Department of English


THE DEGREE PROGRAM: Rutgers University offers a 30-credit general Master’s Degree in English on the Newark campus, an urban yet intimate and leafy environment near downtown easily accessible by public transportation. Our students take six electives in addition to four required courses:  Introduction to Graduate Literary Study, two in pre-1800 literatures, and one in American literature. Those choosing to concentrate in Women’s and Gender Studies take two interdisciplinary core courses in feminist theory and methods and two designated literature electives in the English Program. (Women in Medieval Literature, Jane Austen, Autobiography and Gender, and Race, Gender, and the Holocaust are three such recent offerings by our strong women’s studies faculty.)

COURSE OFFERINGS:  We mount a variety of 18-20 courses a year in the literatures of the Americas, Britain, and the English-speaking world, as well as literature in translation, including transnational Muslim fiction; postcolonial, feminist, marxist, narrative, and other critical theories;  rhetoric and the teaching of writing; editing and publishing; and film studies. Creative writing and literature courses are frequently offered in Summer Session. Generic course descriptions, can be found in the Rutgers–Newark Graduate School Catalogue <>. At Pre-Registration time (early November for the upcoming Spring term, February for Summer, early April for Fall), professors’ detailed descriptions are available on  our web site and in paper form (along with other Program materials) in a rack outside the English Department office in Hill Hall 504.

Degree students may arrange with a professor for Independent Study or a course of  Advanced Readings tailored to their interests, or choose to do a two-semester Master’s Thesis although this is not required for the degree  Seminars are small (8-15), allowing for personal attention from professors and lively exchange. Three classes constitute full-time status; given their busy lives and jobs, most students are part-time, registering for one or two courses per term.  Each class is held once a week, 5:30 to 8:10, Monday through Thursday, allowing people to attend school after work. Occasionally we schedule a Saturday class.

 WHO WE ARE:  Even though most students are part-time and commuters, we form a surprisingly close-knit community of 19 graduate English faculty, with other colleagues who support our work in various ways, and 50-60 students, diverse in age, ethnicities, and nationalities, nearly all in the degree program. Our faculty are distinguished research scholars and writers who publish regularly, receive national recognition for their work, and love to teach. Two of our Full Professors hold University Chairs; other colleagues both teach and provide administrative direction for other campus units–the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, African American Studies, the American Studies M.A. and Ph.D Programs, and the Institute for Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience. Dr. Jack Lynch, our eighteenth-century specialist, manages a guide to literature web sites <>.

Courses such as fiction writing and film are sometimes taught by faculty from the Metropolitan area. A distinct advantage of studying here is the prospect of being helped along with recommendation letters, introductions, and publication advice from well-connected professionals.