May 20, 2022
David Lavery, Program Director
The Department of English offers the Master of Arts, the Doctor of Philosophy, and a minor at the graduate level.
Graduate study in English is primarily an engagement in the deep and intense study of literature and language, theory, and writing, undertaken for the special pleasure in knowledge and understanding of the world and its semiotic systems that such studies bring. It also provides preparation and training for careers within and without the academy.
The Master of Arts in English curriculum allows students to explore traditional areas of literary study (Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, etc.) as well as topics related to popular culture, film, gender, folklore, linguistics, and children’s literature. Opportunities are also available for concentrated studies in rhetoric, pedagogy, and composition theory.
Please see the undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
Admissions decisions are based on the department’s judgment of the applicant’s capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study. Admission to graduate study is not automatically guaranteed by meeting minimum admission requirements.
Applicants should have earned at least 30 semester hours of undergraduate English.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
Application for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1. Application for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Those seeking teaching assistantships must apply by February 1 for the following Fall semester. All application materials, including the assistantship application, should be sent directly to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
- submit three letters of recommendation from professors or professionals that address the applicant’s potential to successfully complete an M.A. program in English;
- submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (English subject test optional);
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
- submit a 500-word statement of purpose outlining academic interests and professional goals.
The Master of Arts in English requires 30 hours (thesis option) or 36 hours (non-thesis option).
- fulfill a foreign language requirement in one of the following ways:
- complete two 3-hour foreign language courses of 3000- or 4000-level work emphasizing reading, translation, or composition;
- earn a final grade of A or B in a foreign language course numbered 5990 or in SPAN 5920 ;
- pass a reading examination administered by the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department; or
- earn a final grade of B or better in both ENGL 6010 - Old English Language and Literature and ENGL 6020 - Beowulf , which must be taken sequentially.
- if in the non-thesis option, successfully complete a written comprehensive examination (may be taken no more than twice);
- if in the thesis option, successfully complete and defend a thesis.
Candidate must complete 30 hours (thesis option) or 36 hours (non-thesis option) in the following course of study:
Thesis Option (30 hours)
Candidate must either
- complete 30 semester hours in English, including ENGL 6640 and ENGL 6660 , with no more than 30 percent of the total degree hours dually listed as undergraduate/graduate courses; OR
- elect a minor, in which the student takes 9-12 semester hours, plus a minimum of 18 or 21 hours in English, including ENGL 6640 and ENGL 6660 .
Non-thesis Option (36 hours)
Candidate must either
- complete 36 semester hours in English, including ENGL 6660 , with no more than 30 percent of the total degree hours dually listed as undergraduate/graduate courses; OR
- elect a minor, in which the student takes 9-12 semester hours, plus a minimum of 24 or 27 hours in English, including ENGL 6660 .
- file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
- file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which the student intends to graduate.