About the program
The program leading to the Masters of Arts in English Literature and Language is highly flexible and serves a variety of professional and intellectual goals. Students develop literature and language ability and, in addition, may choose a subfield specialty. The program is committed to the importance of reading with sensitivity and understanding and of writing clearly and concisely.
The Literature component offers a comprehensive view of the literary wealth of the English and American traditions within a global critical perspective, introducing students to international literature and current literary criticism. The Language component provides a grounding in the fields of rhetoric, composition and pedagogy, covering theory as well as applications that are particularly useful for teachers and writers. The subfield component is designed to diversify the student’s areas of concentration by developing a background which may include Speech, Communication Studies or Reading.
Students can pursue one of the following degree options:
- Master of Arts in English Literature and Language
- Combined Master of Arts in English Literature and Language and Doctor of Jurisprudence
Courses and Degree Plan
View the English Literature and Language Requirements and Degree Plan
Combined Law Degree OptionIn addition to separate degree programs in Law and English Literature and Language, the Law School and the Graduate School also offer a joint program of study leading to the degrees of Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Arts in English Literature and Language (M.A.). The joint degree program allows a student to complete the requirements for both degrees in three or four years.The M.A. in English Literature and Language is committed to the importance of reading with sensitivity and understanding and of writing clearly and concisely. The Literature component offers a comprehensive view of the literary wealth of English and American traditions within a global critical perspective, introducing students to international literature and current literary criticism. The program challenges lawyers to sharpen their analytical, critical thinking, and communications skills – all of which are essential to success in the legal profession.To satisfy the 90 credit hours of law for the J.D. degree and the 36 credit hours of English for the M.A. degree, 12 credit hours of law courses are transferred as elective credit to the M.A. degree and 6 credit hours of English are transferred as elective credit towards the J.D. degree. Thus, the degrees may be earned with the completion of 108 credit hours of law and English credits, 18 credit hours less than the normal requirement.The first year of study consists of law courses. During the second and third years, students complete the remaining law courses and appropriate English courses.Admission to the joint program requires application to both Schools, although application to the Graduate School need not be made until the student begins Law School. An acceptable LSAT score may be substituted for the GRE.Students must complete a minimum of 24 semester credit hours of English courses at St. Mary’s University exclusive of prerequisites.
This degree offers an in-depth preparation for school teachers and community college instructors. Additionally, it will provide background for those who consider pursuing Ph.D. work. The degree is equally useful in careers in which a writing or humanities background is important, such as management, public relations, and journalism.
Learn more about the St. Mary's Master of English Literature and Language Program