M.A. Program Admission and Degree Requirements

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

We invite current Tennessee Tech undergraduate English Majors to consider our B.A./M.A. Fast Track Program in English.

M.A. Program Admission Requirements

  • An official transcript of undergraduate work reflecting an overall QPA of 2.5 or above
  • All applicants submit a statement of purpose.
  • The statement of purpose should be no longer than two pages and include the following information:
        Description of the skills and qualities the candidate brings to the program
        Candidate’s motivation for obtaining an MA in English
        Candidate’s long-term goals in seeking an MA in English how the MA in English contributes to the achievement of those goals
        If the applicant is applying for a Teaching Assistantship, the candidate should use this statement to address the candidate’s teaching interests and how the teaching assistantship contributes to the applicant’s overall goals.
  • A Writing Sample (should be an 8-page minimum, critical essay, appropriate for submission in an upper-division, undergraduate English class); Creative Writing concentration applicants must also submit a creative writing sample, in addition to the critical writing sample (10 pages of poetry or 15 pages of prose)
  • For students seeking a Graduate Teaching Assistantship: three letters of recommendation and the Graduate Assistantship Application form 
  • For full consideration, applicants for Fall admission must submit all application materials by May 1, and applicants for Spring admission must submit all materials by November 1. We encourage early application: graduate teaching assistantships are limited in number and will be awarded on a competitive basis.
  • Only complete applications will be considered. Send all application materials to the College of Graduate Studies at If applying for an assistantship, you can have the recommenders email their letters directly to Moreover, send copy of the Assistantship Application form to  

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.

Statement of Purpose 
7 -8 = 5 points 
9-10 = 10 points
11-12 = 20 points
13-15 = 30 points

Statement of purpose evaluation: Each statement will be read by three individuals, either members of the Graduate Committee or their designees (who themselves must be Graduate Faculty members). 

Writing Sample Score:

7-8 = 5 points
9-10 = 10 points
11-12 = 20 points
13-15 = 30 points

The Graduate Committee shall admit to the program those students whose applications (based on the evaluation criteria above) either: earn a minimum of 10 points each in the transcript, writing sample, and statement of purpose OR have a total score of 35 points or higher regardless of their distribution. 

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 shall 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 with an undergraduate degree in English who does not meet the minimum points score but has reasonable chance of success based on the quality of his/her writing sample may be admitted with provisional status.

A student who is granted Provisional Standing will, upon completion of nine (9) 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 this core in any of the three concentrations, Creative Writing, Literature, or Professional and Technical Communication

    • One 6000-level course in British Literature
    • One 6000-level 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 Literature and the Professional and Technical Communications concentrations of the program have 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.

Additional information is available from the College of Graduate Studies.

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