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This graduate program in English is designed to provide advanced study in literature. It provides for personal and professional advancement, particularly in research, writing, teaching, journalism, publishing and editorial work. The program also prepares students for studies at Ph.D level. Students are able to customize their research in the program to meet their specific needs, whether they are seeking professional development as teachers, looking to prepare for doctoral studies, or looking for professional advancement or career development.

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Admission to the Program 

A minimum GPA of 2.5 and 30 credit hours of undergraduate work in literary and cultural studies and composition are required. Students who do not meet this requirement are eligible for provisional admission.  Students may also take classes as a student-at-large.

Degree Requirements 

33 total credit hours of successfully completed coursework are required to complete the program.

Courses should be chosen with a view  to achieve substantial preparation in English and American literature, with some work in world literature.


Program Structure


In this program, students will be at the helm of producing two literary fields that will be the basis for their take-home exams. Each field will be accompanied by a rationale and a combination of primary texts (8–15 works), secondary texts (3–10 works), and theoretical texts (3–10 works).


An optional scholarly thesis or an original imaginative work may be written, for six credit hours. After achieving degree candidacy, the student, in consultation with the graduate coordinator, should select a topic and suggest an advisor in that topic. The approved thesis or imaginative work must be submitted to the graduate coordinator at least one month before a formal defense.



Required Courses


ENG-410 Literary Method and Practice (Fall term only)

ENG-430 Studies in Literary Criticism (Spring term only)

Four 400-level English electives


ENG-453 Thesis Seminar: Literature


Two additional 400-level courses


Note: Two of the required electives may be taken from the approved list of 300-level courses



ENG-447 Contemporary American Literature

ENG-448 19th Century American Literature

ENG-454 World Literature

ENG-469 Southern Literature

ENG-470 Faulkner


300-Level Electives

ENG-307 Development of the Arthurian Legend

ENG-308 From Beowulf to Malory

ENG-314 Chaucer and His Age

ENG-316 Forms of Poetry

ENG-368 American Realism

ENG-376 Advanced Composition

ENG-377 Argumentative Prose

ENG-381 African American Literature


400-Level Electives

ENG-419 Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama

ENG-421 The Metaphysical Poets

ENG-422 Milton

ENG-428 The English Novel

ENG-420 Malory

ENG-449 Studies in American Literature

ENG-450 Studies in English Literature

ENG-455 Studies in World Literature

ENG-456  William Blake

ENG-457 The Poetry and Prose of Shelley

ENG-458 Troilus and Criseyde

ENG-459 Dante

ENG-480 Ethnic Literature

ENG-481 Latin American Literature

ENG-483 Studies in Post-Colonial Literature

ENG-484 Contemporary U.S. Literature: Cold War

ENG-485 Contemporary European Literature


The program offers merit tuition fellowships as well as graduate assistantships to assist students financially and to offer them professionalization opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to work closely with a committed faculty.

Program Contact Information 

For program information, contact:

Professor Ryan Poll, advisor, (773) 442-5824 (Lech Walesa Hall, Room 2099)

Arts and Sciences

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