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Department of English

English M.A. Degree-Progress Checklist

The following checklist of major events and deadlines will help you keep on pace to complete the UMD English Master's program in two years.

 

According to this schedule, the Master's candidate should take, on average, 7 or 8 credits per semester, taking care to fulfill the requirements both of the particular emphasis as well as the program generally.

 

Further, satisfactory progress requires the completion of the credits taken. A student should have no more than two incompletes at any time.

 

Finally, students need to maintain the minimum Program GPA of 3.0.

 

In the checklist, the parenthetical, seasonal timetable is based on a first-time enrollment in the fall. Optional and suggested tasks appear in italics.

 

Semester One | Semester Two | Semester Three | Semester Four

 

Semester One (Fall: First Year)

Take the Gateway Course to the Program

Enroll and participate fully in the Graduate Seminar: ENGL 8906 "Introduction to Critical Theory"

 

Get Your Feet on the Ground

Talk to people, go to presentations, read, write, go to movies with your colleagues, read more, get out and enjoy Duluth's beautiful and dramatic landscapes. See Words from our Graduates for advice from people who've been there.

 

Decide on an Emphasis

Based on your background, interests, future intentions, first-semester experiences, and advice received, decide on a program emphasis.

 

Ask a Faculty Member to Be Your Adviser

By default as an entering student, your adviser is the Director of Graduate Studies.

 

As soon as you can, however, you should email the Director of Graduate Studies to change your adviser to a faculty member of your choice. If you change your mind later, you can select a different adviser simply by emailing the DGS again.

 

Usually, your adviser will later serve as your Exam Committee Chair, though not necessarily.

 

Register for Next Semester's Classes (Spring)

Use your decision about a Program Emphasis to decide on your classes for next semester, to begin conceiving of topics for Plan B Projects, and to consider the possible composition of your Exam Committee. Also consider the ultimate purpose of the classes you choose, which will be to prepare you for writing the Comprehensive Exam in your particular emphasis. See

 

If for some reason you aren't registering for any classes next semester, be sure to sign up for one hour of GRAD 999 to retain your place in the MA Program.

 

(Note that failure to register for any hours of credit between admission and graduate will result in escalating late fees and, ultimately, the necessity to reapply to the program with one guarantee of acceptance)

 

Semester Two (Spring: First Year)

Select an Exam Committee and Invite the Members

During the second half of the semester, consult with your advisor to select exam committee members and ask them if they are willing to serve and will be available at the time of your examination. One member (usually your advisor) will serve as your Exam Committee Chair, who will guide you through the process and help to arrange the exam.

 

Be certain that your "outside" committee member understands his or her role. If your program emphasis requires a "Related Field" portion of the exam, the outside committee member will be responsible for working with you on developing a reading list, writing questions for the Written Portion of the Comprehensive Exam, and conducting the related-field section of the Oral Portion of the Exam.

 

Inform the English MA Program of Your Committee Choices

Also print out the English's Internal English MA Exam Committee Form and have all your committee members sign it. Make five copies of the signed form and give a copy to each committee member, keep one copy yourself, and submit the original to the Director of Graduate Studies.

 

If you make changes to the composition of your committee, be sure to complete a new form according to the same process.

 

On both these forms, you will designate one committee member to be your Committee Chair. Usually the Chair is also the person who is your program Adviser. Your Chair may also--but not necessarily--be the Committee Member with whom you develop the "Primary Text" section of your written exams. See more about the sections of the written exam for each emphasis:

 

 

The English M.A. program requires three committee members from English/Writing Studies and one external examiner--from the related field or minor if you have one. If you have an internal related-field committee member (e.g., Linguistics), that individual may not also serve as Chair or committee member for the major field.

 

Consider Applying for a Summer Plan B Fellowship

The Summer Plan-B Fellowships provide funding to one or more English MA students to enable them to dedicate themselves to the completion of one Plan-B paper over the summer before their final year in the program. The deadline comes in the eighth week of classes each spring (usually, in March). See the page Summer Plan B Fellowships for details.

 

File the Graduate Degree Plan Form

By the end of this semester, submit your Graduate Degree Plan to the DGS. Also give a copy to your adviser and keep a copy for yourself.

 

You are required to submit this form when you have completed 10 semester credits of course work; for most students, this occurs at the end of the second term of enrollment. Failure to file or have the program approved will result in the student's being prevented from registering for classes the following term.

