Graduate Program: Course Blocks


The English MA Program at Sam Houston State University aims to produce students who have a good graduate-level foundation across a broad range of topics in literature, language, and writing disciplines. To that end, a student is required to take classes from five blocks, each of which comprises courses with shared topics or historical kinship.

Students following Plan I take at least one class from each of the five blocks; students following Plan II take a course in Block I and courses in at least three other blocks. See MA Degree Plans.

The student need not take the block classes in any particular order, but ideally he or she will take a Block I course within the first twelve hours, to provide a foundation in English language.

For catalogue descriptions of courses, see Graduate English Course Offerings.  

Block I (English Language Block):

English 577: Studies in Early and Middle English Literature
English 583: Studies in English Linguistics
English 589: History and Development of the English Language

Block II (a “catch-all” block of courses that do not fit into the framework of traditional literary history):

English 531: Creative Writing: Fiction
English 532: Creative Writing: Poetry
English 533: Practicum: Editing and Publishing
English 567: Practicum in Teaching College Composition
English 568: Literary Criticism and Theory
English 584: Studies in Rhetoric and Composition Theory
English 590: Studies in Technical and Professional Writing

Block III (early literature block):

English 572: Early American Literature
English 575: Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature
English 576: The Classical Tradition
English 578: Studies in Renaissance and Seventeenth-Century British Literature

Block IV (19th-century literature block):

English 579: Studies in Romantic Literature
English 580: Studies in Victorian Literature
English 585: Studies in American Literature, 1800-1860
English 586: Studies in American Literature, 1860-1920

Block V (20th-/21st-century literature block):

English 571: Studies in Modern World Literature
English 581: Studies in British Literature 1900-Present
English 587: Studies in American Literature, 1920-Present

“Wild Cards” (classes that can be distributed in different blocks, depending upon a professor’s emphasis):

English 539E: Multicultural Literature (Block IV or V)
English 569: Studies in the Novel (Block III, IV, or V)
English 574: Studies in Women’s Literature (Block IV or V)
English 588: The Study of Major Figures in American Poetry (Block IV or V)

Credit for Different Courses with the Same Number                  

Because different graduate faculty sometimes teach the same course with different emphases, different texts, and different critical approaches, a student may take certain classes a second time for new credit. Such courses include ENG 569 (Studies in the Novel), ENG 571 (Studies in Modern World Literature), and ENG 578 (Studies in Renaissance and Seventeenth-Century English Literature). Except in extraordinary circumstances, the student may not take the same class from the same professor. 

Creative writing students may take the same writing workshop (ENG 531 or ENG 532) and the publishing and editing practicum (ENG 533) two times for separate credit.  

English 697

All students take English 697, Methods of Research and Bibliography, during their first long term (or earliest available time).

Contact Information

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Kristen Mack, Secretary
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