Master of Arts (M.A.) in English
The M.A. in English is designed for students seeking continuing education, a foundation for doctoral work (Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D.), and/or a credential qualifying them to teach literature and composition courses at junior and community colleges.
Candidates for the M.A. English degree will be required to pass a comprehensive examination, given each fall and spring. M.A. students have the option of completing an original work of literary criticism as a thesis project; the M.A. thesis does not, however, take the place of the M.A. comprehensive exam. The thesis option is strongly recommended for students intending to pursue doctoral studies. For further information on degree prerequisites, admission requirements, and a list of courses, view the Graduate Course Catalog.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing
The M.F.A. in Creative Writing is a terminal degree. Many M.F.A. graduates teach at two- and four-year colleges, publish their work, or go on to professional careers in writing and editing. The M.F.A. program at Chapman fosters the growth of fiction writers and poets through workshops, techniques courses, literature courses, The John Fowles Reading Series, Tabula Poetica: Poetry Center at Chapman University, and the literary journal Calliope.
The culmination of each M.F.A. student’s work is a book-length thesis project. M.F.A. students must prepare and defend a book-length thesis of distinction in fiction or poetry to complete the degree. (With the approval of the graduate program director, a thesis may be done in creative nonfiction, stage drama, or screenplay.) The thesis project must be completed, reviewed, and accepted before a student may participate in graduation. The thesis committee must consist of at least two full-time English faculty, who must be provided with the thesis at least one month prior to the scheduled defense. A copy of the thesis project and the committee's evaluative report must be filed with the English office. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.000 "B" to meet the minimum eligibility requirements to enroll in the thesis preparation class. For further information on degree prerequisites, admission requirements, and a list of courses, view the Graduate Course Catalog.
Dual M.A./M.F.A. Degree
The dual degree combines the M.F.A. in Creative Writing and the M.A. in English. The dual degree combines the practice and study of creative writing with literary scholarship. It is designed for students who intend to pursue a career in teaching English and creative writing at the university, community college, or secondary-school level.
Dual degree students must be admitted to both degree programs, be enrolled concurrently in both programs, and complete all requirements for each degree program, including the book-length thesis for the creative writing program and the Comprehensive Examination for the English degree program. For further information on degree prerequisites, admission requirements, and a list of courses, view the Graduate Course Catalog.
Students already enrolled in either the M.A. or the M.F.A. programs who wish to switch to the dual degree program must apply and be admitted to the dual degree program before completing a maximum of 27 credits of study.