The requirements listed below apply to all three concentrations in the MA. The non-thesis option is available for students in the Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies concentration only. For additional requirements associated with the Writing and the Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics concentrations, see the appropriate headings below.
A minimum of 24 hours in English beyond the BA to include 6 hours at the 600 level; 12 additional hours at the 500-600 level (only 3 hours of ENGL 593 may be applied toward the MA); and 6 hours for graduate credit at any level, including the 400-level. In this course work, students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
Written under the direction of a faculty member of the department and approved by a committee of two other faculty members. Six hours of credit will be given.
Six hours of additional courses at the 500-600 level, making a total of 30 hours of required course work.
Evidence of proficiency in one foreign language to be fulfilled in one of the following ways.
- Completion of the second year of a language at college level with a grade of C or better.
- Completion of FREN 302 or GERM 332 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a grade of B or better.
- Passing of the regular PhD foreign language examination as currently administered at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
A candidate presenting a thesis must pass a 1-hour oral examination; a candidate presenting a creative project must pass a ninety-minute oral examination. The examination consists of a short thesis defense, but chiefly of questions covering the general history of English and American literature, not merely the course work taken. A reading list of primary works designed to help the student prepare for these questions is available in the office of the Director of Graduate Studies in English.
A non-thesis student must pass a written examination, followed by a 1-hour oral examination, both consisting of the same sort of questions as the examination taken by the thesis student.
There is no residence requirement for the MA, but students should attempt to pursue a full-time program whenever possible.
Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics concentration
The MA’s concentration in rhetoric, writing, and linguistics offers specialized training for students who plan to do free-lance writing, to teach writing courses at the college level, to work as professional writers in business or industry, or to pursue the PhD in writing, rhetoric or composition. The program combines aspects of our regular MA degree training with specific writing courses and a thesis project that allows students to explore their topic in greater depth. Our graduates go on to excellent PhD programs in English as well as careers in editing, publishing, technical writing, and the non-profit and private sectors. Students who go on to complete the PhD may also find the MA with writing emphasis excellent training for programs in Rhetoric and Composition.
Writing students may substitute two 400-level writing courses for two 500-level courses. Students must take at least 9 hours in writing and 9 in literature, the remaining 6 to be selected from any English courses at the proper level. Of the courses in writing, at least 3 hours must be taken at the 500 level; additional 500- level courses are strongly recommended.
Students must complete a thesis that uses research to analyze some aspect of writing or rhetorical theory. The nature and length of the thesis project will be determined by the Director of Graduate Studies in English after consulting with the student and the thesis director. In addition to the thesis director, two other Department of English faculty members will supervise and approve the thesis; at least one should be from the literature faculty.
The reading list in Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics may be modified by the MA examining committee, meeting as a body with the student, to reflect the candidate’s particular writing emphasis. However, most of the oral examination should focus upon the literature outlined in the original reading list.
The MA in English with the writing concentration is intended for students who plan to do freelance or creative writing, specialize in teaching writing courses at the college level, work as professional editors or writers in business or industry, or pursue doctoral studies.
The requirements for the writing concentration are the same as those for the thesis option above with the following exceptions:
- Students may substitute two 400-level writing courses for two 500-level courses.
- Students must take at least 9 hours in writing courses and 9 hours in literature, the remaining 6 hours to be selected from any English courses at the proper level.
- Of the 9 hours in writing courses - at least 3 hours must be taken at the 500-level; additional 500-level courses are strongly recommended.