The MA program offers students the opportunity to work closely with internationally known faculty, to pursue independent research, and to attend a wide range of classes designed to advance our candidates in a variety of careers. Our small evening seminars cover traditional and emerging fields in English (everything from medieval literature to digital media) as well as applied topics in editing, pedagogy, and writing. Our graduates go on to study at the doctoral level, to teach at secondary schools or community colleges, and to pursue careers in librarianship, curriculum development, grant writing, and publishing, among others.
The faculty has research interests that cover all historical periods of Anglophone literature in addition to rhetoric, linguistics, journalism, creative writing, and digital studies. Just in the past few years these faculty members have won prestigious awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, published monographs with leading academic presses (Michigan, Alabama, Palgrave, Oxford, Penn State), had their novels on the New York Times bestsellers’ list, and seen their poetry features in the New Yorker.
We have a vibrant graduate student community grounded in activities at the Rutgers–Camden Writers House, which boasts an annual NEA-funded Writers in Camden reading series, the Cooper Street Workshops, and a lively roster of creative and scholarly events. MA students maintain their own student-led organization, the English Graduate Students’ Association, which organizes professional development and social events, in addition to hosting an annual Graduate Student Conference in the spring.
To earn the MA degree, students must complete 30 credit hours (10 courses) organized around the degree requirements. As a final assessment, students must pass the Candidacy Exam in two subject areas, or write a thesis and pass the Candidacy Exam in one subject area.
In addition, candidates have the opportunity to organize their study around three specific tracks:
This four-course concentration explores a variety of literary genres across a broad range of cultures and historical periods. Students who choose this track will have the opportunity to sharpen their understanding of theory, literary criticism, and scholarly research methods. The Literary Studies track is ideal for students planning to pursue the doctorate, teachers of English, and those wishing to pursue careers that require strong textual analysis skills, such as law, publishing, and higher education administration.
This four-course concentration focuses on writing as a teachable craft, a cognitive skill, a mode of communication, a situated social practice, and a persuasive and aesthetic art. Specific courses approach writing from theoretical, practical and pedagogical dimensions while also allowing students to experience professional writing opportunities through relevant field experience. The Writing Studies track is ideal for students planning to pursue a doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition, teachers of composition at the secondary or post-secondary level, and those wishing to pursue careers in writing-related fields, such as public relations, marketing, journalism, fundraising, and political consulting.
This four-course concentration introduces students to the field of children’s and adolescent literature as well as the representations of childhood, adolescence, kinship and child development in literature and the media. This multi-disciplinary field intersects with studies of gender, race, nation, queerness, disability, digital media, history, and literature. Working closely with a faculty sponsor, students may receive course credit through relevant field experience. The Childhood, Literature, and Culture track is suited to those planning to pursue the doctorate in Literature or Childhood Studies, teachers from the elementary through secondary education levels; and those wishing to pursue careers related to creating child-focused content (books, toys, software, games, television and film) and in the non-profit and educational industries.
Dr. Ellen Malenas Ledoux
Director of Graduate Study