Literature, MA American Literature Specialization

Students enrolled in the American Literature specialization pursue a course of study focusing on American literary texts and other cultural artifacts. Students will deepen their understanding of the role of narrative and literary form in shaping the experiences and articulating the philosophical, political and social questions central to American history and culture.


Course Title
Core Courses (2 units)
LIT 410-0/410-DLIntroduction to Graduate Studies in Literary and Cultural Analysis
LIT 590-0Thesis Research
Specialization Courses - American Literature (4 units)
Various Literature courses are offered throughout the year. Students should refer to the annual course schedule to determine which courses will apply to their specialization
Electives (3 units)
Three graduate-level courses in Literature. Students may take courses in the areas of American Literature, British Literature, Comparative and World Literature, Film, Literature and Visual Culture, Interdisciplinary Studies, or other areas approved by the SPS Graduate Office. *

About the Thesis

Students sign up for the final course in the program during the term in which they start their master's thesis. The capstone project for the MALit program is an essay of 45 to 60 double-spaced pages written under the supervision of an approved faculty member. The project presents an opportunity to research and explore a topic thoroughly. Students often elect to expand a seminar paper from a previous course. With the approval of the program director, students may create an interdisciplinary final project rather than a traditional thesis.