Master of Arts

Three students seated and smiling facing the camera
Tennessee Tech's M.A. in English can be an affordable option for you to further your career.

Students in our Master of Arts program may extend their English studies at Tennessee Tech or increase their competitiveness for terminal degree programs such as the M.F.A. or Ph.D.  Others are drawn to our rigorous, accessible program after completing their undergraduate coursework at another college. We invite current Tennessee Tech undergraduate English Majors to consider our B.A./M.A. Fast Track Program in English.

To apply for admission, and for detailed application instructions, go to Graduate Admissions.

Why Pursue a Master's?

Tennessee Tech's M.A. in English degree offers interesting and flexible class options within three concentrations: Literature, Creative Writing, and Professional and Technical Communication.  

Mission Statement: The Master of Arts degree program in the Department of English prepares graduates for success in any further graduate and professional education that might require superior analytical and communication skills, as well as for careers outside the academic world wherever superior analytical and communication skills and knowledge of literary and cultural traditions are essential. Our English M.A. also provides superb grounding for seeking a Ph.D. in English by increasing students' knowledge of literary history and improving their skills in writing, literary analysis, and research. Graduates can also become effective high-school or college-level teachers by improving their knowledge of writing pedagogy and theory.

Scholars and professionals who go on to earn their M.A. at Tennessee Tech gain knowledge and establish credibility in their field, and within some salary structures (such as teaching), they can earn higher pay. 

Read on for more information about benefits of the M.A. in English, what exactly your studies will entail if you enroll in Tennessee Tech's program, and how to apply for (and fund) your graduate degree.

The M.A. Experience
To Thesis or Not to Thesis?
Financial Assistance
How to Apply
Contact Us

The M.A. Experience

Photograph of a scholar presenting her work at a podiumAll graduate students in English take core courses in literary studies along with concentration-specific courses in their chosen area. These classes are:

  • Small.  You'll form a stronger relationship with your peers and professors and engage in guided inquiry tailored to your individual needs.
  • Customizable.  Check out our recent course offerings using the button below. If you don’t see a class you need, your advisors will work with you on planning a class or internship.
  • Opportunistic. Whether you aim to get published, present at a conference, create an impactful project, acquire an internship, or meet your future employers, our faculty experts will help you plan and pursue specific and achievable goals. 

Graduate courses are taught by advanced-degree faculty whose credentials have been approved by Tennessee Tech's College of Graduate Studies, listed at the bottom of this page. Graduate students are encouraged to consult faculty specializations before selecting their committee members.

Course Offerings    |     Faculty Specializations

To Thesis or Not to Thesis?

Earning a graduate degree (no matter the field) requires a culminating project after your coursework is finished.  With a master's degree this is often a thesis.  Writing a thesis is guaranteed to build your subject area knowledge, your project management and research skills, and your sense of accomplishment—and it can be fun. 

Not all concentrations require a thesis, but if you complete one, its form and focus will be up to you in consultation with your committee.

  • Literature.  Write a research-driven, multi-chapter thesis about a literary topic of your choice or take an exam about works recommended by your thesis committee.
  • Creative Writing.  You must complete a thesis. However, it isn’t the standard research paper.  You can write a novel, a short story or essay collection, a poetry manuscript, or other lengthy work.
  • Professional and Technical Communication.  Complete a researched project for publication or create a portfolio of work encompassing multiple projects to share with prospective employers. 

Thesis Criteria   |   Thesis Timeline   |   Non-thesis Criteria   |   Non-thesis Timeline

Comprehensive and Oral Exam Guidelines


Financial Assistance

You can apply to the College of Graduate Studies for scholarships to cover some of your costs. 

Additionally, we encourage applicants to apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, which covers graduate tuition and a yearly stipend. In addition to funding your degree, working as a GTA will help you acquire marketable skills that transfer directly to a resume or curriculum vitae.  Follow the instructions in Graduate Admissions to apply.

How to Apply

All materials must be submitted by the deadlines below to be eligible for full consideration. Visit Graduate Admissions for detailed application instructions and to apply.

  • May 1st. Deadline for Fall admission
  • November 1st. Deadline for Spring admission

We strongly suggest applying early if you are wanting financial assistance, as slots are limited and awarded on a competitive basis.

Apply Now

Contact Us

The Director of Graduate Studies is happy to answer your questions and support the decision that is best for you, whether you are currently exploring your options or have already made the decision to apply to Tennessee Tech.

Bounds, Paulina Director of Graduate Studies Email
Null, Linda Department Chair Email

Graduate Faculty: Anthony D. Baker, Paulina Bounds, Michael L. Burduck, Mark H. Creter, Kristen Deiter, Rachel Donegan, Monic Ductan, Jennifer Gray, Sharon K. Henry, Erin Hoover, Helen Hunt, Shirley D. Laird, Josephine A. McQuail, Susan M. Moynihan, Linda J. Null, Ted Pelton, Kristin D. Pickering, Mari Ramler, Joe Seale, Scott Stenson, and Brian J. Williams.

Contact Graduate Faculty

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