Capstone Options

Beginning with the 2022-23 Catalog Year, the Joint MA program is introducing changes to our program capstone. Note that current students who enrolled in earlier Catalog Years are also free to migrate to the new Catalog Year, or they can follow through with the previous capstone requirements by completing either a thesis or a zero-credit ePortfolio.

Students can choose between three capstone options:

  • A traditional 6-credit thesis overseen by a thesis director, with 2 additional readers (one from each institution)
  • A tutorial-style 3-credit course focusing on developing a polished portfolio of work.
  • A 3-credit independent study focusing on major expansion and revision of a seminar paper or related project into an article suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Below you can read more about these options in detail

ENGL 701: Thesis (6 credits)

A student enrolled in the Joint M.A. Program in English may elect to fulfill six hours of the 30- hour degree requirement by writing a Master’s Thesis (English 701).  The thesis is a long research paper, usually of about 50 or more pages, that successfully pursues a topic in literature or another relevant branch of English Studies.  The thesis must be orally defended after the written document has been acceptably completed. Students completing a thesis should consult the University of Charleston’s Thesis Guidelines.

The thesis is undertaken in the second half of the total course of study.  Normally, the six credit hours for the thesis will be spread out over two consecutive semesters.  Moreover, no student may take more than nine hours in any combination of English 698: Tutorial (3 hours), 699: Independent Study (3 hours), 701: Thesis (6 hours), 702:  Internship (1-3 hours), ENGL 709: ePortfolio Tutorial, and ENGL 710: Revising for Academic Publication. You can read more about the thesis process here.

ENGL 709: ePortfolio Tutorial (3 credits)

A tutorial-style 3-credit individual-enrollment course in which students develop a web-based portfolio of three key artifacts adapted from previous coursework, and frame their work with a reflective introductory essay. This course will be graded on a pass-fail basis. Prerequisite:  ENGL 511; at least 18 credit hours of coursework completed in the English MA. This course is offered during any semester or summer term in which it is needed. You can read more about the ePortfolio Tutorial here

ENGL 710: Revising for Academic Publication (3 credits)

3-credit individual-enrollment course in which students work with a faculty advisor of their choosing to revise and expand upon previously completed coursework, with the goal of transforming a seminar paper into a substantial article suitable for submission to a relevant peer-reviewed academic journal. This course will be graded on a pass-fail basis.


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