English Graduate Programs
Office: 277 Fenton Hall
Ann Siegle Drege, Chairperson
Jeanette McVicker, Graduate Coordinator
Susan Spangler, Advanced Program Coordinator for English Education
The Department of English offers two registration tracks, one for students seeking professional certification to teach in New York State, and one for non-certification. Both programs provide students the opportunity to study language and literature in various cultures and media, across the field of English studies.
M.A. English 7-12: Students already holding initial certification may choose the Master of Arts in English program for professional certification to teach grades 7-12. The program emphasizes the importance of learning how to learn rather than becoming only storehouses of information. Equally important is giving potential and practicing teachers the opportunity to discover, refine, or change their own approaches to the teaching of language, literature, and literacy. As part of their program, candidates for certification take specially designated ENED courses that emphasize the linkages between content and pedagogy in addition to other coursework in English. Students will culminate their studies by selecting among several options for a required degree project, including the opportunity to write an action research thesis submit work to a professional journal or take a comprehensive examination.
M.A. English: The Department of English also offers a Master of Arts in English program that prepares students to enter the professions through a rigorous program that spans the field of English studies. Students seeking preparation at the graduate level for further academic and professional endeavors should enroll in this degree program. Students will culminate their studies by selecting among several options for a required degree project, including the opportunity to write a thesis, submit work to a professional journal or take a comprehensive examination.
The Department of English conforms to university policy that identifies April 1 for admission in the fall semester; applicants will be admitted for fall-only semester start date beginning in 2011. Applications for English graduate programs received by July 1 will be considered for fall admission; those received after that date will be considered for the following calendar year.
Scholarships and Prizes
The English department offers an atypically large number of competitive scholarships and prizes recognizing superior academic achievement. The awards provide intellectual promotion of a kind that will increase students' potential for superior placement in career fields and research institutions of their choice, while also providing financial support. The department awards outstanding writing, research, overall academic performance and excellent pedagogy. Each spring semester, an annual ceremony for all award-winning students and their families is held during the last week of classes.
Qualified graduate students may apply for membership in the international English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. Candidates for graduate membership must be enrolled in a graduate program in English, and have completed 9 semester hours of graduate work or the equivalent with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in their English course work.
Graduate Assistant Criteria, Processes, Deadlines
Applicants wishing to be considered for a teaching assistantship should be sure to check the appropriate box on the graduate application form. Openings are typically announced in mid-February, with applications due by mid-March and interviews with the department’s Graduate Committee scheduled for mid-April. When openings are available, matriculated students will be notified and invited to submit either a supplemental letter of recommendation that directly speaks to the student’s qualifications for teaching, or a personal statement that reflects a sense of the candidate's qualifications and motivations for teaching a course in English composition. The statement should include discussions of any teaching experience, knowledge of composition theory and current pedagogical methods, and other relevant preparation, as well as how teaching composition relates to the applicant's professional goals.
Before graduation, all students must complete an Application for Degree form in the Office of the Registrar. Students must have earned at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in the program in order to graduate; course grades of B- or below do not count for graduate credit toward the degree. All students will complete a portfolio as part of the coursework in ENGL 695, the program capstone course. M.A. candidates seeking professional certification are required to provide a paper documenting their required structured field experience and should enroll in ENED 601 concurrently with ENGL 695. All candidates for the degree will submit a degree project as part of their graduation requirements: thesis, action research thesis, comprehensive exam, or submission to a professional publication in the field. Details can be found below.
Graduation and Professional Certification Requirements
Before graduation, all students must complete an Application for Degree form in the Office of the Registrar. Students seeking professional certification must also fill out a Graduate Recommendation Release Form, available in the English department office, the Registrar's Office, and online at http://www.fredonia.edu/COE/teachwaivers.asp, in order for SUNY Fredonia to release academic and Social Security number information to the New York State Department of Education.
For additional certification requirements, students should see Graduate Certification Information section of the Graduate Studies chapter of the catalog.
Graduate Course Entrance Policy
- Priority will be given to students who have already been admitted to graduate study in English at Fredonia and are enrolled in one other graduate English course.
- Admission to graduate courses in English for approved, non-degree graduate students may be granted on a "space available" basis.
- All other graduate students will be admitted to graduate courses depending on their preparation, as space permits.
- With permission of the instructor, and approval of the English Chairperson and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research, qualified undergraduates may take 500-level graduate courses in accordance with the stated rules provided in the University Catalog and as space permits, with the exception of ENGL 500, 502, ENGL/ENED 690, ENGL 691, ENED 692 and ENGL 695.
Departmental Requirements for Admission to all graduate programs in English, including:
- Master of Arts in English
Master of Arts in English 7-12 (for Professional Certification)
- Completion of a baccalaureate degree in English at an accredited four-year institution.
- Candidates with a GPA of at least 3.0 in an English major will receive preference for admissions. The Graduate Committee and the chair will review applications from students without an undergraduate English degree and determine whether the student may matriculate. Additional preparation or course work at the undergraduate level may be required.
- The Statement of Intent (required for the graduate application) should be approximately two to three pages, and should detail the candidate's reasons for applying to a graduate program in English at SUNY Fredonia. It should be a substantive commentary on the applicant's qualifications as a candidate, and his/her interests in the field of study, special areas of preparation, etc.
- At least two Recommendation Letters (required for the graduate application) attesting to the candidate's breadth of preparation and quality of performance in an undergraduate English major or equivalent and, if applicable, a letter from a school administrator addressing performance as a teacher of English. Letters should be current and specific to the applicant’s application to engage in graduate-level work.
- Writing Sample: An eight-to-20 page research essay should demonstrate the applicant's interpretive, critical and writing skills. The paper must include a works cited page evidencing knowledge of proper citation format (MLA, Chicago, APA).
- Copy of initial certification to teach English in the secondary schools of New York State, or equivalent preparation (for those seeking professional certification).
Recommended preparation for graduate studies in English includes course work related to world literature(s), language and linguistics, critical and pedagogical theory, and various interdisciplinary and cultural studies.