About the MA Program

Master of Arts in English

The Master of Arts in English is a broad program of study designed to help students develop professional-level skills in research, reading, writing, and editing in a range of language-related areas. The Department of English offers the MA degree with both thesis and non-thesis options. Both options require an oral final examination. Full-time graduate students normally complete the program in two years. The degree must be completed within five years of entrance into the program.

Course Work:

The courses you select as an MA student should help you attain a broad and well-grounded knowledge of English, American, and Anglophone literature. Course work should also help you achieve competence in critical approaches and scholarly methods. Non-thesis-option students take 30 credit hours. Thesis-option students take 24 hours of course work plus 6 hours of Thesis Research (ENGL 9000). Students who plan to enter a PhD program should be aware that MA thesis hours may not count toward the course work requirements for a PhD program. They do not count toward the 48 hours of course work required for our own PhD, for example. In general you will take your courses within the English Department at the 7000 level. You may also take:

  • A very few English courses at the 4000 level with the consent of your advisor and the DGS (e.g. some courses in linguistics and Old English).
  • Related graduate courses in other departments (6 hours maximum) with the consent of your advisor and the DGS.
  • In no case can more than half of the course work counted toward the degree come from courses below the 7000 level.


Course Requirements

At the MA level, there are two tracks with different course requirements for each track. Every student entering at the MA level will be required to take the Graduate Proseminar (ENGL 7020) and period distribution requirements. Students who wish to teach English composition courses must take ENGL 7915 during the semester they are assigned their first composition course.