Graduate Work in English

The English MA program

Many of our majors have been inquiring about graduate work in English. CSI offers a thirty-four-credit Master of Arts degree in English with concentrations in Literature and Rhetoric.

The English MA program offers students opportunities for advancing their personal and professional goals within a vibrant learning community. We offer classes in literature, rhetoric, college teaching, and linguistics that emphasize active learning through engaged inquiry, research-based writing, and oral presentations. We welcome students who wish to enlarge their knowledge of literature, improve their critical thinking and writing, and gain an understanding of teaching theory and methods for the college English classroom. Because our students come to us with different writing priorities and professional interests, we support them in pursuit of a diverse set of goals--whether to broaden their understanding of literature, teach in local high schools, attend an MFA or PhD program, or enter the workforce in a humanities or writing-based career.

Our MA program offers several opportunities for intellectual and professional development. All students take a Methods of Graduate Study course and work closely with a mentor on an MA thesis project. Eligible students can cultivate their teaching skills as adjuncts in CSI’s Writing Program.

For undergraduate English Majors who completed the Education sequence and primary certification, our program provides professional certification as required by New York State. For those students who wish to teach in the public schools but did not complete primary certification as undergraduates, the MSED is required for certification to teach in NY State.

Our MA Program also hires students to teach sections of ENG 111 and 151 at CSI. MA students who complete coursework in the teaching of writing (ENG 686, ENG 630) are eligible to apply to adjunct for the Writing Program. MA Writing Program Instructors (MAWPs) are part of a year-long training program run by our Writing Program Administrator, Dr. Mary Boland.

On average, the program has between thirty-five to forty-five students most taking one or two courses per semester while working full-time. Our courses are capped at 20, which creates a more individualized learning experience. The application requirements may be found on CSI’s website here:

Professor Rosanne Carlo, who advises MA students and coordinates the MA Program in English, will be happy to talk with you about graduate studies. You can contact Professor Carlo by emailing her:

English Department FAQ for Graduate Students

What graduate degrees are offered by the Department of English?
The department offers a Master of English degree in two areas of concentration: Literature and Rhetoric.

What are the admissions requirements?
Fast-Track Admissions Program:

  • CSI English Majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are guaranteed admission to our Masters of Arts (MA) in English. You will receive a letter informing you of your Fast-Track invitation. 
  • Note:Fast-Track students only need to fill out the general application to the English, Master of Arts program and to pay the application fee
  • Fast-Track students do NOT need to include recommendation letters, a writing sample, or a letter of intent with their application. 

You must provide the following in order to be considered for admission:

  • Application and application fee.
  • Transcripts from any post-secondary school attended. (If you attended the College of Staten Island, you do not need to provide a transcript.)
  • A personal statement of at 500 words, which explains your preparation for the program and your reasons for seeking an advanced degree.
  • A 10-page analytical essay, which demonstrates your ability to analyze primary and secondary texts. You may also submit 2-3 essays in order to meet the required 10 pages.
  • Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited institution
  • At least 32 credits of undergraduate courses in English (excluding freshman composition)
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) or a grade point average of 3.0 (B) in English courses
  • Two letters of recommendation from English professors.
  • A personal statement of intent (500-700 words) describing the academic experiences that have brought you to this moment in which you have chosen to pursue graduate study in English and your reasons for pursing the degree.
  • A minimum of 8-10 pages of academic writing in English courses with verified authorship. You may submit one paper or several to reach the required total of 8-10 pages.

The Graduate Record Examination is not required for admission.

Students may be admitted conditionally with the approval of the coordinator of the English MA program; their admission will be reviewed after completion of two courses. Prospective applicants with questions concerning the application requirements are encouraged to email the coordinator of the program.