MA English Literature Option

MA ENGLISH: Literature Program

Announcements for MA Literature Program


Important Dates and Information for Graduate Students in Literature and Composition:

Admission Requirements for MA Literature, or MA Literature, Rhet/Comp Programs. 

All applicants to the M.A. in English must follow all application and admission procedures outlined in the university graduate application booklet. To be admitted to the program, the applicant must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college and a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the last 60 semester units of upper division course work attempted (not including extension units). Applicants with majors other than English may be accepted into the program, but should expect to do additional work to gain the background necessary for success in their graduate courses.


M.A. Thesis                                                                                                                   

Students who have earned a 3.75 GPA may elect to undertake a thesis, provided that they can form a thesis committee with the relevant specialization and have their proposal approved by the graduate committee. Students with less than a 3.75 GPA may on rare occasions write a thesis if they have permission of a thesis mentor and the graduate coordinator, as well as the graduate committee; such students should already have a promising project based upon a seminar paper or other work done with the thesis mentor.

In order to facilitate a timely completion of the thesis, students are encouraged to expand promising seminar papers into their thesis whenever possible. The thesis prospectus should be signed by the thesis mentor and the second readers and submitted to the graduate coordinator by the last day of classes in the semester prior to writing the thesis. The completed and signed thesis is due in the graduate studies office by November 1 for fall graduation, April 1 for spring graduation, and June 10 for summer graduation. In order to meet these deadlines, students should allow 1 month for revisions with their mentor, and 1 month of revisions with the second and third readers. This means that thesis students planning to graduate in the spring should, if at all possible, have their first draft to their mentor by February 1. Students planning to graduate in the fall should, if at all possible, have their first draft to their mentor by September 1.  

You may visit the Graduate Studies website for more information on Thesis Policies and Deadlines      

Thesis Guide 


Comprehensive Exams

The schedule for the FALL 2019 Comp Exams is as follows: 

All Fall 2019 Comp Exams will be held in our conference room, LCH A348
Part I: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 10am - 12:30pm
Part II: Thursday, Nov. 7, 10am - 12pm
Part III: Thursday, Nov. 7, 1pm - 3pm
Please sign up with the English Dept by calling (310)243-3322 or visit LCH E315. 

Information about the comprehensive exam can be found in the Exam Preparation Booklet.

 Graduate Colloquium

The gradaute colloquium is a presentation of theses submitted. 
The 2019-2020 presentation  is TBA, in late April or early May 2020. Please check back for updates.

MA Reading List

Click here to view the current M.A. Reading List (2018- )

The set texts are as follows: 

Fall 2019
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (Norton Critical)
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (Norton Critical)

Spring 2020
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
Shakespeare, Othello

Fall 2020
Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Spring 2021
Ford Maddox Ford, The Good Soldier
Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Graduate Courses for M.A. in English Literature/ Rhet Comp

Courses are offered in the following rotation:

501:  fall only, and should be taken in your first semester if at all possible
545:  spring only, and should be taken in your second semester if at all possible
570, 576, *577:  fall only. 

*577 should NOT be taken in your first semester.
571, 575:  spring only.
Literature courses also rotate, but there should be one available from each category each semester.

Advisement Information 

Please consult the  M.A. in English Literature/ Rhet Comp Advising Worksheet
You may contact Dr. Best for advising. Dr. Best can be emailed at

Advancement to Candidacy

The Advancement to Candidacy form should be completed before your last semester of coursework.  You will not be allowed to take the comprehensive exams or do a thesis until this form is filled out.  Please see Dr. Best in LCH E309 for advising.