M.A. in English/M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing (Dual Degree)

This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.shsu.edu.

The MA in English/MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing (Dual Degree) program gives students the opportunity to earn both the MA in English and the MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing in a single 60-hour program. This program is intended for those students interested in advanced graduate work in both creative writing and academic literary studies.

Students seeking admission to the MA in English/MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing (Dual Degree) program must supply the following materials directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application: The Graduate Application is an institutional application required by SHSU. Students must provide biographical and educational information and information relevant to determining State of Texas residency.
  2. Application fee: An application fee is required for all applications to graduate programs at SHSU.
  3. A statement of purpose, of 500 to 1000 words, articulating the applicant's intentions for pursuing our dual MA/MFA program.
  4. Transcripts documenting all prior degrees.*  (Note: We expect students to 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.).
  5. Official scores for the GRE General Test (Note: The subject test in English is not required.).
  6. Four letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant’s potential for success in a dual creative and academic English graduate program. Ideally, applicants will have two letters that address academic preparation for the MA and two letters that address creative writing preparation for the MFA.
  7. A creative writing sample of either 20 pages of prose or a collection of 8 - 10 poems.
  8.  A critical writing sample of at least ten pages, preferably one that demonstrates research and critical writing skills particular to the study of literature and language and your ability to defend a cogent critical argument in a scholarly idiom appropriate to upper-division English classes. While the writing sample should be a single, sustained piece of work, typical of graduate-level writing, we will accept combinations of shorter pieces in exceptional cases. 
  9. International applicants ONLY: Official TOEFL scores

*Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for review by the admissions committee. However, under university policy, admission decisions are contingent upon receipt of official transcripts.

The MA in English/MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing (Dual Degree) 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.

Note: Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

  • To earn the MA in English/MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing (Dual Degree), students must complete a minimum of 60 hours of graduate credit in accordance with core components of each degree plan.
  • All students must complete the following core MFA requirements:
    • 15 hours of creative writing workshops
    • 6 hours of Publishing and Editing
    • 3 hours of narrative or poetic theory
    • ENGL 5340 The Writers Life
    • MFA Thesis, ENGL 6096 and ENGL 6097
    • successfully pass the MFA program's portfolio requirement. Students must be enrolled in the University for the terms in which they complete and defend the portfolio.
  • All students are required to complete the following core MA requirements
    •  ENGL 5301 and ENGL 5302 must be taken at the first opportunity.
    • 21 hours of graduate English electives; at least 9 hours must be at the 6000 level
    • successfully complete the graduate comprehensive exam (which includes a presentation of graduate research).  Students must be enrolled in the University for the term in which they complete the graduate comprehensive exam.
  • Students MAY choose to do an MA Thesis (in addition to the required MFA thesis) in lieu of 6 hours of Electives. Thesis students would then complete a two-semester MA thesis sequence (ENGL 6098 and ENGL 6099). 
  • Before beginning work on a thesis, undertaking a directed study, or taking the oral examination (graduate research presentation), a student must complete at least twelve hours of graduate English coursework at Sam Houston State University, including ENGL 5301 and ENGL 5302 and be in good standing.
  • After taking ENGL 5301 and ENGL 5302, all MA students must complete the English graduate assessment examination conducted each May.
  • A student may take ENGL 5339 twice, with approval of the Department Chair.
M.A. in English/M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing (Dual Degree)
MFA Core
Workshop Requirement (5331, 5332, and 5334 can be repeated for credit)15
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing: Nonfiction
ENGL 5333Practicum:Editing & Publishing (Course taken twice)6
ENGL 5336Narrative Theory3
or ENGL 5337 Poetic Theory and Prosody
ENGL 5340The Writer's Life3
ENGL 6096 and ENGL 6097 (MFA Thesis I and II)6
MA Core6
Grad Rsrch: Methods & Theories
Literary Theory
MA Electives (At least 9 hours must be at the 6000 level, which may include ENGL 6098 and 6099 for students writing an MA thesis)21
Hist Dvlpt Of English Language
English Linguistics
American Lit: Pre-Civil War
American Lit: Post-Civil War
US Ethnic Literatures
British Lit: Pre-Industrial
British Lit: Post-Industrial
Anglophone Literature
Directed Study
Workshop In Teaching Writing
Practicm in Teaching Coll Comp
Women's Literature
Rhetoric & Composition Theory
Literary Theory Seminar
Seminar in Major Author
English Linguistics Seminar
Literary Movements Seminar
Literary Genre Seminar
Global Ethnic Literatures
Special Topics in English
Total Hours60

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The M.A. in English/M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Think critically.
  • Communicate effectively through writing and oral communication.
  • Conduct and interpret various modes of research.
  • Edit texts for publishing.