General M.A. Program

This M.A. in English grows out of a departmental initiative designed to reach English teachers in Southern Arizona interested in a terminal Master's degree that allows them to take advantage of the several graduate programs in our Department. Applicants must have completed the equivalent of the undergraduate major in English (30 units) with a grade-point average of at least 3.50 in literature courses. This degree is not eligible for departmental financial aid. We accept applications in both fall and spring for admission the following semester. The application deadline for spring admission is the last Friday in September; the deadline for fall admission is the first Friday in April. Thirty credits are required for the degree. Up to twelve of those units may be from graduate courses taken in the University of Arizona English Department prior to matriculation. Students from the Sierra Vista area may take up to six graduate units at the University of Arizona, South. The Graduate College specifies that all work for the M.A. must be completed within six years.

One key feature of the initiative is flexibility. Candidates develop an individualized program of study, dictated by their particular interests, in consultation with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. Students may take courses from the following graduate programs: Literature (literary criticism and scholarship); Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English (rhetorical theory as well as writing pedagogy); and English Applied Linguistics (theoretical and applied linguistics and second-language-acquisition instruction). Students may also register for classes designed especially for secondary school teachers, such as those offered through the Southern Arizona Writing Project. Every semester, and during the summer, we seek to offer graduate courses that are geared to the interests and schedules of local English teachers. These specially designed courses allow for flexibility in assignments and final projects; for example, rather than writing a seminar paper with a view towards publication or conference presentation, a student may want to work on a project more specifically concerned with pedagogy. To accommodate teachers’ schedules, we offer such courses in the late afternoon or evening.

The Coordinator of Graduate studies will serve as advisor to students enrolled in this M.A. program. Upon matriculation, students will develop a study plan in consultation with the Coordinator. Every semester, they will meet with the Coordinator to review the implementation of their program. The final M.A. project will be a portfolio that should serve as a showcase representing the range and diversity of the student's work in the program. The portfolio will include three of the candidate's best seminar papers or pedagogical projects from three different courses and an introductory essay that contextualizes them by analyzing their relationship to the student's overall objectives in the program. This introduction should include the following elements:

  • The candidate's goals and objectives in undertaking the General M.A. In the case of teachers, this should include the candidate's philosophy of teaching.
  • An analysis of the relation of the candidate's course work to these objectives, including but not limited to a discussion of the development and significance of the three portfolio papers within this context.
  • A reflection on changes, development, and growth the candidate has experienced as a result of work in the program.
  • An indication of plans for applying candidates' work in the program to their future career development.

We welcome your application. If you would like further information about this program, please contact John Melillo, Director of Graduate Studies.