The curriculum builds on a foundational year of interdisciplinary study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, followed by three years of more specialized study in English. Students take a combination of 8 required English courses and 12 English elective courses. A mandatory practicum elective course is taken in the second year. Students must also take two pre-20th century elective courses to ensure disciplinary breadth. The core goals of the program are to graduate students who:
- have mastered the ability to critically analyze oral, written, and other forms of texts;
- will appreciate the complexities in various academic interpretations, and will be able to think critically about the normative assumptions governing both particular interpretations and interpretation in general;
- are capable of developing probing research questions, conducting effective research, and persuasively communicating the results of their inquiry in a variety of oral and written modes;
- possess a superior set of “career-ready” research, analytical, and oral and written skills, and know how to apply them to professional situations as well as to graduate study opportunities;
- demonstrate discipline-specific knowledge, including an integrated understanding of the aesthetic, intellectual, and social foundations of literature and culture in a range of genres and media and cultural literacy through a familiarity with the richness and complexity of their literary and cultural heritage; and
- act as responsible academic and community citizens, both locally and globally.
Semesters One and Two: The first year is a Common Arts Platform which is shared with the BA programs in Criminology, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, Sociology, and Language, Literatures, and Cultures. Students gain a broad, interdisciplinary base of knowledge, skills, and methodologies. They also establish the basis for study in the English discipline in two required courses in fictional and non-fictional narratives. Students also acquire skills and knowledge in two Faculty of Arts foundational courses, Academic Writing and Research, and Critical Thinking, and choose additional electives from a broad range of areas.
Semesters Three through Six: In second year, students take their final foundational Common Arts Platform skills course, Research Design and Qualitative Methods, alongside a more specialized Advanced Research Methods course in English. Students also select an English practicum course. In the third year, students take a course in Literary and Cultural Theory. Students select their pre-20th century English courses and fulfill additional elective requirements, including Liberal Studies electives.
Semesters Seven and Eight: In their final year of study, students satisfy any remaining elective requirements and take the required capstone seminar. Electives may include an independent research paper or an advanced practicum course. These capstone courses are designed to develop depth in the disciplines and sharpen students’ professional competencies.