The Master of Arts in English enables students to deepen their knowledge of literature and explore the real-world applications of the skills that literary study cultivates, including attentiveness to language, critical thinking, persuasive writing, and social awareness. Courses in the program will expose students to a range of literary forms, historical periods, and methodological approaches, focusing on the interconnectedness of literature and society and literature’s relationship to social change, both past, and present.
The program serves the needs of a variety of students, including both those who plan to pursue academic or teaching careers, and those whose interest in literary studies will lead them to work in other areas.
Admission terms and application deadlines
Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.
- February 15 (early), April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
- October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
- For International students: May 1 for fall (September) admission and September 1 for winter (January) admission
To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:
- Additional department application requirements
- An English major is not required, but successful completion of a substantial number of undergraduate English courses is generally expected..
- Generally, successful candidates will have earned a 3.5 average (or comparable) in English courses.
- Applicants with insufficient background in literary studies may be advised to improve their preparation by taking an appropriate number of departmental undergraduate courses. Applicants must complete such preparatory course work before being eligible for admission to the graduate program.
- Additional Recommendation for Graduate Admission form
In addition to the two Recommendation for Graduate Admission forms, listed above, a third recommendation is required by the program.
Requirements for recommendations
Where possible, all three recommendations must be from academic instructors who can speak to the applicant’s academic record and potential in literary studies. (In some cases, it may be appropriate for one recommendation to be provided by another qualified evaluator, such as a supervisor or employer.)
- Statement of Purpose of approximately 700 words describing reasons for wishing to pursue the advanced study of literature and language
- Writing sample, a critical or interpretive essay, of no more than 3000 words, which demonstrates the candidate’s qualification for graduate study in literature.
Admission review and assessment
Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department. All students admitted to the Master of Arts in English degree program enter on a provisional basis.
Enrollment for all courses is subject to the written approval of the chairperson or a graduate adviser.
The Master of Arts in English degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 36 credits in an approved program of study.
a. Required Courses (16 credits)
The following three courses are required of all students. Students are encouraged to complete them at the earliest point possible, as they lay the groundwork for further study.
b. Electives (20 credits)
In addition, students must take five additional courses (20 credits). These courses must include:
- At least one 6000-level seminar (not ENG 6996)
c. English 6996: The Master’s Project (4 credits)
ENG 6996 projects are completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Students have the primary responsibility for determining the nature and focus of project they want to pursue and identifying a suitable advisor; the advisor will guide and support the student’s work on the project and evaluate its success. Students must submit an application for ENG 6996, which includes the title and overview of the project and a preliminary bibliography, at least four weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which they will complete the project.
When there is significant change in content, the following courses may be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits each:
Satisfactory academic progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.
Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.
Good academic standing
All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.
Good academic standing is a requirement for:
- Holding a Graduate Assistantship
- Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
- Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
- Going on a leave of absence
- Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.
Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.
Department requirements: To qualify for a degree, a candidate must complete his/her program with a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the course work submitted for the degree. Two grades below 3.0 will render a student subject to evaluation and possible dismissal, as will one grade below 2.5.
Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.
Related program information
Plan of study
All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.
Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility section of this catalog.)
Note: Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.
Classification of course offerings
The graduate program of the Department of English offers three kinds of courses.
- Foundational courses (5000 level)
5000-level courses are designed to familiarize the student with the principal approaches to literature and language and with methods and tools appropriate to those approaches. These courses are central to the graduate program because they prepare the student for the more specialized work of the seminars.
- Seminars (6000 level)
The graduate seminar allows the student to do advanced work in an area in which the instructor has special expertise. The instructor will prescribe the subject matter of each course during any given semester. Completion of at least two courses at the 5000 level is a prerequisite for enrollment in a 6000-level course. Seminars are limited to 15 students.
Students in the Master of Arts in English program may, with written approval of the graduate Program Director, offer one graduate course from another department for credit toward their degrees. Such courses should be advanced work in a field relevant to the student’s special interests and needs.
Students planning to pursue a Ph.D. should become proficient in at least one foreign language.