M.A. Admission

Dr. Linda Null, Interim Chairperson

Graduate faculty:

Anthony D. Baker, Paulina Bounds, Michael L. Burduck, Kevin E. Christianson, Mark H. Creter, Kristen Deiter, Kurt Eisen, Graham S. Kash, Homer D. Kemp, Shirley D. Laird, Josephine A. McQuail, Linda J. Null, Michael O’Rourke, Thomas Saya, Kristin D. Pickering, Brian Williams.

Department overview

The Master of Arts degree program in the Department of English prepares graduates for success in any further graduate and professional education which might require superior analytical and communication skills. It prepares them for Ph.D. programs in English by increasing their knowledge of literary history and improving their skills in writing, literary analysis, and research. Graduates can become effective high-school or college-level teachers by improving their knowledge of writing pedagogy and theory. They will also be prepared for careers outside the academic world wherever superior analytical and communication skills and knowledge of literary and cultural traditions are essential.

Admission requirements

  • An official transcript of undergraduate work reflecting an overall QPA of 2.5 or above.
  • Graduate Record Examination Verbal and Writing Score
  • A Writing Sample (should be an 8-page minimum, critical essay, appropriate for submission in an upper-division, undergraduate English class).
  • For students seeking a Graduate Teaching Assistantship: three letters of recommendation.
  • Applicants for Fall admission should submit all application materials, including GRE scores, before March 15.

Evaluation Criteria

The Graduate Committee will evaluate each application using the following criteria ratings:

Transcript:  Based on QPA in

All ENGL courses at the 2000+ level:
2.7 - 2.999 = 10 pts.
3.0 - 3.499 = 20 pts.
3.5 - 4.0 = 30 pts.

GRE Verbal Score:
153 - 159 = 5 pts.
160 - 165 = 10 pts.
166 - 170 = 15 pts.

GRE Analytical Writing Test:
3.50 – 4.00 = 5 pts.
4.50 – 5.00 = 10 pts.
5.50 – 6.00 = 15 pts.

Writing Sample Score*:
  9 - 10 total = 10 pts.
11 - 12 total = 20 pts.
13 - 15 total = 30 pts.

*Writing Sample Evaluation: Each writing sample will be read by 3 individuals, either members of the graduate committee or their designees (who themselves must be graduate faculty members).The Graduate Committee shall admit to the program those students whose applications (based on the Evaluation Criteria above) either:

  • A minimum of 10 points each in the Transcript and Writing Sample scores, and a combined total of at least 10 points for the two GRE scores
  • have a total score of 40 points or higher.

Students admitted to the program who possess an undergraduate degree (either major or minor) in English will be given Full Standing. Students who qualify for admission but who have no degree in the discipline will be given Provisional Standing in order to account for any deficiencies identified in their background. When the student is informed that he/she has been given Provisional Standing, he/she will also be informed of the specific courses which he/she needs to take in order to qualify for Full Standing. Once these deficiencies have been rectified, that student must then apply to the Graduate Committee for a change to Full Standing. A student who is granted Provisional Standing will, upon completion of nine hours of graduate study, be evaluated by the Graduate Committee in consultation with the faculty members who have taught him/her. At that point, the graduate committee will decide whether to grant the student Full Standing or to deny admission to further study.

Departmental degree requirements

In addition to Graduate School degree requirements, the student must complete:

  • One graduate course in British Literature before 1800.
  • One graduate course in British Literature after 1800.
  • One graduate course in American Literature.
  • English 6000.
  • Graduate Assistants normally take ENGL 6010 in addition to ENGL 6000.

Note: Students may take no more than one independent study ENGL 6400 course. In an emergency situation, the student may petition the department's Graduate Studies Committee to take an additional independent study course.

The Master of Arts degree program in English has both thesis and non-thesis options. Candidates for the master's degree must complete at least 30 semester hours of credit in the program requiring a thesis and at least 33 semester hours in the non-thesis program. At least 21 semester hours including the thesis shall be required at the 6000 level in a thesis program for the master's degree; at least 24 semester hours at the 6000 level shall be required in a non-thesis master's program. The remainder of the courses in the program of study may be at the 5000 level, yet not more than 30 percent of the courses in a student's program of study may be in dually numbered 4000/5000 courses.

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