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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Master's Program Options

MA in Literature

MA Literature

This program provides a general knowledge of English and American literature, a familiarity with the range of theoretical approaches and critical methodologies, and an opportunity to take courses in film studies, creative writing, and ethnic and world literature.

General Requirements

  • Satisfactory completion of all required course work
  • Satisfactory completion of the MA Comprehensive Exam or Thesis Submission and Defense
  • Demonstrated fourth-semester proficiency in a foreign language. Old English or Latin will also satisfy this requirement.
  • Compliance with all graduate school policies and requirements

Course Requirements: 33 Semester Hours Minimum

All courses are three credit hours unless otherwise noted.

I. Required Courses (six hours)

  • ENGL 5100, Literary Research and Writing
  • ENGL 6001, Critical Theory (students must complete an additional six hours at the 6000 level)

II. Area Requirements (21 hours at the 5000/6000 level

Choose seven courses which fulfill seven different areas from the following nine areas:

  1. Classics
  2. Medieval Literature
  3. Renaissance Literature
  4. Restoration and 18th Century Literature
  5. Romanticism
  6. American Literature, pre-1900
  7. Victorian Literature
  8. American Literature or Film, post-1900
  9. British Modernism/20th Century British Literature or Film

Any graduate literature/film course will fulfill at least one of these areas. Each area can be satisfied by several different courses periodically offered. Historical surveys count within the most appropriate area based on the syllabus. Courses in film, world literature, ethnic literature and women's literature generally fulfill one of the 20th century areas.

III. Electives (three hours)

Choose one of the following:

  • An ENGL 5000/6000 level literature or film course
  • ENGL 5093, Rhetoric and the Teaching of Writing
  • ENGL 5913, Practicum in Language and Rhetoric

IV. Options

MA Comprehensive Exam

Students taking the comprehensive exam must be registered for at least one credit during the semester when they take the MA comprehensive exam.

ENGL 6920, Directed Readings (one to three hours): This course is preparation for the MA comprehensive exam, but it is not required. Students must be registered for at least one credit hour in the semester when they take the exam. Students who have completed their course work and are taking the MA exam may register for Candidate for Degree (see Additional Information below).


ENGL 6950, Master's Thesis (four to six hours): Graduate students must submit a proposal for a thesis to the Graduate Director for permission to proceed to the thesis.

V. Language Requirment

Students must demonstrate fourth-semester proficientcy in a foreign language. Old English or Latin also satisfies this requirement.

VI. Additional Information

Candidate for Degree: Graduate students must be registered for at least one credit hour during the semester that they graduate. Those who have completed all required courses and requirements may register for Candidate for Degree (CAND 5940, section 900).

Teaching Assistantships: Literature students who receive a teaching assistantship must take ENGL 5913, Practicum in Language and Rhetoric, in the fall during their first semester as a teaching assistant.

Dual Degrees: Students concurrently pursuing an MA in Education can count up to six hours of education courses toward their MA in English with their English graduate advisor's permission.