“We bring our MA students the benefits of a closely-knit group of learners and teachers along with the intellectual reach achievable through our emphasis on advanced and independent research. Our program has been shaped to challenge each carefully selected candidate throughout each stage of an intensive year of study in order to prepare for the widest possible range of career options afterward.” – Professor Tim Conley, Graduate Program Director
1. Research and teaching at Brock: Text / Community / Discourse
Our MA focuses critical attention on the material and theoretical negotiations that attend the production, performance, and reception of texts. Problems acquire richer significance when viewed in relation to how texts are produced and used in the often conflicting discourses that constitute the culture of a community. Specialist courses designed for the MA reflect ways in which faculty actively research the intersections of texts, communities, and discourses in a wide range of areas.
2. A rich environment for personal and professional growth
At Brock, MA courses are designed specifically for the talented students we select for graduate-level studies; they are never blended, as in some other programs, with senior undergraduate seminars. And because the MA is our only graduate program, faculty attention is not preoccupied with doctoral students: we are privileged to concentrate on our MA candidates.
We give our graduate students the freedom to engage in major independent research projects of their own design, while close faculty supervision ensures that those projects are completed as professionally as possible. Together, each MA class collaborates to organize a colloquium during which they can share their work-in-progress with the university community.
All MA candidates have the opportunity to work as Teaching Assistants in the Department’s first-year courses, where they develop a variety of professional skills while facilitating seminar discussions and assessing undergraduate work. Some students have the added opportunity of working as Research Assistants on faculty-driven projects. The teaching and research components of our program complement one another with a combination of experiences intended to prepare our MAs for success within academia and beyond.
Our department is noted for a supportive culture which helps to shape the MA experience at Brock. We are lucky to have about two full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members for every MA student we admit. That ratio provides our students with far more dedicated mentoring from experts than faculty in bigger programs can afford.
3. Opportunities opened by the degree
Preparing the next generation of scholars is a responsibility we take seriously – but we are well aware that an academic career is not the only reason to pursue graduate studies. With this in mind, we educate our students in professional skills that are valued in jobs both on campus and off. We believe that maintaining a demanding and rigorous intellectual and professional environment gives all students who complete our program the best graduate experience possible, with the widest range of options when they finish.
Roughly half of our graduates go on to PhD programs, but we take great care to ensure that our students understand that doctoral studies are not the only option for graduates with a strong Master of Arts. The skills and credentials developed in the program can be taken into a variety of fields, and our graduates have proceeded to work in law, advertising, higher education, communications, and journalism.