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.

AdmiApply to a SUNY New Paltz graduate programssion Requirements

  • One official copy of a baccalaureate transcript from a regionally accredited institution with at least 36 credits in English, exclusive of freshman composition. (Applicants who present fewer than 36 undergraduate credits in English may remedy this deficiency by taking additional courses as recommended by the English graduate committee.)
  • A 3.0 overall cumulative undergraduate grade point average. (Applicants whose undergraduate grade point average in English is less than 3.0 may be admitted on the basis of GRE scores.)
  • A sample of the applicant’s critical writing, either one or two essays totaling about 10 pages in length.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • International applicants must provide an internet-based TOEFL score of at least 85. GREs are recommended.

Curriculum Requirements

All course selection is done in consultation with a faculty advisor. 

Select three courses from the list below of Literature Before 18009
Introduction to Old English
English Literature of the Sixteenth Century
English Drama through the Jacobean Period
English Literature of the Seventeenth Century
Forms of Autobiography 1
English Selected Topic 1
Studies in Middle English Literature
Studies in Comparative Literature 1
Select three courses in Literature After 18009
Select one course in Literary Criticism and Theory3
Select three Electives9
Total Credits30

No more than six credits may be transferred from another institution. No more than six credits taken before admission to the MA program may be credited to the degree. 


Teaching Assistantships are available for students in the MA program. The Assistantship pays a stipend plus tuition for two graduate English courses per semester; recipients of the Assistantship teach one section of Composition and enroll in two graduate English courses per semester. Teaching Assistants are supported through a maximum of 33 credits. Modern Theories of Writing, ENG515 , is required and is usually taken in the first semester of the Assistantship. Applications are made through the English Department office.

A limited number of other stipendiary positions are sometimes available within the English Department and elsewhere on campus. Check regularly with the English Department to learn of these opportunities.

Program Requirements

  • Complete prescribed course work within seven years after matriculation.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, with no more than two grades below B-.
  • Present nine credits in a single foreign language or satisfactory evidence of equivalent competence.
  • Satisfactory performance on the English Department’s comprehensive examination.