Below are the curriculum requirements for students who matriculated before Fall 2018.

The Curriculum

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:

Literary Studies

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.

Writing Studies

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.

Childhood, Literature, and Culture

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
(856) 225-2997