Master of Arts in English (MA)

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in English (MA, Literature OR Composition Theory) requires two steps.

1)  University Admission

Those seeking admission to the Graduate Program in English should submit completed application forms (available online at www.csumentor.edu) to the University Admissions Office. The university will require transcripts and an application fee. International students may also need a TOEFL score.

2)  Department (Program) Admission

In addition to the university process, applicants must submit writing sample of 8-12 pages directly to the department:

c/o Graduate Coordinator
M.A. Program
California State University, Fresno
Department of English
5451 North Backer Avenue M/S PB98 
Fresno, CA 93740-8001.

The sample should demonstrate the applicant’s facility at critical analysis and conducting a scholarly argument, at incorporating secondary research, and at properly citing sources according to MLA guidelines. The writing sample will be evaluated by departmental committee. If the writing sample is approved by the committee, and if other application materials warrant, the applicant will be admitted to the program on “Classified Status.” If the writing sample is not approved, applicants can enter the program under “Conditionally Classified” status but will be required to take additional classes and to submit another writing sample at the conclusion of their first semester. Approval of the second writing sample will be required in order to continue in the program. See Writing Sample Guidelines.

In general, the Department of English assumes the entering graduate student to have preparation equivalent to an undergraduate degree in English or a related field in the liberal arts. Students who have degrees in other fields, and/or who may need additional work to reach that equivalency, may be advised to take specialized courses to remedy the deficiency before being moved to “Classified Status.”

Conditionally-admitted Applicants with a B.A. in English will, in consultation with the Graduate Advisor, enroll in an appropriate upper-division English course (which may satisfy a breadth requirement) and will, at the conclusion of the course, submit a new writing sample, which will be evaluated according to the same criteria listed above.  This course will serve as a prerequisite to further graduate study and may not be used toward the total number of units needed to earn an M.A. in English.

-- Applicants without a B.A. in English will enroll in English 105 and will, at the conclusion of the course, submit a new writing sample, which will be evaluated according to the same criteria listed above. This course will serve as a prerequisite to further graduate study and may not be used toward the total number of units needed to earn an M.A. in English.

-- If this portfolio is deemed unacceptable by two English graduate faculty members, then the applicant will not be admitted to classified standing (and thus will not be permitted to pursue their M.A. in English).

Beginning with entrants in the Spring, 2008 semester, the department is no longer requiring a GRE score for admission to the program.