Types of Programs

All MA students are required to take at least one half-course at the graduate level before 1900. With approval from the Chair of Graduate Studies, up to the equivalent of one full course that directly relates to a student's field of interest may be taken from another graduate program (examples of eligible programs include French, Classics, Modern Languages, Comparative Literature, Women's Studies, Theory and Criticism, History, Political Studies, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, and Philosophy). Students holding a teaching assistantship may register for only three full (or equivalent) courses per term in the Fall/Winter session and must take the other full course (or equivalent) in the succeeding Summer session. Permission to take an additional undergraduate course may be given where it is needed to fulfill the language requirement.

  1. Four (4.0) full graduate courses (or the equivalent in full and half courses).

  2. Three (3.0) full (or equivalent) graduate courses, and an independent research project of approximately 50 pages. A student choosing this program will register in course work and in an independent research project (English 9005). The prospectus for the independent research project (see section on Prospectuses) must be approved by the student's supervisor and submitted to the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies no later than the second-last week of September.  All independent research projects must involve a program of critical and/or archival research.

    With the approval of the supervisor and of the Committee on the Graduate Studies, the final submission may combine creative practice and research. In this case, the creation process will be situated within the research activity and produce critically informed work in the form of literature or performance. Typically, the final submission will involve a creative work preceded by a critical introduction.

    During the Winter term, and by the end of Reading Week in February, the supervisor will receive a satisfactory Working Bibliography and a detailed outline of the entire project from the student. The supervisor will notify the Committee on Graduate Studies, through the graduate assistant, that these have been submitted and are satisfactory. In the event that this cannot be completed satisfactorily by the deadline, the student must abandon the IRP and will instead enroll in a Summer Term course.

    The student will complete and submit the project by approximately 1 August. Before submission, the supervisor and the student will identify possible faculty examiners for the project. They will submit one or more names of possible examiners to the Chair of Graduate Studies, who will invite an examiner to grade the thesis. The examiner will determine the grade after consultation with the supervisor. The examiner will communicate the grade to the Chair of Graduate Studies via the graduate coordinator no later than 24 August. There is no oral defense of the independent research project.

  3. Two (2.0) full (or equivalent) graduate courses and a thesis of approximately 100 pages. This program requires the special permission of the Committee on Graduate Studies. Students wishing to undertake a thesis must complete a prospectus in consultation with their proposed supervisor before entering the program. The prospectus for the thesis must be approved by the student's supervisor and submitted to the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies via the graduate coordinator no later than the first day of classes in the Fall term. Students writing a thesis will normally take three half courses during the fall term, followed by one half course in the winter, or one full course during the regular academic year, plus two half courses in the fall. See section on Prospectuses.