In addition to successful completion of coursework and examinations, the Master of Arts degree requires an M.A. Research Project (either an M.A. Essay or a Pedagogy Portfolio) that allows students to expand their expertise in literary/cultural studies or in teaching language, literature and culture. By the ninth week of spring term of the first year of coursework, students identify a faculty member to direct the M.A. Research Project. A form submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies must include the project title and the signature of the faculty member willing to direct the project. This faculty member will oversee the development of the essay or portfolio and will evaluate the final project.
The M.A. Research Project must be between 6000 and 9000 words. In consultation with the Research Project director, the student will decide whether to write the project in a Romance Language or in English.
M.A. Research Projects are approved by the director and are referred to the student’s M.A. exam committee (see below) for remediation if the work is found to be deficient or in need of revision. The director submits a final copy of the approved Essay or Portfolio to the department office by the last day of classes in spring term of the second year.
M.A. Essay in literary/cultural studies
This essay allows students to widen their knowledge in a specific area of a Romance language, literature and/or culture. In addition, the essay permits students to focus in greater depth on writing formal academic prose, presenting an interpretation, constructing an argument, documenting sources and references, and honing persuasive strategies. At the end of the first year of study, the student chooses one of the seminar papers which he or she submitted during the first three terms of coursework. During the summer term immediately following, the student will expand and polish this paper.
M.A. Pedagogy Portfolio in teaching language, literature and culture
This project allows students to explore in depth specific issues of teaching language, literature and/or culture. The contents of this Portfolio are designed in consultation with the director and serve to demonstrate the student’s professional expertise. The Portfolio may include documents such as the following: a coherent collection of teaching materials supported by a theoretical rationale; a description, personal assessment, and third-party evaluation of an internship experience (e.g., Participatory Learning Experience at UO [PLE]); a formal “philosophy of teaching” statement; documentation of participation in a professional conference (e.g. Confederation in Oregon for Language Teaching [COFLT]); other components as recommended by the director.
N.B . Students who plan to apply for the Ph.D. program in Romance Languages at the University of Oregon must complete an M.A. Essay in literary/cultural studies.