M.A., English

  • Complete the following admission requirements:
  1. Submit GRE scores.
  2. Submit academic writing sample.
General University Requirements
Complete the general university requirements.
Master’s Degree Requirements
Complete the master’s degree requirements.
Pass a written comprehensive examination based on a standardized reading list 1
Students may advance to candidacy when their advisory committee deems that they have made satisfactory progress toward completion of their degree.
Pass an oral defense of the thesis or non-thesis project.
Program Requirements
ENGL F601Theory, Criticism and Methods 23
ENGL F685Teaching College Composition (or ENGL F600-level elective course) 33
Select three from the following:9
Studies in British Literature: Old and Middle English
Studies in British Literature: Renaissance and 17th-Century
Studies in British Literature: Restoration and 18th Century
Studies in British Literature: 19th Century
Select one from the following:3
Early and Romantic American Literature
American Realism and Modernism
Twentieth-Century American Literature
Select one from the following:3
Studies in British Literature After 1900
Studies in Comparative Literature
Contemporary Literature
Thesis or Non-Thesis Option
Select the thesis or non-thesis option15-24
Total Credits36-45

Thesis Option

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 30 credits

ENGL F699Thesis6
ENGL electives 418
Pass an oral defense of the thesis.
Total Credits24

Non-Thesis option

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 36 credits

Additional approved ENGL F600-level electives9
ENGL F698Non-Thesis Research/Project6
A research paper which the advisory committee judges to be of publishable quality.
Pass an oral defense of the non-thesis project.
Total Credits15

The examination is to be taken in the student’s second year of work. The examination will be held on the Saturday ending the fourth full week of classes in the spring semester.


Students are required to take ENGL F601 in their first year of study.


Required if you are a teaching assistant or planning to teach.


To maximize breadth of study, M.A. students and their advisors will draft individualized courses of study with the following program requirements in mind. The advisor will direct students to courses covering the required areas, subject to particular exemptions based upon undergraduate course work. Exemptions and any subsequent revisions of the course of study must have the agreement of the advisor and department head. Plans can be revised to substitute an appropriate seminar for one of the courses.

Note: Students may apply up to 3 credit hours of independent study toward the English M.A. degree requirements.