Information for Prospective Students
Thank you for your interest in Queens College's MA English program. This guide offers you a brief overview of our program and information about the application process. If you have further questions, you're welcome to contact the Director of Graduate Studies via email and/or schedule a meeting on campus.
The MA in English Literature is a 30 credit hour program. The program requires all students to take courses in the history of literary criticism and in the theory and practice of graduate methodology, leaving scope to pursue specialized interests in their seven remaining elective courses.
Elective courses are offered in British, American, and other literatures written in English. Students are also encouraged to explore a range of subfields, including but not limited to Gender and Sexuality Studies, Postcolonial and Global Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Latina/o Studies, Cultural Studies, and Rhetoric and Composition Theory. Profiles of all full-time English faculty may be found on the English Department's website.
Applying to the Program
All application materials and supporting documents (with the exception of the writing sample) must be submitted online, through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
The English Department's MA Admissions Committee will review your application carefully once all your supporting documents have been submitted. They are looking for students with strong motivations for advanced study and awareness of the kind of reading (primary, critical, and theoretical) performed at this level. Here is what they will expect to see from you:
- A minimum of an average grade of B in all undergraduate work and in all English courses.
- A minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in English or American literature; at the discretion of the department, fewer courses may be acceptable for full matriculation.
- Three satisfactory letters of recommendation, preferably from professors in English, addressing your academic proficiency. A recommendation from your work supervisor, your neighbor, or your close friend does not tell us anything useful, since they are not evaluating the specific credentials we need to know about. Please also keep in mind that recommendations from the principal or colleagues at the school where you teach tend to be less informative than recommendations from professors who taught you in class. If you have been out of school for several years, please make every effort to reconnect with faculty at your undergraduate institution, since they can speak most convincingly to your academic preparation for master's level work.
- A 500-word statement of interest explaining why you wish to pursue a master's degree in English literature at Queens College. Your statement should avoid excessive personal information or autobiographical anecdotes and offer a clear sense of your training in literary studies, your strengths and enthusiasms as a scholar, and your reasons for applying for the master's degree. If you are changing fields or have been out of school for several years, you may also wish to discuss any relevant professional or academic experience that falls outside the field of literary studies.
- A writing sample, of around 10 to 15 pages in length (double-spaced), showing your mastery of critical writing skills and on a topic with clear relevance to literary studies. Your sample needs to be submitted via email to the Director of Graduate Studies by the application deadline.
We do not require that you take the GRE general or subject test in order to apply for our program, although if you do plan to take the GRE for other applications, it's a good idea to include the score on your application form for Queens College also. There is a place for you to do this.
The deadline for applying for Fall 2013 admission is February 15, with rolling applications accepted until April 1 (March 1 for applicants educated abroad). The deadline for applying for Spring 2014 admission is November 1 (October 1 for applicants educated abroad).
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