2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Nov 13, 2019  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog

English Major, MA


Tennessee’s MA program is offered in two concentrations: Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies and Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics. They both provide excellent training and a flexible curriculum. Students may specialize in anything from medieval literature to critical theory or may pursue a more general curriculum. We look for strong, thoughtful candidates who will enrich our intellectual community in a variety of ways and who will benefit from the breadth of our resources.

We have an excellent financial support, a nationally and internationally recognized faculty, and world-class research library. Travel funds for research and presentations at scholarly conferences help our students enter the profession and begin to establish themselves in their respective fields within the discipline.

The Graduate Students in English organization, field-specific reading groups, and other activities draw students together as an intellectual and social community with shared passions and aspirations. Our MA graduates go on to excellent PhD programs in English, as well as to careers in editing, publishing, technical writing, and the non-profit and private sectors.

Concentrations (Required) and Options Available

Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies: Thesis, Course only with comprehensive exams
Rhetoric, Writing and Linguistics: Thesis

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • The Department of English does not accept students in non-degree or provisional status.
  • A student who wishes to enter the department must apply in degree-seeking status for his/her application to receive consideration for admission to any graduate program in English.

Academic Standards

  • Students must maintain at least a 3.00 GPA

Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies, Thesis

In keeping with its long tradition of teaching and research excellence, the English department at UT takes part in cutting-edge conversations in literary studies through challenging coursework and scholarship.

This largest of the graduate concentration areas brings a passion for literatures, their cultural contexts, their textual history, and their critical legacies to the classroom. New opportunities for interdisciplinary work make this an exciting and rigorous program of study. The British and American literary traditions, medieval studies, ethnic literatures, post-colonial and international literatures, critical theory, textual studies, folklore, film, prosody, poetics, and work in other fields support student research in a variety of genres.

The department also sponsors a regular schedule of visiting lecturers, reading groups, and workshops that bring graduate students and faculty members together in discussion and study.

Credit Hours Required

Minimumm of 30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • ENGL 500  (6 credit hours )
  • 6 credit hours at the 600-level
  • 12 additional credit hours at the 500-600 level (only 3 credit hours of ENGL 593  may be applied toward the MA)
  • 6 credit hours for graduate credit at any level, including the 400-level.
  • Students must take at least one course in each of the department’s three historical divisions, selected in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee:
    • Medieval/Renaissance
    • 18th- and 19th-century British and American
    • Modern/contemporary

Non-Course Requirements

  • Language Requirement: Evidence of proficiency in one foreign language to be fulfilled in one of the following ways.
    • Completion of FREN 302 or GERM 332 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a grade of B or better.
    • Completion of the second year of a language at college level with a grade of C or better.
    • Passing of the regular PhD foreign language examination as currently administered at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Final Examination: A candidate presenting a thesis must pass a ninety-minute oral examination focusing in part on the thesis but consisting chiefly of questions covering an approved reading list in the Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies concentration.
  • Residence Requirement: There is no residence requirement for the MA, but students should attempt to pursue a full-time program whenever possible.

Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies, Course only with comprehensive exams

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • 6 credit hours at the 600-level
  • 18 additional credit hours at the 500-600 level (only 3 credit hours of ENGL 593  may be applied toward the MA)
  • 6 credit hours for graduate credit at any level, including the 400-level.
  • Students must take at least one course in each of the department’s three historical divisions, selected in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee:
    • Medieval/Renaissance
    • 18th- and 19th-century British and American
    • Modern/contemporary

Non-Course Requirements

  • Language Requirement: 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.
  • Final Examination: A non-thesis student candidate must pass a written examination, followed by a 1- hour oral examination. The examination consists 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.
  • Residence Requirement: There is no residence requirement for the MA, but students should attempt to pursue a full-time program whenever possible.

Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics, Thesis

At the MA level, the concentration in RWL is designed to foster innovative and imaginative as well as rigorous scholarship and teaching. To that end, the core curriculum invites students to work across a broad range of RWL areas, including the history of rhetoric, theories of rhetoric and writing, critical theory, composition research and pedagogy, literacy studies, technical communication, applied linguistics, and second-language acquisition.

RWL students are also encouraged to explore multidisciplinary perspectives. Through coursework and directed research, students can make connections with other areas in English studies, including literary periods and genres, ethnic and national literatures (especially African American, American, and British literatures), feminist criticism, and literary theory. Further, RWL students can pursue cross-disciplinary interests that carry them into fields such as education, legal studies, political science, drama and performance studies, philosophy, history, and sociology. The Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics has been directed by our faculty members, and graduate students may also draw on the resources of Marco Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Beyond the classroom, RWL students at UT participate in a lively and supportive intellectual community. Along with coursework, RWL reading groups, guest speakers, and social events provide students and faculty with regular opportunities for formal and informal exchange. Faculty and students also work together through department-sponsored research assistantships and collaborative research projects.

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • ENGL 500  (6 credit hours)
  • 6 credit hours at the 600 level. (This may include the required RWL elective mentioned below.)
  • 12 credit hours at the 500-600 level, including
    • ENGL 585  
    • ENGL 586  
    • One elective course from the Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics curriculum.
  • 6 credit hours of graduate credit at any level, including the 400 level.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Language Requirement: 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.
  • Thesis: 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.
  • Final Examination: A candidate presenting a thesis must pass a 90-minute oral final examination.  Thirty minutes will serve as a thesis defense and sixty minutes will cover the MA Reading List for Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics.