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Department of English
School of Arts and Humanities

Department Chair:
Steven Frye
Graduate Program Coordinator: Robert S. Carlisle
Administrative Coordinators:
Kathy Hafler
Program Office: HOB, 142
Telephone: (661) 654-2127
Website: www.csub/GradStudies/Engl.html

S. Adjaye, M. Ayuso, B. Bartholomew, R. Brummett, R. Carlisle, E. Case, C. Dell’Amico, K. Flachmann, S. Frye, R. Hewett, B. Hughes, G. Hudson, M. MacArthur,
C. MacQuarrie, A. Troup, V. Turner, M. Woodman
Emeriti: S. Carter, L. Clymer, M. Pawlowski, J. Spencer,
J. Titus

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 information.


Application Procedure

Persons seeking admission to the English Graduate Program must apply online at Cal State Apply. Admission to graduate study by the university does not constitute acceptance into the English Graduate Program.

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 ENGL/LING 4650;

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. For those students who do not fulfill the minimal GPA requirement described in point 2, they must earn a score of 151 on the verbal measure of the Graduate Record Exam General Test and a score of 500 on the Literature in English Subject Exam.

4. 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 TOEFL). 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 graduate.

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
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.


I. 1. ENGL 5300 2. ENGL 5310 3. ENGL 5330 II. 4. ENGL 5350 5. ENGL 5520 III. 6. ENGL 5220 7. ENGL 5210 IV. 8. ENGL 5110 9. ENGL 5120 V. 10. ENGL 5130 11. ENGL 5140

ENGL 6710 or 6720

or 5320 or 5340

or 5360 or 5370 or 5230
or 5240 or 5250

or 5020 or 5150

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 Committee to permit the revalidating of outdated courses. If granted, such revalidation will normally require an oral or written examination on the course content, supervised by a specialist in the field.


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 Troup.

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.