Master of Arts in English

The Master of Arts in English is designed to prepare students for doctoral work, improve the professional competence of public school teachers, ready promising scholars for college teaching, advance the skills of creative and professional writers, and train students whose careers require advanced verbal and analytical abilities.

Students seeking admission to the Master of Arts in English program must supply the following materials directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcripts of all college-level work, including one that shows conferral of the undergraduate degree (Note: The student must have completed at least twelve hours of upper-division English courses with a 3.0 GPA or better; students with credentials from foreign universities must have their transcripts reviewed by a transcript evaluation service.)
  4. Official scores for the GRE General Test (Note: The subject test in English is not required.)
  5. Three letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant’s potential for success in an English graduate program
  6. A scholarly/critical writing sample of a minimum of ten pages (Note: Students wishing to pursue a creative writing emphasis may submit a creative portfolio as a supplement to the scholarly/critical writing sample.)
  7. International applicants ONLY: Official TOEFL scores

The English MA Program welcomes qualified international applicants; however, an individual who does not hold American citizenship must be accepted in regular admission status, without qualifications.

A holistic review of each applicant's file will be completed, and admission will be granted on a competitive basis.

  • To earn the MA in English, students must complete a minimum of thirty-six hours of graduate credit in accordance with one of three degree plans.
  • All students working under Plan 1 and Plan 2 must take at least one course from each of five blocks; included among the total classes must be at least one course each in British and American literature. Students working under Plan 3 must take at least one course in Block 1 and at least one course from three of the remaining blocks.
  • All MA students are required to take ENGL 5330 at the first opportunity.
  • Before beginning work on a thesis, sitting for comprehensive examinations, undertaking a directed study, taking an undergraduate course for graduate credit, or transferring in graduate credits from another institution, the student must have completed at least twelve hours of graduate English coursework, including ENGL 5330, in good standing.
  • Thesis students complete a two-semester thesis sequence (ENGL 6098 and ENGL 6099).
  • All MA students must pass the English graduate program’s written comprehensive examination (offered in October, February, and June of each year) and an oral defense of a designated portion of their graduate work; the oral defense covers either the areas chosen for the written examination or, in the case of thesis students, the thesis. Students must be enrolled in the University for the terms in which they sit for the written comprehensive and oral examinations.
  • A student may take ENGL 5339 twice, with approval of the Department Chair. A student may take one 4000-level English course for graduate credit, with approval of the Department Chair and the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. See the Graduate English Handbook for guidelines and restrictions.

English Course Blocks

The English graduate curriculum is organized into five blocks, each comprising courses with shared topics or historical kinship.

  • Block 1: English Language, Early and Middle English Literature
  • Block 2: Theory, Pedagogy, and Writing Disciplines
  • Block 3: Early Literature
  • Block 4: 19th-Century British and American Literature
  • Block 5: 20th- and 21st-Century Literature in English

The student working under Plan 1 or Plan 2 takes at least one class from each block, as designated in the degree schedules for those plans below; the student working under Plan 3 takes at least one course in Block 1 and at least one course from three of the remaining blocks, as designated in the degree schedule for that plan below. 

Students need not take the block classes in sequence.

With the approval of the Department Chair, a student may substitute up to six hours of the following special and variable topics courses for block requirements: 

Courses
ENGL 5369The Novel3
ENGL 5370Multicultural Literature3
ENGL 5374Women's Literature3
ENGL 5388Major Figures in Amer Poetry3
ENGL 5391Major Figures in Brit Poetry3
ENGL 6330Special Topics in English3

The block requirement for which such a course may be substituted will be announced explicitly in the online course listings before registration and in the instructor's syllabus. 

A graduate student in English may pursue one of three degree plans. Plan 1 requires a thesis; Plans 2 and 3 do not require a thesis.

Plan 1 – MA in English

This degree plan is designed for prospective community and senior college teachers; for students who plan to continue their studies at a doctoral level; and for teachers of high school English who wish to increase scope, depth, and expertise in their teaching specialties. There is no secondary field under Plan 1, and the student must write a thesis. Under this plan, students take thirty hours of coursework and six hours of thesis. Students may pursue a creative writing emphasis, which requires an internship with the Texas Review Press, two creative writing workshops, and a creative thesis.

