Master of Arts
Simmons's Master of Arts in English provides a strong foundation in English and American literature and in literary theory and analysis. Our versatile program includes a broad offering of courses, personalized plans of study, and an option to specialize in writing or writing instruction. Students may pursue the study of traditional classics as well cutting-edge theory, with course topics ranging from Shakespeare, James Joyce, Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, to postcolonial fiction, feminist film theory, and race and gender in psychoanalytic discourse.
"Simmons professors always made themselves accessible, and my writing improved. This academic experience provided me with a model for instruction that I'd like to emulate as a university professor in the future."
—Justine Cadet, '07 M.A. English
English Teacher, Westport High School, Westport, Massachusetts
The Simmons English program attracts students who wish to write or teach, as well as those who plan to pursue a Ph.D. or a profession that requires expertise in writing or in the critical analysis of literature. Students enjoy a collegial relationship with faculty who are award-winning poets and playwrights, authors, reviewers, and nationally known scholars. Faculty areas of interest span historical periods, genres, and cultures, including the Bible, poetry from the Romantic era, Native American studies, Victorian literature, the Harlem Renaissance, Nicaragua and the Sandinista revolution, and children's literature.
The writing option is designed for students interested in writing or in teaching writing at the secondary level. Typically, students who elect this option take two to four of the following courses:
ENGL 402 Seminar in the Teaching of Writing
ENGL 505 Advanced Creative Writing: Non-Fiction
ENGL 510 Advanced Poetry Workshop
ENGL 400 Directed Study: Graduate Level
Our 32-credit program leads to a Master of Arts in English. A reading knowledge of one foreign language is required and may be fulfilled by taking a brief translation exam any time before receiving the degree. Students may elect to write a thesis as one of their courses. Although the program may be complete in one academic year, including summer study, most students choose to complete it over three or four semesters in order to explore their interests more thoroughly. Part-time students are allowed up to seven years to complete the degree.
Students in the English program may also pursue dual degrees in:
- Children's Literature and English - This 56-credit program consists of seven courses in Children's Literature and seven courses in English. The Children's Literature component includes five core courses and two elective courses. English courses include Contemporary Critical Theory (ENGL 405) and six electives.
- English and Teaching — English students may simultaneously pursue a degree in Teaching through Simmons's 64-credit Teaching and Liberal Arts (MAT/M.A.) dual-degree program, and become certified as an elementary, middle, or high school teacher.
All students entering the program are required to take ENGL 405 Contemporary Critical Theory, unless they have had the equivalent. The remainder of the program is elected from courses best adapted to the student's needs and interests in consultation with the program director.