Degree, Minors and Certificates Offered
Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences
College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature
*S. Shankar, PhD (Chair)—postcolonial literature and theory, South Asian literatures, translation and translation studies
Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in English, MA in English, PhD in English
The Academic Program
The Department of English encourages students to develop their critical reading, writing, and creative skills through study of a variety of literatures in English, composition and rhetoric, and creative writing. The department recognizes the unique diversity of cultures in Hawai‘i and employs a variety of approaches, including multicultural and Asia Pacific perspectives, to address this uniqueness. Students work directly with faculty in relatively small classes. The department participates actively in UH Manoa’s Honors Program and its Study Abroad Semester and offers professional internships for interested students in the senior year.
The goals of the undergraduate English program are: (a) to offer a comprehensive range of courses in literary and cultural studies, composition, rhetoric, and creative writing; (b) to develop students’ critical thinking and reading skills; and (c) to develop students’ interests and abilities in rhetoric and writing across a variety of genres. Many of our courses recognize Hawai‘i’s geographical and cultural location in the Pacific.
The graduate program enriches students’ knowledge of literature, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, and cultural studies. MA students are asked to take approximately half of their course work in a specific concentration so that they begin to develop an area of expertise while broadening their understanding of other areas of study. The MA thesis or final project at the end of the program gives them the opportunity to do extended research and writing on a topic of their own choosing.
The doctoral program prepares students to become professionals in the field. Required courses are not its focus; rather, it offers students considerable latitude in course selection and requires disciplined, independent work on examinations and the dissertation. Candidates completing the program should have the skills and experience to function as critics, scholars, and writers in an area associated with the profession of English.
The Department of English offers the BA degree with informal emphases in American, British, and Pacific literatures; composition and rhetoric; and creative writing.
One FW and one ENG 270–273 course are prerequisites for upper-division English courses. Majors must complete 33 credit hours of upper division courses, as follows:
Breadth of Field: the five 300-level courses in addition to ENG 320 must come from at least two different categories:
Historical Breadth: of the nine courses in addition to Introduction to English Studies, one must be pre-1700, one 1700-1900, and one after 1900.
Only courses in which a student receives a C or better may be counted toward the major.
For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.
Non-English Department Course
With the consent of the student’s advisor or the director of the undergraduate program, one appropriate three-credit upper division course from outside English may be counted as a major elective.
Advising is mandatory for majors; new majors will be assigned an advisor when they meet with the director of the undergraduate programs for their required orientation session. Schedule a session on www.english.hawaii.edu.
English offers a fifteen-credit minor for students who wish to emphasize a specific aspect of English studies without completing the actual major. Beyond the two required courses, the minor may focus on literary studies, creative writing, cultural studies, or rhetoric and composition.
One FW and one ENG 270–273 course are prerequisites for upper-division English courses. All UH Manoa courses applied to the English minor will come from the Department of English or cross-listed courses. Appropriate upper division transfer credits may apply toward the minor.
The minor consists of:
No more than one upper division English large enrollment course may be counted toward the minor. Only courses in which a student receives a C or better may be counted toward the minor.
The department offers the MA in English with four concentrations: literary studies in English, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, and cultural studies in Asia/Pacific. It offers the PhD in these and other areas, for the doctoral program is sufficiently flexible to allow students to develop individualized courses of study. Students applying for the MA are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in English or a closely related field. PhD applicants normally will have completed the MA in English. All applicants must submit an application, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, GRE General Test scores, a comprehensive statement of professional goals and objectives, and a critical writing sample. Also, applicants interested in the creative writing concentration must also submit a creative writing sample. Application deadlines are December 1 for the PhD program and January 1 for the MA program. Complete information on the application process is provided on the department’s website.
Courses for the MA and PhD are to be selected from the list of English (ENG) courses, although advanced courses in other disciplines may be substituted with the prior approval of the graduate director.
Graduates of the MA program in English have taught in secondary schools, community colleges, and universities. Some have pursued doctoral work; others have combined their work in English with another professional field (e.g., business, law, library studies). Still others have found employment in writing, editing, or research-related fields.
Plan A (Thesis) Requirements
Plan A is applicable only to students admitted to the Creative Writing concentration. Students complete 33 credits:
Students must also achieve intermediate level knowledge of one foreign language.
Plan B (Non-thesis) Requirements
Plan B is applicable to students in the Literary Studies in English, Composition and Rhetoric, and Cultural Studies in Asia/Pacific concentrations. All Plan B students complete 33 credits–30 credits of course work and 3 credits of work on the MA final project. One course must have substantial Hawai‘i/Asia/Pacific content. All students must also achieve intermediate level knowledge of one foreign language.
Concentration-specific program requirement sheets are available on the English Department website.
Since the PhD program offers diverse courses and the opportunity to specialize in a range of different areas, graduates may pursue careers from among several professions, including teaching, research, and writing.
PhD candidates must fulfill the residency requirement and are required to take seven graduate-level courses in the Department of English; two courses, normally at the 400 level or above, in a field outside of English but related to the student's research interests; one course with substantial content in Asia/Pacific at the graduate or 400- level, in or out of the English department, while in residence at UH Manoa. They must pass three area examinations and a comprehensive examination and demonstrate competence in two languages other than English (one of which, if appropriate to the candidate’s research, may be a computer language) or in one language at an advanced level of proficiency. Candidates will be required to complete an original scholarly or creative dissertation representing a substantial contribution to the discipline of English, suitable for publication, and a final oral examination on the dissertation.
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