The Master of Arts in English, Plan A, Literature Specialization is designed to facilitate the intellectual growth of passionate teachers, insightful scholars, and engaged public citizens. Graduates have gone on to highly-ranked Ph.D. programs, publishing houses, and careers in the non-profit sector; whatever their aspirations, the training students receive at CSU prepares them for a more vibrant future. M.A. students specializing in literature have two options for completing their degree. Plan A students write a thesis of approximately 100 pages; Plan B students write a project of approximately 25 pages and must complete several additional hours in the classroom. 

Effective Fall 2022

Plan of Study Grid
First YearCredits
E 600AResearch Methods/Theory: Literary Scholarship3
E 615Reading Literature-Recent Theories3
E 635Critical Studies in Literature and Culture3
One course from outside the English department1,23
 Total Credits18
Second Year
Pre-20th century literature course33
E 610Literature Program Colloquium1
E 699Thesis6
 Total Credits15
 Program Total Credits:33

 A minimum of 33 credits are required to complete this program. 


Students with an undergraduate major other than English may waive this requirement and select an additional 3 credits of elective courses instead.


Up to 9 credit hours outside the department allowed at the 300-level or above only.


One course in pre-20th century literature is required at the 500-level or above.  Select course in consultation with graduate advisor.

In addition to required coursework, the following is required:

  • Pass an oral defense of the thesis.
  • Courses used to complete another degree cannot be counted toward the Masters degree.
  • A minimum of 24 credits applied to a M.A. degree must be earned at CSU. Of these, at least 21 must be earned after admission to the program.
  • Graduate courses taken at CSU prior to admission to the Graduate School can be applied to a M.A. degree if the grade earned is B or higher.
  • At least 16 credits earned at CSU and applied to a M.A. degree must be at the 500-level or above; of these credits, at least 12 must be in “regular” courses. English courses considered to be other than “regular” include E 684A, E 684B, E 684C, E 684D, E 684EE 687A, E 687BE 687CE 687E, E 687H, E 687I, E 687J, E 687KE 687L, E 687ME 694, E 695, E 698, E 699, and any courses graded pass/fail; see the Graduate and Professional Bulletin for more detailed information.
  • Courses transferred to a M.A. program must have a grade of B or higher and must have a CSU equivalent at the 500-level or higher. Credits used to fulfill requirements for previously earned degrees are not accepted.
  • Up to nine credits of coursework for a M.A. degree can come from CSU programs outside the English department.  These credits must be at the 300-level or higher.
  • A maximum of six credits of E 684A, E 684B, E 684C, E 684D, E 684E and E 687A, E 687B, E 687CE 687E, E 687H, E 687I, E 687J, E 687K, E 687L, E 687M  (combined) can count toward a M.A. degree. (PCMI students may take up to seven credits.)
  • A maximum of two credits of E 694 or E 698 can count toward a M.A. degree.
  • A maximum of two credits of E 695 can count toward a M.A. degree.
  • A maximum of six credits of E 699 can count toward a M.A., Plan A degree. 
  • With the exception of specified courses in the M.A. English Education Specialization, all courses taken in the English department and applied to a M.A. degree must be taken at the 500-level or above.