Course Work: MA

Master’s Program

The MA degree at UWM involves course work, a master’s project and an oral exam. All degree requirements must be completed within five years of initial enrollment. The project must be completed and the exam taken within one year after completing 30 credits.

Course Work

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits of course work as listed below for the individual plans. A maximum of 27 credits earned at the Master’s level are counted towards the 54 credit (i.e. 54 credits beyond the BA) requirement for the PhD. See the ‘Doctoral Program Course Work’ section in this Handbook for more information. Refer also to the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures: 

Plan A: Literature and Cultural Theory

A minimum of 30 credits, including:

  • For students accepted in 2020 and in future: 1 credit English 703: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Literature (taken during the first semester)
  • 9 credits in literature courses (at least 3 credits pre-1800)
  • 3 credits in 800-level seminar in literature or cultural theory
  • 6 credits in cultural theory
  • 3 credits English 720: Modern Literary Theory
  • 3 credits elective

All credits must be 600-level or above, with no more than 6 credits at 600-level. (English 701 must be counted as an elective.)

Plan B: Rhetoric and Professional Writing

A minimum of 30 credits, including:

  • 9 credits in Required Courses (712, 713, 750).
    • English 712, 713, and 750 may be taken twice with different topics with the second iteration counting toward the Core Courses or Electives.
  • 18 credits in Core Courses with no more than 6 credits under 700-level (427G, 431G, 432G, 439G, 443G, 444G, 633G, 701, 711, 749, 755, 790, 854, 855).
    • Students may take up to 6 credits of English 749 and may take English 711, 755, 854, and 855 up to three times with different topics.
    • Core courses may include up to 6 credits of English 790.
  • 3 credits in graduate-level electives.

Course work requirements for students admitted fall 2018 or earlier:
A minimum of 30 credits, including one course in each of the following areas:

  • Teaching Seminar (English 701)
  • Rhetoric (English 750, 751, or 753)
  • Composition Theory (English 755)
  • Issues in Rhetoric and Composition Pedagogy (English 812, 850, 853, 854, or 856)
  • 12 credits electives

One course is strongly recommended in each of the following areas:

  • Computers and Pedagogy (an English Dept. course at the 700 level)
  • Research Methods

Note: Students who take these courses and plan to apply to the PhD program are advised to take 6 credits in literature or language.

Plan C: Creative Writing

  • 6 credits in 600- or 700-level literature, theory or media courses (at least 3 credits at 700-level.)
  • 6 credits in either 715/815 or 716/816
  • 6 credits in writing courses at 600- or 700-level
  • 12 credits electives, which may include 1-6 credits of English 790 (Masters’ Workshop)
  • A final project, which shall be a collection of fiction and/or poetry, a novel, a dramatic script, or other substantial work of imaginative writing.

Note: No more than 12 credits may be earned in 600-level courses.

Note: When selecting their literature courses and electives, students intending to continue on to the doctoral program should be aware that the doctoral degree requires 30 credits of literature at the 700- or 800-level (excluding 715 and 716).

Plan G: Professional Writing

  • 6 credits in core courses in Theory and Research:
    • Professional Writing Theory (English 712)
    • Professional Writing Research (English 705)
    • Qualitative Research (English 713)
  • 3 credits in an 800-Seminar in Professional Writing or a related topic area approved by the advisor.
  • 12 credits in Professional Writing Practice or Pedagogy at the 700-level or 400- level with the approval of a Plan G faculty advisor.
  • 6 credits in an internship, 700- and/or 800-level electives in professional writing that could lead to a final project
  • 3 credits of masters project research

Plan H: Media, Cinema and Digital Studies

  • 15 credits across English 742, 743, 876, 877, 887
  • 2 credits English 747
  • 7 – 12 credits electives at graduate level (can include English 700 & 701)
  • 1 – 6 credits English 790

If students take more elective credits, then they may take fewer credits in the master’s project, or vice versa, so long as their total credits add up to 30. Students should consult the Coordinator to decide how many credits of the master’s project are recommended.