical and practical tools involved in advanced literary studies in English. Graduates of the MA program will be prepared for a variety of professions that value strong communication skills and a facility in writing and textual analysis—such as education, journalism, professional writing, publishing, law, consulting, or marketing—or for PhD research. The MA will emphasize a breadth of knowledge in the form of course work, and also encourage students to produce original, publishable research. Our mission is to train students to be successful scholars, who are capable of contributing to important literary and cultural knowledge, both within our field and within the culture at-large, and of disseminating their skills and knowledge widely. MA in English offers graduate studies in English within a stimulatingandflexible environment, with the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary work. Courses in English and interdisciplinary approaches, historical periods and movements, genre, author studies, national and international literatures, and diversity facilitate a range of focuses and options as well as the potential for exciting intersections with InterdisciplinaryGraduate Studies programs and courses.
1. You Already Have a Career And You Are Gaining A New Credential
Examples of these types might be high school teachers, government employees, or business professionals. People who fit into this category are already employed and will gain responsibility or will be given a raise by returning to graduate school. Often, the company or organization will pay for the individual’s continued studies. This is an example of a graduate degree having an immediate and obvious return on investment.
2. You Will Use the Master’s Degree in English as a Stepping Stone For Even Further Studies
This means you are planning to go to law school or you are absolutely certain that a PhD is in your future. The MA in English might even work as a companion master’s to a degree like an MPA (public administration) or another field that requires both an advanced degree and also excellent writing and communication skills.
3. Your Program Offers a Focused Internship or Apprenticeship
Editors, journalists, copywriters, marketers—these are the kinds of people who benefit from this category. If this applies to you, make sure you choose a graduate program that encourages you to make connections outside of the academy. Not many English master’s programs offer internships, but I hope to see that change soon. I’ll even go a step further and say it has to change or the degree will become obsolete. A quick Google search turns up a few departments who have already embraced this perspective.
4. You Are a Creative Writer And You Need a Workshopping Environment
First, let me just say that this is certainly not a plan that will get you a job, but getting a job is not the only reason we go to graduate school. After all, trying to reduce the humanities to a logical and rational statistic kind of defeats the whole purpose. Sometimes, we pursue further education for reasons other than facts and figures can explain.
Creative writing is one of those reasons.
5. You Absolutely Do Not Care Whatsoever About Gaining Any Kind of Career or Financial Advancement From Your Degree
Please please please do not use this as a justification for graduate study if you really do expect to get something out of it. You would only be lying to yourself and setting yourself up for disappointment. This reason is reserved only for people who are either rich or have another source of income (full-time job, spouse, etc.), or who truly do not care at all whether they live in poverty.
Anybody with a bachelor degree in his area of choice can come for the course.