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Master of Arts in English
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The Master of Arts degree in English, offered by the College of Liberal Arts through the Department of English, guides students in the study of language, composition, and literature. Educational objectives include refining research, bibliographic, and composition skills; studying the nature and uses of language; acquiring theoretical perspectives on the writing process; studying selected authors in depth; and examining literary periods, styles, or movements in detail. A master’s degree in English prepares students for more advanced study in English, for teaching English at the secondary or college level, and for many professions that require proficiency in written communication. This degree gives students the option of a Thesis or Non-thesis program.

36-Hour Thesis or Non-th esis Program

The Master of Arts degree without a thesis consists of 36 hours and may include a minor of nine hours in a related field. The Master of Arts degree with thesis consists of 30 hours of coursework with six additional hours awarded for the thesis. With proper planning and with the approval of their graduate committees, students may take six of the 30 required hours in a field that is outside of English but that is directly relevant to the students’ “Program of Study”. The courses in English for both plans must satisfy the following distribution requirements:

  • at least two courses must be in English literature, one of which must be in a pre-19th century writer or period, and
  • at least two courses must be in American literature, one of which must be in a pre-20th century writer or period.

English 6300, Introduction to Graduate Studies, and English 6341, Literary Criticism, are also required and must be completed during the first year of graduate studies. In accordance with university policy, graduate credit from another university will be accepted from transfer students.

Admission Requirements

Evidence of academic achievement and potential for advanced study and research is required for graduate admission. Specific criteria for Unconditional Admission for master’s degree seeking students in English are:

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • GRE Verbal score of 500
  • GRE Analytical score of 500/4.0
  • A 3.0 GPA in nine hours of upper division English Literature, three of which must be ENGL 3302 Literary Analysis or its equivalent.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 and/or GRE scores lower than those specified are also encouraged to apply. A complete application packet, including a graduate admission application and all supporting documents required by the department, must be submitted by June 1 for fall, November 1st for spring or April 1st for summer.

Notification of decisions on graduate admission is made by the Office of Graduate Studies based on the admission criteria and recommendation of the academic department. Information related to application procedures and deadlines is available at the Office of Graduate Studies.


As part of their graduate program in English, students may choose the option of writing a thesis, for which they will receive six hours of graduate credit. Those who take this option must select a thesis committee, composed of a committee chairperson and two other members of the graduate English faculty, to approve the topic and to assist in the preparation of the thesis. (See thesis-non-thesis option under “Academic Information”.) Students must pass an oral defense of the completed thesis.

Comprehensive Writt en Examination

Each candidate for the non-thesis Master of Arts degree in English must pass a comprehensive written examination prepared by the English graduate faculty and administered by the Office of Graduate Office.


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Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Diana Dominguez • MRCHS 202 • (956) 882-8853 •

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