English: English Studies Option M.A.

English study students talking
English: English Studies Option M.A.

Our M.A. program offers you the opportunity to explore the formal, historical, cultural, and theoretical dimensions of diverse forms of the written word.

Contact

Janine Wilks

Academic/Student Services Assistant, Graduate Program
Phone: (603) 862-3963
Office: English, Hamilton Smith Hall Rm 230D, Durham, NH 03824

Curriculum & Requirements

An M.A. candidate must complete 36 credit hours at the 800 or 900 level, including three seminar courses and a fourth seminar in literature or ENGL 998 Master's Paper.

At least six courses must be literature courses offered by the English department (as distinct from courses in critical theory, linguistics, writing, or teaching methods).  If a student chooses the Master's Paper option, the six-­course requirement is reduced to five literature courses.

Each M.A. candidate must also pass ENGL 925 Graduate Study of Literature and one course in literary theory. The literary theory requirement would normally be met by successful completion of  ENGL 814 Literary Theory, or ENGL 926 Seminar: Literary Theory.

As a general rule, all courses counting toward the M.A. degree should be taken in the English department, but two courses may be taken in other departments with approval. No more than two literature courses should be taken in a combined 700/800 (split) level course.

M.A. candidates must pass a reading examination in a foreign language or demonstrate that they have passed a fourth-semester college-­level language course with a grade of B or better. Students whose native language is not English may be exempt from this requirement.

Deadlines

 Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 (for funding); July 1 (final)
  • Spring: Oct. 15 (for funding); Dec. 1 (final)
  • Summer: April 1 (Admission only)
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores required for admission into our programs please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives,
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Additional Department Requirements

The sample could emphasize an area you would like to study, i.e. a paper previously submitted for a literature course. Your paper should reflect your ability to read literature closely, to place it in a historical or theoretical context, and to use research materials responsibly. Ten to twenty pages would be acceptable.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are strongly encouraged to complete our international pre-application process and are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. Please note that English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

As a student in our program, you will develop a deeper understanding of canonical and innovative approaches to literature in English, including both such nationally-defined traditions as British and American literatures, and traditions organized around other principles, such as Postcolonial or African American literatures. Organized to reflect the changing profession of literary study--its history, its methodologies, and its production of new knowledge--the program includes the study of literature in cultural and historical contexts, the study of representations of identity, comparative approaches to literature, theoretical perspectives, gender studies, and cultural studies. The program offers you both broad-based and specialized courses on a variety of literary topics, and students may supplement their course of literary study with graduate offerings in related subjects and departments, including courses in composition, creative writing, languages and linguistics, history, and sociology, among others.

At UNH, you will have an intensive intellectual experience in a friendly, supportive community of scholars and writers. Our classes are typically quite small (6-12 students) and are often taught as seminars. Because the ratio of faculty to students is quite high (roughly 1 faculty to every 4 graduate students), you can expect close contact with and guidance from scholars actively involved in research in their fields. The UNH English Department also provides opportunities for you to hear nationally-known scholars talk about their research: recent speakers have included Nancy Armstrong, Jonathan Culler, Dana Nelson, and Srinivas Aravamudan. We offer financial support for those graduate students who deliver papers at conferences. Recent MA students have presented papers at such conferences as "Self and Identity in Translation" (at the U. of East Anglia), Arizona State University's Southwest Graduate English Symposium, "Out of Time: Theorizations of Culture and the Political" (U. of Minnesota), "Britain's Long 18th Century" (U. of Chicago), McGill University's 11th Annual Graduate Symposium: "Violence and Recovery," the COPIA Graduate Renaissance Studies Conference (Yale U.), the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication, and the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies Annual Conference (U. of Massachisetts). And some go on to publish their research; one student has an essay forthcoming in a volume on philosophy and film (Cambridge Scholars Press), while two MA students published a collection entitled What to Expect When You are Expected to Teach (Heinemann, 2002).

Graduate students who come to study in our Department will find that we “cover” a great range of subjects in British and American literature, film, theory, linguistics, and composition and rhetoric. We don’t do everything, and we are stronger in some areas than in others, but we offer enough variety in our courses, and we are flexible and adventurous enough in accommodating thesis and dissertation topics, that our students almost always find the guidance they need in pursuing their intellectual interests. 

