For Students in Stage I (MA):
Literature and Writing Studies


Course Work, Transfer Credits, and Residence Requirements

The candidate for the MA degree must earn 32 hours of graduate credit, at least 24 of the 32 in the Department of English; at least 16 of the 32 must be in 500-level courses and 12 of these in the Department of English. In 400-level courses graduate students are expected to do work beyond that required of undergraduate students, ordinarily in the form of an additional writing assignment. Half of these hours must be earned in courses meeting on the Urbana-Champaign or the Chicago campus. After the first semester in the program, a student may, with the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies, petition to transfer unit and/or distribution credit from graduate credit earned in another graduate program which was not used for work toward a degree.


Foreign Language Requirement

The candidate for the MA degree must demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. French, German, Latin, Italian, or Spanish are commonly recommended. The candidate may, with the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies, choose a language besides those listed here. The candidate may satisfy the language requirement (1) by having had the equivalent of three full years of undergraduate work in the language; (2) by passing a proficiency exam administered by a UIUC foreign language department; OR (3) by passing the non-credit 501 course in the language with a grade of B or better.


Professional Seminars: English 593

The department offers credit-bearing Professional Seminars (English 593) in the teaching of writing, the teaching of literature, and the teaching of film. A candidate for a graduate degree in English who holds a first assignment in the teaching of freshman composition will simultaneously enroll in a section of English 593 designated as the teaching of freshman composition. The candidate will receive 4 hours of credit for satisfactorily completing this course. As a rule, no more than 4 hours of English 593 will be counted toward the 32 hours needed for the MA. Literature PhD students must, however, take an additional English 593 class in the teaching of literature or film, and will receive credit for it as part of PhD coursework. Students who are assigned to one of the lecture courses—English 209, 210, 255, 259, 260, and 117—and who complete two semesters of service as a discussion leader for one or two of these courses may use that service as a substitute for the Professional Seminar in the teaching of literature. Although the service does not carry academic credit, it will automatically qualify the student for course assignments in literature.


Time in the M.A. Program

The minimum time for completing the MA degree is two semesters; the maximum time allowed is five years after first registration in the Graduate College. In the semester in which students complete the 28th and 32nd hours of MA coursework, they are required to submit a Stage II application if they wish to continue work toward the PhD. For this application to the Graduate Director and Graduate Studies Committee, students must submit a statement of purpose, a writing sample (likely a revised seminar paper) and two letters of recommendation from faculty members. Students in good standing and making good progress are ordinarily accepted into Stage II, the first portion of the PhD program.


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