English, Master of Arts

Degree Options available for Master of Arts in English

  • Option A: Literature Emphasis - Thesis Option (30 Hours)
  • Option B: Literature Emphasis - Examination Option (36 Hours)
  • Option C: Creative Writing Emphasis (30 Hours)
  • Option D: Children's and Adolescent Literature Emphasis - Thesis Option (30 Hours)
  • Option E: Children's and Adolescent Literature Emphasis - Examination Option (36 Hours)
  • Option F: Writing Emphasis - ONLINE Option (36 Hours)

Master of Arts in English

The Master of Arts in English program presents a variety of courses in World, British, and United States literatures, creative writing, and pedagogy. The program of study offers seminars, independent readings, special topic courses and workshops. It serves students wishing to pursue an advanced degree in Literary studies, as well as high school teachers and students seeking teacher certification. Students may choose from one of four emphases, the Literature Emphasis, the Creative Writing Emphasis, the Children's and Adolescent Literature Emphasis, or the Writing Emphasis. Students in the Literature emphases may choose either a 30-hour thesis option or a 36-hour comprehensive exam option; both options require courses in literature and literary criticism.

Admission Process

Departmental admission to the Graduate program is based on transcripts, a writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and the appropriate application forms (including indication of desired degree option). The Graduate Committee of the Department of English will weigh (and in some circumstances waive) these documents in the best interest of the program and the applicant. A student interested in pursuing a degree program in English should:

  1. Meet the requirements for admission1 set by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research,
  2. Submit an official undergraduate transcript to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research showing at least 18 semester hours in upper division (300-400 level) courses in literature, writing, and linguistics,
  3. Submit an application to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research,
  4. Submit a writing sample: for the literature tracks, fifteen pages that demonstrate the applicant's critical skills in analyzing literature; for the creative writing track, ten pages that reflect the applicant's critical skills in analyzing literature and fifteen pages of creative writing in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or drama (for stage or screen),
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation,
  6. Submit a letter of interest outlining motivation for post-graduate study at UNK, previous work in the discipline, particular literary interests, and educational goals.

Graduate College Degree Requirements

  1. A student's Program of Study must include at least half or more hours of 800-level courses.
  2. At the graduate level, credit/no credit courses must be a function of the course and not a choice of the student. Only 6 hours of credit/no credit courses may be applied toward a Master of Arts degree.
  3. A Comprehensive Examination must be completed and results filed with the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at least four weeks before graduation date.

English Department Degree Requirements

At least half of the course work in each emphasis (Literature, Creative Writing, Children's and Adolescent Literature, and Writing) must be completed in non-P courses.

1

In the absence of any of the above, admission may be granted on a conditional basis.

Offered by Department of English

Literature, Creative Writing, Children's and Adolescent Literature, Writing Emphases

Options A through E are campus programs, while Option F is available only online.

MA in English

Literature Emphasis

Option A: Literature Emphasis- Thesis Option

Literary Criticism Requirement
ENG 806Principles of Literary Criticism3
or ENG 807 History of Literary Criticism
Literature Requirements
Select 6 credit hours of Literature of the United States6
Select 6 credit hours of Literature of England and the Commonwealth and World Literature6
Thesis Requirements
ENG 896Thesis6
Supporting Courses
Select 6-9 credit hours of Electives6-9
Graduate Assistant Requirement
ENG 805The Teaching of Composition 13
Comprehensive Examination 2
Total Credit Hours30

Option B: Literature Emphasis - Examination Option

Literary Criticism Requirement
ENG 806Principles of Literary Criticism3
or ENG 807 History of Literary Criticism
Literature Requirements
Select 6 credit hours of Literature of the United States6
Select 6 credit hours of Literature of England and the Commonwealth and World Literature6
Supporting Courses
Select 18-21 credit hours of Electives18-21
Graduate Assistant Requirement
ENG 805The Teaching of Composition 13
The Examination 3, 4
Total Credit Hours36

Creative Writing Emphasis

Option C: Creative Writing Emphasis

(The emphasis in Creative Writing is a studio/academic degree of 30 credit hours, with 12 credit hours in creative writing courses.)

