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Go Deeper with a Master’s in English

Format: In person on the Statesboro Campus
Credit Hours: 36
Entry Terms: Fall, Spring, Summer
Time to Complete: Four Semesters

Go Deeper with a Master’s in English!

The Master of Arts in English at Georgia Southern University prepares its students for a variety of careers or for advanced doctoral work. Students who enroll in the MA in English program enjoy the engaging atmosphere of graduate study and work closely with faculty members.

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MA in English Course Requirements

Candidates for the M.A. in English must complete 30 hours of graduate courses, including English 7131, 7618, and at least 18 hours (six three-hour courses) on the seminar (6000-7000) level.  Upon approval of the director of the M.A. program in English, students may count up to six graduate hours in non-ENGL courses toward the English M.A.  To complete the degree, students must write and successfully defend a thesis.

What is a thesis?

Students are encouraged to begin thinking about and researching possible thesis topics during the first year of study. During the second semester, students will take ENGL 7618 Thesis Prep in order to prepare for the thesis project. Students will ask a professor to direct the thesis. The subject matter of the thesis should be within the professor’s field(s) of expertise. For crucial information on the thesis and its electronic formatting, students should consult the College of Graduate Studies ETD website. The professor and the student should discuss the significance and viability of the thesis topic, and at the beginning of the second year of full-time study (or after the completion of 18 credit hours) the student submits a Thesis Prospectus Form to the thesis committee for approval.

The student should seek feedback and criticism from the director as the thesis progresses. A good idea would be for the student to submit each chapter as it becomes complete, and the professor should meet within a week to discuss the marked draft with the student. The director and student will work around occasional delays necessitated by other commitments of the director.

What is the thesis timetable?

The thesis timetable varies for students; however, there are dates that must be followed, e.g. the “Final Deadline to hold terminal thesis defenses” as specified by the University’s Academic Calendar. The specific dates for each semester will be posted on the College of Graduate Studies’ web page. With an eye on the deadlines, the student and director devise a timetable for the completion of the thesis. Students can refer to the Department of English Graduate Handbook for a recommended thesis timetable.

Student Resources

Master’s in English Admissions Requirements

As you prepare to submit your materials for the M.A. in English program, review the requirements for regular and provisional admission. All materials for admission should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions unless otherwise indicated.

Regular Admission

  • Completed requirements for the Bachelor’s degree in a college accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting associations.
  • A 3.0 (4.0 scale) cumulative grade point average or higher on all undergraduate work.
  • An undergraduate major or the equivalent in the proposed field of study.
  • Two letters of recommendation by persons familiar with the applicant’s academic experience.
  • A sample of the applicant’s scholarly writing of at least 12-15 pages.
  • Statement of Purpose (250-500) words. This statement should address the applicant’s academic achievements and major accomplishments, contributions to or experiences in this field of study, pertinent extra-curricular activities, and the reasons why he or she wishes to attend Georgia Southern. While the personal statement is only one of many factors the graduate admissions committee considers when making admission decisions, it helps provide context for the rest of the application.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission is sometimes possible if a candidate has better than a 2.75 (4.0 scale) cumulative GPA on undergraduate college work. Students who do not meet provisional requirements may appeal to a departmental committee of graduate faculty members for admission.

After Graduate School

If you decide to continue with graduate work beyond the M.A., you should know about a policy adopted by the Council of Graduate Schools. “Acceptance of an offer of financial support (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties. Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15.” For more information, see the full policy.

Last updated: 5/22/2023