English MA Culminating Activities
The English MA Program (31 units) is completed with one of the following four culminating activities:
- Comprehensive Exam (ENGL 5960, 0 units)
- Pedagogical-Portfolio Project (ENGL 5990, 3 units)
- Journal-Article Thesis (ENGL 5990, 3 units)
- Thesis (ENGL 5990, 6 units)
These multiple pathways to completing the MA degree in English are aligned with and at the forefront of the best practices recommended by the Modern Language Association, the governing professional body for the study of language and literature. They are also in full compliance with the language of Title V of the California Code of Regulations and university policy for master's degree programs.
Students who have not yet begun the culminating activity listed on their official MA Program and would like to change their culminating activity may have two choices--namely, they may select a different culminating activity already within their program or, if in an older program (extant prior to Fall 2016), they may change to the current program (approved Fall 2016).
NOTE: Students cannot switch to the Comprehensive Exam if they have already taken any units of ENGL 5990 (or ENGL 599) or to the project/thesis if they have attempted the Comprehensive Exam. A change of culminating activity or degree program might require additional units and coursework. Students need to consult with the Graduate Adviser about any such change.
Students must complete coursework in the areas of specialization in which their culminating activity is grounded. The culminating activity will be supervised and assessed by faculty members with expertise in the chosen field.
Students must be able to work independently and competently. They must take responsibility for initiating and maintaining contact with the Graduate Adviser and their faculty advisers (if applicable) and for obtaining information about the approval and submission process and guidelines in a timely fashion. Students must produce work that is, in content, form, and style, of the highest quality.
Students with a culminating activity of the project/thesis must also comply with the procedural and submission requirements established by the College of Arts and Letters, the Office of Graduate Studies, and the University JFK Library. Successful submission compliance will require that students become familiar with information, directives, and deadlines provided by the University Library at the following general link:
At the beginning of the project/thesis, students should attend a workshop (see the link immediately above for workshop dates) and familiarize themselves with the requirement (see the link immediately above for details). Early in the drafting of the project/thesis, students should become generally familiar with format and submission requirements, and consult with the assigned College of Arts and Letters Thesis Reviewer for specific questions.
Students are expected to complete the culminating activity within two years after finishing their coursework. For more information on department and university deadlines and formats, see the department's Advisement Office (ET A638) or the Graduate Adviser.