What is a Masters in English?
You have obtained your baccalaureate. After that ? No matter what you studied during your undergraduate years, if you enjoy language and literature and can imagine yourself turning that passion into a career, it might be worth considering continuing your education with a master’s degree. of Arts (MA) in English.
If you are wondering, “What is a master’s degree in English and what can I do with it?” read on to learn more about this versatile degree.
What can you do with a masters degree in English?
There is a misconception that an English degree only prepares students to embark on writing or education. A bachelor’s degree in English is excellent preparation for a variety of career paths and various graduate and professional programs. The same can be said about a Master of Arts in English. Like many humanities degrees, English programs also provide some of the soft skills that many employers look for today.
“A master’s degree in English prepares students with more than the ability to read and appreciate great literature,” says Franz Potter, director of the academic program and professor at the National University. “Some of the important skills that students develop are the ability to research and present information in an organized and concise manner. “
The MSc in English provides a foundation of skills and knowledge that could be useful in positions in Marketing, Communication, Law, Management and Research. High school English teachers often pursue a Masters in English as part of their required professional development or simply to broaden their expertise in a particular content area.
However, when it comes to studying English at graduate level, the goal is often to teach at the college level or pursue a doctorate. and, later, research. During these advanced level courses, students often find their place in literature.
Potter’s specialty is Gothic studies.
“As a student, I enjoyed the Gothic subculture, and in my research on Gothic, I found these novels to be just wonderful. Gothic is just wonderful, ”he says. “Think of it like horror novels from the beginning of the 19e century.”
As students study popular classics, they can begin to see how literary influences from the past shape those from the future. He continues: “Between 1764 and 1825 the Gothic novel (and the chapbook) appeared everywhere and did not influence romantic poets, but was the first major female genre. We see the influence of Gothic in Jane Austen, vampire novels, mysteries, thrillers, and modern horror novels.
Talking about the variety of things you can do after master’s degree is a good transition to consider what the courses look like in an online master’s program in English.
What is a master’s degree in English Do you like the program?
Course requirements for a master’s degree in English will vary by program. At the National University, you will take 45 credits of graduate courses, which include a mix of core courses, electives, and courses related to the chosen concentration. Core courses would likely include literary theory and an introduction to graduate studies in English.
Depending on your interests, you can then schedule additional core courses around the topics that interest you most. The thematic courses at National revolve around:
- creative non-fictional fiuvres.
- Pedagogy (teaching).
National also offers a rotating selection of courses based on specific authors, directors, literary periods or literary movements.
National University English Masters students may also choose to major in one of two streams: Gothic Studies or Rhetoric. In the Gothic Studies program, the first of its kind in the United States, students focus on literary works and examine them through a historical, theoretical, and critical lens. The rhetoric track, ideal for future writing teachers, focuses not only on the stories told through books and movies, but also on how they affect society.
Potter says that among the various electives, some stand out as favorites.
“Vampires is one of our most popular classes as we retrace the rise of the vampire at the start of the 19the century to modern representations, ”Potter explains. “We explore the rise (and fall?) Of vampires, from Polidori to Stoker and Le Fanu to Stephen King.”
Another popular course, he says, is Modern Gothic. In this course, students explore the connections between Gothic and horror novels by looking at authors such as Dan Simmons, Michael McDowell, and Stephen King.
What is a master’s degree in English Compared to an MFA in creative writing?
Potter explains that the difference is often in the end goal.
“That’s a great question. I tend to think that a master’s degree in English prepares students to teach not only college-level literature courses, but composition courses as well. With a master’s degree in English, our students teach at both universities and community colleges, ”he says.
Those pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing might also end up teaching. However, their studies focus on their own creative project, whether it is a novel, a screenplay, a short story collection, or a book of poetry.
(Potential English Masters students who prefer to learn on their own may find our previous blog post, “The Introverted Writer: Benefits of Online Writing Degrees” helpful.)
If a graduate degree in English seems to suit your professional goals, visit our Masters in English program page to learn more.