The M.A. Program

Close student-faculty contact is a hallmark of this program which offers two equally rigorous and equally valued plans for completion of the Master’s degree: the Thesis Option and the Capstone Option. Both require ten courses (30 credits) and allow students to earn the degree within a 4-semester, two-year schedule. Almost all students in the program have full-time status and successfully complete their work in 4 semesters.

Since many of our classes are held in the afternoon and early evening, it is possible for some students to work full-time while in the program. We require students to be enrolled in at least two and no more than three courses per semester. All graduate classes are seminars with an enrollment maximum of 18.

This path consists of eight elective courses (24 credits), a thesis research seminar to be taken in the fall of the second year (3 credits), and a directed study with the thesis advisor in the spring of the second year (3 credits). Students opting to write a thesis will adhere to a strict schedule of deadlines for submitting drafts of the thesis to their thesis advisor and eventually to a second reader; these two faculty members will comprise the student’s thesis defense committee. Students will submit a complete draft of the thesis to their defense committee by spring break of their second year, in preparation for a required 2-hour oral thesis defense to be completed no later than the last Friday in March. Students will then submit a finished version of their approved thesis by the relevant deadlines to the Program and to the Graduate School for the timely completion of their degree.

For more information about researching, writing, and submitting a thesis, please click here.

Students choosing the capstone project will take a capstone seminar in the fall of their second year that will provide them with the opportunity to develop an independent piece of work, one based on but not identical to a collection of projects from previous coursework, which can act as a ratification of the defining element of their academic or professional work in the program. The hope for students producing capstone projects is that, with the help of a faculty advisor, identified by the end of their first year in the program, and the capstone seminar instructor, they will be able to demonstrate a meaningful representation of the specific professional, intellectual or creative expertise acquired in the process of earning the Master’s degree in English at Georgetown. The work begun in the fall capstone seminar will continue as a 3-credit independent study under the supervision of a faculty advisor in the spring.

For more information, as well as examples of past Capstone projects, please click here.

We invite you to take a look at our faculty directorymeet our current graduate students, and learn about some of the professional development opportunities typically available to students.