Learning Opportunities at Signum’s Graduate School

Master of Arts in Language and Literature

Students who wish to earn their Master of Arts in Language and Literature must successfully complete a total of 36 credit hours at Signum University’s Graduate School. We offer a flexible timeframe to complete these requirements: the expected time to graduation is between two and eight years.  During this timeframe, you are welcome to complete coursework at a pace that best suits you and your individual circumstances; quarter time work would take eight years.

To receive an M.A. in Language and Literature, you must complete:

  • 3 credit hours of LITZ 5302 “Foundations in Critical Reading and Research”*
  • 6 credit hours of language (two courses)
  • 6 credit hours of literature (two courses)
  • 12 credit hours of language and/or literature courses in combination
  • 9 credit hours of thesis preparation, development, revision, and presentation (after completing the above requirements)**

*Note: Effective for students admitted Fall 2022 and after, this course is required and must be taken within the first two calendar years of the M.A. program. Students admitted before Fall 2022 are encouraged but not required to take this course.

**Note: Students who have completed 21 credits before August 15, 2022 may optionally complete a thesis on a two-semester plan. Details here.

Upon successfully completing the required courses and presenting a thesis project, you will be awarded their M.A. in Language and Literature.

M.A. students may choose to specialize in one of four concentrations:

  • Tolkien Studies, which focuses on the life, creative writings, and academic studies of J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Imaginative Literature, which includes fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, popular culture and other imaginative stories from myths and legends and pre-Tolkienian fantasy tales to modern sagas with sprawling worlds and technology-filled accounts of future and far-off societies
  • Germanic Philology, which emphasizes the relationship between language and literature, and it explores the development of English language and literature from the earliest stories, such as Beowulf, through Chaucer’s work and beyond
  • Classic Literature, which focuses on Classical (Greek and Latin) languages and literature, Middle English, Medieval literature, the Renaissance and the Early Modern period (including Shakespeare).

Waivers and adjustments to academic requirements can be formally requested. Students are advised to discuss their concerns with their Signum Advisor for guidance in these matters.

Credit Transfer Policy

The Graduate School is happy to work with students to accept transfer credits from previous studies at higher education institutions, especially those that are equivalent or similar to courses within the M.A. program, pending approval from the Director of the Graduate School of Language and Literature. However, the number of transfer credits may not exceed at any time one half of the number of credits required for the M.A. degree. Credits taken at other institutions may only be applied toward the M.A. degree at Signum if those credits have not already been used toward the completion of another degree at another university. If a student has extraneous credits that did not apply to previously awarded degrees, they could possibly transfer with the approval of the Director of the Graduate School of Language and Literature. If all of a student’s credits were used to satisfy the degrees they have already been awarded, they will not be transferable.

Signum courses may, in turn, be transferred for credit to other institutions, but keep in mind that the awarding of any such credits is solely determined by the receiving institution. Signum has no control over the credit-transfer policies or practices of other institutions.

Graduate Diploma Option

Signum University understands that there are many people who enjoy learning what they love, but who do not necessarily want or need a graduate degree. For those people, we have created a program that allows them to take our graduate-level courses to earn credit towards a graduate diploma.

The courses and course requirements for the graduate diploma are exactly the same as those taken for M.A. credit. The only difference is that for a diploma you will take only five credit classes (15 credit hours) and are not required to complete a thesis (though you may choose to complete an optional capstone project).

Auditing Options

Students who wish to audit Signum classes for personal interest have three options.

  1. As a Premiere auditor, you may participate in live lectures during the first run of a new course; you also have access to recorded lectures, class materials, and a discussion forum.
  2. As a Discussion auditor, you receive full access to current courses, including the ability to attend weekly live discussion sessions led by a Preceptor.
  3. As an Anytime Auditor, you learn at your own pace with access to recorded lectures, class materials, and a discussion forum.

Updated July 2022

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