Master of Arts in English - Thesis
Specified Course
ENGL 5330Graduate Research: Methods and Theories3
Block 1
Select one of the following:3
Early & Middle English Lit
English Linguistics
Hist Dvlpt Of English Language
Block 2
Select one of the following:3
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
Practicum:Editing & Publishing
Creative Writing: Nonfiction
Workshop In Teaching Writing
Narrative Theory
Poetic Theory and Prosody
Practicm In Teaching Coll Comp
Literary Criticism And Theory
Rhetoric & Composition Theory
Technical & Prof. Writing
Block 3
Select one of the following:3
Early American Literature
Restoration-18Th Cent Brit Lit
The Classical Tradition
Renaissance-17th Cent Brit Lit
Block 4
Select one of the following:3
Romantic Literature
Victorian Literature
American Literature, 1800-1860
American Literature, 1860-1920
Block 5
Select one of the following:3
Modern World Literature
Eng Lit, 1900 to the Present
American Lit, 1920-the Present
Electives
Select four of all graduate courses in English, excluding thesis courses12
Thesis
ENGL 6098Thesis I3
ENGL 6099Thesis II3
Total Hours36

Plan 2 – MA in English (Non-thesis)

This degree plan is designed for prospective community and senior college teachers; for students who plan to continue their studies at a doctoral level; and for teachers of high school English who wish to increase scope, depth, and expertise in their teaching specialties. There is no secondary field under Plan 2, and the student may not write a thesis. Under this plan, students take thirty-six hours of coursework.

Master of Arts in English - Non-Thesis
Specified Course
ENGL 5330Graduate Research: Methods and Theories3
Block 1
Select one of the following:3
Early & Middle English Lit
English Linguistics
Hist Dvlpt Of English Language
Block 2
Select one of the following:3
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
Practicum:Editing & Publishing
Creative Writing: Nonfiction
Workshop In Teaching Writing
Narrative Theory
Poetic Theory and Prosody
Practicm In Teaching Coll Comp
Literary Criticism And Theory
Rhetoric & Composition Theory
Technical & Prof. Writing
Block 3
Select one of the following:3
Early American Literature
Restoration-18Th Cent Brit Lit
The Classical Tradition
Renaissance-17th Cent Brit Lit
Block 4
Select one of the following:3
Romantic Literature
Victorian Literature
American Literature, 1800-1860
American Literature, 1860-1920
Block 5
Select one of the following:3
Modern World Literature
Eng Lit, 1900 to the Present
American Lit, 1920-the Present
Electives
Select six of all graduate courses in English, excluding thesis courses18
Total Hours36

Plan 3 – MA in English (Non-thesis)

Designed for teachers who need preparation in two teaching fields, this degree plan requires twenty-four semester hours of English and twelve hours in a second, approved field. The secondary field must logically support the major and must be chosen from departments offering graduate-level courses, such as History, Foreign Languages, or Political Science, or, in the case of public school teachers, from the College of Education.

Master of Arts in English - Non-Thesis
Specified Course
ENGL 5330Graduate Research: Methods and Theories3
Block 1
Select one of the following:3
Early & Middle English Lit
English Linguistics
Hist Dvlpt Of English Language
Restricted Electives
Select 18 hours of the following: 118
Block 2:
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
Practicum:Editing & Publishing
Creative Writing: Nonfiction
Workshop In Teaching Writing
Narrative Theory
Poetic Theory and Prosody
Practicm In Teaching Coll Comp
Literary Criticism And Theory
Rhetoric & Composition Theory
Technical & Prof. Writing
Block 3:
Early American Literature
Restoration-18Th Cent Brit Lit
The Classical Tradition
Renaissance-17th Cent Brit Lit
Block 4:
Romantic Literature
Victorian Literature
American Literature, 1800-1860
American Literature, 1860-1920
Block 5:
Modern World Literature
Eng Lit, 1900 to the Present
American Lit, 1920-the Present
Secondary Field
Select four of any graduate courses in a field approved by Graduate Advisor12
Total Hours36
1

Courses must be selected from at least three different blocks.