2014-2015 Catalog

English M.A.

Admission Requirements

  1. A completed application form accompanied by a fifty-dollar nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records.
  3. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in 24 credit hours of upper-level courses in English language and literature.
  4. An official report of scores on the Graduate Record Examination.
  5. Three letters of recommendation, with at least two from English professors.
  6. A plan of study approved by the advisor and appropriate dean.

Course Requirements

THIRTY CREDIT HOURS OF COURSES in literature at the graduate level

Note: For students electing the Thesis Plan, ENGL 592 is included in the 30-credit-hour total.

Total Credit Hours: 30

Course Requirements for M.A. in English—with Concentration in Creative Writing

EIGHTEEN CREDIT HOURS OF COURSES at the graduate level. (Twelve of the 18 credit hours must be in graduate-level literature courses.)

ENGL 581Workshop in Creative Writing


As needed.
ENGL 592Master's Thesis


As needed.

ENGL 581 is taken for three semesters for a total of 9 hours.

Total Credit Hours: 30

Examination Plan

Under the examination plan (optional for M.A. in English) and upon completion of at least 24 credit hours of graduate course work, students take a written examination prepared and administered by the Department of English. The examination is based on reading lists in two of the following four categories: (1) British literature before 1800, (2) British literature since 1800, (3) American literature, and (4) theory or genre. Prior to the examination, students, in consultation with faculty, will prepare reading lists for the two categories selected. The departmental graduate committee must approve the reading lists and will appoint faculty committees to conduct examinations. Guidelines for preparing reading lists are available from the departmental graduate advisor.

Thesis Plan

Under the thesis plan (optional for M.A. in English; required for M.A. in English with concentration in creative writing), students take ENGL 592: Master’s Thesis in their final semester of study toward the M.A. degree, during which time they complete research for and write a master’s thesis on a subject of their choice that has been approved by the departmental graduate committee. Students may also, as an option in a previous semester, take ENGL 591: Directed Reading in preparation for the writing of the thesis. The thesis will be written under the direction of a faculty member of the student’s choice and will be read by that faculty member and by a second reader appointed by the departmental graduate committee. For M.A. in English students, the thesis will normally be a substantial critical or research paper (though different kinds of projects are possible) of approximately fifty to seventy pages in length. For M.A. in English with concentration in creative writing students, the thesis will consist of a substantial body of poetry, fiction, nonfictional prose, or drama. A defense of the thesis before a faculty committee is required in all cases.