Master of Arts (MA) degree in English can be a passport to any number of careers where employers value communication and research skills, proficiency with digital technologies, and the ability to think critically to solve complex programs. Our MA English alumni work in publishing, journalism, education, marketing, law and politics, among other fields.

Graduate Programs in English

ENG501. Introduction to Old English . 3 Credits.

Old English as a language and readings in the original.

ENG502. Introduction to Middle English . 3 Credits.

Middle English as a language and readings in the original.

ENG503. Chaucer . 3 Credits.

Language and literary art of Chaucer, life and thought of medieval England; emphasis on the Canterbury Tales.

ENG504. English Literature of the Sixteenth Century . 3 Credits.

Selected prose and poetry of the English Renaissance, including works of such figures as Spenser, Sidney, Wyatt, Surrey, Nashe, Green, and Dekker.

ENG505. Shakespeare . 3 Credits.

An introductory survey of Shakespeare's works, with emphasis upon historical, cultural, and critical problems.

ENG506. English Drama through the Jacobean Period . 3 Credits.

Medieval drama and later playwrights such as Kyd, Marlowe, Jonson, Webster, Chapman, Beaumont, and Fletcher.

ENG507. English Literature of the Seventeenth Century . 3 Credits.

Leading English writers of poetry and prose in the seventeenth century, excluding Milton. Metaphysical and Cavalier poets and such prose authors as Browne, Burton, Bunyan, and Pepys.

ENG508. Milton . 3 Credits.

Milton's major poetical works and selected minor poems and prose works in relation to his time and seventeenth-century thought.

ENG509. Eighteenth-Century English Literature . 3 Credits.

Historical survey of poets, satirists, and essayists: Dryden, Swift, Pope, Addison, Johnson, Gray, Burns, and others. Some background philosophy. No novels or drama.

ENG510. Early English Novels . 3 Credits.

Great pioneers of the novel: Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne. Not open to students who have taken 41414.

ENG511. Restoration and Eighteenth-Century English Drama . 3 Credits.

Playwrights such as Dryden, Otway, Etherage, Wycherley, Congreve, Farquhar,Gay, Lillo, Goldsmith, and Sheridan.

ENG513. Female Heroes of Literature: Nineteenth Century . 3 Credits.

A feminist critical study of female heroism in selected American and British nineteenth-century novels. Authors will include Bronte, Hawthorne, George Eliot, Hardy, James, Wharton, Chopin, Dreiser.

ENG514. Female Heroes of Literature: Twentieth Century . 3 Credits.

A feminist critical study of female heroism in selected American and British twentieth-century novels. Authors will include Lawrence, Woolf, Hemingway, McCullers, Steinbeck, Lessing, Atwood, Godwin.

ENG515. Modern Theories of Writing Annual/Fall . 3 Credits.

A general introduction to developments in writing theory and instruction including such topics as the composing process, cognition and writing, invention and revision strategies, discourse theory, alternative approaches to teaching grammar and style. (Especially suitable for students planning to teach.)

ENG517. English Romantic Literature . 3 Credits.

Major writers of the English romantic movement and related critical and historical works. Not open to students who have taken 41417.

ENG518. The English Novel of the 19th Century . 3 Credits.

Major British novelists of the 19th Century studied in the context of the whole English novel and European fiction of the nineteenth century.

ENG519. English Literature of the Victorian Period . 3 Credits.

Poetry, fiction, and non-fiction works of the Victorian period. Such figures as Browning, Tennyson, Arnold, Swinburne, Dickens, Thackeray, Carlyle, and Ruskin.

ENG521. Modern British Drama . 3 Credits.

Playwrights such as Wilde, Shaw, Galsworthy, Maugham, Barrie, Synge, O'Casey, Osborne, and Pinter.

ENG522. British Literature of the Twentieth Century to 1945 . 3 Credits.

British novelists and poets of the first half of the twentieth century: Conrad, Joyce, Forster, Woolf, Lawrence, Yeats, Eliot, Graves, and others.

ENG523. Joyce . 3 Credits.

Joyce's major works, in the light of their structural, linguistic, and thematic innovations.

ENG524. Virginia Woolf . 3 Credits.

Virginia Woolf produced innovative, influential work in many genres: stories, novels, non-fiction, criticism, biography. We explore these and use her Diary to document her life as a writer.

ENG525. Contemporary British and American Literature Since 1945 . 3 Credits.

Investigation of the emerging themes in prose and poetry since World War II.

ENG526. Twenty-First Century Literature. 3 Credits.

A study of primary American and British literature since the late 1990’s with attention to continuities with twentieth-century literature and innovations in for, genre, and theme.

ENG527. The Development of Modern English . 3 Credits.

History of English from earliest times to the present. Major changes in sounds, grammar, and vocabulary. Development of dialectal variants and standards of correctness, with special reference to American English and current problems of usage.

ENG529. Ballad Revivals . 3 Credits.

The ballad as a special form of literature in light of two dramatic revivals of interest in the genre: the eighteenth century (Addison, Percy, Burns, Scott) and the twentieth (Kipling, Housman, Yeats, Warren, and the contemporary folksingers).

ENG532. The American Renaissance . 3 Credits.

