College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

EFL Graduate Programs: About Us

The English M.A. program at Cal Poly Pomona offers the opportunity for students to engage in advanced study in the fields of literature, rhetoric & composition, and/or the Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). The program prepares students to pursue careers in high school and postsecondary teaching in community college and university settings, to continue on to doctoral studies, and to enter career fields requiring superior proficiency in written and oral communication, critical thinking, analysis, and research.

Students work with an advisor to tailor their course of study to their own interests and needs. Students declare one field as a primary research field and then select a group of directed electives as a secondary area of expertise in a 48-49 quarter-unit program. This "dual-emphasis" program gives our students a diverse and integrated knowledge set that make them professionally competitive. Literature students may choose to take their directed electives in literature, rhetoric & composition or TESL; rhetoric & composition students may choose to take their directed electives in literature or TESL; and TESL students may choose to take their directed electives in TESL, literature or rhetoric & composition.

1. Why should I choose Cal Poly Pomona's M.A. in English?

Cal Poly Pomona's M.A. program is distinct for its dual-emphasis program, which allows a great deal of flexibility to accommodate students' varied experiences and aspirations. With 24 units dedicated to each "option," or field, students customize their degree. In addition, EFL participates in the University's "Learn by Doing" directive, which helps connect our students to the professional world. Students are given opportunities to do professional research, model the professoinal conference, and teach in the classroom.

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2. What is an "Option"?

Cal Poly Pomona’s unique dual-emphasis program refers to three different “Options”—or fields—within the English department: Literature, Rhetoric/Composition, and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). For more information on each option, click on the links to the left. Students declare one field as a primary research field and then select a group of directed electives as a secondary area of expertise. Literature students may choose to take their directed electives in literature, rhetoric & composition or TESL; rhetoric & composition students may choose to take their directed electives in literature or TESL; and TESL students may choose to take their directed electives in TESL, literature or rhetoric & composition. 

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3. Can I work and go to school at the same time? 

Absolutely. Most of our students are gainfully employed throughout their education, either full-time or part-time. 

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4. What if I don’t have an undergraduate degree in English? 

We also offer a chance for new beginnings for our students by admitting students into the program conditionally. Students whose undergraduate English major GPA is below 3.0, or those who do not have an undergraduate degree in their prospective field—Literature, Rhetoric & Composition, TESL—may take coursework to prepare them for their graduate education and professional development. Prerequisites are only for conditionally-admitted students, and are determined on an individual basis depending on prior experience. The following chart lists those courses typically expected of incoming graduate students:

Literature

Rhetoric & Composition

TESL

B.A. in English

B.A. in Rhetoric/English

B.A. in Linguistics/English

Or

Or

Or

ENG 300-level literature course

ENG 350: Literary Theory

ENG 400-level literature course 

Or equivalents

ENG 313: Language, Literacy, & Cultural Practices

ENG 355: Intro to Rhetorical Theory

Or equivalents

ENG 320: Structure of Language

ENG 321: Grammar

ENG 323: Language Acquisition

Or equivalents

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5. How long does it take to finish the program? 

The M.A. program is typically a 2-year program for full-time students. The time it takes to complete the degree depends on the individual. Factors that can extend the time it takes to complete your degree include commitments outside the University and conditional admission status. 

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6. What kind of careers will I be eligible for with an M.A. in English? 

The program prepares students to pursue careers in high school and postsecondary teaching in community college and university settings, working in fields of publishing/editing, and continue on to doctoral studies. Most importantly, students are prepared to enter career fields that require superior proficiency in written and oral communication, critical thinking, analysis, and research.

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