COORDINATOR: Dr. Robert Carlisle, Department of English/Communications; (661) 654-2127/2144: E-mail address: Dr. Robert Carlisle

Program Description
The Master of Arts in English provides the following: (1) a
carefully planned and integrated program ensuring a
foundation of professional skills through a common core of
courses; (2) some uniform degree of coverage in British and
American literature; (3) more intensive training in reading,
critical analysis, research, and writing than is possible in
undergraduate work; and (4) breadth through an emphasis on
the fields of literature, language, and composition.
To meet these objectives, the English graduate program has
been designed primarily to provide the following: (1) a well-
balanced program for those who wish to terminate their studies
at the master’s level and whose primary aim is to teach in a
community college; (2) advanced training for teachers who
wish to improve their professional skills and status; (3) a
variety of courses for students who plan to pursue the Ph.D.
degree at another institution; and (4) continuing education for
those who wish to extend their knowledge as an end in itself
through an interesting and stimulating series of classes in
literature, criticism, and language, as well as the teaching of
composition and English as a Second Language.

The MA qualifies students to teach in the California
community college system or secondary schools as well as
prepares them for careers in editing, advertising, and public


Application Procedure
Persons seeking graduate study in English must apply for
admission to the University Office of Admissions.
Applications are available online. Admission to graduate study
by the university does not constitute acceptance into the
English MA Program.
Students must also notify the English Department’s Graduate
Program Coordinator of their intention to pursue the MA
degree. The Graduate Coordinator will familiarize the student
with the requirements and timetable of the MA Program.
Students wishing to pursue graduate studies culminating in a
master’s degree in English must file an application with the
Department of English. To obtain this application, students
may write to the Graduate Program Coordinator of the
Department of English, or they may go to the website described
above. Although the application asks for scores for the
Graduate Record Examination, students need not fill out that

Admissions Requirements
Admission to the graduate program leading to the Master of
Arts in English requires the following:
1. A baccalaureate degree in English from an accredited
college or university, including two period courses and
the equivalents of ENGL 3000, ENGL/LING 3600, and

2. A 3.0 GPA (A=4.0) for the last 60 semester units (90
quarter units) attempted, and a 3.0 GPA in upper-division
English courses;
3. A combined score of 1000 on both the verbal measure of
the Graduate Record Exam General Test and the Literature
in English Subject Exam, with a minimum of 500 on the
verbal measure for those students who do not fulfill the
minimal GPA requirement described in point 2;

4. Submission of the graduate program’s application form,
which is available online.
5. For international students whose first language is not
English, a TOEFL score of 550 or higher (or 213 on
the new conversation scale for the computer-based
Documentation must be provided in original
form by the testing institution; copies submitted by the
applicant are not acceptable.
Students who have a baccalaureate degree in a subject other
than English must complete the eight-course (24 units)
undergraduate core requirements for English with a GPA of
3.0 before being considered for admission to the master’s
degree program in English. The undergraduate core
requirements are described below. All courses are to be
selected in consultation with the Graduate Program
Coordinator for English.
1. ENGL 3000
2. One course in a major figure or group: ENGL 3310, 3330,
    3340, or 3708
3. One course in the structure of English: ENGL/LING 3600
4. One course in the history of the language: ENGL/LING
5. One course from the period 450-1785: ENGL 3300, 3320,
    or 3350
6. One course from the period 1785 to the present: ENGL
3360, 3370, 3200, or 3210
7. One genre course: ENGL 4708 or 4100
8. Any one other upper-division literature course

Classification of Graduate Students
There are three classifications for students in the English
graduate program:

A student who meets all the requirements for admission to the
master’s degree program in English will be admitted as a
Classified Graduate Student. A Classified Graduate Student
may take any graduate-level course meeting the requirements
of his or her plan of study as long as the appropriate
prerequisites have been met.

Conditionally Classified
A student who meets most but not all of the requirements for
admission as a Classified Graduate Student may be admitted
as a Conditionally Classified Graduate Student. The Graduate
Committee for English will determine the conditions which
the student must meet in order to be advanced to Classified
Graduate Student status. A Conditionally Classified Graduate
Student may take no more than two three-unit courses that
count towards the requirements for the MA in English while
meeting the specified conditions.

Classified students who have maintained a 3.25 GPA will be
advanced to candidacy in the term in which they intend to

Academic Advising
It is essential that MA students stay in contact with the
Graduate Program Coordinator, so the department can provide
current information to help the student move expeditiously
through the program. It is the student’s responsibility, in
consultation with the Graduate Program Coordinator, to
choose appropriate courses and to organize a thesis or
examination committee. Meeting with the Graduate Program
Coordinator is an important first step in the MA program. The
Graduate Program Coordinator advises and guides students
during the period of graduate study and responds to any
concerns students may have while in the program. Students
have a responsibility to schedule regular meetings with the
Graduate Program Coordinator.

Committee Selection
Each MA student in English must have a committee, either to
provide examinations or to read and guide the thesis. The
Graduate Program Coordinator can provide assistance in
forming an MA committee.

