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University Communications

April 1, 2010

La Salle University Offering New Master’s Degree in English
Both for Educators and for Those Interested
in Cultural and Literary Studies

Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith

Beginning this fall, La Salle University will be offering its new M.A. in English program, with two tracks: one for middle and secondary school teachers and one in Cultural and Literary Studies. Classes will be offered at the University’s main campus in Northwest Philadelphia or at its Bucks County Center in Newtown, Pa.

“We’re fulfilling a need we see in the Philadelphia area,” said Stephen Smith, Assistant Chair of La Salle’s English Department. “This is a program distinct from what many other area colleges offer.  This is not a Master’s in Education, nor a traditional M.A. in English. It features a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of literature.”

 “The track for educators lets middle- and secondary-school teachers develop strengths they have or develop new areas of expertise as teachers,” said Smith. He added this degree will help middle- and high-school teachers meet the continuing education requirements mandated by Pennsylvania’s Act 48.

Students in either track must take five core courses: a proseminar (a course that examines the comparative and contrastive relationships between critical and pedagogical theory) and four reading courses: American literature and culture, British literature and culture, readings in western world literature in translations, and readings in non-western literatures and cultures in translations.

“Both tracks employ inter-disciplinary approaches to subjects,” said Smith. He added that students in the Literary and Cultural studies track can choose to take one graduate course in a subject other than English, such as history or professional communication. In addition to the core courses, students in the education track must take one course in graduate education.

Elective courses that students in both tracks can take include composition and rhetoric, creative writing, linguistics and language studies, media and technical studies, cultural studies, Philadelphia and regional studies, and drama and theatre practicum.
Students in the Cultural and Literary Studies track can opt to write a master’s thesis or take a comprehensive exam. Students in the educators track must design a capstone project in conjunction with their advisors.

This fall, the proseminar and a course on 20th and 21st Century American Fiction will be offered at La Salle’s main campus. A course on 20th and 21st Century British and Irish Drama will be offered at the Bucks County Center. For more information, call the La Salle English Department at 215-951-1145; the University’s Graduate and Adult Enrollment Office at 215-951-1100; or e-mail: or; or visit, and click on graduate programs and then click on English.