The Master of Arts in English Studies and Communication is a 37 credit program for international and U.S. students wanting to develop their understanding of and skills related to the English language, English literature, and English communication. The program has three primary goals: (1) to develop a deeper understanding of and proficiency in the English language through the studies of the history of English, American literature, and cultures of writing; (2) to develop written and oral English language communication skills; and (3) to develop an appreciation of American literary and cultural traditions.
This program may be particularly useful for:
Why this program?
Special features make this program highly distinctive and attractive. For example, students:
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, along with the following:
The MA in English Studies & Communication program features a continuous admission process, so application materials may be submitted at any time. Once received, the admission decision normally takes 2-3 weeks.
|MA in English Studies & Communication||
||Seminar in the Humanities||
||Seminar in the Fine Arts||
||History of the English Language||
||New Literacies, Technologies, & Cultures of Writing||
||Topics in American Literature & Culture||
|One course in Organizational Communication||
||Practicum in English
||Seminar in English Communication (2 semesters)
||Any Graduate Writing Course||
||TESOL: Theory & Methods I||
||TESOL: Theory & Methods II||
|ENGL 568||TESOL: Theory & Methods I||3 cr|
|ENGL 569||TESOL: Theory & Methods II||3 cr|
|Other Electives as approved|
Example Plan of Study
|New Literacies, Technologies & Cultures of Writing||Seminar in Humanities or Fine Arts|
|Advanced Composition||Seminar in English Communication|
|History of the English Language||Seminar in English Communication|
|Topics in American Literature & Culture||Elective|
|Summer I & II (May-August)|
|Organizational Communication||Interpersonal & Intercultural Communication|
|Seminar in Fine Arts or Humanities|
|Any Graduate Writing Course||COMM/ENGL|
|Practicum (e.g., Daily Writing or TESOL)|
Early Entry Option for VU Undergraduates
Qualified VU juniors and seniors may apply to begin graduate course work in English Studies & Communication prior to graduation. This unique program allows students to save time and money on their graduate programs. For more information, students should speak with their academic advisors and contact an admissions counselor at the Graduate School.
English Studies and Communication Thesis Option
The English Studies and Communication (ESC) program provides a thesis option for qualifying students, particularly those interested in pursuing doctoral level study. Specifically, students approved for this option must take 3 credits beyond the regular ESC degree (40 credits total) and complete a 28-credit concentration.
Thesis work comprises up to 6 credits. Three credits of coursework-applied toward the elective category- are first completed as ENGL 692 Research Project or ENGL 695 Independent Study and are intended for the development of a thesis proposal. With satisfactory completion of ENGL 692/695 and approval of thesis candidacy, the student may enroll in ENGL 795 Master's Thesis. These credits may substitute for ENGL 685 Practicum in the concentration.
Admission to Thesis Candidacy
Students meeting the following criteria may be accepted as candidates for the ESC thesis option. Prospects must demonstrate that they have met the qualifications for thesis work through an application for Thesis Candidacy. This form requires the signatures of two or more Valparaiso University faculty, one from the student's area of concentration, who have agreed to serve on the thesis committee. In addition, the prospect must provide evidence of having completed the prerequisite coursework, submit GRE scores of 1100 or above (for quantitative plus verbal), have achieved a grade point average of 3.7 of higher in all graduate coursework at Valparaiso University, and have successfully completed ENGL 692/695 with a grade of A or A-.
Thesis prospects must have completed 21 credits of ESC before enrolling in ENGL 795. Since enrollment in ENGL 692/695 is currently permitted after 12 credits are completed, the thesis proposal work may be included in the 21 credits of prerequisite coursework .
A thesis may involve academic or applied research, or creative work . Research projects may be primarily analytical, critical, and synthetic in nature, or they may be primarily empirical (data based). To ensure an appropriate methodology, students carrying out a research project, particularly one that is empirical, may be advised to complete a course on Research Methodology in an appropriate discipline prior to undertaking thesis work.
An important step in the thesis process is selection of the thesis committee. Prospects should not assume that any or all faculty can or will agree to serve on a thesis committee. Rather, they will need to demonstrate through the quality of their graduate coursework, as well as the alignment of their topic with faculty interest and expertise that faculty mentoring is both deserving and possible.
Thesis work is generally carried out in two phases. ENGL 692/695 is intended for the development of the thesis proposal and should result in a preliminary review of the field and a detailed proposal of study or of the project (e.g., 30-40 pages plus an appropriate list of references or citations). This coursework should be carried out under the supervision of at least one of the faculty who will serve on the thesis committee. If the proposal is approved by the thesis committee, the student may enroll in ENGL 795 Master's Thesis. The thesis itself should represent a significant contribution to the field and be of publishable or exhibition/exposition quality. Upon completion, the thesis is reviewed by the faculty of the thesis committee and defended by the student at public forum announced by email one week in advance to the students and faculty of the program. Two bound copies of the approved thesis must be filed with the Graduate School Office, one of which will be placed in the University Library for archival records.
Thesis work is encouraged during summer sessions when both faculty and students typically have more time available for more intense intellectual interaction.Financial Considerations
For more information about the Master of Arts in English Studies and Communication program
To learn more about the Master of Arts in English Studies and Communication, visit their department website at http://www.valpo.edu/english/.
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