Learning Goals


Learning Goals for the English MA Program at Rutgers-Newark


Learning Goal 1:   Knowledge of Literatures in English

     Possession of broad knowledge of English, American, and Anglophone literatures and their interpretation, from eras preceding 1800 to the 20th and  21st centuries, in their historical, political, and cultural contexts and diversity; knowledge specific to literary and other cultural texts, writers, movements, trends, and their attendant debates; and familiarity with issues in translation, the history of the discipline, and the role of interdisciplinarity in ‘English.’


Learning Goal 2:   Critical Theory and Close Reading

     Possession of more than passing familiarity with classic philosophy of literature and the major contemporary critical theories, including an understanding of their interrelationships, limits, and strengths; the ability to apply critical theory to texts under study with appropriateness, rigor, creativity, and critical thought; and skill in performing close readings of texts, with command of the lexicon for identifying formal elements in a range of literary genres.


 Learning Goal 3:   Research

     Familiarity with issues in biographical and textual scholarship; the ability to conduct advanced literary research, making critical use of available tools in the discipline (print, electronic, and archival) for studying an array of source materials; development of the qualities of personal discipline and attention to accuracy that academic research requires; and the ability to consolidate findings effectively in extended academic writing on significant topics that is clear, verbally precise, well-supported and well-organized, and that follows Modern Language Association standards for documentation.


 Learning Goal 4:  Public Speaking and Vocational Preparation

     The ability to present ideas orally with clarity and poise; the disposition to engage collegially in academic dialogue and collaborate in learning; the independence and judgment needed to conduct systematic study of material not covered in classes; and the development of confidence, understanding of the cultural stakes, dispositions, and skills for working in various professional fields, including teaching.


For Concentrators in Women’s and Gender Studies within the English M.A.


The Women’s and Gender Studies Program has its own learning goals and offers activities for helping students achieve them. These goals also apply to W & GS concentrators who are earning the Master’s in English.