MA candidates can choose between two options to complete their study: the course-work option and the major research paper option. All students, regardless of the option chosen, must complete EN600, a one-term seminar in Bibliography, Research Methods, and Theory (graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory).
WLU offers students the opportunity to complete the degree in 8 months by choosing the coursework option. Students who choose the coursework option will complete 7 one-term courses and EN600.
Major Research Paper
Masterís students in English and Film Studies who choose the Major Research Paper (MRP) option are required to take EN600 (Research Methods, Theory and Professionalization), six half-credit courses, and EN695 (Major Research Paper). The Major Research Paper (EN695) is shorter than a thesis and may be based principally on secondary sources with the goal of offering a fresh perspective on the material or research question in the discipline of English and/or Film Studies. Typically, a Major Research Paper (MRP) will range between 40-50 double-spaced pages, providing a well-researched and sustained analysis in a specialized area of focus in literary or film studies. Successful completion of the MRP is worth the same value as a half-term course: .5 credit. Proposals for Major Research Papers are due December 5 each year, and are subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.
There is no oral defense associated with this MRP; the paper is supervised and graded by a single professor with expertise in the area of focus. Should the student fail to submit a passing MRP by August 1, she or he must then complete the degree through coursework.
Unlike a Directed Study (EN690), in which the student meets weekly with a professor, a MRP (EN695) relies upon student research and writing rather than individual instruction by a professor.
The deadlines and procedures for the proposal and completion of the MRP are outlined in a separate document on this site.
Directed Studies courses are subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee. They are reserved for exceptional circumstances. Proposals for Directed Studies courses for the Fall term must be received must be received by August 15; proposals for the Winter term must be received by November 15.
Duration of Program of Study
Students in the course-work stream can complete the degree in 8 months by taking all 8 courses in the Fall and Winter terms. However, students can elect to complete the degree in 12 months (i.e. 3 academic terms) by taking a total of 6 one-half credit courses in the Fall and Winter terms (plus EN 600) and then completing 1 course in the Spring term, or completing the MRP by August 1. All full-time students are normally expected to complete the degree in no more than 12 months.
For more information please contact the Graduate Officer.