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Graduate Programs in English
English MA Programs
MA in English
The English MA program is designed for students who have had substantial undergraduate preparation in English, and is of special value to students who plan to teach English in a community college, who wish to further develop their creative writing talent, or who expect to pursue a Ph.D. in English. The program is divided into two concentrations: literature and creative writing.
The literature concentration covers a wide range of American, British, and world literary works. Students in this concentration will gain a familiarity with a wide variety of literary traditions, periods, and genres; an understanding of diverse critical perspectives available in the field of literary studies; and an interpretive engagement with the complexities of literary texts.
The creative writing concentration focuses on achieving clarity of imaginative expression. Students in this concentration develop an ability to understand and express ideas through or in dialogue with literary forms; to write with a tone of authority; and to critique their own or each other's works using the fundamental terminology of the craft.
MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing Program
The MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing is recommended for students preparing to teach at the high school or community college level or advance as writers in professional, workplace contexts. The MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing offers preparation for careers in fields such as education, journalism, publishing, law, technical writing, advertising, arts administration, or civil service; or to pursue study at the doctoral level. Because many graduate students work during the day, most graduate courses are scheduled for late afternoon and evening hours. The course of study leads to an M.A. thesis project in rhetoric, composition, and professional writing in which the student undertakes original research or creates a professional writing portfolio under the supervision of a two-person faculty committee.
Sac State also offers the TESOL Master of Arts (MA) program.
For useful, general information about the English MA program, please review the English Graduate Student Handbook. If you have further questions, please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Sweet at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the university application process, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.
Teaching Composition Certificate
This 15-18 unit, supplemental program of study provides advanced training in composition teaching. The Teaching Composition Certificate prepares graduate students who wish to teach English composition at the college level.
The Teaching Composition Certificate is not a degree program or teaching credential. The certificate represents formal recognition of completion of an organized, integrated, specialized program of study. In conjunction with a master's degree, it may be helpful in obtaining employment as a composition teacher at a community college or university.
Please review the Teaching Composition Certificate Requirements Worksheet for course requirements and more details. If you have further questions, please contact the English department Writing Programs Coordinator, Dr. Hogan Hayes.
English MA Program
- an ability to critically analyze and question knowledge claims in the specialized discipline;
- an ability to write clearly, effectively, and imaginatively, and to adjust writing style appropriately to the content and nature of the subject;
- an ability to conduct research projects and to articulate them within appropriate conceptual and methodological frameworks, and to locate, evaluate, organize, and incorporate information effectively;
- an ability to conduct advanced research and documentation in the discipline, including print and electronic forms of information retrieval;
- an ability to engage in the oral exchange of ideas with faculty and fellow students.
MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing
- A working knowledge of praxis—the ways rhetoric and composition theory and practice inform one another
- An ability to write clearly, effectively, and multimodally; to use rhetorical knowledge to inform writing process; to locate, evaluate, organize, and incorporate evidence effectively; and to examine explicitly writing and thinking processes
- An ability to engage, evaluate, and critique a variety of pedagogies, research, and professional writing methods
- An ability to conduct research in rhetoric, composition, and professional writing using appropriate methods and methodological frameworks
- An ability to join an on-going scholarly and professional conversation and contextualize an original contribution through primary and secondary research
- An ability to articulate the sociopolitical and sociocultural implications of researching rhetoric, teaching composition, and professional writing.
The Graduate Coordinator will screen all MA applicants according to the requirements listed below and a ranking system devised by the department. Applicants who have deficiencies in these admission requirements which can be removed by specified additional preparation will be ranked accordingly, but may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate status. Any deficiencies will be noted on a writted response from the Graduate Coordinator to the student's admission application.
Please note: GRE scores are not required for admission to the English MA program. None of the requirements listed below are subject to waiver.
English MA Literature and Creative Writing Concentrations
- a baccalaureate degree;
- a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units of all university level coursework OR a 3.0 GPA in courses in the English major on the transcript from your degree-graduating institution;
- at least 27 units of upper division coursework in English;
- a minimum of 15 units of upper-division coursework in literature, including;
- at least 1 British literature course
- at least 1 American literature course
- TOEFL score (for foreign student admissions only--see below)
MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing
- a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units of all university level coursework OR a 3.0 GPA in courses in Communication Studies, Education, English, Philosophy, Political Science or related major on the transcript from your degree-granting institution (effective beginning with Spring 2015 admissions)
- Statement of purpose
- Writing sample: Submit one of the following as a writing sample
- 10 - 12 page academic writing sample (e.g., seminar or capstone project), one in which the applicant has integrated primary and/or secondary research to pursue an original claim or controlling idea. Along with this writing sample, include a brief reflective component (250-500 words) articulating why the applicant has chosen this as their writing sample.
2 - 3 samples of professional writing that demonstrate their preparation for the program. Genres from a variety of professions and fields are welcomed. Along with these writing samples, include a brief reflective component (250-500 word) articulating why the applicant has chosen these as their writing samples.
- Students from foreign universities must take the TOEFL test, which is administered in different formats; students need take only one format of the exam. Required scores for each format are as follows:
- paper based TOEFL: 600, with a score of 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)
- computer based TOEFL: 250, with a score of 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)
- internet based TOEFL (IBT): 100, with a minimum of 25 on the writing section
Foreign Student Admissions
Students from foreign universities must take the TOEFL test, which is administered in different formats; students need take only one format of the exam. Required scores for each format are as follows:
- Paper-based TOEFL: 600, with a score of 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)
- Computer-based TOEFL: 250, with a score of 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)
- Internet-based TOEFL (IBT): 100, with a minimum of 25 on the writing section
How to Apply
You will apply through Cal State Apply.
Applications must be completed in full by the application deadline to be considered for admission to the program.
Applicants who meet admission requirements (listed above) should submit an application to the Office of Graduate Studies via the Cal State Apply online application system, pay the application fee, and submit official transcripts for all undergraduate coursework completed.
Current Application deadlines are listed on the Office of Graduate Studies Website.
English MA Exam Reading Lists
For other upcoming dates and preparation for the English MA Literature and Creative Writing comprehensive exams (culminating experience), please review the English MA Comprehensive Exam Reading Lists:
- 2024 Reading List - CW
- 2023 Reading List - CW
- 2022 Reading List - CW
- 2021 Reading List - CW
- 2020 Reading List - CW
- 2019 Reading List - CW
- 2024 Reading List - LIT
- 2023 Reading List - LIT
- 2022 Reading List - LIT
- 2021 Reading List - LIT
- 2020 Reading List - LIT
- 2019 Reading List - LIT
- Notes for the LIT Exam