UNIVERSITY CATALOG: 2017-2018

Program: M.A., English

Creative Writing

Program Description

The M.A. in English offers intensive training in textual and cultural study, including rhetoric, book studies and critical theory. Our graduates are versed in the study of texts of all kinds, including their social, cultural, political and technological contexts. We invite applications to this program from students who wish to engage their critical reading and writing skills with a full range of cultural texts: past, present and future.

The M.A. in English consists of three options: Literature, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric and Composition Theory. The English department offers a limited number of openings for classified graduate students who wish to be Teaching Associates (TAs). TAs enroll in ENGL 600A (for 3 units credit) and ENGL 600B (for 3 units credit) and normally teach, under guidance, one section of Approaches to University Writing per semester for a stipend. Other teaching opportunities may be available to second-year TAs. For further information concerning choice of option or career opportunities, students should see the graduate advisor. To apply for a Teaching Associateship, students should see the director of composition.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Requirements

In addition to the University requirements, the English department requires that students meet one of two conditions before being admitted into the department program:

  1. Students with a B.A. in English must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper division English courses. This GPA is determined by the cumulative GPA of all approved upper division English courses.
  2. Students with a B.A. in a subject other than English must have a minimum of 24 semester units of approved upper division English courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA in these courses. This GPA is determined by the cumulative GPA of all approved upper division English courses.

One of these two conditions must be met before a student may be admitted into the English department M.A. program in either conditionally classified or classified status. Applicants who, upon departmental evaluation, do not possess enough qualifying units or the required GPA need to take additional undergraduate upper division English courses to make up any deficits before admission into the program.

Once students have met the above requirements, they may be admitted into the program. However, there are further conditions that must be met before students can be fully admitted. Therefore, there are two types of admission: classified and conditionally classified.

B. Classified Status

A classified student has fulfilled the following three criteria:

  1. A B.A. in English or has already completed 24 upper division-approved English semester units (Upper division English GPA minimum required: 3.0).
  2. A passing score on the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE).
  3. A GPA of 3.6 or greater in upper division English and a 3.0 in his or her last 60 units or score in the 80th percentile in the verbal portion of the general test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

C. Conditionally Classified Status

A conditionally classified student has a B.A. in English or has already completed 24 upper division-approved English semester units with a minimum 3.0 GPA and needs to fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  1. A passing score on the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE).
  2. A GPA of 3.6 or higher in the first 12 units of approved English M.A. coursework.
  3. A GPA between 3.0-3.59 and the corresponding score on the verbal portion of the general test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as per the chart below:
Minimum GPA
(first 12 units)
GRE Verbal Score
3.6-4.0 Exam waived
3.5  152
3.4  153
3.3  153
3.2  154
3.1  156
3.0  157

D. Denied Students

Denied students fall into one or more of these categories:

  1. Do not have a B.A. in English.
  2. Do not have 24 upper division-approved English semester units.
  3. Do not have the required minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper division English units.

Denied students may not take any graduate level courses (500- to 600-level).

Conditionally classified students may take graduate classes as they work on fulfilling the GRE and UDWPE conditions required for classified status. However, students cannot go beyond 12 units of coursework until classified status is achieved. Note that the English department’s requirements for classification are more stringent than the University’s requirements.

The UDWPE cannot be waived, but if a student passed this test or its equivalent as an undergraduate, he or she need not take it again. The GRE requirement will be waived if, at the time of entrance into the program, a student has a 3.6 GPA in upper division English and a 3.0 in the last 60 units or if the conditionally classified student earns a GPA of 3.6 or higher in the first 12 units of approved English M.A. coursework.

E. Degree Requirements

1. Core Requirements (12 units)

ENGL 604 Seminar in Language and Linguistics (3)
ENGL 638 Seminar in Critical Approaches to Literature (3)
Two courses in Literature at the 500- or 600-level (6)

2. Creative Writing Option Requirements (21 units)

Applicants interested in the Creative Writing Option must first be admitted into the M.A. program in English and must submit a qualifying creative writing sample (Poetry: 10 complete poems; Fiction: one complete short story; Creative Nonfiction: one complete essay; Playwriting: one complete one-act play, or one act from a full-length play, or one complete performance text of at least 10 minutes) to the Creative Writing Committee during the first semester of residency.

ENGL 652 Creative Writing Studies (3)
Three courses in Creative Writing (9)
One course selected with the approval of the graduate advisor (3)
ENGL 698D Graduate Project (3)

ENGL 698D requires students in the Creative Writing Option to take an extra creative writing workshop (for a total of 33 units). The student must be concurrently enrolled in a 400-, 500- or 600-level creative writing workshop within his or her primary genre while enrolled in 698D.
Note: The department may not offer ENGL 698 every term.

F. Notes

1. In all options, students may choose, with consent of the graduate advisor, two 400-level courses in English or outside the English department that have been approved for graduate credit.

2. Students may repeat the following courses once for credit:
ENGL 512 Writing for Performance (3-3)
ENGL 608 Seminar in Narrative Writing (3-3)
ENGL 609 Seminar in Poetry Writing (3-3)
ENGL 622 Seminar on Aspects of Poetry (3-3)
ENGL 623 Seminar in Studies in Prose Fiction (3-3)

3. Students may repeat the following courses twice for credit:
ENGL 525A-Z Topics in English and Cultural Studies (3-3-3)
ENGL 620A-Z Seminar in Individual Authors (3-3-3)
ENGL 630A-M Seminar in Literary Periods (3-3-3)

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 33

Contact

Chair: Kent Baxter
Associate Chair: Kate Haake
Sierra Tower (ST) 708
(818) 677-3431
www.csun.edu/humanities/english

Graduate Coordinator: Sandra Stanley
sandra.stanley@csun.edu
(818) 677-3426

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of creative, cultural, linguistic, literary, performative and/or rhetorical theories.
  2. Conduct research and/or produce creative work appropriate to their option.
  3. Produce advanced analyses that take into account current schools of aesthetic, critical and historical methodology and are informed by disciplinary standards appropriate to their option.