College of Arts and Letters2014-2015
Department of English
English - General English, Master of Arts
Students can take courses in literature, professional writing and technology, literacy, composition, English Education, linguistics, and second-language teaching. Students often focus their elective coursework in a particular area in order to combine the master's degree with one of the English Department's certificate programs such as the Professional Writing Certificate.
What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in English - General English?
The M.A. in General English is geared toward K-12 teachers who are looking to expand their knowledge as professionals in the classroom. In our flexible program, you will receive valuable education and experience, with opportunities to take courses in literature, rhetoric and composition, English Education, linguistics, and second-language teaching courses.
To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)
You must additionally complete:
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
- All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
- All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
In addition to University Requirements:
- Complete individual plan requirements.
|Minimum Units for Completion||36|
|Research||Individualized research is required.
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
Student Learning Outcomes
Purpose of the M.A. in English degree program
The MA in English at Northern Arizona University prepares students to excel as scholars, teachers, workplace writers, editors, and information developers. The program trains students to understand a wide diversity of workplace, cultural and historical texts and their local, national, historical, business, industry, government, and global contexts. It prepares students—through advanced theory, analysis, and application of disciplinary knowledge and skills—to use language creatively, critically, and effectively. To best tailor their learning toward their personal and professional goals, students select an emphasis in one of four areas: Secondary Education, Literature, Professional Writing, or in Rhetoric, Writing & Digital Media. The program provides students with a foundation for careers in teaching, workplace writing, and pursuing higher degrees (Ph.D., M.F.A, M.B.A., J.D.).
Student Learning Outcomes
All English M.A. degrees:
Theory and Knowledge
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the theoretical foundations of literature, rhetoric, writing and digital media, professional writing, or English education by participating in and advancing current knowledge and practice in the academic or professional field.
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding of research methodologies and writing skills applicable to English studies, including workplace writing and information development.
- 3. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of English studies by critically analyzing how cultural and business artifacts (written, digital, visual, and spoken texts) shape identities and ideologies in diverse local, national, historical, and global communities.
- 4. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of English studies through applying your knowledge to projects that synthesize, evaluate, and report appropriate research, scholarship, and methodologies.
- 5. Apply the theoretical foundations of literature, rhetoric, writing and digital media, professional writing, or English education to advanced-level research projects or workplace projects such as manuals, proposals, online content, and reports.
- 6. Demonstrate professional preparation by successfully participating in appropriate disciplinary or workplace activities. These activities might include conferences, publications, social action, grants, internships, teaching, practicum experiences, extended research projects, fieldwork, a professional writing portfolio, unit of instruction, and other activities.
Outcomes align with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium
- Content Knowledge I.: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of English language arts (ELA) subject matter content that specifically includes literature and multimedia texts as well as knowledge of the nature of adolescents as readers.
- Content Knowledge II: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes language and writing as well as knowledge of adolescents as language users.
- Content Pedagogy: Planning Literature and Reading Instruction in ELA III. Candidates plan instruction and design assessments for reading and the study of literature to promote learning for all students.
- Content Pedagogy: Planning Composition Instruction in ELA. Candidates plan instruction and design assessments for composing texts (i.e., oral, written, and visual) to promote learning for all students.
- Learners and Learning: Implementing English Language Arts Instruction. Candidates plan, implement, assess, and reflect on research-based instruction that increases motivation and active student engagement, builds sustained learning of English language arts, and responds to diverse students’ context-based needs.
- Professional Knowledge and Skills I: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of how theories and research about social justice, diversity, equity, student identities, and schools as institutions can enhance students’ opportunities to learn in English Language Arts.
- Professional Knowledge and Skills II: Candidates are prepared to interact knowledgeably with students, families, and colleagues based on social needs and institutional roles, engage in leadership and/or collaborative roles in English Language Arts professional learning communities, and actively develop as professional educators.
