The Master of Arts degree at the University of Idaho offers a rigorous training in literary and rhetorical studies in a friendly environment; you will be able to pursue your own interests, working closely alongside our faculty. Students opting for this degree ordinarily plan to pursue a career in writing and editing, to teach at the community college level, or to continue their studies at the Ph.D. level. In the last few years, our graduates have found teaching jobs as instructors at colleges and universities throughout the country, and acceptance in Ph.D. programs at U. of British Columbia, Cal/Berkeley, Cal/Davis, Cal/Irvine, Columbia, Chicago, Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Stanford, SUNY-Buffalo, Victoria, Washington, and Washington State.
CREDIT AND GRADE REQUIREMENTS
Of the minimum of 33 credits required for the degree, at least 24 credits must be earned in the Department of English at the University of Idaho. Of these, no more than 9 credits earned at the Grace Nixon Summer English Institute may be applied to the degree. Included in the total credits required, at least 3 credits are to be taken in a theory course (which may include ENGL 506, ENGL 511, ENGL 495, or a theory course approved by the director of the M.A. program) and at least 3 credits in pre-1900 literature. Coursework for the M.A. in English is normally at the 500s level; however, up to six credits of work at the 400s level may be included, with the approval of the director of the M.A. program. Students are allowed to take 3 credits maximum in practica applying toward the degree.
We typically offer three 500-level courses in literature and one or two 500-level courses in rhetoric and composition each semester; graduate students may also take up to six hours of 400-level English courses.
FINAL RESEARCH PROJECT
Students and their major professors and committees will design their programs. Theses or papers may address topics in literature and literary theory and criticism or composition and rhetorical theory.
Plan A (Thesis) requires 27 credits of coursework and 6 thesis credits, leading to the submission of an acceptable thesis of 60 pages or more. As soon as possible (but no later than the third semester of full-time enrollment), students pursuing Plan A, in consultation with the Director of the M.A. Program, should choose a thesis director. The director will help the candidate form a thesis committee and prepare a program of study, research, and writing leading toward a finished thesis of 60-100 pages in length. See the College of Graduate Studies’ “Graduate Handbook for Theses and Dissertations” for formatting requirements.
Plan B (Non-thesis) requires 30 credits of coursework and 3 credits of ENGL 599 Non-thesis Masters Research, leading to the completion of two papers suitable to be submitted for publication, an abstract for each paper, and a concise explanation of initial and additional research and revisions (3-5 pages), accompanied by an annotated bibliography.
For Plan A or Plan B, each student will take an M.A. examination following completion of work submitted in acceptable form, as confirmed by the major professor. Following the completion of the project, each student must successfully complete an oral M.A. examination conducted by the members of his or her thesis committee. The date and time of the defense are announced to the department, and anyone may attend. This examination tests the student’s ability to defend his or her ideas intelligently and articulately and to place the work within the larger context of studies in the field.
Candidates for the master’s degree in English are required to demonstrate reading proficiency in one of the following languages: French, German, Italian, Latin, Classical Greek, Spanish, or Russian. Students may do this in one of the following ways:
• Successfully completing a course of study (with a final grade of C or P or higher) in one of the required languages at the undergraduate level through the intermediate year (i.e., four semesters or six quarters). Students who have accomplished this as undergraduates, as reflected on official transcripts, will be considered to have satisfied the language requirement;
• Passing a reading and translation exam on a primary text in an approved language (as arranged through the director of the M.A. program);
• Completing 12 semester hours (or 16 quarter hours) of the upper division undergraduate and graduate level courses in linguistics and the history of the English language. At least three credits (four quarter credits) must be at the graduate level, and no more than three credits can be counted toward the degree;
• Native speakers of other languages are considered to have met the language requirement.