From many sectors has come a call for increased emphasis on the humanities. In Cultivating Humanity (Harvard 1997), Martha Nussbaum speaks of the study of literature as essential to full human development, insisting that “people who have never learned to use reason and imagination to enter a broader world of cultures, groups, and ideas are impoverished personally and politically.” More recently, the president of my alma mater, Joel Seligman, wrote to alumni: “Our students will be better prepared for careers in any field and more thoughtful as citizens if they, for example, have had the chance…to see the intricacy of human experience as only the arts and literature can illuminate” (Rochester Review, Summer 2006). Both writers draw attention to the ways in which literary study provides intellectual, personal, and professional enrichment. To the achievement of these ends, the Master’s Program in English immerses students in rewarding scholarly conversations about books conducted within a diverse learning community.
Some students come to the program straight from their undergraduate work, while others have been out of school for many years. Several students have used the M.A. as preparation for the Ph.D.; other students have pursued advanced coursework to re-experience the delights of reading, discussing, and writing about literature in a challenging but supportive environment. Many of our students engage in graduate study to enhance their expertise and credentials as K-12 language arts professionals.
On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students in our program, I welcome your interest in the University of St. Thomas Master of Arts in English program. Whatever the next step in your life and career path, I hope you will join us.
Dr. Catherine Craft-Fairchild
Graduate Program Director