English – M.A.
Department of English and Philosophy
TLC 2255 • 678-839-6512
F. Chalfant, L. Crafton, M. Crafton, R. Hendricks (Dean, College of Arts and Humanities), D. Newton (Chair)
S. Boyd, C. Davidson, M. Doyle, P. Erben, G. Fraser, E. Hipchen, D. MacComb, J. Masters (Director of Graduate Studies), M. Mitchell, (Associate Chair), A. Umminger, M. Pearson
B. Brickman, R. Harrison, A. Insenga (Coordinator of English Education), L. Miller
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
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 coursework 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 from among the following three degree options:
Plan I (Thesis Option) 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) or 80% of the coursework must be at the 6000-level. 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 coursework 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. Students may meet the thesis requirement by either writing a scholarly work (a minimum of 65 pages in length) or a creative writing work (a collection of poems, creative nonfiction, or prose that includes a critical and/or theoretical introduction). The thesis must be approved by the student's thesis committee, comprised of the student's major professor and two other graduate faculty readers.
Plan II (Non-Thesis Option) 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. Within the 36 hours of coursework, a minimum of 9 courses (27 hours) or 80% of the coursework must be at the 6000 level.
Plan III (Capstone Option) consists of 30 hours of coursework (10 courses). A minimum of 27 hours (9 courses) must be in English, and 21 credit hours (7 courses) or 80% of the coursework must be at the 6000 level. In addition, students will complete a Capstone project over the course of their final two semesters of study either a scholarly article or a creative writing project. The scholarly article should be approximately 20-35 pages (page length dependent upon the specifications of the scholarly journal to which the student chooses to submit). The project will engage in original scholarly research and demonstrate advanced mastery of pertinent critical assumptions, methodologies, and practices in the discipline. The Creative project must be approved by the student's capstone committee, comprised of the student's major professor and two other graduate faculty readers.
Upon completion of all course work, the candidate for the M.A. under all options listed above must pass a comprehensive oral exam based on the department's approved reading list. This oral examination may be retaken once. For students completing the thesis and capstone options, a separate oral defense of the thesis or capstone is also required. See the Director of Graduate Studies in English for details about the comprehensive oral examination required for all three options and for oral defense required for the thesis and capstone options.
Under all three plans, students must get the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies for their course selections. See the Director of Graduate Studies for required advisement before registering for classes each term.
Under all three 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.