The M.A. in English with an emphasis in Literature offers the following:

  • training for students seeking to teach at colleges and universities
  • an attractive, content-based degree program for public school English teachers
  • a theoretical and historical foundation for students seeking to enter a PhD program in Literature

Course Distribution:

The M.A. degree in English with an emphasis in literature consists of 36 semester hours.

Required Courses (18 hours):

  1. ENGL 7010 – Literary Theory and Criticism in Graduate Studies (3 hours)

  2. ENGL 8800 – Teaching College Composition (3 hours)
  3. Two 8000-Level Seminars (3 hours each = 6 hours total)

  4. Two Graduate Option Courses (ENGL 6000) (3 hours each = 6 hours total)

Elective Courses (12-15 hours):

  1. 7000-Level, Studies Courses: 0-12 hours

  2. 8000-Level Seminars: 0-12 hours

  3. Graduate Option (6000-level courses and/or graduate courses from other departments, as noted below*): 0-9 hours within English Department; 0-6 hours outside English Department

*In order to take advantage of our extensive range of topics offered in upper-division offerings and to engage in interdisciplinary study, students will also have the opportunity to exercise a graduate option. Under this option, students will be allowed a maximum of 15 hours of coursework that can be drawn from selected 4000-level courses within the English Department with the prefixes ENGL and LING offered at the 6000 level (with  appropriate adjustments in the course syllabus); only 6 hours of the Graduate Option can be taken as graduate courses outside the MA English Program, with preference given for MAESLAT courses in Rhetoric and Composition. 

Culminating Experience (6 hours): select one of the options below

  1. Comprehensive Exam Hours (for students who select the exam option in the program): 3 hours**

  2. Thesis Hours (for students who select the thesis option in the program): 3-6 hours

**If a student opts for a Comprehensive Exam as the Culminating Experience, the student should take an additional ENGL/LING elective course at the 6000 to 8000 level to reach the required 15 elective credit hours. Thesis students are required to take only 12 elective credit hours.

Special Requirements for Students Entering the Program Without an Undergraduate Degree in English:

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.