College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English and Linguistics - Graduate Degrees

Master of Arts in English Goals

Students who complete the Master of Arts in English will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge of two specific areas of study in English
  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the diverse scholarly approaches to major issues in the study of literature, language, linguistics, or rhetoric/composition/writing
  • Write professional papers that demonstrate critical and analytical thinking and other necessary skills for independent research and writing

Master of Arts with a Major in English

To earn this degree, you must complete at least 36 credits (courses are generally 3 credits each).  You must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 or better in courses taken to fulfill degree requirements; no course with a grade below B will count towards the degree. See below for the program requirements. 


  • 3 credits in ENG B605 - Critical Theory
  • 3 credits in one professional scholarship course in the student's area of concentration: 
    • ENG B501 - Professional Scholarship in Literature
    • ENG C517 - Professional Scholarship in Writing Studies
    • LING L505 - Professional Scholarship in Linguistics


  • 15 credits (five courses) from one of the following concentrations: 
    • Literature
    • Writing Studies
    • Language and Linguistics 


  • 15 credits or enough courses applicable to the degree to bring the program to a total of at least 36 credit hours

Note 1:  At least 9 credit hours of the concentration or electives must be 700 level seminars offered by the Department of English and Linguistics.  Courses in Liberal Studies will not fulfill this requirement.

  • Students may apply one professional scholarship course outside of their area of concentration toward the seminar requirements.
  • Students may substitute a master’s thesis for one of the three required seminars.  ENG B699 Master’s Thesis (3 credit hours) would be counted as elective credit.

Note 2:  It is recommended that a student who plans to pursue a doctorate in literary study demonstrate reading proficiency in an approved foreign language under the auspices of the Department of International Language and Culture Studies by passing:

  • A 300-level literature course in a foreign language with a grade of A or B,
  • A written examination that demonstrates a student’s proficiency in reading and translating a foreign language.

It is also recommended that a student who plans to pursue a doctorate in literary study elect to write a master’s thesis (3 credit hours).

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