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  The mission of the Master of Arts program in the department of English is to foster the growth of scholars, teachers, and writers at the early stage of their professional lives. It is also our mission to use literary study to broaden the horizons of students whose work lies beyond the traditional occupations of the English graduate. For these reasons, ours is a rigorous and broad curriculum that endeavors to create for each student the best possible circumstances for intellectual maturation and creativity. We expect all of our graduates to read and think with disciplined insight, to be grounded in literary history, to explore both traditional and non-traditional canons, and to be adept at analyzing new works and understanding various critical perspectives.

          Ours is a small, focused program that provides advanced training in language and literature in a challenging and supportive environment. Historically we have served three constituencies: students who desire intensive preparation for application to major Ph.D. programs, teachers who wish to enrich their disciplinary knowledge and hone their research and writing skills, and students for whom the M.A. in English will support and enhance careers in editing and publishing, marketing and public relations, law, advertising, library science, and writing of all kinds.

          In recent years our graduates have been accepted into Ph.D., MFA, and law programs at Rice University, Penn State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Duke University, the University of New Mexico, George Washington University, Florida State University, Rutgers University, Arizona State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Emory University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, George Mason University, and Baylor University. Graduates have also pursued a variety of careers in both the public and private sectors; indeed, career counselling is a growing component of the program.

For more information, please contact:

          Dr. Brooks Hefner 
          Director of Graduate Studies
          210 Keezell Hall, MSC 1801
          921 Madison Drive
          Harrisonburg, VA 22807
          Office: 540-568-3759


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