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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
  • Graduate Record Examination Verbal and Writing Score (Register for the GRE and find Testing Locations at the ETS website.)
  • 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: cover letter/statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation and the Graduate Assistantship Application form
  • For full consideration, applicants for Fall admission must submit all application materials, including GRE scores, 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, send a 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.

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:

    • earn 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, including points for GRE scores (GRE scores are required, regardless of the number of points an applicant earns on the other criteria.)

Students admitted to the program who possess an undergraduate degree (either major or minor) in English, or who have taken at least 15 credit hours in ENGL classes at the 2000 level or higher, will be given Full Standing. Students whose point total does not qualify them for full admission, or who do not have at least 15 credit hours in ENGL classes at the 2000 level or higher, may qualify for Provisional Standing. When the student is informed that they have been given Provisional Standing, they will also be informed if they need to take specific undergraduate courses to rectify any deficiencies in their background, or if they must complete nine hours of graduate study with a 3.0 GPA. Having completed these requirements, that student must then apply to the Director of Graduate Studies for a change to Full Standing. The DGS and Department Chair will consult and 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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