MA Concentration in Teaching Literature and Writing

Students admitted to the MA Concentration in Teaching Literature and Writing receive in their second year a tuition waiver, coverage of all associated fees, one-person health insurance, and a stipend of $12,240 in exchange for teaching one course per semester.  Designed to prepare students for a wide range of career opportunities — whether in a university setting by way of a doctoral program or in independent high schools and community colleges — this concentration offers students an opportunity to gain some teaching experience alongside the chance to write a thesis. Students take courses in literature, theory, criticism, and writing and rhetoric during their first year, along with two seminars—one focused on teaching literature, the other on teaching writing—that prepare them to lead their own classrooms.  

In the second year, while researching and writing the thesis, MA students teach their own section of first-year writing (but in some circumstances may serve as teaching assistants for literature courses). Research projects for the thesis may include any topic the student would like to explore in literature, writing and rhetoric, or pedagogy, in concert with advice from the thesis director.

Program Requirements:

In tandem with the standard requirements for the master’s degree, students are expected to complete the graduate pedagogy seminar (ENGL 8900), one course in literary pedagogy (ENGL 5900 or an approved equivalent), and a thesis focused on a pedagogical, literary, or rhetorical topic approved by their thesis director.

In addition, students are expected in their second year to complete a two-semester appointment as a graduate teaching assistant assigned to teach one section of first-year writing per term.

Typical Enrollment and Teaching Pattern:

First Year:

Fall:     ENGL 8800: Intro to Research Methods 

           3 additional graduate English courses                                                           

Spring:   ENGL 8900: Pedagogy Seminar (Writing)

              2-3 additional graduate English courses

Due to a College-wide requirement, students must take 18 graded credits in their first year in order to be eligible to teach in their second year. For this purpose, ENGL 8800 also counts as a “graded” requirement, because it is a course required by name for the degree. Thus students should plan to take, at a minimum, ENGL 8800 plus 15 graded credits (typically 5 additional courses) over the first year.

Second Year:

Fall:     1 Course in Literary Pedagogy (ENGL 5900 or an approved equivalent)               

           1 additional Graduate English Course       

           NTR courses as needed to raise credit hours to 12                                                                

           Teaching assignment: 1 section of ENWR or 1 Literature Discussion Section                                                              


Spring:  MA Thesis (ENGL 8998) (MA Thesis guidelines)

            Optional additional Graduate English Course

            NTR courses as needed to raise credit hours to 12   

            Teaching assignment: 1 section of ENWR or 1 Literature Discussion Section


For further information, please contact English Graduate Admissions.