 

See this sample of the Graduate Degree Form.

 

The first step in filing the program is compiling a list of courses already taken and of the courses you intend to take to complete your program. Confer with your adviser on this list. If you take other courses instead, file an updated Graduate Degree Plan.

 

Inform the UMD Graduate School of Your Committee Choices

Complete the UMD Graduate School's online form Assign/Update Examining Committee. Note that your Graduate Degree Plan must be submitted and processed before the system will allow you to enter names via this form.

 

Decide on a Topic for Your First Plan B Project

Typically, a Plan B Project emerges from a class paper or other project--especially when that project points forward to broader interests and future intentions. You will likely work on the Plan B over the summer (or holiday) break and during the first few weeks of next semester (Semester Three).

 

Sign and Submit an Agreement to Work on the First Plan B

By the end of the semester,

  1. seek the agreement of an appropriate professor to supervise your Plan B (this may be the professor for whom the original paper was written), and then
  2. print out a copy of the Contract Form for English 5591 (or Writing Studies 5591, depending on the affiliation of the professor),
  3. work with your Plan B supervisor/adviser to complete the form and obtain the appropriate signatures,
  4. make two copies of the completed form: one for you, one for your Plan B adviser, and submit the original to the Director of Graduate Studies.

 

Register for Next Semester's Classes, Including Your First Plan B

Along with your scheduled classes (averaging 7-8 credit hours), register for the one hour of ENGL 5591 or WRIT 5591 (Plan B Credit) to accommodate your work on the Plan B over the break and during the next semester.

 

Regardless of when you actually work on the Plan B (last semester, this semester, next semester), you need to sign up for one hour for each of your two Plan B's sometime during your MA-student career. Choose the ENGL or WRIT course designator depending on the department affiliation of the faculty member with whom you're working.

 

If for some reason you aren't registering for any classes next semester, be sure to sign up for one hour of GRAD 999 to retain your place in the MA Program.

 

(Note that failure to register for any hours of credit between admission and graduate will result in escalating late fees and, ultimately, the necessity to reapply to the program with one guarantee of acceptance)

 

Semester Three (Fall: Second Year)

Develop Reading Lists for the Comprehensive Exam

During this semester, work with each of your Exam Committee Members to develop reading lists for your Comprehensive Exam next semester. You should have the lists complete in time to spend the break between Semesters Three and Four--either the summer or Christmas break--studying the texts on your reading lists.

 

Submit First Plan B Project

By the end of the fifth week, complete your first Plan B Project. Hand in the original copy to the English Office and submit a copy of the title page to the Director of Graduate Studies and your advisor. Check with your advisor and Plan B supervisor to see if they would like a copy of the Plan B.

 

Sign and Submit an Agreement to Work on the Second Plan B

  1. seek the agreement of an appropriate professor to supervise your Plan B (this may be the professor for whom the original paper was written), and then
  2. print out a copy of the Contract Form for English 5591 (or Writing Studies 5591, depending on the affiliation of the professor),
  3. work with your Plan B supervisor/adviser to complete the form and obtain the appropriate signatures,
  4. make two copies of the completed form: one for you, one for your Plan B adviser, and submit the original to the Director of Graduate Studies.

 

Register for Next Semester's Classes, Including Your Second Plan B

Along with your scheduled classes (averaging 7-8 credit hours), register for one hour of ENGL 5591 or WRIT 5591 (Plan B Credit) to accommodate your work on the Plan B.

 

Regardless of when you actually work on the Plan B (last semester, this semester, next semester), you need to sign up for one hour for each of our two Plan B's sometime during your MA-student career. Choose the ENGL or WRIT course designator depending on the department affiliation of the faculty member with whom you're working.

 

If for some reason you aren't registering for any classes next semester, be sure to sign up for one hour of GRAD 999 to retain your place in the MA Program.

 

(Note that failure to register for any hours of credit between admission and graduate will result in escalating late fees and, ultimately, the necessity to reapply to the program with one guarantee of acceptance)

 

 

Semester Four (Spring: Second Year) - Your Final Semester

Be Sure You Have Submitted Your Graduate Degree Plan

Early in this semester--if you haven't already--submit your Graduate Degree Plan Form to the DGS. Also give a copy to your adviser and keep a copy for yourself.

