Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in English

The MA in English offers face-to-face and online options. The entire program can be completed without coming to campus.

Early registration is necessary to ensure that the 600-level seminars will run. Classes with low enrollment will be canceled. Please contact the English department or download our handout for more information.

The MA in English provides students with a strong practical and theoretical grounding as they prepare to move forward into careers or into graduate and professional schools.

Students will learn

  1. advanced methods for deeper study of literatures written in English,
  2. the fundamentals of Composition as a discipline, and
  3. practical writing skills through courses in professional and rhetorical writing.

Courses will place texts within wider cultural and multicultural debates. Through assigned writings, students will articulate informed viewpoints on real-world issues and practice various forms of professional and critical writing, learning to interpret texts in contexts ranging from academic debate to the contemporary classroom to a variety of professional settings.

A minimum of 30 credits is required.

Core classes for all MA Students consist of the following 18 credits at the 600 level:

  • ENGL 611: Argumentation and Research Writing
  • ENGL 673: Theories of Composition
  • ENGL 665: Literary Criticism OR 690: Critical Approaches to Literature
  • One additional 600-level literature course
  • ENGL 689: Grant Writing OR ENGL 689: Professional Writing Theory and Practice
  • ENGL 699: Master's Thesis/Capstone (3 credit hours)
    • In consultation with a faculty member, students complete either a Capstone Project or a Thesis. In the Capstone Option, students complete a customized final project along with a Portfolio based on the revision and presentation of 3-6 course artifacts, at least one of which is an academic paper. In the Thesis Option, students complete a sustained, publishable 60-100 page scholarly treatment of a subject in Literature or Composition studies. Find out more about the Capstone here.

Students must take 12 additional credit hours in English, selecting from classes listed in the Course Bulletin that are offered at either the 500 or 600-level.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the graduate application and official transcripts, applicants must submit a statement of purpose to The Department of English by email to the Graduate Coordinator, Hillary Nunn, at 

Application Deadline

Applications to the master's degree program in English are accepted on a rolling basis.

Assistantship/Scholarship Information

All assistantships (and any fellowships) are awarded through the academic department. Students interested in obtaining an assistantship must apply. New students may indicate on their online application for admission that they would like to be considered for an assistantship. Current students must contact the academic department for application information. Each department may have different requirements for assistantship applicants, so all students should contact the academic department to determine these particular requirements. Only those students fully admitted to a master’s or doctoral degree-seeking program are eligible for a graduate assistantship. Students admitted as non-degree seeking or to a certificate program may not hold an assistantship.

Financial Aid Information

Paying for college is a vital part of the education process! it is important to be informed of the many sources of aid available. Student loans are available to degree-seeking graduate students. Information on student loans can be found through the Office of Student Financial Aid. The Office of Student Financial Aid is located in Simmons Hall.