Cal Poly Pomona is a comprehensive university whose mission is to advance learning and knowledge by linking theory and practice and to prepare students for lifelong learning, leadership, and careers in a changing multicultural world. The English M.A. program at Cal Poly offers the opportunity for students to engage in the sustained pursuit of advanced study in the fields of literature, rhetoric and composition, and/or the Teaching of English as a Second Language. The program prepares students to pursue careers in high school and postsecondary teaching in community college and university settings, to continue on to doctoral studies, and to enter career fields requiring superior proficiency in written and oral communication, critical thinking, analysis, and research.
MA students are trained in core courses and fields that make them job-ready: our program is best known for its dual emphasis designed in the spirit of the University’s philosophy of learning by doing, for its faculty members’ accessibility and availability, and for its support of student professionalism. The program fosters public delivery of research among peers as well as faculty-student interactions in professional venues to encourage intellectual growth and academic involvement. In addition, Teaching Assistant training programs in Literature, TESL, and Composition give graduate students first-hand experience in designing and teaching their own course.
The program leading to the Master of Arts in English features a broad-based curriculum that offers three subplans/options: 1) Literature, 2) Rhetoric/Composition, and 3) TESL.
The primary objective of the Literature option is to deepen students’ understanding of literary texts through close analysis, readings in theory and culture, and an emphasis on research and teaching methodologies. The Rhetoric and Composition option includes study of the history of rhetoric, modern rhetorical theory, composition theory, and composition pedagogy. It offers training for graduate students in the teaching of writing at all levels of the educational system. The TESL option focuses on the study of second language acquisition theories and practical approaches to the teaching of English to speakers of other languages.
Click here to download the Learning Outcomes for each option.
Within a 48 to 49 quarter-unit degree requirement, students, working with their advisors, tailor their course of study to their own interests and needs. In addition to their declared option, each MA student must select a directed group of electives in Literature, Rhetoric /Composition, or TESL as a secondary area of expertise. To complete this dual emphasis program, Literature students may choose Literature, Rhetoric/Composition or TESL; Rhet/Comp students may choose Literature or TESL; TESL students may choose TESL, Literature or Rhetoric/Composition.
Students must complete 24 units of coursework in each selected area of study, for a total of 48 units. As a terminal experience, all three options require that students either take master’s degree comprehensive examinations (1 unit) or complete a master’s thesis (4 units) in order to meet the minimum 48-49 unit requirement to complete the degree. In this culminating experience, students are required to present the competencies learned in their course work in written form, and to demonstrate a high level of academic rigor.