M.A. degree program in English
HEGIS code 1501
NYS SED program code 02044

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The master of arts in English program immerses students in literature dating from the Middle Ages through the present. Through the study and analysis of a variety of literary texts, critical and theoretical approaches (including, among others, new historicism, reader-response theory, deconstruction, feminist criticism, and post-colonial studies), and historical concepts, students are afforded the opportunity to develop individual interpretations of texts and to evaluate controversies surrounding the canon. Small-group tasks, oral presentations, short papers, and longer research papers complement lectures, discussions, and examinations. Travel and research grants are available to our students, several of whom have presented at graduate colloquia at Brooklyn College and at other universities throughout the country and abroad, or have had papers accepted for publication in journals.

Our graduates have found new employment or enhanced their present careers in diverse fields including education, publishing, writing for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Others have been accepted into doctoral programs.

Program Heads

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Admission Requirements

Department English
Fall Application Deadline May 15th - Rolling Admission
Spring Application Deadline November 15th - Rolling Admission
Supporting Documents for Matriculation:
Submit the following documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

1. Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Applicants who earned a bachelor's degree outside the United States need to submit a 'Course by Course International Transcript Evaluation.'

2. Two letters of recommendation

3 A sample of critical writing on literary topics (about 10 pages, typically consisting of undergraduate writing, e.g., one paper or two shorter papers); a statement of academic purpose (two pages).


I. F-1 or J-1 international students must submit English Proficiency Exam. TOEFL- 79, IELTS- 6.5, PTE- 58-63, Duolingo 105-160.

Refer to instructions at http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/web/admissions/graduate/apply.php.
TOEFL (paper, computer, internet) N/A, N/A, N/A


These requirements will become effective as of Fall 2023 semester.
Click here to view the current requirements

Matriculation requirements
Applicants must offer at least 15 credits in advanced courses in English literature.

Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00.

Applicants must submit a sample of critical writing of about ten pages, and a two-page statement of academic purpose.

Foreign applicants for whom English is a second language are required to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 650 on the paper-based test or 280 on the computer-based test, or 114 on the Internet-based test before being considered for admission.

General matriculation and admission requirements of Graduate Studies are in the section "Admission."

Degree requirements
Thirty-three credits are required for the degree.

Courses in English and comparative literature are grouped in the following areas of study:

1. Literature before 1500: English 7101X, 7102X, 7103X, 7120X, CMLT 7130X.
2. Literature from 1500 to 1800: English 7201X, 7202X, 7203X, 7204X, 7205X, 7206X, 7207X, 7220X, CMLT 7230X.
3. Literature from 1800 to 1900: English 7301X, 7302X, 7303X, 7304X, 7305X, 7320X, CMLT 7330X.
4. Literature from 1900 to the present: English 7401X, 7402X, 7403X, 7404X, 7405X, 7406X, 7420X, CMLT 7430X.
5. Theory and criticism: English 7501X, 7502X, 7503X, 7504X, 7505X, 7506X, 7507X, 7508X, 7520X.
6. Language: English 7601X, 7602X, 7603X, 7604X, 7605X, 7620X.

The following courses are required: English 7501X; English 7800X; English 7810X; one course from five of the six areas of study; two electives.

Students must complete English 7501X, which satisfies the area 5 requirement, by the end of their third semester. It is recommended that students take the course in their first or second semester.

Early in the first term, students must meet with the graduate deputy to plan their program of study for the degree. It is recommended that students thereafter consult with the graduate deputy at least once a semester to discuss and plan further their degree progress.

Students must identify one area in which to complete three courses in total for a specialization in consultation with the graduate deputy.

Students must submit a thesis acceptable to the department on a subject related to their areas of literary and critical interests.

A reading knowledge of a foreign language is strongly recommended. Students who intend to study toward a doctoral degree are advised to become proficient in college-level foreign language study.

Courses in the English Department offered toward the degree must be 7000-level courses.