Graduate Handbook - Master's Program

The M.A. degree at UWM involves course work, a master's project and an oral exam. All degree requirements must be completed within five years of initial enrollment. The project must be completed and the exam taken within one year after completing 30 credits.

Course Work

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits of course work as listed below for the individual plans. A maximum of 27 credits earned at the Master's level are counted towards the 54 credit (i.e. 54 credits beyond the B.A.) requirement for the Ph.D. See the 'Doctoral Program Course Work' section in this Handbook for more information. Refer also to the Student and Faculty Handbook published by the Graduate School.

Plan A: Literature and Cultural Theory

A minimum of 30 credits, including:

  • 9 credits in literature courses (at least 3 credits pre-1800)
  • 3 credits in 800-level seminar in literature or cultural theory
  • 6 credits in cultural theory
  • 3 credits English 720 (Modern Literary Theory)
  • 3 credits elective

All credits must be 600-level or above, with no more than 6 credits at 600-level. (English 701 must be counted as an elective.)

Note: Students who have entered the Plan A program on or before fall 2012 may choose to follow the previous set of degree requirements, which are different from those listed above. Please visit the Plan A Degree Requirements page.

Plan B: Rhetoric and Composition

A minimum of 30 credits, including one course in each of the following areas:

  • Teaching Seminar (English 701)
  • Rhetoric (English 750, 751, or 753)
  • Composition Theory (English 755)
  • Issues in Rhetoric and Composition Pedagogy (English 812, 850, 853, 854, or 856)
  • 12 credits electives

One course is strongly recommended in each of the following areas:

  • Computers and Pedagogy (an English Dept. course at the 700 level)
  • Research Methods

Note: Students who take these courses and plan to apply to the Ph.D. program are advised to take 6 credits in literature or language.

Plan C: Creative Writing

  • 6 credits in 600- or 700-level literature, theory or media courses (at least 3 credits at 700-level.)
  • 6 credits in either 715/815 or 716/816
  • 6 credits in writing courses at 600- or 700-level
  • 6 credits electives

Note: No more than 12 credits may be earned in 600-level courses.

Note: When selecting their literature courses and electives, students intending to continue on to the doctoral program should be aware that the doctoral degree requires 30 credits of literature at the 700- or 800-level (excluding 715 and 716).

Plan G: Professional Writing

  • 6 credits in 700-level professional writing courses or 6 credits from the following courses if taken for graduate credit: English 435, 436, 437, or 439*
  • 3 credits in a 700-level research methods course or equivalent (such as usability testing or information science)
  • 3 credits 800-level seminar in professional writing
  • 6 credits taken for graduate credit in related interdisciplinary areas, such as linguistics, rhetoric, creative writing, translation, psychology, and computer science
  • 3 credits in English 449 or another approved internship program for students with little workplace experience or a 700-level research methods course for students with substantial workplace experience
  • 3 credits electives

* English 435 (Advanced Professional and Technical Writing), English 436 (Writing for Information Technology), English 437 (Document Planning and Evaluation), and English 439 (Document Design).

Plan H: Media, Cinema and Digital Studies

  • 3 credits in English 742
  • 3 credits in a 700-level digital culture class
  • 3 credits from 743, 744 or 745
  • 6 credits from 709, 714, 715, 720, 737, 740, 741, 743 or 775
  • 9 credits electives at graduate level