English - Master of Arts

New Mexico State University offers MA programs in four areas of emphasis; each one requires 36 hours of graduate-level work.

Emphasis: Creative Writing

Students electing this emphasis: 

  • complete 36 hours of graduate-level course work including creative writing and literature;
  • submit a creative writing portfolio (totaling 20-50 pages), depending on genre choices, that includes original creative work in more than one genre and either an essay describing the writer's personal poetics or a critical piece of writing relevant to the portfolio; and
  • pass an oral examination.
Prefix Title Credits
Required Coursework 1
Workshop courses in at least two genres12
Graduate form and technique courses6
Graduate literature courses in the Department of English9
Elective courses6
In the final term, take one of the following:
ENGL 574Workshop: Advanced Writing Prose3
ENGL 575Workshop: Advanced Writing Poetry3
ENGL 576Workshop: Advanced Writing Playwriting3
ENGL 591Graduate Screenwriting3
Total Credits45

Emphasis: English Studies for Teachers

Students take 36 hours of graduate coursework, including core courses in creative writing, film, literature and rhetoric and professional communication, as well as additional courses in an area of specialization approved by an advisor. Students in the program develop individualized plans of study in consultation with an advisor. They conclude their program by developing a master’s portfolio or other approved capstone project and passing an oral examination. This portfolio may provide material for public schools' Professional Development Dossier. With advisor approval, students may take up to two related courses (six credit hours) in other departments, such as Communication Studies, Education, Journalism, and Theatre, and may also develop an alternative capstone experience and enroll for appropriate credits (such as independent study).

Prefix Title Credits
Required Coursework
Core class in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication3
Core class in Creative Writing3
Core class in Literature3
Core class in Film3
Courses in core area of specialization18-21
Courses typically meeting capstone requirement:3-6
Workshop: Advanced Technical and Professional Writing3
Or Portfolio
Total Credits33-39

Emphasis: Literature

Students electing this emphasis can choose to work in various areas of literature, criticism and film. Students are required to

  • complete 36 hours of coursework while satisfying area requirements (in early and modern literatures, in British and American Literatures, and in critical theory) with advisor-approved courses;
  • demonstrate competency in a foreign language;
  • deliver a public presentation on their research;
  • write a master essay or thesis; and
  • complete their program by passing an oral examination.

See advisor for list of courses satisfying theory and distribution requirements.

Prefix Title Credits
Required Coursework 1
Graduate course in critical theory3
Literature courses, including "early" and "late" periods, English and American18
Elective courses in English Department9-12
Master's Thesis or Master Essay
ENGL 599Master's Thesis 23-6
or ENGL 598 Master's Essay
Total Credits33-39

Emphasis: Rhetoric and Professional Communication

Students electing this emphasis take core courses across a wide range of topics within rhetoric and professional communication and choose from one of four areas of specialization:

  • Composition,
  • Critical/Cultural Studies,
  • Rhetoric and
  • Professional and Technical Communication.

Students conclude their program by writing a thesis, composing a portfolio of work completed in the program, or writing a master essay and by passing an oral examination. Students develop individualized plans of study in consultation with an advisor.

Prefix Title Credits
Required Coursework
Methods Course
Select one from the following:3
Graduate Study in Empirical Research3
Qualitative Research3
Quantitative Research3
Rhetorical Criticism and Methodology3
Digital Research Methods3
Elective Courses
Select one from the following:
Advisor-approved electives in English and/or related fields
Internship in Technical and Professional Communication3-6
Capstone Course
Select one from the following: 23-6
Advanced Writing Workshop: RPC Capstone3
Master's Essay3
Master's Thesis 16
Core Courses
Select two core courses from area of specialization.6
Select two core courses from any of the other three core areas:6
Core Composition Courses
History and Theory of Composition Studies3
Graduate Study in Approaches to Composition 33
Composition Pedagogy and Practicum 33
Critical Writing Studies3
Core Critical/Cultural Studies Courses
Graduate Study in Critical Theory3
Rhetoric and Cultural Studies3
Critical Writing Studies3
Core Professional and Technical Communication Courses
Graduate Study in Writing in the Workplace3
Multimedia Theory and Production3
Technical-Professional Communication: Theory and Pedagogy3
Core Rhetoric Courses
History of Rhetoric3
Graduate Study in Modern Rhetorical Theory3
Rhetoric and Cultural Studies3
Specialized Courses
Select four additional courses in area of specialization determined in consultation with an advisor. 412
Composition Courses
Graduate Study in Writing3
Graduate Study in Literacy3
Topics in Writing Program Administration3
Critical/Cultural Studies Courses
Graduate Study in Writing3
Graduate Study in Literacy3
Graduate Study in Rhetoric of Scientific Literature3
Master's Seminar in Rhetoric3
Professional and Technical Communication Courses
Document Design3
Multimedia Theory and Production3
Graduate Study in Writing3
Interdisciplinary, Client-Based Project Practicum3
Intercultural Rhetoric and Professional Communication3
Workshop: Advanced Technical and Professional Writing3
Topics in Rhetoric and Technology3
Rhetoric Courses
Graduate Study in Writing3
Graduate Study in Rhetoric of Scientific Literature3
Master's Seminar in Rhetoric3
Total Credits30-33