To help students see the shape of our Department, we have grouped professors below by their primary and some of their secondary fields. All of them are versatile to one degree or another, and many of them are affiliated with interdisciplinary programs.

British Literature by Period

Early Modern or Renaissance
Cristy Beemer, Dennis Britton, Douglas Lanier, Rachel Trubowitz

Shakespeare
Cristy Beemer, Dennis Britton, Douglas Lanier, Rachel Trubowitz

Milton
Rachel Trubowitz, Reginald Wilburn

Eighteenth Century
Sean Moore

Nineteenth Century
James Krasner, Sandhya Shetty

Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Robin Hackett, Martin McKinsey

American Literature by Period

Nineteenth Century
Brigitte Bailey, Siobhan Senier, Kabria Baumgartner

Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Diane Freedman, Delia Konzett, Lisa MacFarlane, Petar Ramadanovic, Siobhan Senier, Reginald Wilburn

American Studies
All the Americanist professors take part in the American Studies undergraduate minor and reflect their interdisiplinary interests in their graduate courses.

Other Literary Fields

Irish Literature
Martin McKinsey, Sean Moore

Post-Colonial Literature
Martin McKinsey, Sandhya Shetty

African-American Literature
Reginald Wilburn, Kabria Baumgartner

Asian-American Literature
Delia Konzett

Native-American Literature
Siobhan Senier

Atlantic Studies
Brigitte Bailey, Sean Moore

Classics and World Literature
Martin McKinsey

Women’s and Gender Studies
Cristy Beemer, Diane Freedman, Robin Hackett, Siobhan Senier, Kabria Baumgartner

Queer Literature (Gay and Lesbian Literature)
Robin Hackett

Poetry
Diane Freedman, Martin McKinsey

Fiction and Narrative
Robin Hackett, James Krasner, Sandhya Shetty

Drama and Performance Studies
Douglas Lanier

Literary and Cultural Theory
Petar Ramadanovic

Note: Professor Ramadanovic is our specialist in theory, but many of the other professors have a strong interest in theory, or in certain theories, and regularly assign theoretical readings in their graduate courses. Among the schools of theory actively explored by our professors are feminism of various kinds, New Historicism, post-colonial theory, ecocriticism, Marxism, queer theory, and cultural studies.

History of the Book
Sean Moore

Fields of Literary Interest

Graduate students in literature are encouraged to consider these areas for their “elective” courses.

Film
Delia Konzett, Douglas Lanier

Visual Culture
Brigitte Bailey, Douglas Lanier

Language and Linguistics
Rochelle Lieber
Note: We offer a Master’s degree in Language and Linguistics.

History and Structure of English
Rochelle Lieber

Composition and Rhetoric
Cristy Beemer, Marcos Del Hierro, Christina Ortmeier-Hooper
Note: We offer a doctorate in Composition and Rhetoric. Students should consult the relevant webpage to see the courses offered: they include such various topics as the history of rhetoric, research methods in composition, managing a writing center, and Montaigne and the essay.

The English Department offers some modest support for graduate students who are giving a paper or chairing a session at a professional conference in their field. Because these awards are made on a first-come, first-serve basis, you should make application as soon as you can in the academic year. To apply, write the Graduate Coordinator a letter requesting support; include the title of your paper (or session, if you are chairing a session), the conference and location at which it will be given, the dates of the conference, and an estimate of your anticipated expenses. The Graduate Coordinator will notify you in writing about the availability of support.

The Graduate School also offers modest support for graduate students who are giving a paper or chairing a session at a professional conference. These awards can be combined with support from the English Department. Last year, awards were $200 per conference and were awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Apply online

To apply, include the title of your paper, the conference and location at which it will be given, the dates of the conference, and an estimate of your anticipated expenses. Include an acknowledgment that you have received support from the English Department (if you have). The Graduate School will notify you in writing about the availability of support. It is a courtesy to the Graduate School to thank them after the conference for supporting your work.

At present, the English Department and Graduate School do not offer financial support for attending professional conferences without giving a paper.

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