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Master's Program

Students in Graduate Seminar

MA students are a vital part of the English department community, enjoying an environment with a longstanding tradition of critical innovation and research excellence.

On this page:

Why UB English?

From Medievalism to Modernism, from psychoanalysis to popular culture, UB English offers a truly eclectic course of study that combines historical range with theoretical expertise. The Master’s Program provides highly motivated students the opportunity to study literature at an advanced level in an English department with an international reputation. With only two required courses, the MA degree is among the most flexible and interdisciplinary programs in the nation. Emphasizing dialogue between fields, the MA encourages students to experiment and explore.

The home of the James Joyce Collection, one of the world’s finest archives of Joyce’s manuscripts, notebooks and visual material, as well as a world-class poetry collection, together with the George Kelly Paperback and Pulp Fiction Collection, UB’s libraries provide the ideal venue for a wide range of research interests.

The UB English Department is the home of the Poetics Program, the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture, as well as interdisciplinary affiliations with the UB Humanities Institute, the Center for Disability Studies and Techne: Institute for Arts and Emerging Technologies. Students may also coordinate their study with a Certificate in Innovative Writing, as well as in other certificate programs at UB.

The Masters program offers an affordable degree in one of the most affordable cities in the US, with a varied and vibrant intellectual and artistic scene that includes such mainstays as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Shea’s Performing Arts Center as well as more experimental venues such as Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and Squeaky Wheel. There are also over twenty theater companies.

What you can do with an MA in English

Approximately a third of our MA students go on to pursue a PhD in literature or related fields, such as Art History, Anthropology, and Philosophy. Recent Master’s students have been accepted at places like Cornell, NYU, OSU, Notre Dame, UNC, Brown, UC-Irvine, and, of course, UB.

Another third of our students now have jobs in secondary education or writing, working as editors; technical, professional, and freelance writers; communications specialists; and grant writers for not-for-profit organizations.

A final third of MA students pursue careers in a range of fields, including most often law, business management, and marketing.

What are the requirements for completion?

Coursework

The full degree program consists of 30 credits distributed as 8 seminars. This includes two required courses, both taken in the first semester:

  1. "ENG501: Introduction to Scholarly Methods" focuses on the practical skills necessary to succeed in the graduate study of literature, including editorial, bibliographic, and archival work;
  2. "ENG502: Introduction to Critical and Cultural Theory," is an advanced survey of contemporary criticism.

The degree can be completed in a year, although on average students finish in three semesters.

Thesis or Oral Exam and Project

To complete their MA, students usually write a critical and scholarly thesis of modest length (about 60-80 pages), read and approved by their Thesis Director. The completed thesis must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Alternatively, MA students may pass an oral exam based on a pre-approved reading list along with a suitable written project of about 20-30 pages.

Program Sequence

Our MA program is highly flexible and can be completed in one year, three semesters, or two years.

Most students follow one of these sequences, though others are an option.

One-Year MA Plan

Fall Semester Year 1

  • ENG 501 Introduction to Scholarly    Methods [sections A&B,  6 credits}
  • ENG 502 Introduction to Critical Theory [3 credits]
  • Intensive Seminar  (A-section) [3 credits]
   

Spring Semester   Year 1

  • Intensive Seminar (A-section) [3 credits]
  • Intensive Seminar (A-section) [3 credits]
  • Extensive Seminar (B-section) [3 credits]
   

Summer   Year 1

  • ENG 700 or 598   MA Thesis or MA Project   [6 credits]*
   

* ENG 700 or 598 can also be taken in the fall semester, as part of a three-semester MA Plan

Two-Year MA Plan

Fall Semester  Year 1

  • ENG 501 Introduction to Scholarly    Methods [sections A&B,  6 credits}
  • Eng 502 Introduction to Critical Theory [3 credits]

Spring Semester   Year 1

  • Intensive Seminar (A-section) [3 credits]
  • Intensive Seminar (A-section) [3 credits]

 

Fall Semester   Year  2

  • Intensive Seminar  (A-section) [3 credits]
  • Eng 700 or 598:  MA Thesis or  MA Project [3 credits]

Spring Semester  Year 2

  • Extensive Seminar (B-section) [3 credits]
  • Eng 700 or 598: MA Thesis or  MA Project  [3 credits]

How do I apply?

Apply online.

Undergraduates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered for the MA. Students with a GPA of 3.6 or higher do not need to submit GRE scores.

This program offers no financial assistance.

Completed applications are due February 1st.

Contact Us

Carrie Tirado Bramen

Carrie Tirado Bramen

Associate Professor; Director of the MA Program

537 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0707

Email: bramen@buffalo.edu

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Joyce Troy

Administrative Assistant

Graduate Office

302 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-2567

Email: jtroy@buffalo.edu