To earn the Master's degree, you will complete 30 credits, including a thesis or an oral/written field examination. The only two formal requirements are a course in American literature before 1900 and another in British or Irish literature before 1800. An average grade of at least "B" must be maintained to remain in the program. Full-time students complete the curriculum in two years, taking two or three courses each semester, but you may also pursue your studies on a part-time basis, in which case you may take up to six years to earn the degree.
Your M.A. coursework provides you the opportunity to study in a variety of areas, while the thesis or field exam allows you to develop expertise in a particular field. If you elect to write a thesis, you will give sustained critical attention to an author, theme or small selection of texts. If you pursue the field examination, you will read a list of works compiled in consultation with your advisor that allows you to explore a field of your own definition.
At all stages, the program is deeply committed to your development as a literary scholar. Before entering the program, you will be is assigned an advisor who can help you plan your course of study. Once you've completed nine credits, you may request an advisor with expertise in your area of interest.