Master of Arts English

Master of Arts in English


Picture postcard of Long Beach with buildingsThe Department of English at CSULB has over 40 tenure-track, tenured, and emeritus faculty whose research and teaching interests cover the range of periods, authors, and genres in British and American literature; focus on a variety of critical and theoretical approaches; and explore diverse topics in the study of reading and writing in English.Our graduate seminars are small classes that encourage students to examine and explore the topic intensively, and they are designed to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual, cultural, rhetorical, and aesthetic traditions of literature and writing in English.

The MA program in English is designed to broaden students’ knowledge and understanding of the literary and rhetorical traditions of writing in English, as well as to provide the opportunity for intensive study in one or more specialized area(s) of literature or rhetoric and composition. The MA program in English emphasizes close reading and critical analysis by developing students’ abilities to situate texts within their larger aesthetic, historical, and professional contexts, conduct independent research, and formulate original arguments in oral presentations and writing.

For further information and advising, please contact the graduate advisor: Prof. Dennis López at

By the end of their MA program students should be able to

• demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of representative literary and rhetorical texts, including influential criticism of and commentary on those texts;
• examine the theoretical premises underlying the critical analysis of literature, rhetoric, and/or the teaching of reading and writing;
• investigate the functions of texts and their relations with historical, social, and political contexts;
• investigate how purpose, style, and genre function in texts to achieve particular literary, rhetorical, and aesthetic effects;
• locate, evaluate, and synthesize the available resources for researching a significant scholarly topic;
• write papers that construct logical and informed arguments; and
• prepare and deliver effective oral presentations and arguments that are appropriate for the English professions.

This site offers a concise summary of the MA program in English, including both requirements and opportunities. Students considering the pursuit of an MA in English will find that this brochure answers many questions, but it is not a binding contract, nor a complete statement of requirements. To make sure they are up-to-date on changes in requirements and making satisfactory progress towards their degree, students should consult University Catalog regulations concerning graduate study and see an advisor in the English Department at least once a semester.

Download a PDF copy of our current MA Program Handbook HERE!