Academics

Opportunities

Teacher Licensure

Students in the English MA Program can obtain initial licensure in teaching middle school or secondary school English. Students seeking initial licensure earn their MA in English while also taking additional courses and completing the supervised teaching practicum through the university's Graduate College of Education. An "English education" faculty advisor assists all English MA students undergoing teacher licensure with licensure requirements and course selection.

Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships

Students seeking admission to our English MA Program may also apply for graduate assistantships, which take the form of either teaching assistantships or research assistantships. See our English MA "Teaching and Research Assistantship" Sheet for a description of the assistantship program. Graduate assistantships are awarded and administered by the English MA Program, not by Graduate Admissions. Interested applicants must fill out a short 1st-Year Graduate Assistantship Application, available here and on our "Handbooks and Forms" page, and submit it directly to the English MA Program. Assistantships allow students to enter into our carefully-sequenced, experience-based, coursework-supported teacher and researcher training programs; students work in small cohorts under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Assistantships also offer support in the form of tuition and partial fee remission and a small stipend.

Assistantships are awarded after a student's application to the English MA Program has been reviewed and the student has been accepted into the program. As a result, applicants will hear of graduate assistantship support after hearing of acceptance into our Program. We offer funding to as many students as possible, but can offer only a limited number of assistantships to qualified applicants.

Rare Books Courses and Exhibitions

Each year, through a special partnership with the Boston Public Library, we offer courses that engage in rare books and manuscripts study. The courses are taught in the Boston Public Library Rare Books Room, allowing students to engage in hands-on work with priceless treasures and to put cutting-edge theories about the "history of the book" into practice. These courses have resulted in annual rare books exhibition, curated by our English MA students. See our News and Events page for exhibition posters. These exhibitions have included:

  • Crooks, Rogues, and Maids less than Virtuous: Books in the Streets of 18th-century London (2006-2007)
  • All the World's a Page: 400 Years of Shakespeare in Print (2008)
  • Sermons, Slavery, & Scandal in Early Boston: Printed Works 1660- 1830 (2009)
  • The Public Life of Poetry: Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow, and Their Contemporaries (2010)
  • From Pen to Print: The Handwriting Behind the Book (2011)
  • The Imaginative Worlds of Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, and the Early Novel (2012)

Final Exercises and Theses

Each year students complete final projects on a broad range of exciting topics. Students share their research at our annual "English MA Graduate Student Conference." Recent final projects have included:

  • Unique Criseyde: An Analysis of Ethics, Agency, and Moral Teachings in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
  • Love, Genius, and the Factory: The Muse of Ellen Johnston, "The Factory Girl" Poet
  • Queer Hysteria: Nella Larsen and the Fictive Virtue of Her Own Reason
  • Forging a Hero: The Value of Labor in Seamus Heaney's Poetry
  • Literary Dystopias: A Curriculum Unit
  • Mediation and the Implications for Social Meaning-Making and Pedagogy in the Emergent Technology of Weblogs
  • Modern Kurdish Poetry and Farhad Shakely's "String," a translation "Building Heaven," a novel
  • The Shape of Silence (Or Toward a Poetry for the Working Class): a collection of poetry
  • Nature and the Constant Seeds of Change: Lucretian Physics and Heideggerian Metaphysics in Spenser's Mutabilitie Cantos
  • Uploading Shakespeare: The Exploration of Wikispaces in the Study of Romeo and Juliet

Study Abroad

Our English MA Program is offering a new series of summer study abroad courses. In summer 2011, students travelled to London for a "Literary London" course.  In Summer 2012, a course on "Irish Literature, Theatre, and Culture"  featured study in Ireland. See the course listing here.  Our Program aims to offer courses that meet students' interests; these courses were developed with the help of student brainstorming at our "Monthly Get Together" gatherings.  Semester-long study abroad is arranged through our Office of Global Programs.

Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies Courses

UMass Boston is a member institution of the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies housed at M.I.T. here. The consortium brings together students from nine Boston-area graduate schools, allowing for interdisciplinary study in Women's Studies. Our English MA students can take Consortium courses for full credit as part of their MA degree.