In the Literary Studies Emphasis of the MA-English, students acquire a strong foundation in literary theory and research and develop an advanced understanding of traditional and emerging literary histories and fields of scholarship. The course of study for this flexible program includes foundational coursework in literary theory, rhetorical theory, and literary research methods, while additional classes build upon these foundations by developing expertise in specific genres, periods, and topics. The program provides opportunities for students to work on closely mentored individualized projects directed toward practical professional goals like writing and submitting essays for publication in journals and for presentation at conferences. This degree is ideal for students seeking preparation for PhD work or community college teaching in literature, and for secondary teachers seeking additional training in literary studies.
Theory and Knowledge
- Students will learn the theoretical foundations and research methods in advanced literary studies, and gain expertise in specific genres, periods, and topics in the field.
- Students will learn to critically analyze how cultural artifacts (written, digital, visual, and spoken texts) shape and are shaped by identities and ideologies in diverse local, national, historical, and global contexts.
- Students will learn to synthesize and evaluate appropriate research, scholarship, and methodologies and construct advanced-level scholarly projects.
- Students will learn to construct course-related projects directed at investigating, understanding, and reformulating current theories in the field of literary studies.
- Students will learn to participate in advanced professional activities (conferences, publications, practicum experiences, research projects, and other activities).
Students completing the MA in English with emphasis in Professional Writing will have mastered the following bodies of knowledge and related skills (specific courses for each outcome shown in parentheses):
The rhetorical demands inherent in business, industry, and government settings.
- Ability to analyze the context of any document and write that document to fit the demands of its specific context
- Ability to plan a process to develop and complete any document and to carry out that plan, resulting in a successful document in its actual contextUnderstanding of the writing and editing skills necessary to create and write documents with the characteristics demanded in professional settings: clarity, conciseness, coherence, and correctness.
- Ability to edit the documents of self and others, to bring those documents to a professional and/or publishable level, in terms of such things as clear sentences; logical and effective organization; powerful supporting graphics; effective documentation; etc.
- Ability to analyze problems in a business, industry, or government setting and design and conduct the research necessary to solve that problem and write an appropriate document detailing those results, such as a proposal, a set of procedures, etc.
- Ability to write and/or edit proposals.
- Ability to write and/or edit environmental documents, such as Environmental Impact Statements.
- Ability to write and/or edit other professional documents, such as specifications, procedures, laboratory reports, white papers, training manuals, documentation, and to write any of these at a publishable level in the appropriate journals or other publication media.
Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Emphasis:
The Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media (RW&DM) Program provides a curriculum that prepares students to excel as writers, scholars, and teachers. The program emphasizes the importance of critical reading, reflection, writing, digital media, and spoken language to cultivate knowledgeable citizens who understand and appreciate their civic, professional, and personal responsibilities in local and global communities. We specialize in preparing students for intercultural and interdisciplinary communication practices in digital and traditional work settings to further global engagement, diversity, and social participation. Students gain advanced skills in rhetorical theory and persuasive argumentation, social media literacy, multimedia writing, and design, professional and public discourse conventions, and teaching literacy and writing through theory-based application projects. They acquire the necessary tools to participate in local and global communities, and they establish a foundation of diverse writing practices for academic and workplace settings.
Theory and Knowledge:
Examine and evaluate the major theories in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies by participating in and advancing current knowledge and practices in the field.
- Evaluate and reflect critically on rhetorical terms and concepts used by rhetoricians from classical to modern times.
- Evaluate similarities and differences in the uses of language, the connections between organization and structure used in specific time periods, the connections between style and delivery, and the connections between persuasion and argumentation used in specific time periods.
- Understand how language practices during specific time periods were and are used to communicate about the diversity of human experience.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the contributions of rhetoric to workplace studies, literacy studies, narrative studies, digital studies, cultural studies, gender studies, and race studies.
- Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times for academic, professional and public discourse
- Evaluate and reflect critically on methodological practices and concepts used in research designs in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies.
- Understand research as a recursive process.
- Use research data to formulate or evaluate new research questions, using reason and persuasion in a logical argument.
- Summarize and evaluate a body of research, including primary and secondary sources.
- Demonstrate competent, ethical, and responsible use of information in academic and workplace writing.
