English – M.A.
Department of English and Philosophy
TLC 2255 • 678-839-6512
F. Chalfant, L. Crafton, M. Crafton, R. Hendricks (Chair)
C. Davidson, M. Doyle, G. Fraser, D. MacComb, M. Mitchell, D. Newton, A. Umminger
S. Boyd, B. Brickman, P. Erben, R. Harrison, E. Hipchen, A. Insenga (Coordinator of English Education), J. Masters (Graduate Director), M. Pearson
The M.A. program in English is designed to cultivate advanced mastery of content within the discipline, refined skills in scholarly writing, comprehensive knowledge of critical practices, and a keen awareness of contemporary issues in the study of literature. For regular admission to the program, a student must present an undergraduate major in English or equivalent course work in English (3.20 GPA) from an accredited institution, three letters of recommendation from sources qualified to address the candidate's specific disciplinary strengths, and a persuasive narrative statement that articulates the candidate's reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in English. Applicants should also demonstrate proficiency by achieving a minimum score of 500 on the verbal portion of the GRE and 4.5 on the GRE analytical writing test. All decisions on admission will be made by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation, as needed, with members of the graduate program committee, subject to final administrative approval.
Students accepted into the program may choose either a thesis (Plan I) or a non-thesis (Plan II) option. Students enrolled in either Plan I or II must take at least 80% of their course work at the 6000-level. Plan I consists of 30 credit hours, of which 27 are course work and 3 are thesis (ENGL 6399). Within the 27 hours of course work (9 courses), a minimum of 7 courses (21 hours) must be 6000-level seminars. The 3 hours of thesis work cannot be used to satisfy this requirement for work at the 6000-level. A minimum of 24 hours of the course work must be in English, and students wishing to use courses from other disciplines for credit toward the degree must get approval from the Director of Graduate Studies in English. Plan II consists of 36 credit hours (12 courses), of which a minimum of 30 hours must be in English. Students in this plan must also get approval from the Director of Graduate Studies in English to take courses outside the department. For non-thesis students, a minimum of 9 courses (27 hours) must be 6000-level seminars. For both Plans I and II, students must get the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies for their course selections prior to registration. All students are strongly encouraged to take a course in literary theory.
Under both plans, a reading knowledge of one foreign language (ordinarily Latin, French, German, or Spanish) is required. One may meet this requirement by one of the following: 1) completing a language course numbered 2002 with a grade of B or better during the course of study (no course or courses in a foreign language will count toward the required number of hours for the degree); 2) presenting an undergraduate transcript that indicates completion of a language course numbered 2002 (or its equivalent) with a grade of B or better within five years of the time the student enters the program; or 3) passing a standardized test administered by the testing office and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
Students who have taken an ENGL 4XXX course as an undergraduate at West Georgia cannot receive credit toward the M.A. degree in English for the concurrent ENGL 5XXX course unless the student and/or instructor can provide evidence that the content of the course (readings, topics, etc.) is significantly different than when he/she took it as an ENGL 4XXX course.
Upon completion of all course work, the candidate for the M.A. must pass a comprehensive oral exam based on a reading list given out to students at the time of their acceptance into the program. This oral examination may be retaken once. For students completing a thesis, a separate oral defense of the thesis is also required. See the Director of Graduate Studies in English for details and for required advisement before registering for classes each term.
Graduate students will be able to demonstrate:
- Advanced mastery of content within the discipline by answering comprehensive questions about specific writers, genres, texts, and literary periods that they have studied
- That they have achieved refined skills in professional and scholarly writing presuming a command of pertinent critical assumptions, methodologies, and practices
- A facility in relating the facts and ideas of the discipline to cognate fields and exploring their correspondence, particularly within the context of western intellectual history
- A keen awareness of contemporary issues in the study of literature, including those which emanate from an understanding of the differences among cultural value systems