Jun 21, 2024  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

English M.A.

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Admission Requirements

A candidate must meet the requirements of the Graduate College, including holding an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better. Applicants must send two official sets of transcripts from all universities attended; one set goes to the Graduate College and one directly to the English Department. Also, two letters of recommendation must be sent directly to the department. The department also requires a minimum of 21 credits in English courses that are above Freshman Composition level. Also, students must score in the 50th percentile rank or higher on the Verbal portion of the General Test and in the 25th percentile rank or higher on the Literature in English Subject Test of the Graduate Record Examination. Candidates for admission need not have been English majors but should show on the transcript a generally superior performance in English courses.

Degree Requirements

These vary somewhat according to the option chosen (see below), but in general the M.A. program involves 30-33 credit hours of course work, demonstrated competency in the reading of one foreign language, and successful performance on a comprehensive examination. Students who did not take History of the English Language (ENG 415 or 615) as an undergraduate must include it in their graduate degree program. A master’s thesis, which carries six credits, is optional. Nine credits of the course work must be in literary periods before 1800, nine credits in literary periods after 1800, and the remainder of the credits may be in any period or area.

ENG 791 - College Teaching in Language and Literature , is required of new  graduate assistants, does not count toward fulfilling the credit hours requirement.


Students may emphasize literary study or language study in their degree programs. The exact requirements for these options or tracks within the M.A. program are stated in a document obtainable from the Director of Graduate Study.


A master’s thesis, which carries six credits, is optional but recommended for all M.A. candidates. It is normally written during two consecutive semesters and must conform to the guidelines set forth by the Graduate College in this catalog and in its Thesis and Dissertation Manual. The M.A. thesis should be an original contribution to knowledge about a suitable literary or linguistic subject and comprise about seventy-five pages. Thesis projects must be designed, developed, and written in close consultation with an appropriate thesis advisor and with the student’s thesis committee. A statement showing in more detail the specific degree requirements of the M.A. program is available from the Director of Graduate Study.

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