Graduate Study in English
The Department of English grants the M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American Literature, offering training in all major historical periods. Advantages of graduate study in English at CUA include:
A coherent program that provides students with both the specialized training needed for successful research, and the broad literary background needed for successful teaching.
Small class sizes and individualized attention from a distinguished faculty.
An excellent record of placing graduates in tenure-track positions.
Strong pedagogical training.
Funding for up to seven years of graduate study.
Access to some of the nation's finest libraries and research collections, as well as the rich cultural life of Washington, D.C.
Master of Arts in English Language and Literature
The M.A. in English is conferred upon completion of 30 credit hours of course work (normally ten courses), of which up to six credits may be transferred with the approval of the graduate director, and a comprehensive exam. Degree requirements are as follows:
- ENG 721 (Introduction to the Profession of Letters)
- ENG 702 (Modern Critical Movements)
- At least one research seminar (800-level course)
- Demonstrated reading knowledge of at least one foreign language pertinent to the student's program of study
- A comprehensive exam consisting of two parts: history of literature in English to 1800, and history of literature in English since 1800.
Doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature
The Ph.D. in English is conferred upon completion of 54 credit hours of course work following the B.A., a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. Up to 24 credits may be transferred with the approval of the graduate director. Degree requirements include those for the MA (see above) with the following additions:
- Two research seminars (800-level courses) after completion of the M.A.
- Reading knowledge of a second foreign language, which may be demonstrated through course work or by a proficiency exam
Upon completion of course work the Ph.D. student takes a comprehensive exam consisting of three parts: literature of an historical period; literary theory and the history of criticism; and an individualized field in which the dissertation is to be written. The dissertation, a substantial piece of original research, gives the doctoral program its capstone.
Joint Program in English and Library and Information Science
The English department participates with the School of Library and Information Science in a joint master's degree program. On completion of 54 hours of coursework, 24 in the English department and 30 in SLIS, the student receives both an M.A. and an M.S.L.S. Graduates of this program are well positioned to pursue careers in humanities librarianship, publishing, or the antiquarian book trade. Applicants for joint degrees must submit complete and separate applications to both degree-granting units of the university.
The Capital Advantage
In addition to the more than 1.3 million volumes held by CUA's John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library, Washington, D.C. is home to unparalleled research collections at the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Archives and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. Graduate students also benefit from CUA's membership in the Washington Research Library Consortium, which extends reading and borrowing privileges at 11 regional college and university libraries.
The Washington metropolitan area provides numerous opportunities for internships, teaching and employment in both the public and private sectors. Students have access to art exhibits, concerts, readings, lecture series, and the world-class theater, films and opera to be found at such venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress, the American Film Institute, the Shakespeare Theatre, Arena Stage, and the various museums of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Department of English enrolls approximately 50-55 graduate students in a given year. Admission is highly competitive; a typical entering cohort numbers 6 to 8 students. The graduate program's relatively small size guarantees students the opportunity to work closely with faculty members. The vibrant Graduate Students Association sponsors numerous academic and social activities. To find out more about current graduate students, please see the Graduate Student Directory.
Alumni of the CUA Ph.D. program in English occupy tenured and tenure-track positions at colleges and universities across the United States, including Boston University, Calvin College, Mary Washington University, and the U.S. Naval Academy. See our recent alumni directory.
A range of financial aid is available, including scholarships and teaching assistantships. Students entering the department's programs are eligible for university-wide tuition scholarships. A number of graduate assistantships become available each year within the department. These require teaching six hours of lower-division English per semester, or equivalent duties. Assistantships include a full waiver of tuition and a cash stipend. Provided that all materials are received by February 1, all applicants will be considered for the available scholarships and assistantships for which they qualify. No separate application form needs to be filed.
Applying for Admission
Prospective students may apply online at http://admissions.cua.edu. In addition to the completed application form and fee, graduate applications should include the following materials:
- A personal statement detailing plans for graduate study
- Official transcripts from all previous institutions of higher learning
- Verbal, quantitative and analytic GRE scores
- Three letters of recommendation
- A writing sample of 15-20 pages of critical prose, preferably in the applicant's prospective field of specialization.
For More Information
For full details regarding degree requirements, see the Graduate Announcements. For questions regarding application procedures, contract the Office of Graduate Admissions by phone at 1-800-673-2772 or 202-319-5057, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For course information, see the English Department's Complete Course Descriptions. For academic questions about the department or its graduate programs, contact Dr. Tobias Gregory, Director of Graduate Studies in English.