 

If you previously submitted this form and have since made changes to your program--for instance, taken different courses from those you listed as future classes--complete a revised Graduate Degree Plan and submit it now. Be sure to check the box at the top indicating that the form is a revision.

 

Inform the English Program and UMD's Grad School of Who's on Your Committee (if You Haven't Already)

If you haven't done so kpreviously, submit the names of your committee members:

 

Email or Meet with the DGS to Make Sure Your Grad File is Up to Date and Ready For You to Arrange Your Exams This Semester

Email or meet with the English MA Program's Director of Graduate Studies to make sure your file is complete and ready for you to arrange your Comprehensive Exams later this semester. By the end of your final semester, your file should contain the following.

 

All of these forms are available via the English MA Program's Forms Page:

 

 

Send Your "Master Reading List Document" to Your Entire Committee and to the DGS

By the beginning of this semester, create a Word file that includes all the reading lists for your exam. This Master Reading List is described in detail in "The Master Reading List" section of the Exams page.

 

In the first week of the semester, this Master Reading List Document containing final versions of all reading lists should be sent to each committee member as an email attachment, as well as to the Director of Graduate Studies. In addition, some committee members may request a hard copy.

 

Submit Second Plan B Project

By the fifth week, complete and submit your Second Plan B Project. Please note that you will not be able to schedule your Comprehensive Exam until this project is officially turned into the English Office and a copy of the title page submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies.

 

Schedule the Oral and Written Portions of the Comprehensive Exam

Early in the semester, work with your Exam Committee Chair to schedule dates for the two-day Written and the Oral Portions of your exam. (Remember that you must have both your Plan B Projects turned in before scheduling your exams.)

 

It works best to arrange the scheduling of the Oral Portion first--though it happens after the Written Portion--because the Oral requires bringing five people into the same room at the same time.

 

Once the Oral is scheduled for sometime in Week Thirteen or Fourteen, your Committee Chair can count back four working days to determine the date you should conclude the two-day Written Portion (which must happen between Monday of Week Twelve and Thursday of Week Thirteen).

 

Download the "Graduate Packet" from the UMD Graduate Program's Web Site

Before February 14, download the "Graduate Packet" from the UMD Graduate School web site. This online packet includes the "Applicaiton for Degree" form (see deadlines and directions below)

 

Valentine's Day is an arbitrary deadline, but there is no reason to wait beyond mid-February if you intend to graduate this semester. (Students who entered the program in spring and are graduating in fall should use Halloween as a deadline.)

 

Submit the Commencement Attendance Questionaire

By March 1, submit a copy of the Commencement Attendance Questionaire whether you are attending graduation or not. The form can be filled out in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Submit the form in person at 431 Darland Hall, or by mail at the address on the form.

 

*** Submit the Online "Application for Degree" Form and "Commencement Attendance Questionaire" in order to graduate this term ***

By March 1, the Graduate School asks that you turn in both an "Application for Degree" Form and a "Commencement Attendance Questionaire" for spring graduation. The Graduate Packet includes directions for submitting the forms online.

 

The "Application for Degree" Form form specifies May 1 as an absolute submission deadline to graduate at the end of the spring term. For students who entered the program in spring, this absolute deadline for a fall graduation is December 1.

 

Despite this discrepancy between "soft" and "hard" deadlines, the Graduate School asks that degree candidates honor the March 1 deadline to ensure time for processing and possible corrections.

 

For details on commencement, see the UMD Graduate School's "Graduate Program Commencement" page.

 

Write Your Exams

Write your Comprehensive Exams during two consecutive days between the Monday of the twelfth week through Thursday of the thirteenth week. (Note that Spring Break does not count as a week.) All written portions of the exam must be completed no later than Friday of the thirteenth week. Your Exam Committee Chair will collect the questions from your committee and schedule an office where you will take the exam. You may consult a copy of your reading lists during the written portion of the MA Exam.

 

Meet with your Exam Committee for the Oral Portion of Exam

Four working days after the conclusion of your the written portion (during week thirteen or fourteen), meet with your Exam Committee for the Oral Portion of the Comprehensive Exam (90 minutes). You will work with your Committee Chair to make all arrangements for the Oral Portion of the Exam.

 

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Last modified on 04/16/14 08:04 AM
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