Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements for All Students:

English 7000--Approaches to Graduate Study. This course will acquaint graduate students with the aims and methods of professional research in the discipline. Students in this course will produce a paper suitable for presentation at an academic conference.

English 7010--Approaches to Critical Theory. This course will acquaint graduate students with the different critical methodologies available for the interpretation of texts. Students in this course will produce a paper suitable for publication in an academic journal.

Foreign Language Requirement: Students must demonstrate a reading proficiency in German, French, or Spanish by the end of their final semester of coursework. (Other languages may be accepted by special permission.) They may do so by passing a reading examination* or by earning a grade of B or better in the fourth sequence course of one of these languages.

*The Reading Proficiency Examination is administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Students desiring to take this exam should report to this department to apply to take this examination. It is usually administered around mid-semester, but alternative arrangements can be made. These exams last approximately 1 1/2 hours and are reading intensive. The exam is in two parts. The first part is reading comprehension and consists of brief paragraphs in the foreign language. Each of the paragraphs is accompanied by 2 to 4 multiple-choice questions in English that test the reader's understanding of the paragraphs. There are approximately 20 multiple choice questions. The second part of the exam is made up of five sequences that must be translated into grammatically correct English. Students may use dictionaries. Scoring is according to university standards; 60 is the minimum passing score.

Completion of either the thesis or non-thesis option.

GPA: The Graduate School requires a 3.0 GPA for graduation.

Advisors and Examination Committees: After students are accepted into the Graduate School, they should make an appointment to see the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in English, who will serve as their advisor until they are ready to select their own. Whether students plan to pursue the thesis or non-thesis option, the appropriate advisor and committee are essential to their academic and professional well-being, serving as a source of guidance about the thesis, the comprehensive examinations, careers, further graduate study, dual degrees, and other matters.

By the time students have completed approximately 18 semester hours of coursework, they should be ready to select permanent graduate advisors whose expertise would be best suited to their planned thesis or comprehensive examinations. Students should then meet with their advisors to select at least two other members of the graduate faculty who will serve on their examination committee. In the case of a thesis committee, at least one member must be from a department outside the students' areas of specialization. Students then need to meet with their examination committees either to agree on the thesis timetable or to establish a reading list for the comprehensives.

Progression, Retention, Dismissal, and Readmission Policies:

  1. In order to graduate, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all graduate course work.

  2. Students receiving two grades below “C” (“D”, “F”, “WF”, or “U”) will be dismissed from the program.

  3. No course in which the student has earned a grade below a “C” will count toward completion of the degree.

  4. Students also will be dismissed from the program if they accumulate 4 or more academic deficiency points. A grade of “C” equals one deficiency point. A grade of “D” equals 2 deficiency points. A grade of “F” or “WF” equals 3 deficiency points.

  5. If dismissed from the program, the student must wait a minimum of two semesters before applying for readmission.  Any such readmission will be probationary and the English department reserves the right to place additional specific conditions and contingencies on any offer of readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed and prior academic performance and conduct in the program will be considered.

  6. The maximum time allowed for completion of the master’s degree is seven calendar years. No work completed more than seven years prior to degree completion will be accepted toward the degree except with special permission from the Graduate Studies Committee, the Chair of the English Department and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.

  7. No more than 6 semester hours of academic work may be transferred from another institution into a master’s-level graduate program. This credit must be documented in the form of an official transcript at the time of admission. Transfer credit will be evaluated after admission by the academic department. To be eligible, credit must be no more than seven years old prior to completion of the degree.

  8. Students must receive a grade of B or better in the fourth sequence course of a foreign language or a passing grade in a reading proficiency examination administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages in order to fulfill the requirements of the degree.

  9. Students entering the literature emphasis without an undergraduate degree in English or English minor or its equivalent must complete the following prerequisites with a grade of B or higher before enrolling in graduate-level courses: ENGL 3060; ENGL 3210 and ENGL 3215; ENGL 3110 and ENGL 3120.  At the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee, courses taken at the undergraduate level deemed equivalent to the above requirements may be counted as fulfilling the prerequisites either partially or in full.  In addition, 4000-level British and American courses at VSU can be substituted for the 3000-level surveys, as long as the student still takes two American and two British courses.

  10. Students entering the rhetoric and composition emphasis without an undergraduate degree in English or English minor or its equivalent must complete three hours of either ENGL 3210 or 3215; and three hours of either 3110 or 3120--all with a grade of B or higher.  These prerequisites must be completed before the student may enroll in graduate-level courses.

  11. Students enrolled in the graduate program in English can take no more than three credit hours per year that do not count toward fulfillment of the requirements for the degree.

  12. Students enrolled in the graduate program in English must complete ENGL 7000 and 7010 in the earliest possible semesters they are offered following initial enrollment.