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MA in English and Writing Studies

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Update Coming Soon for our new M.A. in English and Writing Studies!


The CSUSB Master of Arts in English Composition program offers three concentrations, in Composition, Literature, and Applied Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language. Detailed information about application, admission and degree requirements is available for each concentration in this site.

The Masters of Art in English Composition is designed for students interested in pursuing studies in the fields of composition, literature and linguistics. The concentration in English Composition focuses on writing-–how written texts work rhetorically and stylistically; how historical and social conditions affect what we write and how we construct meaning as we read; and how to teach people to write effectively. The literature concentration allows students to focus on advanced studies in literature as well as composition. The concentration in Applied Linguistics and TESL combines a focus on language analysis with applications for language teaching.

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Program Concentrations

The program is firmly grounded in theory and research, with a strong emphasis on pedagogy. The internship component gives students practical classroom experience. Students also have opportunities to tutor in the Writing Center and to work as teaching assistants. In addition to teaching, graduates may go on to Ph.D. and M.F.A. programs as well as careers involving writing, editing, and researching.

Applied Linguistics & TESL

In this concentration, students explore various areas of language use, including grammar, sociolinguistics, discourse and cognition, and cross-cultural communication; as well as speech and language disorders; theories of first and second language acquisition; and approaches to English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) instruction.  The concentration courses give students experience with using multiple analytic lenses from linguistics that can be applied in practical contexts, including advertising/marketing, technical writing, health communication, law, speech-language pathology, bilingual/multilingual studies, and classroom pedagogy—essentially any field in which expertise in language is required.

Composition & Rhetoric

This concentration focuses on writing--how written texts work rhetorically and stylistically; how historical and social conditions affect what we write; how we construct meaning as we read; and how to teach people to write effectively.


This concentration combines the study of writing with advanced study in literature. Courses introduce students to a variety of contemporary critical approaches to literature (e.g., ecocriticism, critical race studies, disability studies, and postcolonial theory) that students can use to craft research projects in the periods and genres that interest them.


This new concentration is for students interested in pursuing scholarship on teaching and learning from an interdisciplinary perspective, allowing them to consider policy and pedagogical issues within the professional arenas in which they already work or would like to enter.

Public & Professional Writing

This new concentration is for students interested in developing portfolios and careers in writing for the public sphere and other civic and professional contexts such as grant writing, technical writing, and editing work.

General Requirements for Graduate Admission

Graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants may apply for a degree objective, a credential or certificate objective. Depending on the objective, the CSU will consider an application for admission as follows:
The minimum requirements for admission to graduate and post-baccalaureate studies at a CSU campus are in accordance with university regulations as well as Title 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations.

Specifically, a student shall at the time of enrollment:

  1. Have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or shall have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities;
  2. Be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended;
  3. Have earned a grade point average of at least 3.0 on the last degree completed by the candidate or have attained a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted; and
  4. Satisfactorily met the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards for graduate study, including qualifying examinations, as appropriate campus authorities may prescribe.

Applicants whose grade point average falls between 2.50 and 2.99 will be considered for exceptional admission at the discretion of the graduate program and the Dean of Graduate Studies, following the guidelines outlined in FAM 841.3. Admission to a graduate program involves consideration of multiple criteria.

It is essential that you have a clear understanding of the admissions process.  Become familiar with all the necessary admissions requirements (university and program), tuition & fees, as well as all application deadlines. Follow all instructions carefully and give yourself plenty of time.  Plan ahead for your graduate education journey with this helpful guide:  Graduate School Planning Checklist.