Other Concentrations

Literature Concentration

The MA in English concentration in literature appeals to those who wish to continue to expand their knowledge of literature, film, folklore, and other cultural texts. This is for students who are interested in an intrinsically rewarding pursuit or want to teach English at the high school or community college level. Because the concentration is designed to acquaint students with the widest range of literary and cultural texts, it is an optimal stepping stone toward a doctorate in the study of English, cultural studies, film, or folklore, and, hence, toward a potential career in teaching at the four-year college and university level.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 30 credits in one concentration as specified below. 

Students in the concentrations of cultural studies, literature, and teaching of writing and literature must demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a foreign language in one of the following ways: submitting an undergraduate (or continuing education) transcript that includes courses corresponding to intermediate proficiency; completing a Mason foreign language course numbered 202 or higher; passing a proficiency exam administered by the English department.

Concentration in Literature (LIT)

Required Courses 1  
ENGH 551 Introduction to Literary Theory 3
ENGH 701 Research in English Studies 3
Select 18 credits from the following: 2 18
Graduate Literature Survey  
Topics in Literary and Cultural Studies  
Theories of Comparative Literature  
Special Topics in the History and Criticism of Children's Literature  
Graduate Survey in African American Literature  
Topics in Folk Narrative  
Topics in Folklore Studies  
Seminar in British Literature  
Seminar in American Literature  
Seminar in Advanced Research  
Seminar in African-American Literature  
Seminar in Literary Studies  
Seminar in Global Culture  
Seminar in Film and Media Studies  
Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies  
Selected Topics, Movements, or Genres of Literature in English  
Literary Theory and Criticism  
Projects in Literary Studies  
Two Electives or Thesis 6
Select 6 credits of Electives 3
Total Credits 30

Must be taken in the first 12 credits of the degree. Another course in literary theory and criticism may substitute for ENGH 551 Introduction to Literary Theory with prior written approval of the graduate director.


Courses fulfilling this requirement must include at least three 600-level ENGH seminars. Graduate seminars involve focused study of a topic with significant attention to scholarship in the field.


Electives taught within the English department may be taken without permission of the graduate director. A maximum of six credits of related study outside the department may substitute for the equivalent number of elective credits, with permission of the graduate director.


Students who choose a thesis take 6 fewer credits of literature or electives.