The English MA with a literature emphasis allows students to develop their literary criticism, culminating in an article-length thesis. With a dedicated Graduate Faculty across all primary fields of literary studies, the program allows graduate students to either specialize in one of these fields or pursue broad preparation as a generalist. Our graduate programs pay particular attention to professional development, including scholarly and creative publishing. With its dual emphases in literature and creative writing, the English program offers students a uniquely hybrid experience in which emerging writers and critics study alongside one another and work with specialists in both fields, preparing students for creative, academic, and professional careers.
Successful applicants for regular admission to the MA program usually have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in undergraduate English courses and will typically have completed an undergraduate degree in English or a substantial number of courses in English. Application materials include transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae, and a substantial writing sample. Letters of recommendation should be from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study.
Conditional admission is sometimes possible for applicants who do not meet all the criteria for regular admission. To remove conditional status, students must meet the Graduate School requirements described in the Admission Requirements and Procedures section of this Bulletin, and they must satisfy all additional requirements stipulated by the school.
Members of all underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
See Admission Requirements and Procedures for other admission requirements. The English graduate programs do not require GRE or other standardized exam results.
Program Requirements and Academic Policies
Students must complete one research tool: either proficiency in one foreign language OR six graduate hours of coursework in an allied field of study approved by their advisor or the Graduate Program Coordinator.
500-level classes count towards a degree only with the approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator or the Dean of the Graduate School; at least 6 hours (2 courses) must be at the 700-level.
Students must take ENG 690 - Practicum in the Theory and Teaching of Composition if they hold an assistantship that includes teaching as one of their duties.
Students must successfully complete a Master's Comprehensive Examination in August, after the first year of study. The exam may be retaken once. Any student who fails the Comprehensive Exam twice will be dismissed from the program.
Students must complete a Master's thesis, an article-length critical essay that emerges from a paper produced during the first year of study and that will be revised and developed during the course of ENG 641.
A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.
See General Degree Requirements and General Academic Information for other requirements and policies.
Course Requirements (33 hours)
- ENG 640 - Critical Reading and Methods in English (3 hours)
- ENG 641 - Advanced Research and Methods in English (3 hours)
- Non-Creative Writing English courses (21-24 hours): within these courses, student must fulfill the following requirements:
- 1 course in American literature to 1865
- 1 course in American literature post 1865
- 1 course in British literature to 1800
- 1 course in British literature post 1800
- 1 course designated non-traditional
- 1 literary theory course or 1 course designated theory-rich
- Note: a single course may fulfill up to 2 of the above requirements
- ENG 698 - Thesis (6 hours required)