MA in English | Department of English

MA in English

For important updates on application deadline and requirements for Fall 2023 admission, see “How to Apply.”

The MA in English offers three distinct Plans of Study. To select the Plan that best suits your goals, click on the links below for further details of the purposes and requirements of each.

Thesis Plan: 30 hours of course work, a committee of three faculty members, a thesis (one long paper or two shorter papers), and a foreign language requirement. This plan is usually selected by students who want to continue on with a PhD in English, often with the further goal of a teaching/research position at a university or four-year college.

Teaching Composition Plan: 36 hours of course work (no committee, no thesis, no foreign language requirement). This plan, which includes a Teaching Internship, may also serve those who plan to go on to a PhD, but is especially suitable for those who wish to teach writing and English studies at community colleges. We have a long-standing relationship with Guilford Technical Community College and some advanced MA students may apply for an internship through their FIT (Faculty-in-Training) Program.

Careers in the Humanities Plan: 36 hours of course work (no committee, no thesis, no foreign language requirement). This plan, which includes an internship and offers cross-disciplinary study, serves a wide range of career goals. MA candidates with strong interests in related fields such as Women’s and Gender Studies, the School of Education, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts can build an official credential and design an internship reflecting those interests. Those teaching in, or planning to teach in, secondary schools or community colleges often choose this plan, building coursework with the School of Education or selecting the Teaching Internship.

Master of Arts Degree Course Work


Required Courses for all Plans of Study / 24 hours:

Only three courses may be at the 500 level. ALL OTHER COURSES must be at the 600 or 700 level.

Bibliography and Methods / 3 hours:

English 601: English Studies: Contents, Methods, and Bibliography (3)

Critical Theory / 3 hours, ONE from the following, or a special topics course pre-approved by the Director:

English 549: The Critical Canon and Contemporary Issues (3)
English 650: Modern Literary and Cultural Theory (3)

Literature / 9 hours, THREE courses in literature:

One before 1800 (3)
One after 1800 (3)
One in any era (3)

Electives / 9 hours, THREE electives, normally in British or American literature

In the remaining 6-12 hours of coursework, you elect ONE of the following three plans.

Thesis Plan / 6 hours, for a total of 30 hours

In this option, a FOREIGN LANGUAGE IS REQUIRED. A reading knowledge of one modern foreign language, equivalent to completion of the first semester of the intermediate course (usually 203): by examination OR prior course work pre-approved by the Director. Note: computer courses do not count for this requirement. (The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures requires a score of 324 on its computerized examination to place out of French 203, and a score of 349 to place out of Spanish 203. Written examination in other foreign languages offered at UNCG will have to be arranged through faculty in those departments, and you may be required to pay a fee.)

English 699: Thesis (6)
The TWO-PAPER THESIS, also 6 hours, is an option for those admitted into the Ph.D. program or those who have permission from the Director and their thesis committee.

Teaching Composition Plan / 12 hours, for a total of 36 hours

English 680: Teaching Internships in English (3)
And THREE electives in rhetoric and composition OR language and linguistics. These may overlap with or be in addition to electives in English or American literature. Special topics courses may be allowed with pre-approval of the Director.

English 513
English 522: Teaching Composition: Theories and Applications (3)
English 688: Women’s Rhetoric and Feminist Pedagogy (3)
English 690: History of Rhetoric: Classical through Renaissance (3)
English 691: History of Rhetoric: Enlightenment through Contemporary (3)
English 742: Studies in Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)
English 744: Seminar in Composition Studies (3)
English 746: Studies in Contemporary Rhetorical Theory (3)

Careers in the Humanities Plan / 12 hours, for a total of 36 hours

English 622 OR 680: Internship OR Teaching Internship (3)
THREE courses in a minor or collateral field (9)