All MA students are required to take in the Fall Term ENGL 5005: MA Seminar. This course provides students with a general overview to English Studies in order to facilitate their success at the graduate level. To that end, individual classes will address current debates and practices within both the discipline and profession of English Studies. As a proseminar, the course considers the overarching boundaries of this discipline and elucidates the professional duties carried out by the academic/student. It encourages lively discussion on pragmatic issues affecting students in their studies and their teaching assistantships. It also makes available resources, strategies, and guidance necessary for helping students see their way through and beyond the MA.
Three main categories organize the subject matter of weekly meetings: the discipline, the profession, and research methods. Under the first category, the proseminar examines the issues central to English Studies today, traces the history and current state of the discipline, and reviews the latest methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches to literature. Under the second, it assists students in navigating professional matters, for example, grading essays, crafting a proposal for grants, and understanding employment and academic opportunities available to graduates. Finally, under the third category, it points to electronic and print resources and raises strategies integral to conducting research at the graduate level.