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M.A. in English

photo of sculpted bustsThe M.A. in English provides a strong grounding in scholarly methods and in theory, making it an ideal preparation for doctoral study in disciplinary or interdisciplinary programs. M.A. graduates in English pursue careers in journalism, educational administration and services, publishing, and many business fields that demand writing and communication skills. The M.A. in English is also useful for prospective or experienced teachers who want both to sharpen their ability to teach literature and writing, and to advance professionally.

Admission Criteria

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate work, with a minimum of 3.4 in the English major or upper-level English courses.
  2. GRE scores (must be within past 5 years): a minimum of 500 on the old verbal scale or at least 153 in the new verbal scale and a score of 4.5 on analytic writing. We will not consider the math scores. We do not require the English subject test.
  3. A writing sample of 10 to 15 pages that demonstrates a sophisticated prose style and the ability to construct complex arguments.
  4. Three letters of recommendation that attest to the prospective student's intellectual and scholarly potential. At least two of these should be from former professors.


  1. The program has thesis and non-thesis options.
  2. 5300: Theory and Practice in English Studies is required. It must be taken within a student's first 12 hours of study.
  3. The thesis option is a 30 credit-hour program and requires 24 hours of coursework (a three credit-hour core course and 21 hours of electives) and at least six hours of thesis. The degree culminates with the defense of thesis.
  4. Students must apply for the thesis option during their 24th hour of coursework.
  5. The non-thesis option requires a 36 credit-hour program of coursework (a three credit-hour core course and 33 hours of electives) and the submission of a portfolio.