Literary Criticism Requirement
ENG 806Principles of Literary Criticism3
or ENG 807 History of Literary Criticism
Literature Requirements
Select 3 credit hours of Literature of the United States3
Select 3 credit hours of Literature of England and the Commonwealth and World Literature3
Creative Writing Requirements
Select 12 credit hours of the following: 212
Poetry Writing
Fiction Writing
Drama Writing
Creative Nonfiction
Prosody: The Music of Poetic Form
Colloquium: Creative Writing
Creative Writing for Public School Teachers
Ft. Kearny Writers' Workshop 5
Thesis Requirements
ENG 896Thesis 66
Supporting Courses
Select 3 credit hours of Electives3
Graduate Assistant Requirement
ENG 805The Teaching of Composition 13
Comprehensive Exam 7, 8
Total Credit Hours30

Children's and Adolescent Literature Emphasis

Option D: Children's and Adolescent Literature Emphasis- Thesis Option

Literary Criticism Requirement
ENG 864Critical Approaches to Children's Literature & Culture3
Literature Requirements
Select 9 credit hours of the following:9
Children's Literature
Literature for Adolescents
Children's Adolescent Lit
Fairy Tales & Folklore
The Graphic Novel
Thesis Requirements
ENG 896Thesis6
Supporting Courses
Select 9-12 credit hours of 800-level course work from the English department's graduate offerings9-12
Graduate Assistant Requirement
ENG 805The Teaching of Composition 13
Comprehensive Examination 2
Total Credit Hours27-30

Option E: Children's and Adolescent Literature Emphasis- Examination Option

Literary Criticism Requirement
ENG 864Critical Approaches to Children's Literature & Culture3
Literature Requirements
Select 12 credit hours of the following:12
Children's Literature
Literature for Adolescents
Children's Adolescent Lit
Fairy Tales & Folklore
The Graphic Novel
Supporting Courses:
Select 18-21 credit hours of 800-level course work from the English department's graduate offerings18-21
Graduate Assistant Requirement
ENG 805The Teaching of Composition 13
The Examination 9, 4
Total Credit Hours36

Writing Emphasis

Option F: Writing Emphasis - ONLINE Option

(The emphasis in Writing is an online academic degree of 36 credit hours, with 18 credit hours in writing courses.)

Literary Criticism Requirement
ENG 806Principles of Literary Criticism3
or ENG 807 History of Literary Criticism
Literature Requirements
Select 3 credit hours of Literature of the United States3
Select 3 credit hours of Literature of England and the Commonwealth and World Literature3
Writing Requirements
Select 18 credit hours of the following:18
Descriptive Linguistics
Writing Tutorial
Poetry Writing
Fiction Writing
Drama Writing
Creative Nonfiction
Language and Composition in the Secondary School
Directed Readings
Special Topics 10
Supporting Courses
Select 9 credit hours of ENG 800-level courses from the English department's graduate offerings9
Exit Examination 11, 8
Total Credit Hours36

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships provide tuition remission and a stipend. Teaching Assistants are usually responsible for teaching four composition courses in an academic year with the possibility of summer teaching stipends. Assistantships are also available for research interns and Writing Center tutors.

See English Program Information and Admission Requirements for more information about the program, and see Department of English for contact information

1

Required for all graduate assistants; must be taken at earliest opportunity.

2

The thesis oral defense serves as the Comprehensive Examination for thesis students. The student's Thesis Committee serves as the Comprehensive Examination Committee and administers a written or oral exam. The Thesis preparation and review process are outlined in the Graduate Studies in English Handbook.

3

Students who select the examination option will prepare reading lists and questions in two major areas of study. The areas of study from which students may choose are 1) British, 2) World, 3) American and 4) Language/Linguistics/Rhetoric/Theory.

4

Students will select two English graduate faculty members in the appropriate areas to serve as their examiners. Students will take a written examination, which will be followed by an oral defense. Further information about the examination process can be found in the Graduate Studies in English Handbook.

5

Please note that creative writing emphasis students may repeat a creative writing course for up to 6 credit hours.

6

Students in the Creative Writing Emphasis will write a creative thesis in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or drama writing. The student's thesis committee serves as a Comprehensive Examination Committee and administers an oral exam.

7

Generally a student completes the Comprehensive Examination during the last semester of study. After the successful completion of at least 12 credit hours and prior to selection of a Thesis/Comprehensive Examination Committee and preparation of a thesis or examination, the student must file for Candidacy for the Master's Degree.

8

A student may be refused admission to candidacy for the Master's Degree if previous college record, performance on qualifying criteria, or the quality of graduate work are such as to indicate inability to satisfactorily complete graduate study.

9

Students who select the examination option will, in conjunction with the faculty, prepare reading lists and questions in Children's and Adolescent Literature with the option of an additional supporting area (British literature, American literature, World literature, Rhetoric, Linguistics, Theory).

10

Please note that writing emphasis students may repeat a writing course and a special topics course for up to 6 credit hours and are limited to a total of 18 credit hours of 800-level P courses.

11

All students must complete successfully an Exit Examination during the last semester of study. After the successful completion of at least 18 credit hours and prior to the formation of an Exit Examination Committee and preparation of an examination, the student must file for Candidacy for the Master's Degree.