Critically analyze how cultural artifacts (written, digital, visual, and spoken texts) shape identities and ideologies in diverse local, national, historical, and global communities.
- Research, evaluate, and apply knowledge of significant issues related to global learning, diversity, and sustainable educational and environmental practices.
- Write critical analyses exploring key texts and key concepts about historical and current rhetorical terms and concepts.
- Research, evaluate, and apply historical knowledge of rhetorical terms and concepts to show how contemporary language use is influenced by cultural knowledge.
- Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times to ethnically and linguistically diverse populations.
- Tailor your academic and professional work to a specific audience and focus your writing on a specific purpose.
- Design text and digital projects that show the ethical use of language in diverse academic, public, and professional communities.
- Understand how cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and economic factors influence communication practices in text and digital environments.
- Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles to question current norms and dominant cultural assumptions expressed in text and digital media.
- Design and present text and media that addresses experiential learning
- Design and present projects that show a clear understanding of purpose, audience, and cultural, social, historical, and political contexts.
Apply rhetorical, pedagogical, narrative, new media, and workplace theories and practices by carrying out advanced course-related and client-related projects directed at conceptualizing, researching, understanding, and reformulating current theories in the field of rhetoric and writing studies through appropriate professional activities (conferences, presentations, publications, social action, grants, internships, practicum experiences, extended research projects, fieldwork, and other activities).
- Articulate a theoretical framework for the project (including a literature review to assess the theoretical and methodological contributions previously made to this area).
- Identify and define appropriate methods of data collection and apply appropriate research methods.
- Use a research design appropriate to the audience and purpose of your project, showing understanding of rhetorical approaches to multimedia design.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the project and its implications to the field of rhetoric, writing, and digital media.
- Analyze, interpret and explain your findings and your project in an extensive project write-up.
- Present your original research to professional and non-professional audiences, articulating sustained, coherent explanations of your work.
- Apply appropriate writing and design standards and literacy skills to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.
- Identify your career and learning goals and develop a personal career development plan based on your strengths and goals (Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing Studies).
- Effectively represent your experience, skills and competencies through written (resume, cover letter, social media, application materials) and verbal (interview skills, presentation skills, etc.) communication (Analysis courses, research projects course).
- Develop your project management skills (especially Workplace Writing and research projects).
- Establish, maintain, and grow your professional network (start in intro to Rhetoric and WS, continue in Analysis courses, and in research projects course).
- Increase your experience and marketability, as well as your level of knowledge about career opportunities, through internships or projects (internships and research project course).
- Apply appropriate communication and presentation standards to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.
- Establish an online professional presence by designing, adding on a regular basis, and updating a digital portfolio.
Additional Admission Requirements
- Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
- NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
- Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent.
- Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
- For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
- International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy
Individual program admission requirements include:
- 3 letters of recommendation
- Writing sample
- Personal statement or essay
Take the following 36 units:
- ENG 685 (3 units)
- Electives, chosen with your adviser's approval (24 units)
- Graduate linguistics: ENG 504, ENG 510, ENG 518, ENG 528, ENG 538, ENG 548, ENG 558, ENG 559, ENG 568, ENG 638
- Graduate rhetoric and teaching of writing: ENG 501, ENG 503, ENG 511, ENG 519, ENG 520, ENG 521, ENG 570, ENG 610, ENG 631; or
- Graduate professional writing: ENG 502, ENG 517, ENG 522, ENG 549, ENG 569, ENG 605, ENG 606, ENG 608
- Any two literature courses (one at the 500-level and one at the 600-level) from the following: ENG 500, ENG 513, ENG 515, ENG 516, ENG 523, ENG 524, ENG 525, ENG 545, ENG 546, ENG 547, ENG 551, ENG 553, ENG 560, ENG 640, ENG 641, ENG 642, ENG 643, ENG 644, ENG 645, ENG 646, ENG 660, ENG 651, ENG 655, ENG 662, ENG 666. If choosing two literature courses, reduce the number of elective units from 24 to 21.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
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