English

Graduate programs

Master of Arts, English

Etta Madden, Graduate Director
Siceluff Hall, Room 311

Mission

The MA in English seeks to impart advanced skills in writing, critical reading, and the analysis of language, as well as a broad, general knowledge of literature. Varying with students' interests, the MA prepares graduates for doctoral study and for careers in writing, teaching, and other professions.

Program description

Students complete a core of 18 hours and specialize in one of three tracks: (1) literature, (2) creative writing, or (3) TESOL. 

Admission requirements

Due Dates: For students applying for Summer and Fall semester, priority consideration will be given to applications received by March 1; for Spring, by October 1. 

Admission to the program is based on the following components and Application Requirements/Deadlines:

  1. A bachelor's degree with extensive preparation in English (the course work equivalent of an English minor);
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.00 overall;
  3. A completed Missouri State University Application for Graduate Admission; and
  4. The following materials must be received in the English Department:
    • A Personal Statement (a 200- to 250-word description of the reasons and goals behind your interest in English graduate studies);
    • At least two letters of recommendation from individuals able to speak of the applicant's academic achievements and potential;
    • A writing sample (a 10-15 page critical paper in English or portfolio of writing samples);
    • Graduate Assistantship Application if the prospective student would like to be considered for this award.

Applicants will be notified by mail once their application is complete.  Students who do not meet 1 and 2, above, but show high promise, may be admitted conditionally.  As conditions of admission, they may be required to take extra courses to make up deficiencies (including weaknesses in writing) or they may have other requirements stipulated.

*For students interested in the TESOL track, course work in language and linguistics will be considered in lieu of literature courses).

Core requirements   (18 hours)

All students in the MA program in English must complete the following 18-hour core:

Additional degree requirements   (minimum of 14 hours)

  1. Track Options & Requirements.  The different tracks described below outline a minimum of 14 additional hours of graduate-level course work.  Students should choose electives with an awareness that at least half the credit hours applied toward the 32-hour minimum must be in courses numbered 700 or above.  The student must choose a program track before filing a Program of Study.
  2. Language Proficiency.  The language requirement may be met through one of the following options:  (a) completion of 12 hours of undergraduate course work in a foreign language with at least a "C" average; (b) completion of the second intermediate foreign language college course with a grade of "C" or higher; (c) completion of 6 hours of undergraduate course work in one foreign language with at least a "C" average and completion of 6 hours of undergraduate course work in a second foreign language with at least a "C" average; (d) passing a reading competency test equivalent to the level of the second intermediate foreign language college course administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages; or with advisor's permission; (e) completion of an additional 3 hours of graduate-level linguistics course work (raising the student's degree minimum to 36 hours).  M.A., English student in the TESOL track must meet this requirement through a, b, c, or de above.  Any M.A., English student whose native language is not English will be considered to have met the language requirement.
  3. Research Requirement.  The MA English research requirement varies by track:
    • a Literature Track student satisfies the requirement by submitting either a thesis or a degree paper.
    • a TESOL Track student satisfies the requirement by submitting a degree paper.
    • a Creative Writing Track student typically satisfies the requirement by submitting a thesis.  (To satisfy the requirement by instead submitting a degree paper, a Creative Writing Track student must obtain written approval from the Creative Writing Track Coordinator.)

Thesis:  The thesis will ordinarily involve research on an original subject or an original approach to a subject.  When appropriate, the thesis may be a creative work.  Credit for the thesis (ENG 799), up to 6 hours, may apply to the minimum 32 hours required for the degree

Degree Papers:  The paper may be a critical, interpretive, or investigative study of an original topic or an original treatment of a subject, based on primary sources.  When appropriate, the paper may be creative work.  The project must derive from a course taken to satisfy a degree requirement

   4.  Colloquia.  Students are expected to attend and participate in academic and professional activities.  These may be scheduled by the department or may include university and community events (scholarly conferences, professional workshops, lectures, and presentations).

   5.  Comprehensive Examination.  The graduate student in English takes the comprehensive examination during the last semester of course work or later. 

The comprehensive examination for the MA in English is based on reading lists that reflect the student’s particular degree emphasis.  Each student will prepare for two examination areas, and write two, two-hour essays.  Students should begin preparing for the examination early in their graduate studies.

Creative Writing track

In addition to the core and degree requirements listed above, students choosing the graduate track in creative writing must complete the following courses:

Literature track

In addition to the core and degree requirements listed above, students choosing the graduate track in literature must complete the following courses:

  • 8-9 Hours - Electives in literature, linguistics, theory, writing
  • 6 Hours - ENG 799 Thesis (or alternative 700-level course work and two degree papers)

TESOL track

Students choosing the graduate track in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) must satisfy the following course work as part of their core requirements: ENG 688, 691, 695, 793.  In addition to the core and degree requirements listed above, these students must also complete the following courses:

For detailed descriptions of the TESOL program and the Missouri State TESOL certification requirements, see "Opportunities in TESOL" later under the Department of English information.  Students may also consult with the Coordinator of the TESOL program, Dr. Andrea Hellman.