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.

The Creative Writing Concentration in the MA in English is designed to help writers find their voices and find their audiences. It is built around poetry and prose workshops led by award-winning published authors. Faculty take a holistic approach to teaching that merges rigorous literary study with a communal, writer’s retreat-style experience. Students take a combination of literature courses and creative writing workshops. A special seminar on Teaching Creative Writing will help prepare students interested in future instruction careers. Each student completes a significant final thesis work of prose or poetry during a semester-long one-on-one collaboration with our instructors.

Apply to a SUNY New Paltz graduate programAdmission 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.

Creative Writing Specialization

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

Complete ONE of the following pre-1800 courses:3
Introduction to Old English
English Literature of the Sixteenth Century
Shakespeare
English Drama through the Jacobean Period
English Literature of the Seventeenth Century
Milton
Forms of Autobiography 1
Studies in Middle English Literature
Studies in Sixteenth-Century English Literature
Studies in Seventeenth-Century English Literature
Studies in Eighteenth-Century English Literature
Studies in English Romanticism
Studies in Comparative Literature 1
English Selected Topic 1
Complete THREE of the following Post-1800 courses9
Modern Theories of Writing Annual/Fall
Modernity and Modernism in Britain
Virginia Woolf
Postmodern Literature
Twenty-First Century Literature
American Fiction in the Twentieth Century to 1945 Annual/Fall
American Poetry in the Twentieth Century to 1945
Studies in Victorian Literature
Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Studies in Twentieth-Century American Fiction to 1945
Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature
Studies in Contemporary Literature
Studies in Comparative Literature 2
From Gutenberg to Google Books: Studies in Books, Readers, and Culture
English Selected Topic 2
Fieldwork in English
Indep Study English
Literary Criticism
ENG585Studies in Contemporary Criticism and Theory3
Complete THREE Creative Writing Workshops9
Workshop in Fiction and Memoir 3
Workshop in Poetry 3
ENG544Seminar in Teaching Creative Writing3
Culminating Experience
ENG590Thesis in English 3
ENG599Graduate Comprehensive Exam Registration 40
Total Credits30

For a complete listing of graduate-level English courses, please visit: https://catalog.newpaltz.edu/graduate/course-descriptions/eng/

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. 

Curriculum Requirements

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

Select three courses of Literature Before 18009
Introduction to Old English
English Literature of the Sixteenth Century
Shakespeare
English Drama through the Jacobean Period
English Literature of the Seventeenth Century
Milton
Forms of Autobiography 1
Studies in Middle English Literature
Studies in Sixteenth-Century English Literature
Studies in Seventeenth-Century English Literature
Studies in Eighteenth-Century English Literature
Studies in English Romanticism 1
Studies in Comparative Literature 1
English Selected Topic 1
Select three courses in Literature After 18009
Modernity and Modernism in Britain
Virginia Woolf
Postmodern Literature
Twenty-First Century Literature
American Fiction in the Twentieth Century to 1945 Annual/Fall
American Poetry in the Twentieth Century to 1945
Forms of Autobiography
Studies in English Romanticism 2
Studies in Victorian Literature
Studies in Comparative Literature 2
Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Studies in Twentieth-Century American Fiction to 1945
Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature
Studies in Contemporary Literature
From Gutenberg to Google Books: Studies in Books, Readers, and Culture
Literary Criticism and Theory3
Studies in Contemporary Criticism and Theory
Select three electives - to be chosen in consultation with your Advisor.9
Culminating Experience
Graduate Comprehensive Exam Registration 3
Total Credits30

For a complete listing of graduate-level English courses, please visit: https://catalog.newpaltz.edu/graduate/course-descriptions/eng/

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

Assistantships

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-.
  • Satisfactory performance on the English Department’s comprehensive examination or approved culminating experience.