College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

The Cal Poly Pomona M.A. in English

Meaning of the M.A. in English

The English M.A. program at CPP offers the opportunity for students to engage in the sustained pursuit of advanced study in the fields of literature, rhetoric & composition, and/or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The program prepares students to pursue teaching careers in the high school, community college, and university setting; to continue on to doctoral studies; and to enter career fields requiring superior proficiency in written and oral communication, critical thinking, analysis, and research.

M.A. coursework prepares students for the professional world, and CPP’s program is distinctive in this regard in that it affords students the opportunity to take a “dual emphasis,” majoring in two distinct fields. The program fosters public delivery of research among peers as well as faculty-student interactions in professional venues to encourage intellectual growth and academic involvement. In addition, Teaching Associate training programs in literature, composition, and multilingual composition give students first-hand experience in designing and teaching their own course.

The primary objective of the Literature option is to deepen students’ understanding of literary texts through close analysis, readings in theory and culture, and an emphasis on research and teaching methodologies. The Rhetoric & Composition option includes study of the history of rhetoric, modern rhetorical theory, digital rhetoric, composition theory, and composition pedagogy. It offers training for graduate students in the teaching of writing at all levels of the educational system. The TESOL option focuses on the study of second language acquisition theories and practical approaches to the teaching of English to speakers of other languages.

In addition to their declared option, each M.A. student selects a group of directed electives in one of the other two fields. Students complete five to seven courses (15-21 units of coursework) in their primary option, two courses (6 units) in their directed electives or secondary area of study, in addition to taking two supplementary courses (6 units) to diversify their training. All three options require that students take the Professionalizing Symposium (3 units), in addition to a Culminating Experience course in which students demonstrate the competencies learned in their coursework.

Student Learning Outcomes for the M.A.

The Master of Arts in English Program (MA) offers intensive education in three areas. In accordance with the University's motto of learning by doing, students are trained in core courses and fields that make them job-ready as they graduate with state-of-the-art skills and knowledge.

Upon graduation, students in the Master's Program will demonstrate measurable competencies in the following areas:

  1. Familiarity with the basic theories, knowledge areas, and analytical tools of the field
  2. Ability to read and understand unfamiliar articles on current research, theories, and analyses in their field
  3. Ability to conduct and present high-quality research/analysis appropriate to their discipline
  4. Ability to apply theories and discipline-specific skills to teaching, editing, or other professional areas

Specifically, the learning objectives for each of the options are as follows:

Candidates in the Literature option will demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of the major historical and literary periods/genres, and their representative authors and works, in British, American, or World literature
  2. Ability to analyze literature showing clear engagement with primary texts and in-depth textual analysis
  3. Ability to find, comprehend, and apply appropriate theoretical, historical, and cultural scholarship to literary texts
  4. Ability to write a thesis-driven academic argument using a professional level of clear and persuasive prose

Candidates in the Rhetoric & Composition option will demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of the Field: Knowledge of the key theorists/practitioners, concepts, and terms in all three areas: History of Rhetoric; Modern Rhetorical Theory; and Pedagogy
  2. Application of Theory: Ability to apply rhetorical methodologies, principles, and research to salient concerns/problems in all three areas: History of Rhetoric; Modern Rhetorical Theory; and Pedagogy
  3. Development of Ideas: Ability to develop a detailed, resourceful line of reasoning in response to a question at issue
  4. Academic Style: A readable, compelling, professional prose style
  5. Pedagogical Insight: Ability to teach/adapt the body of knowledge and skills listed above to a variety of audiences, in particular fellow teachers and college students
  6. Research: Ability to conduct and present high-quality research/analysis in rhetoric and composition

Candidates in the TESOL option will demonstrate:

  1. Familiarity with the theories, knowledge areas, and analytical tools of second language acquisition, grammar, pronunciation, TESOL composition, and TESOL pedagogy
  2. Ability to critically analyze and synthesize articles on current research, theories, and analyses in SLA, grammar, pronunciation, TESOL composition, and TESOL pedagogy
  3. Ability to conduct and present high-quality data-based research/analysis in second language acquisition, grammar, pronunciation, and TESOL composition
  4. Ability to apply theories of SLA, grammar, pronunciation, and TESOL composition in the classroom (e.g., teaching, materials design)
  5. Ability to write papers reporting research, synthesizing theories/analyses, summarizing or reviewing books or articles using appropriate style

Other Accreditation Documents

Curriculum Map (PDF)

MQID (PDF)