The Master of Arts program in English is informed by the expectation that the student brings to it a broad and comprehensive undergraduate foundation in English literature. The program is designed to deepen and extend that comprehensive background at a more advanced and exacting scholarly and professional level, and to develop in the student a measure of specialization in a particular area within the discipline of English literary studies. An important objective of the master's program is to introduce students to advanced study and scholarly activity in order to provide an avenue towards a Ph.D. for those who wish eventually to seek a career in university teaching and literary scholarship. Towards these ends, the program is concerned to develop in students strong analytical skills and a grounding in diverse critical and theoretical approaches. Equally, the Master of/Magisteriate in Arts in English is designed to round off a reasonably complete higher education in literary studies for those who do not intend to proceed to a further degree in the field, but who may branch into other areas as diverse as law, publishing, editing, journalism, administration, management, communications, or teaching at the high school or college level.
The Creative Writing option within the M.A. in English program combines an advanced scholarly education in English literature (with all the objectives described above) with a professional training in the art and craft of creative writing in order to produce active practitioners in the writing of poems, plays, stories, and novels.