Thesis Information

Each semester, the Master of Arts in English program will hold an informational session for students interested in completing a thesis the following semester. Typically, this meeting will occur within a week or two after fall and spring break, each semester. You are strongly encouraged to attend.

Thesis committee should be formed the semester prior to your thesis (typically final) semester.

Theses and Directed Readings

The proposal, including the completed proposal form with all signatures, should be submitted to the program director at least one month prior to the start of the thesis (typically final) semester. Please ensure that the proposal includes a list of both primary and secondary sources. There is no set number of sources, but the reading should be equivalent to a typical 3 credit hour graduate course, so you can use syllabi from your classes as a guide. It is expected that creative thesis projects will more heavily focus on primary sources than secondary ones. It is also expected that the proposed bibliography includes at least some sources that you have already read/consulted.

Create a calendar for the thesis semester that includes:

  • The committee meeting (must be completed by the third Monday of the semester) to discuss the calendar and set the defense date
  • A schedule of readings with completion deadlines
  • A schedule of writing updates that will be sent to the chair and/or the full committee
  • A schedule of when the preliminary complete draft will be complete (at least two weeks prior to the defense so that the committee has time to send feedback for the final draft)
  • The date for submission of the final draft (at least one week prior to the defense)
  • The defense date (must be at least one week prior to the end of the semester)

The exact organization of the defense is up to you and your chair. It should include a brief introduction of the project, your goals for it and reason for pursuing it, and perhaps an evaluation of whether you met those goals completely or partially. You should provide at least a 10-minute presentation of your work, which can include this introduction and reflection, a broader summary of the thesis, reading of select passages, and perhaps ideas for publication of the project, next steps, etc. Please consult with your chair to help plan this presentation. Defenses are open, so you may invite friends, family, colleagues, peers in the program, other faculty beyond your committee, your dog, your cat, your goldfish, etc. (actually, pets are discouraged, but any/all people are fine). Your defense can be in-person, via Zoom, or both. Schedule all meetings with your chair and committee.

Submit a digital copy of the FINAL thesis (with the corrections suggested by your committee at/immediately after the defense) to the library archives, including the signed cover sheet. Be sure to copy the MA program on this email. The Library University Archives Coordinator: