Jun 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in English is designed for students seeking continuing education, a foundation for doctoral work (Ph.D., Ed.D., JD) and/or a credential qualifying them to teach literature and composition courses at junior and community colleges.


Students seeking admission to the program must have a baccalaureate degree in English or a related field from an accredited institution. In certain cases, students may be required to complete specific prerequisites before or during their first year of enrollment.

Admission deadlines, application review

Fall Priority Deadline: February 1
Spring Priority Deadline: November 1

Fall applicants must submit the application including all supporting documents by the priority deadline to be considered for any fellowship or scholarship award. Applications received after the priority deadlines will be considered on a space available basis.


Students seeking admission to the program must submit the following materials:

  1. Official transcripts from ALL degree-granting (bachelor’s or master’s degrees) colleges and universities attended. An official transcript submitted in a sealed envelope which you have received from your college or university is acceptable.
  2. A graduate admission test may not be required if your bachelor’s degree cumulative GPA is 3.0 or above. If your GPA is between 2.5 and 2.99, you may be considered for admission by submitting a satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE): a minimum score of 153 for the Verbal section and 4.5 on the Analytical Writing section.
  3. An essay expressing your reasons for wanting to join the particular academic program to which you are applying. What are your personal and career goals, and how will this particular degree from Chapman University help you reach those goals? Your essay should be double spaced, size 12 font, and 1-2 pages in length.
  4. Two letters of recommendation that speak to your academic preparation, intellectual ability, and aptitude for graduate study.
  5. A finished critical literary essay of 12-15 text pages that demonstrates your talent for scholarly writing and ability to handle texts of literary criticism relative to the subject matter. The essay should reflect a grasp of critical literary skills and ability to deal with theoretical texts in an effective and knowledgeable manner. The MA essay MUST be a critical literary essay only. In other words, the subject matter should deal with literary texts and literary topics only unless it is a Comparative Literature paper.

Transfer policy

Students admitted to the M.A. program with an earned master’s degree in literature may transfer up to six credits of graduate coursework upon approval of a petition by the program coordinator and the dean of the school. (See Academic Policies and Procedures  for transfer policies.)

Thesis review and completion

Master of Arts students must prepare and defend, under the direction of an individual faculty member, a thesis project of distinction in order to complete the degree (please see Department of English Graduate Handbook for additional guidelines). The thesis project must be completed, reviewed and accepted before a student may participate in graduation. A copy of the thesis project and the committee’s evaluative report must be filed with the Department of English office. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.000 “B” to meet the minimum eligibility requirements to enroll in the thesis preparation class. (See Academic Policies and Procedures  for additional guidelines.)

Continuous enrollment requirement

Students who have previously registered for the thesis, but who have not completed the requirements, are required to be continuously enrolled for each semester the thesis/project remains outstanding. See Continuous Enrollment  for additional information. The maximum time allowed for completion of the master’s degree is seven years.

Requirements for the Master of Arts in English degree

Students pursuing the Master of Arts in English degree are held to the University’s Academic Policies and Procedures . In addition these specific degree standards apply:

  • Minimum grade “C+” or above required in all coursework.
  • Maintain 3.000 GPA in the degree.
  • Complete, prepare and successfully defend a thesis project of distinction.

The following courses make up the Master of Arts in English degree curriculum:

total credits 36

*HUM 500  must be taken twice for 1½ credits to satisfy one 3 credit elective course.

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