Program Requirements
Note:Students who wish to pursue the doctorate in English
are strongly encouraged to begin or continue the study of one
or more foreign languages. Courses in French and Spanish
are available at CSUB in the Department of Modern Languages
and Literatures.
Each master’s candidate must complete a minimum of nine
English graduate courses of three units each, plus two three-
unit courses (ENGL 5000 and either ENGL 6710 or ENGL
6720). Students must earn a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better. (No
course in which the student receives less than a B- (2.7) will
count toward the degree.)
Requirements for the Master of Arts in English
Required courses:
1. ENGL 5000 must be taken as one of the student’s first
three graduate English courses.
2. ENGL 5610 or 5620
3. ENGL 5010
The remaining class requirements are divided into seven
groups marked with Roman numerals below, which are in turn
divided into twelve fields. Students take one class to fulfill
each group, meaning that most students will not take classes
in five of the twelve fields. The content of the missing fields
constitutes the material for the comprehensive examination.

   1. ENGL 5300
   2. ENGL 5310 or 5320
   3. ENGL 5330 or 5340
   4. ENGL 5350
   5. ENGL 5520 or 5360 or 5370
   6. ENGL 5220 or 5230
   7. ENGL 5210 or 5240 or 5250
   8. ENGL 5110
   9. ENGL 5120
   10. ENGL 5130 or 5020
   11. ENGL 5140 or 5150
ENGL 6710 or 6720
Upon completion of all course work, students enroll in ENGL
6710 or 6720. ENGL 6710 is an independent course, which
culminates in a written comprehensive examination based on
the department’s standardized reading list. Students study the
fields in which they have not had a class. The examination
must be passed with a grade of B- (2.7) or better, and it may
be taken no more than two times.

Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
Graduate students normally will take courses from those
numbered in the 5000-6000 level series, but they may
substitute one or two 3000-4000-level classes (supplemented
by additional graduate-level work) with the permission of the
instructor and the Graduate Program Coordinator. With the
approval of the instructor of the class and the Graduate
Program Coordinator, graduate students may also take up to
two graduate courses in independent study mode; however,
ENGL 5000, 5610, 5620, and 5010 are not available through
independent study mode.

Additional Requirements

Writing Competency Requirement
All graduate students must satisfy the Graduation Writing
Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as soon as possible, unless
they have already done so as undergraduates or graduates at
CSUB or at another California State University. This
requirement may be met by passing the regularly scheduled
examination or by successfully completing ENGL 3109, 3119,
or 3128; this requirement must be satisfied before the student
may take the final comprehensive examination.
Time Limitation on Course Requirements
State law mandates a seven-year limitation on course credits.
Students who fail to complete their degree programs within
the seven-year limit may petition the Department’s Graduate


Teaching Assistant Program in Writing
The Teaching Assistant Program in Writing begins with a one-
semester apprenticeship in a composition course or courses
in the department. If the faculty mentor’s evaluations are
positive and enrollment is sufficient, the student will be
assigned to his or her own class for a maximum of three
semesters. Students are required to take ENGL 6000 in
conjunction with their apprenticeship. Prerequisites for the
Teaching Assistant Program in Writing are (1) completion of
ENGL 5130 with a grade of B+ (3.3) or better; (2) completion
of 20 hours of tutoring; (3) advancement to classified status;
and (4) a graduate GPA of at least 3.5.

Teaching Assistant Program in Literature
The Teaching Assistant Program in Literature begins with a
one-semester apprenticeship in a literature course in the
department. If the faculty mentor’s evaluations are positive,
the student may apply to work as a teaching assistant for an
instructor in ENGL 1208. Students are required to take ENGL
6000 (3) in conjunction with their apprenticeship. Prerequisite:
ENGL 5020 with a grade of B+ (3.3) or better.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Writing
This certifies the completion of specialized training in writing
by those who hold a BA or an MA degree, whether or not they
are involved in a graduate degree program. Candidates for
this certificate must complete with a B- or better four specific
graduate writing courses selected from the following five:
ENGL 5110, 5120, 5130, 5140 and 5150.

Supplementary Authorization in English
The Supplementary Authorization in English is designed to
train instructors with multiple subject credentials to teach
literature in the middle grades. The four courses comprising
the supplementary authorization—ENGL 5030, 5040, 5050,
and 5060—are taught exclusively online and offered through
Extended University. Faculty contact is Dr. Robert Carlisle.

Sigma Tau Delta
The English department is home to the Xi Tau Chapter of
Sigma Tau Delta, an international honor society for English
majors. Juniors, seniors, and graduate students are encouraged
to apply. Faculty advisors are Dr. Emerson Case and Dr. Andy

California Writers Series
Each year the English department sponsors two or more
readings by poets and fiction writers living and working in
California. Previous presenters have included Wanda Coleman
(Guggenheim and NEA Fellow) and Kay Ryan (Pulitzer Prize
winner and former United States Poet Laureate). Faculty
contact is Dr. Marit MacArthur.

Lectures in Language and Linguistics
Linguists from universities throughout the state and region
come to campus two or more times per year to present lectures
on phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Faculty
contact is Dr. Sophia Adjaye.

English Club Students majoring or minoring in English are welcome to meet
in an informal setting to discuss literature, language, classes,
and all other aspects of campus life. Meetings are generally
held every Friday afternoon. Faculty advisors are Dr. Emerson
Case and Dr. Andy Troup