MA in English

Applicants must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School, with the additional requirement that they have a 3.000 grade point average in their previous work in English courses. The coordinator of graduate studies in English will then evaluate the applicant’s transcript, prescribing additional undergraduate hours for those who have fewer than 24 credit hours in English and American literature or in other work acceptable to the department of English. Courses in freshman composition, grammar, teaching methods, journalism, speech, etc., may not be included in the required 24 credit hours. Exceptions may be made for outstanding students who have majored in related fields.

In addition to Graduate School application materials, applicants to the English MA program should submit a 500 word statement of purpose explaining their goals or reasons for pursuing an MA in English as well as their skills, accomplishments or experiences that suggest they will be able to succeed in the program. The English department Master of Arts program accepts applications for admission on an ongoing basis.

Applicants who have earned degrees at institutions in countries in which English is not the native language must score at least 600 paper-based, or 100 Internet-based on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Examination, or an overall band score of 7.5 on the IELTS, or a score of 73 on the PTE-Academic before being admitted to the MA degree program in English.

Academic Advising

All MA candidates in English are advised by the graduate coordinator in English. The coordinator and the student establish a plan of study that takes into account the student’s interests and future vocational plans.

Transfer of Credit

Students must complete 24 credit hours at Wichita State within the English department. Students may transfer up to 9 credit hours on the Plan A and Plan C programs and up to 6 credit hours on Plan B. If the credit to be transferred comes from a program in which the student took a graduate degree, the time limits imposed by the Graduate School on other transfers of credit will not apply. Credit for transfer courses will not count toward the required number of courses at the 700 level or above, unless the transfer hours are of appropriate level from Kansas Board of Regents institutions.

Language Requirement

Master’s degree candidates in English may fulfill the department’s foreign language requirements in any one of the following ways:

  1. By submitting a transcript showing the completion with a grade of C- or better of at least 15 credit hours of undergraduate work in a single foreign language or the equivalent as defined by Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  2. By completing the required 15 credit hours of undergraduate work in a single foreign language.
  3. By taking a test administered by the department of modern and classical languages and literatures in the elected foreign language, with a successful score determined by the English department.
  4. By submitting a transcript showing completion of 6 credit hours of linguistics with a grade of C- or better.

Program Requirements

ENGL 700, normally should be included in the student’s first semester of graduate study.

At least seven courses toward all degree plans must be at the 700 level or above. The remaining hours may be taken at any level 500 or above. Candidates completing 500- or 600-level English courses for graduate credit must satisfy a higher differential of performance relative to undergraduate students in the same courses, with the nature of this differential set by professors.

There are three programs leading to the degree. Plan A, which emphasizes literature, composition and pedagogy and consists of 33 credit hours, is especially designed for teachers. Plan B, a 30-credit-hour plan which requires the student to submit a master’s thesis, places more emphasis on research, scholarly writing and the independent study of literature. Plan C, which emphasizes a comprehensive and cohesive study of literature, also requires 33 credit hours and is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced study of literature through coursework. All three degree plans require the following core literature coursework:

Core Literature Coursework
ENGL 700Introduction to Graduate Study in English3
Select two of the following in major author(s), genre or special topics:6
Critical Studies in Film
Studies in Fiction
Studies in Poetry
Studies in Drama
Studies in Shakespeare
Studies in a Major Author
Epic and Romance
Writing by Women
Introduction to Critical Theory
Studies in Ethnic Literature
Special Studies
Graduate Studies in Fiction
Graduate Studies in Poetry
Graduate Studies in Drama
Seminar in Chaucer
Graduate Studies in Major Author(s)
Graduate Studies in Criticism
Graduate Seminar in Special Topics
Select two of the following in British Literature before 1900:6
Medieval Literature
Renaissance Literature
Restoration and 18th Century Literature
Romantic Literature
Victorian Literature
Seminar in Old English
Seminar in Medieval Literature
Seminar in Renaissance Literature
Seminar in Restoration and 18th Century British Literature
Seminar in Romantic Literature
Seminar in Victorian Literature
Graduate Studies in British and World Literature Before 1900
Select one of the following in American literature before WWI:3
American Literature I
American Literature II
Seminar in American Literature I
Seminar in American Literature II
Select one of the following in 20th/21st century studies—British, American or Anglophone 3
Modern British Literature
Contemporary Literature
Seminar in American Literature III
Seminar in Modern British Literature
Seminar in Contemporary Literature
Program Plans
Select one of the following program plans (details below):9-12
Plan A
Plan B
Plan C
Total Credit Hours30-33

With graduate coordinator approval, courses with a minimum of 80 percent of the content meeting a requirement can occasionally be used to satisfy a requirement other than the one for which they are listed. No single course can be used to satisfy more than one requirement. A major author(s) course cannot be used to satisfy a period requirement. With approval of the graduate coordinator, a course can be repeated once for credit if at least 80 percent of the content is different. At least seven courses must be taken at or above the 700 level. All English department classes at the 500 level or above not taken to meet another requirement can earn credit as an elective provided that student has sufficient coursework at the 700 level or above. With graduate coordinator approval, one elective may be taken in another department or college, such as the College of Education.

Plan A

Select one course in composition theory, rhetoric, linguistics or pedagogy3
Select three elective classes in linguistics, literature, composition theory, rhetoric or methods of teaching English9
Total Credit Hours12

A master’s thesis is not required, but students must take a comprehensive examination guided by their coursework and a standard suggested reading list. A Plan A student is examined on two literary periods, one American, one British. At least one of the two literary periods must cover literature before 1900. Students in Plan A is also tested on a question drawn from composition and rhetoric pedagogy. Students may take either the December or May comprehensive examination by informing the graduate coordinator of intent to do so.

Plan B

Select two elective classes in linguistics, literature, composition theory, rhetoric or methods of teaching English6
ENGL 890Master's Thesis (a maximum of 3 credit hours can be applied toward the degree)3
Total Credit Hours9

Plan B also requires a written comprehensive examination and an oral thesis defense. The oral defense committee includes the director of the thesis, a graduate faculty member from the English department, and a reader from outside the English department who is a graduate faculty member. The written comprehensive examination is guided by their coursework and a standard suggested reading list. A Plan B student is examined on three literary periods, with at least one each from American and British. At least one of the three literary periods must cover literature before 1900. Students may take either the December or May comprehensive examination by informing the graduate coordinator of intent to do so.

Plan C

Select four elective classes in linguistics, literature, composition theory, rhetoric or methods of teaching English chosen in consultation with the graduate coordinator12
Total Credit Hours12

Plan C students must take a written comprehensive examination guided by their coursework and a standard suggested reading list. A Plan C student is examined on three literary periods, with at least one each from American and British. At least one of the three literary periods must cover literature before 1900. Students may take either the December or May comprehensive examination by informing the graduate coordinator of intent to do so.