Master's Program

Like the Ph.D. program, the Master's degree program in Literature facilitates work across periods, approaches, and media. It is intended primarily for students who plan to transfer to a Ph.D. program at another institution. M.A. candidates enroll in courses alongside students from the Ph.D. program. The M.A. is granted to students upon completion of (1) eight graduate courses (the Proseminar and seven other seminars) and (2) an M.A. thesis. Requirements for the M.A. degree typically cannot be completed in one year but must be completed by the end of the student’s second year. The minimum residency requirement for the M.A. degree is three terms, two of them at UC Santa Cruz.

The department does not normally provide financial support to M.A. students, including TAships. Some departments on campus hire M.A. students from Literature, so students are encouraged to apply for TAships in other programs and departments.

M.A. students interested in applying for TAships are encouraged to enroll in the Pedagogy of Literature course (Literature 201), which is offered every fall quarter.


M.A. Coursework Requirements

A full-time course load is two or three courses at the graduate seminar level (200 course number series). It is recommended that students without teaching assignments take three courses per quarter.

The course requirements are as follows:

  1. Literature 200: The Proseminar;
  2. Literature 291F: two-unit advising course each quarter until required coursework is completed;
  3. Seven elective courses leading to the definition of an area of concentration. One may be an independent studies course (Literature 296 or 297); up to two courses may be offerings in other departments. All other courses must be from the sequence LIT 221-288.
  4. Literature 299: Thesis Research – in conjunction with the writing of a thesis.