Requirements for the MA Degree

The MA degree, which can be either a terminal degree or a stage in work toward the PhD, has two options: with thesis or without thesis. Students must complete the foreign language requirement in addition to the semester hours listed below. All students must file a committee by the mid-point of the Fall of their second year.

MA with Thesis

The MA with thesis requires 30 semester hours, distributed as follows:

  • Course Work within selected MA track (24 hours; 8 courses).
  • Master’s thesis and final oral examination on thesis (6 hours). The thesis is written under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty, the Supervisor, who, with one other faculty member, constitutes the Master’s Committee, which must approve the thesis. The Master’s Committee conducts a final oral examination on the thesis.

MA without Thesis

The MA without Thesis requires 32 semester hours, distributed as follows:

  • Course Work within selected MA track (30 hours; 10 courses).
  • MA Track Exam (2 hours ENG 6906): an oral examination over a list of texts drawn up by the student and the track committee. In compliance with Graduate School requirements, a written submission must precede or accompany administration of this exam.

Committee Responsibilities: The track committee consists of two faculty members, who work with the student to determine the list of texts and the size and the nature of the written part of the exam (five or more pages, approximately); the oral is generally one hour. The committee assigns a grade for the exam.

Student Responsibilities: Students are to register for 2 hours of ENG 6906 during the semester they plan to take the exam and must inform the Graduate Coordinator of their intention. Approximately one week before the exam, students need to provide Kathy Williams, the Graduate Program Assistant, with information on the exam so that she can schedule a room (if needed) and prepare the form for committee signatures.