[1] MA in English

[1.1] Objectives

The Master of Arts (MA) program in English allows students two options: a Literature option for those interested in advanced study of literature; and a Language Arts option for teachers interested in enhancing their content area knowledge. The MA in English is designed to do the following:

  • teach and have students retain knowledge about the periods, authors, genres, and critical theory germane to the study of English and American literature and about the English language on a level befitting graduate-level study.
  • teach students to conduct and present graduate-level research, including the discovery, evaluation, integration, and documentation of primary and secondary sources.
  • teach students to read closely and to think critically about literary works in order to form a thorough understanding of those works, their complexities, and how they fit into the larger scope of English and American literature.
  • teach students to compose graduate quality writing that presents arguments in clear, mechanically sound prose and supports those arguments with evidence drawn from primary and secondary sources.

In addition, the Language Arts option of the English MA program includes the following objectives:

  • teach and have students analyze key issues in linguistics and education through a written analysis.
  • teach and have students demonstrate the ability to apply composition theory to pedagogy through a written analysis.
  • teach and have students demonstrate the ability to apply creative writing theory to pedagogy through a written analysis.
  • help students identify strategies for teaching diverse literatures in the K-12 classroom.

[1.2] Program Admission Requirements

[1.2.1] Literature Option

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to graduate school, the student must present satisfactory scores on the General Section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). (See Admission to Graduate Study.) The English department recommends a minimum of 153 on the Verbal Reasoning portion of the GRE. Further, the student must have earned a minimum 3.00 GPA in an undergraduate major or minor in English literature to gain regular admission to the program. Finally, a student must show the equivalent of one year of undergraduate foreign language study, or must remedy this deficiency before the MA Comprehensive Examination is taken. The English department requests that applicants supply two letters of recommendation and a 7-10 page writing sample with their application.

Those international students required by the university to submit TOEFL scores for entrance to graduate study must score a minimum of 600 on the written exam or 250 on the computerized exam in order to gain admission to graduate study in English. Further, the student must attain a minimum score of 5 on the essay portion of the exam.

For conditional admission to the program, consult the department chair or graduate coordinator.

[1.2.2] Language Arts Option

Applicants must apply for admission to both the Graduate School and the Master of Arts in English. In addition to taking the GRE test, admission to the Masters in English Language Arts requires the following:

Unconditional Admittance:

  1. The applicant must score a minimum of 4 on the writing section of the GRE.
  2. The applicant must score a minimum of 153 on the verbal section of the GRE.
  3. The applicant must submit a Statement of Purpose detailing why he or she wants to pursue this degree.
  4. The applicant must have at least a 2.7 undergraduate GPA.
  5. The applicant must submit two letters of recommendation.

Conditional Admittance:
Applicants who do not meet one or more of these requirements may be admitted to the program at the discretion of the Director of the English Graduate Program. These students must meet the following criterion to remain in the program:

  1. Maintain a 3.0 GPA by the end of 12 hours.

[1.3] Degree Requirements

In both options, at least 15 of the student’s 30 hours must consist of 6000-level courses. All students pursuing the MA are required to pass the following courses:

ENGL 5360 History and Structure of the English Language
ENGL 5366 Literacy Theory and Criticism
ENGL 6393 Research Methods in English

The department strongly recommends that ENGL 6393 be taken at the earliest opportunity.

[1.3.1] Literature Option

Candidates for the English MA-Literature option must fulfill one of the following plans:

Non-Thesis: Satisfactorily complete 30 hours of English and pass a comprehensive examination based upon the department’s Master’s Reading List.

Thesis: Satisfactorily complete 24 hours of English, pass a comprehensive examination based upon the department’s Master’s Reading List, prepare a thesis for which 6 hours of credit are earned, and pass an oral examination over the subject matter of the thesis.

Upon acceptance into the graduate program, each student will be advised by a member of the department’s graduate faculty and will procure a Master’s Reading List from the departmental secretary. At or near the end of the candidate’s program, the Coordinator of Graduate Study and members of the graduate faculty will give the student a comprehensive, written examination. If the candidate’s performance is unsatisfactory, the student may be re-examined during one of the regularly scheduled comprehensive exam periods.

Should the student elect the thesis option, he or she will select a major professor to direct the thesis. When the thesis is submitted, an oral examination will be given by a committee composed of the major professor, a member of the graduate faculty (to be appointed by the departmental chairperson), and a member of the graduate faculty from outside the Department of English.

[1.3.2] Language Arts Option

Required Core Courses (9 hours – required of all MA candidates in English – see § 1.3 above):

Required Courses for Language Arts Option (9 hours):

LING 5310 Educational Linguistics
WRTG 5320 Teaching Creative Writing: History Theory and Practice*
WRTG 5330 Contemporary Composition; Theory and Application

*Prerequisite Creative Writing course is required. May be an undergraduate course.

Electives (9 hours):
Choose three courses from these approved electives (two must be literature courses):

ENGL 6306 Seminar in English Literature 1900 to Present
ENGL 6307 Seminar in American Literature 1900 to Present
ENGL 6321 Readings in American Literature
ENGL 6323 Literature of the Americas for Teachers
ENGL 6325 Asian/Asian American Literature for Teachers
ENGL 6394 Graduate Independent Study
WRTG 6310 Advanced Topics in Discourse Analysis
WRTG 6610 Central Arkansas Writing Project [Note: choosing this option will add an extra 3 hours to the degree program, since this is a 6-hour workshop.]

Required Capstone Course (3 hours):

ENGL 6365 Diverse Literatures Seminar

[2] Graduate Course Links

[2.1] Courses in English (ENGL)

Follow this link to ENGL course descriptions: course link.

[2.2] Courses in Linguistics (LING) and Writing (WRTG)

Follow this link to LING course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link to WRTG course descriptions: course link.