MASTER'S PROGRAM in Theory and Criticism
Since the inception of the MA program in 1990, the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism has been the preferred destination for students of excellent calibre from Canada and from abroad. This established program continues to thrive and to attract exceptionally strong students, a claim substantiated by our strong record of external award holders. Graduates of the MA program have gone on to pursue further graduate work at Canadian and American institutions, including University of California-Irvine, Concordia, Cornell, Duke, Emory, NYU, Princeton, Ottawa, SUNY-Buffalo, U of Toronto, and Vanderbilt.
The program has established strengths in social & political theory and media & cultural studies, while maintaining its traditional strengths in critical theory and continental philosophy. This trend toward greater diversity has resulted in a wide range of course options each year, and continues to attract an interdisciplinary body of students into its MA program. What distinguishes the Theory Centre's MA program from other graduate programs is the serious attention given to intellectual history, and to its connection to contemporary forms of critical theory. Although the program emphasizes the study of theory as a distinct object of inquiry, and thus supports speculative inquiries about particular forms of theory, it also encourages students to engage with contemporary critical aesthetic, social and political inquiry.
Each M.A. student is required to write a thesis (or dissertation). The thesis is a formal statement of the theory, source materials, methodology, and findings of a student's major research project. The examination of the thesis exposes the student's work to scholarly criticism.
Though students may also take classes in other departments, courses at the Centre differ from theoretically oriented courses offered by other departments in focusing on theory as an object of enquiry in itself rather than on its application to a particular discipline. The distinction has proved itself important in ensuring that work at the Centre does not duplicate work that can be, or is, done in graduate programs in other Departments.
The MA program can be a stepping stone to PhD studies at various prestigious universities. Approximately 80% of the Centre's graduates have gone on to pursue further graduate work at Canadian and American institutions, including Cornell, Duke, Emory, NYU, Princeton, SUNY-Buffalo, Vanderbilt, and Western. A Master's degree in Theory and Criticism can also lead to work in a variety of other disciplines.
Looking ahead, the Centre is building on its strengths and engaging with emerging areas of Critical Theory that make the program a leading national and international institution in this area. The Centre is committed to maintaining the thesis MA as a vibrant stand-alone graduate program, and to ensure the continuation of its exceptional record of success.
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