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Graduate Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in English

Students with a baccalaureate degree with a major or equivalent in English from an accredited college are encouraged to apply. However, other students will be accepted whose transcripts, recommendations, and Graduate Record Exam scores show promise of exceptional work in English language and literature. Students who have less than a full major in English should expect to work longer for the degree. Indeed, for each student, a personal plan of study will be designed that takes into account previous collegiate experience and career goals.

Each student's study plan, when combined with the undergraduate English major, should meet the following basic requirements by the time graduate courses have been completed:

  • 2 courses in American literature
  • 2 period courses in English literature
  • 2 courses in major authors (including Shakespeare or Chaucer)
  • 1 genre course
  • 2 additional courses in literature chosen in consultation with advisor
  • 2 courses in literary criticism
  • 1 graduate course in bibliography and research
  • 1 writing course, taken while in residence
  • 1 course in language and linguistics
  • 1 course in religion, see below

Many of these courses will have been taken as part of the student's baccalaureate program; a student's graduate program will make up any deficiencies as well as meet individual interests and professional goals.

Time limit

Students must complete their graduate program in five years after first matriculating.

Assessment examination

During the first term of enrollment, each student will take an assessment examination. The results of this examination, together with the student's undergraduate records and test scores, will be used by the advisor or guidance committee in planning the student's overall program.

Total units

A minimum of 48 units is required for graduation. At least 40 units must be in English, with no fewer than 24 units of graduate courses at the 600 level.

Required courses

Each student must take the following courses:

  • ENGL 604 Methods and Materials of Literary Study (4)
  • Religion requirement to be met by one of the following:
    • ENGL 504 Religion, Literature, and Communication (4) or 545 Biblical Literature (4)
    • a course from RELB, RELE, RELH, or RELT at the upper-division or graduate level.

Foreign language

Each student must demonstrate reading competency in Spanish, French, German, Latin, or another language approved by the department. Competency may be demonstrated by an academic transcript indicating that courses have been taken through the intermediate level in college or by an examination administered or approved by the Department of Modern Languages.

Comprehensive Examination

At the end of their program, students must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive examination over English and American literature.

General requirements

For information about requirements and practices to which all graduate students are subject, the student should consult the Academic Practices section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Teaching assistantship

Full time students are invited to apply for a teaching assistantship. Teaching assistants receive a stipend and partial scholarship.

Directed study

Graduate students may take a maximum of two directed study courses. Only English graduate students may register for ENGL 599 or 699. For approval, a student should complete the Directed/Independent Study Request Form available at the Office of the Registrar and submit it first to the course instructor and then to the graduate advisor, who will present it to the department faculty. The form must be accompanied by a proposal explaining the need for directed study and outlining the intended study plan. The deadline for submitting the request is three weeks before the beginning of the term.

Program Overview


Contact Us

Department of English

La Sierra University

4500 Riverwalk Parkway

Riverside, CA 92515











Office Location:

South Hall

Room 101


Summer Office Hours:

Monday—Friday, 9 AM to 1 PM


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