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The specialization in American and English literature requires 30 semester hours for completion of the Master of Arts degree. Students admitted without having fulfilled the foreign language requirement must also complete one year of college-level coursework (or its equivalent) in the same modern or classical foreign language, with at least a C average.

Program elements include the following:


ENG 501: Modern Literary Studies, taken in the first available term.

ENG 502: Modern Literary Theory.

Students must complete four literature courses, no more than three of which may be at the 400-level. Among these four course, students must also meet the three requirements listed immediately below. (One course may count for more than one requirement. See course descriptions to determine a course’s requirement eligibility.)
  1. One course pre-1700
  2. One course post-1700
  3. One world literatures course

ELECTIVES (6 to 9 hours):

Courses may be elected in literature, creative writing, composition, and/or linguistics. Elective hours may also include credit for ENG 598: Preparatory Reading/English and American Literature or ENG 599: Thesis. Students may, with the written approval of their advisor and of the Director of Graduate Studies, choose ONE elective from another SIUE Department; use the Graduate Student Request Form to obtain approval prior to registration in any such course.

EXIT REQUIREMENTS (3 to 6 hours):

In consultation with the Graduate Literature Specialization advisor, students select one of two plans to complete the program requirements, as follows:

(1) Thesis plan
Enroll in ENG 599: Thesis and submit an acceptable thesis in any area of the field, including women's studies. In this plan, the candidate must pass a one-hour oral examination on the thesis and related topics.

(2) Three-paper plan
Enroll in ENG 598: Preparatory Reading/English and American Literature and prepare three 20-page papers based on a reading list established in consultation with the candidate's committee.

Each of these options requires that students choose an examining committee comprised of three faculty members, to be chosen in consultation with the appropriate Graduate Literature Specialization advisor.

The above requirements are available as a printable checklist [PDF], or you may obtain a copy of the checklist from the information rack outside the office of the Director of Graduate Studies.

If you have any questions, please contact your graduate advisor. For students whose last names begin with A-L, the advisor is Prof. Helena Gurfinkel; for the rest, advising is by Prof. Jeffrey Skoblow.


Published by: Department of English Language and Literature
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