MA in English Literature

English Department

William A. Davis Jr., Ph.D., Chair
Kate Bossert, Ph.D. 
Jeana DelRosso, Ph.D
Margaret Ellen Mahoney, SSND, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus


The Master of Arts in English at Notre Dame of Maryland University is a 30-credit comprehensive curriculum designed to provide students with the content and methodologies required to become better teachers of English at the secondary level and to prepare students for doctoral-level work in English.

Program Objectives

The curriculum focuses on breadth of content, providing broad surveys of English, American and World Literature while also requiring a depth of knowledge in literary research, history and interpretation. Students will hone their critical thinking and writing skills as they master the concepts and theories central to the study of literature. The Program of Study, while comprehensive in scope, is distinctive in its emphasis on gender: Notre Dame's mission focuses on women's ability to transform the world through education and all courses in this Program include literature by women and issues of women in literature.

The Program of Study is designed primarily for working adults who choose to pursue the degree part-time. Therefore, courses are offered in a sequence, with one course taught per semester (one evening weekly in fall and spring and two evenings weekly during each of the two summer sessions), providing for completion of coursework and comprehensive exams within three years.

Study for the Master of Arts in English requires ten courses (3 credits each) in literary research methods, literary theory, literary movements and topics seminars. Students complete one required core course in research and theory, which will provide students with the skills needed to do graduate-level work in reading and writing literary criticism. Students also complete eight additional courses; the courses in Literary Movements provide breadth in literary history. Topics courses provide depth in a particular significant area. Students may transfer up to two graduate courses from another accredited English graduate program, at the discretion of the English Graduate Council.

The Program culminates in a comprehensive exam, which students will take at the end of their three years of coursework. A reading list will be provided. The exam may be attempted only twice and the student must pass it in order to earn the Master's degree.

Program of Study

Required Core Courses

ENG-501 Research Methodologies of Literary Criticism (3)
ENG-508 Contemporary Literary Theory (3)

Literary Movements Courses

ENG-518 Medievalism (3)
ENG-519 Renaissance and Neoclassicism (3)
ENG-528 Romanticism (3)
ENG-529 Realism and Victorianism (3)
ENG-538 Modernism and Postmodernism (3)
ENG-547 New Woman Literature (3)

Topics Seminars and Other Courses

ENG-507 Pedagogy of Creative Writing (3)
ENG-511 Topics in Literature (3)
ENG-527 London Theatre Tour (3)
ENG-548 Classical World Literature (3)
ENG-549 Modern World Literature (3)
ENG-551 Literary Utopias (3)
ENG-558 Multicultural American Literature (3)
ENG-698 Independent Study (3)