The Independent Study (ENG 500) fulfills elective credit in both master's programs. This option allows students to undertake intensive and advanced study of a topic, which culminates in a major research paper or project. The Independent Study should not be used to fill requirements in the MA programs except in special circumstances to be approved by the Program Directors. Instead, students should pursue an Independent Study to focus more intensively on an idea or a skill previously developed in their regular coursework. Some recent MA in English Independent Study topics include women and courtly love in medieval English romances, psychoanalytic theory, and gender and power in selected Shakespeare plays.
An Independent Study may also serve as a gateway to the writing of an MA Thesis: as preparation for taking Thesis Research (ENG 501) students may generate, in consultation with a faculty advisor, an extensive annotated bibliography and prospectus for a thesis. Students interested in undertaking an Independent Study must first discuss their plans with their MA Program Director and with the prospective supervising professor, under whose general areas of expertise the intended topic falls. Approval of an Independent Study requires completion of a short proposal detailing the scope and objectives of proposed research and describing the written work that the study will produce.
View additional information on applying for an Independent Study.