Research in such figures as Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Whitman, and Melville, and in movements such as utopianism, transcendentalism, and abolitionism.

ENG533. American Fiction in the Nineteenth Century . 3 Credits.

Major works in prose fiction from Irving and Poe to Howells and James.

ENG534. American Poetry in the Nineteenth Century . 3 Credits.

Works of major poets in America before and after the Civil War: Emerson, Poe, Whitman, and Dickinson, among others.

ENG535. Realism and Naturalism in American Fiction . 3 Credits.

Selected works by such writers as Howells, Twain, James, London, Dreiser, Farrell, Jeffers, and Dos Passos.

ENG536. American Fiction in the Twentieth Century to 1945 Annual/Fall . 3 Credits.

Study of important American novelists, 1900-1945, including the work of major novelists such as Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Warren.

ENG537. American Poetry in the Twentieth Century to 1945 . 3 Credits.

Reading of the principal American poets at home and abroad in the period up to 1945: Eliot, Frost, Cummings, Pound, and Auden, among others.

ENG538. Modern American Drama . 3 Credits.

Playwrights such as O'Neill, Anderson, Howard, Behrman, Sherwood, Odets, Wilder, Miller, Williams, Albee.

ENG539. American Fiction After 1945 . 3 Credits.

Study of the major authors and movements of post-1945 American fiction, including Ellison, Kerouac, Bellow, Pynchon, and Morrison.

ENG541. Seminar in Creative Writing . 3 Credits.

Seminar in Creative Writing. Workshop in the techniques of writing fiction, poetry, or drama for proficient writers who wish to be published. Not applicable to the MS or MA degrees.

ENG550. Literary Criticism . 3 Credits.

Major theories of the nature and functions of literary art, from ancient to modern times.

ENG551. Academic Writing Seminar for MA Students in English. 1 Credit.

Introduces students to academic writing in English at the graduate level. Students will gain exposure to a variety of genres and perform academic writing with study of nuances of style, organization, citation, evidence, and transitions.

ENG552. Advanced Research Methods for MA Students in English. 1 Credit.

An introduction to advanced methods and tools of research in the study of literature.

ENG553. Career Seminar for MA Students in English. 1 Credit.

Course provides instruction, workshops, and mentoring to help students identify possible career paths, explore professional opportunities, and prepare effective job search related materials such as resumes, cover letters, and online profiles.

ENG555. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism . 3 Credits.

A study of major twentieth-century theories of literature, such as those of Marxist and psychoanalytical critics, the New Critics, the Chicago school, the theories of Northrop Frye, Feminism, and Deconstruction. In-depth consideration of primary critical works.

ENG556. Literature and Lore of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley . 3 Credits.

Introduces the student to the fundamental ideas of regional studies (sense of place, etc.) through the study of prose, poetry, and folklore of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain Region.

ENG560. Forms of Autobiography. 3 Credits.

An introduction to classic and/or contemporary autobiographies. Discussion of principles of autobiographical writing; forms of the genre; and critical and theoretical perspectives. Topics and readings will vary from year to year.

ENG572. Studies in Middle English Literature . 3 Credits.

May be repeated for credit.

ENG573. Studies in Sixteenth-Century English Literature . 3 Credits.


ENG574. Studies in Shakespeare . 3 Credits.


ENG575. Studies in Seventeenth-Century English Literature . 3 Credits.


ENG576. Studies in Eighteenth-Century English Literature . 3 Credits.


ENG577. Studies in English Romanticism . 3 Credits.


ENG578. Studies in Victorian Literature . 3 Credits.


ENG579. Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature . 3 Credits.


ENG580. Studies in Twentieth-Century American Poetry to 1945 . 3 Credits.


ENG581. Studies in Twentieth-Century American Fiction to 1945 . 3 Credits.


ENG582. Studies in Twentieth-Century British Poetry to 1945 . 3 Credits.


ENG583. Studies in Twentieth-Century British Fiction . 3 Credits.


ENG584. Studies in Contemporary British Literature . 3 Credits.


ENG585. Studies in Contemporary Criticism . 3 Credits.


ENG586. Studies in Contemporary American Literature . 3 Credits.


ENG587. Studies in Contemporary British and American Drama . 3 Credits.


ENG588. Studies in Comparative Literature . 3 Credits.


ENG589. From Gutenberg to Google Books: Studies in Books, Readers, and Culture. 3 Credits.

Critical examination of book publishing, reading, and the cultural effects of this combination from Gutenberg to the present: emphasis on analytic bibliography, book history into the digital age, literacy, and the spread of ideas through publishing.

ENG590. Thesis in English . 3 Credits.

Writing of a substantial essay under the guidance of a faculty advisor. (Arrangements must be made well in advance of the semester in which the thesis is to be written.)

ENG593. English Selected Topic. 3-12 Credits.


ENG594. Fieldwork in English . 0 Credits.


ENG595. Indep Study English . 1-12 Credits.

Directed study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. (Arrangements must be made well in advance of the semester in which the study is to be undertaken.)

ENG599. Graduate Comprehensive Exam Registration. 0 Credits.

Non-credit workshop for students who wish to devote the semester immediately following the completion of their coursework to prepare for the comprehensive exam.

ENG799. Continued Registration. 1 Credit.