Master of Arts in English Language and Literatures
The Mills MA in English provides a strong foundation in literature, cultural studies, and theory. You will enter a community of writers and thinkers who inspire and challenge one another to produce their best scholarship.
The master of arts (MA) degree in English Language and Literatures develops your critical writing and scholarly research skills to prepare you for doctoral study, classroom teaching, and careers inside and outside of the academy. Alumnae/i of our program are working scholars, teachers, and writers. They go on to fully funded, top-tier doctoral programs, positions in community colleges and four-year institutions, and careers in content production, curation, editing, and publishing.
While at Mills, you’ll have the opportunity to study with our faculty of renowned scholars working in diverse periods and theoretical frameworks. You’ll work closely and collaboratively with faculty to choose a course of study and develop a thesis that is a sustained and innovative scholarly research project. Our MA students regularly attend and present at nationally recognized conferences, and go on to publish articles based on the work they completed at Mills.
Mills also offers a wide range of teaching and professional development opportunities for English graduate students. Our graduate assistantship program in composition and rhetoric is unique for its apprenticeship model and provides classroom experience in an undergraduate setting known for its excellence, along with being among the most diverse student populations in the nation. Students work closely with faculty and are supported by strong curriculum in theory and praxis. They also work in our LAB as tutors (including bilingual opportunities) and in local community college courses, where we have an outstanding placement record for alumnae/i.
You’ll have opportunities to engage with professors, students, and a vibrant literary and arts community on and off campus. Students regularly attend arts events and collaborate with peers across other graduate programs. You can access lectures and research libraries at UC Berkeley, Stanford, and California College of the Arts. Cross-registration is also possible.
Students who enroll full time can expect to complete the MA in literature degree requirements in two years. Part-time study is an easily accessible option, but may extend the total length of your program.
All graduate English students are encouraged to apply for part-time graduate assistantships. We also offer a small number of competitive full-tuition fellowships to applicants entering the MFA and MA programs. Learn more about our special funding opportunities for applicants entering the MFA and MA programs.
- Students will become familiar with literary works and ideas from an author, period, genre, or specific selection of periods and genres.
- Students will gain in-depth knowledge of a particular literary period, genre or specific writer(s).
- Students will develop critical writing skills through experience with a variety of writing assignments.
- Students will formulate and execute a viable advanced project that engages with advanced critical writing skills.
- Students will understand the relationships between history, literature and culture and the ways literature reflects and effects changes in societies.
- Students will gain skills in teaching writing of various genres, practice as a teacher and fundamentals of writing pedagogy.
Minimum of 44 semester course credits
The basic curricular components for the MA program consist of:
|ENG 272||Theories and Strategies of Teaching Writing 1||4|
|ENG 282||Critical Theory 2||3|
|ENG 250A||MA Research Project 3||3|
|A minimum of 28 credits of course work in literature (including at least four courses taken at the 200-level in the English Department that include a graduate-only lab)||28|
|A minimum of 6 elective credits||6|
This course is required for all MA students. If awarded a Composition and Rhetoric graduate assistantship in the first year, MA students must complete this course in the first semester. Otherwise it may be taken in the first or second year.
This course is required for all entering MA students in their first semester.
This course is the capstone for the MA degree; students complete an advanced scholarly thesis in their research area. Taken in the final semester (offered spring only).
The MA degree offers two main professional pathways: PhD preparation or teaching at the post-secondary level. The required course work below supports both pathways; your advisor will assist you in selecting other course work that best supports your goals and research interests.
Literature and theory courses (minimum of 28 credits): To fulfill this requirement at least four courses taken at the 200-level in the English Department must include concurrent enrollment in a graduate-only lab. These are always the second section of the 200-level literature courses. One graduate craft course may be taken for this requirement. If a split-level course is offered with a 200-level section, the course must be taken at that level. Up to 6 credits may be taken at the 100 level (upper-division undergraduate).
Electives (minimum of 6 credits): The elective courses can be any graduate-level or upper division undergraduate course offered by the college for academic credit. Students must consult with their advisor when choosing these electives. No more than 3 of the 6 elective credits may be satisfied through ENG 295 Independent Study.