English, M.A.


Completion of a baccalaureate degree in English or related field with approval of Graduate Committee at an accredited four-year institution.

Candidates with a GPA of at least 3.0 in an English major will receive preference for admissions. The Graduate Committee and the chair will review applications from students without an undergraduate English degree and determine whether the student may matriculate. Additional preparation or course work at the undergraduate level may be required.

The Statement of Intent (required for the graduate application) should be approximately two to three pages, and should detail the candidate's reasons for applying to a graduate program in English at Fredonia. It should be a substantive commentary on the applicant's qualifications as a candidate, and his/her interests in the field of study, special areas of preparation, etc.

At least two Recommendation Letters (required for the graduate application) attesting to the candidate's breadth of preparation and quality of performance in an undergraduate English major or equivalent and, if applicable, a letter from a school administrator addressing performance as a teacher of English. Letters should be current and specific to the applicant's application to engage in graduate-level work.

Writing Sample: An eight-to-20 page research essay should demonstrate the applicant's interpretive, critical and writing skills. The paper must include a works cited page evidencing knowledge of proper citation format (MLA, Chicago, APA).

Copy of initial certification to teach English in the secondary schools of New York State, or equivalent preparation (for those seeking professional certification).


Dr. Birger Vanwesenbeeck, Program Coordinator

Dr. Jeanette McVicker
Advanced Program Coordinator

Department of English Website


Learning Goals for the Graduate Program in English:

Students will:

  • Broaden their understanding of English as a field and find their places within it;
  • Think critically about language and the contexts in which it is produced and received;
  • Engage with and apply multiple research methodologies in order to express themselves in written and other media

Both degree tracks offer students multiple opportunities to engage with the diverse field of English studies, developing their skills as reflective readers, writers and researchers. Starting with ENGL 500, Introduction to Graduate Studies, students will approach contemporary issues and problems through multiple methodological lenses, as they discover their own specific professional interests. Exposing students to fresh pedagogical initiatives, interdisciplinary critical methods and historical currents, the program encourages students to work toward a required degree project that will best suit their professional needs. Courses will be selected from three "streams" (see below). The program structure supports wide faculty participation to work closely with students in individual and collaborative research settings. Students will participate in departmental and campus events that showcase their research, culminating in a degree project (see options below) which will provide them with tangible entry into the profession.

Program Outline

A. All students/candidates are required to take the following core experiences

ENGL 500 Introduction to Graduate Studies in English (3 credit hours)
ENGL 502 Directed Study (1.5 credit hours)
One course from each "stream" category: Texts, Contexts, and Theories (see announced course offerings for topics = 9 credit hours, taken prior to ENGL/ENED 690 (For certification candidates, ENED 554 and 665 may be included in these 9 credit hours)

TEXTS stream: Offers the opportunity for students to study in-depth textual production in a variety of forms from various regions and/or time periods. Individual courses could include a focus on a particular writer's oeuvre, or a particular genre (for example, silent film, non-fiction essay, the Bildungsroman, psychoanalysis) and the retracing of any significant developments therein.

CONTEXTS stream: Engages the multiple contexts in which texts are produced and received at particular moments in time. It promotes the study of the effects of such issues as globalization, institutionalization, class relations, gender, and race on the production and reception of texts. Individual courses could include, but are not restricted to, the study of particular movements and the presentation of a variety of methods, including cultural and interdisciplinary studies, historical approaches, pedagogical and rhetorical practices.

THEORIES stream: Provides opportunities for students to illuminate the underlying conceptual logics that govern texts and textual analysis. Theories of writing, critical theory, pedagogical theory, literary theory are all possible contributions to this stream, through which students will further develop their critical thinking process, their deeper sense of the history of the discipline of English, and their understanding of literature, language, teaching, and culture.

ENED/ENGL 690 Advanced Research Seminar (3 credit hours)
ENGL 695 Capstone in English Studies (3 credit hours)
ENED/ENGL 696 Degree Project Completion (3 credit hours; see "Degree Project Options" below)

B-1. For candidates in the Master of Arts in English: required coursework outlined in part A (see above) plus electives chosen in combination from among the following to complete 30 credits:

Additional course from at least two of the three streams
Up to one additional directed study
Up to 3 credits of internship, ENGL 694

B-2. For candidates in the Master of Arts in English 7-12program for professional certification: required core coursework outlined in part A (see above) plus additional hours as follows to complete 30 credits:

ENED 554 Teaching Writing in Schools (required as one of the stream courses)
ENED 665 Studies in English Education (required as one of the stream courses)
An additional course from one of the three streams
Up to one additional directed study
Up to 3 credits of internship

Degree Project Options

As students enter the Advanced Research Seminar, they will have finalized their choice of a degree project that best suits their career plans and use the seminar as a research workshop to prepare for the project selected. Starting in the 2013-2014 academic year, all degree projects are three (3) credit hours, taken as ENGL 696, Degree Project Completion. Options include:

Thesis or Action Research Thesis: a formal analysis based on significant research exploring a critical issue or pedagogical problem within the field of English studies, offering fresh perspectives and successfully defended to the thesis committee during an oral thesis defense.
Professional Presentation and Publication: delivery of a scholarly conference paper (preferably a graduate student or professional conference in the field) together with submission of scholarly work to an appropriate journal/website/anthology in the field of English studies representing significant research and analysis. Publication is not a requirement for the degree.
Comprehensive Examination: with the guidance of a faculty member(s), students will sit for an exam based on the student's research areas. The exam will be written, with an oral portion. Successful completion is required for the degree.


Total Credit Hours for Program Completion: 30

Graduate Studies Office

E230A Thompson Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3808
(716) 673-3712 fax