The MA in English
The MA requires 24 semester hours of coursework and a written examination. The program is designed so that a full-time student can complete these requirements within one calendar year of study. Part-time students must complete all requirements for the degree within four years.
In order to be admitted to the MA program, you should have a bachelor's degree and a college record that holds promise for graduate study. Although you need not have majored in English, thorough preparation is essential to success in the program. Ideally, applicants should have completed 30 semester hours of undergraduate English, including courses in both early and modern British literature, American literature and literary theory. If you have deficiencies in certain periods or areas, you may be required to complete certain undergraduate prerequisites as a graduate student and will be so informed when you are accepted into the program.
Applications must be supported with a statement of purpose; transcripts of undergraduate work and previous graduate courses; GRE scores (the general test only); and three letters of recommendation. Applicants must also supply a writing sample. A grade average of "B" or better in undergraduate coursework is required.
GRE scores are never the sole determining factor in an application file. Your writing sample and statement of purpose are also important sources of information about your qualifications for undertaking graduate study. However, successful applicants to our MA program typically have scored above 500 in the Advanced Test in English.
Program of Courses
For the MA degree you are required to take:
- English 400 (Introduction to Literary Study)
- At least three courses in English and American literature (at least one course in Medieval through 18th-century literature, and one course in 19th- or 20th-century literature)
- At least one course in literary criticism and theory
For those focusing on teaching:
- English 402 (Teaching College Composition)
- English 404 (Pedagogy: Theory and Practice), or 403 (Advanced Composition)
- One elective in literature
- Non-credit internship
For all others:
- At least one course in textual studies or digital humanities
- Two electives, one in literature, the other open
If you are required to take certain undergraduate courses as a condition of admission, they have priority over all other program requirements. Undergraduate courses (those on the 300-level) cannot satisfy the distribution requirements outlined above (for example, English 340, Victorian Literature, cannot fill the post-1800 requirement but it can be an elective in literature), and only one undergraduate course may count toward the MA.