Master of Arts in Letters

M.A. in Letters Program is designed for those with a passion for literature and an interest in translating that passion into new professional opportunities. M.A. in Literature students develop research and presentation skills related to traditional and non-traditional literary works from antiquity to contemporary times. The program introduces students to the tools of the profession—from academic reading, writing and publishing to conference participation

Students of the Master of Arts in Letters program will find that the program offers a large scope of studies enabling them to explore the world of literature and literary studies in an engaging environment, with an added opportunity to work with the best literary experts in the country. Students can also expect to gain a broader knowledge of the literatures of the world, literary criticism, and literary studies. Furthermore, while the program is generally research-based, the curriculum still gives students an opportunity to explore and gain valuable skills in creative writing, at times, even allowing students who show an exceptional talent in writing to produce a thesis in creative writing.

The Master of Arts in Letters is a 42 units program designed to provide a broadly inclusive program of advanced studies in literature, with a particular focus on national and world literatures, literary theory and criticism, and research and creative writing. This equips students with training and scholarly backgrounds for further studies in the field.

The program curriculum is divided into two parts, generally comprising two years of study. In the first part, the program offers course work which covers the most influential and important literatures of the world, such as Spanish Literature, Asian Literature and American Literature, and the equally important Philippine Literature, and research training, providing students the necessary knowledge and tools to undertake the second part of the program. In the second part of the program, students hone their skills in writing as they immerse themselves in creative writing and in research leading up to their thesis.

In the Master of Arts in Letters program, students can gain a broad knowledge of literary scholarship and theory, while also studying the latest approaches to literature, greatly improve their critical thinking and writing skills, and prepare them for further studies in the field of Literature and beyond.

Careers with a Master of Art in Letters degree equips you with a wide range of transferable skills that will prepare the students for many rewarding careers.

  • Advertising copywriter
  • Creative director
  • Digital copywriter
  • Editorial assistant
  • Journalist
  • Web content manager
  • Literature professor

 However, Master’s degree in Letters will also enable the students to gain skills that would be highly relevant in other, more unexpected roles. These include:

  • Concept artist
  • Information officer
  • Marketing executive
  • Public relations officer
  • Social media manager
  • Teacher (Basic Education)

There are three models in the teaching of literature:

(1) The Cultural Model which view literature as a teacher-centered and source of facts where teacher delegates knowledge and information to students,

(2) The Language Model which allows teacher to employ strategies used in language teaching to deconstruct literary texts in order to serve specific linguistic goals, and

 (3) The Personal Growth Model where the focus is on a particular use of language in a text and in a specific cultural context.

These models have been incorporated in various approaches in the teaching of literature. There are six approaches in the teaching of literature. They are the (1) Language-Based Approach, (2) Paraphrastic Approach, (3) Information-Based Approach, (4) Personal-Response Approach, (5) Moral-Philosophical Approach, and (6) Stylistic Approach. Carter, R. and Long (1991)

A.      English Proficiency Test

An essay exam requiring approximately 500 words is given to all prospective enrolees to test their capability in handling the English language. A short oral interview in English is conducted  by the department chair after the written exam. The exams are administered by the department on a per request basis with one of its core graduate faculty members as the written examiner.

B.      Selection of Thesis Adviser

The students are given the freedom to choose their thesis adviser on a first come first served basis. The proponent should select his/her adviser as early as the proposal writing stage. The Thesis I Professor should be the one to initiate the selection of thesis adviser at the onset of the course.

The students must note that the adviser should:

  • Be the person they are comfortable working with; and
  • Has expertise and competency on the thesis topic.

The selected faculty may decline as adviser for some justifiable reasons. Advisers are required to actively participate during the proposal up to the writing stage. They should allocate time for consultation of their advisees

A pool of advisers is created by the Department Chair/Program Head. They are core faculty members of the Graduate Program who are willing and able to participate in the exercise.

C.      Grading the Thesis

A thesis is graded under the following criteria:

  1. It must add new knowledge to the academic field and must therefore show originality of thought and must showcase new insight.
  2. The scope must be sufficiently broad and deep and must show a profound understanding of the research area and of other researches done in the field.
  3. It must show ability to construct arguments supported by appropriate evidence and examples which are sourced from the most respected and pertinent books, articles and other reliable sources.

Learners must complete a total of 36 units or  

Core subjects – 12 units

Specialization – 12 units

Elective – 6 units         

Comprehensive Exam – Passed

Thesis – 6 units

CMO 21 s. 2017


1Abad, DiegoCandidate for Ph.D in Literature
2Da Silva, MarkoMA in Philosophy /Ph.D Philosophy (on-going)
3Gonzales EmmanuelDoctor of Arts in Language and Literature
4Pulido, DennisPh.D. in Applied Linguistics
5Remoto , DantonCandidate for Ph.D in English Studies major in Creative Writing
6Thomas, MaryPh.D. in Humanities and Social Sciences
7Tinio, Maria Teresa Trinidad Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Literature
8.Valeza, ArielEdD. Educational Management/MA Letters

IAS BLDG, 3rd Floor

Office Hours: M-F, 8:00AM-5:00PM

TEL – 8849-4000 loc 237 and 242

Institute of Arts and Sciences

LAP Hall, Ground Floor, ARFA Building

LAP Hall, Ground Floor, ARFA Building

Office Hours: M-F, 8:00AM-5:00PM

Tel (02) 8849-4122; (02) 8849-4000 loc 224/225

Fax (02) 8849-4122


Dr. Rowena C. Reyes

Dean, Institute of Arts and Sciences

Mr. Mark Salvador Ysla

Associate Dean, Institute of Arts and Sciences

Dr. John Anthony Yason

Associate Dean, Institute of Arts and Sciences

  • Nicanor Reyes Street, Sampaloc, Manila
  • Tel No: +63 (2)-87777-338 (trunkline)

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