Dec 03, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, MA

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Administrative Unit

The program is administered by the Office of Graduate Studies through the Faculty of English, Department of Literature and Languages, College of Arts and Sciences.


The purposes of the Master of Arts program in English are at least five-fold: to train students to work with the materials of literature with scholarly competence and maturity; to prepare students to teach English in schools and colleges; to provide additional professional training for English teachers currently employed in elementary and secondary schools; to prepare students for such non-teaching vocations as publishing, advertising, editing, civil service, and management; and to offer sound professional training on the master’s level for students who intend to pursue a doctorate elsewhere in literary studies, including rhetoric and composition.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for acceptance include a minimum of 24 undergraduate semester credits in English at the sophomore level and above. Two letters of recommendation will need to be submitted to the Graduate Studies office. Students who have not taken an undergraduate course on critical theory need to submit a writing sample which demonstrates familiarity with theoretical approaches to literature. After reviewing this sample, the English faculty will recommend whether or not the student needs to take English 3300: Theoretical Approaches to Literature.

Regular Admission Status

  • Bachelor’s Degree in English or 24 hours of undergraduate English classes at the sophomore level or above from an accredited college or university
  • GPA of 3.0 or better in the last 60 credit hours
  • GRE scores at average percentile or better
  • Two solid recommendation letters
  • Writing sample:
    • Part I. Include a one-page statement of purpose explaining your qualifications and desire for an MA degree in English at University of Texas of the Permian Basin
    • Part II. Include a 10-20 page sample of your writing, preferably a research paper in the discipline of English.

Conditional Admission Status

If the graduate faculty find a deficiency, such as a GPA below 3.0 but not lower than 2.5 in the last 60 credit hours, conditional acceptance may be granted, provided that the faculty still believe the applicant is prepared for graduate level work.

OTHER EVIDENCE may include:

  • minimum GRE score in English is in the 50% percentile or higher;
  • the candidate had strong work experience related to the field of English.
  • evidence of success in career field (e.g., teaching or service awards), and/or candidate’s diverse experiences and perspectives

NOTE: We look for acceptable GPA, letters, GRE, and writing sample. Each individual member of the English graduate faculty votes on whether or not the applicant should be admitted.

Capstone Options

After completing 18 graduate hours, at the beginning of their first semester of research (by the end of the first 4 weeks), students who choose the Thesis, Article or Project should submit to their committee a 5-10 page prospectus with a working bibliography.

Six Graduate Credits

In addition to the 30 required hours for the M.A. in English, students who do not wish to pursue a thesis or one of the following options may take 2 additional graduate courses (6 credits). In the semester they plan to graduate they should submit 3 of their graduate papers to be evaluated by their graduate committee; an oral exam will follow this evaluation in which the student will be asked to demonstrate how these papers have met the goals of the graduate program.


At the MA level, the thesis should constitute a contribution to the scholarly discourse on a well-defined topic. The thesis will demonstrate the writer’s grasp of the history of that discourse and the major voices within it. The thesis will be a lengthy paper (typically 50-70 pages of text) combining original analysis with thorough research. The thesis is not a doctoral dissertation or a book. A total of 6 credits will be devoted to ENGL 6399 .

Scholarly Article

A scholarly article, to be submitted for publication after its completion and the suggested revisions by the student’s committee, should be an original contribution to scholarship. The student’s committee must agree that the student’s proposed work at the prospectus level is a publishable article. The scholarly article option involves two phases, the first of which is the passage of a broad oral exam in the area in which the student wishes to write the article. Once the exam is passed, the student may write an article suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Students choosing this option must also successfully perform in an oral examination following the completion of their writing in which they defend their work. The examiners will be members of the candidate’s committee and a representative of the Graduate Faculty. The article will be a lengthy paper (20-25 pages of text) combining original interpretation with thorough research. A total of 6 credits will be devoted to ENGL 6399  for this option.

Written Exam

The exam will cover three areas, to be agreed on by the examining committee and the candidate. These areas can be relatively narrow (e.g. the Victorian novel) or relatively broad (e.g. literature by American ethnic groups, colonial to 1900; rhetoric and composition); however, the exam must include both British and American literature, some post-1800 British or post-1865 American literature, and some pre-1800 British or pre-1865 American literature. The exam will be written during a six-hour period, which can be divided as the examining committee and the candidate deem appropriate.


The candidate, in consultation with her or his committee, will design a nine hour concentration of course work (a maximum of three hours of which may be taken as ENGL 6390 ) which will lead to the preparation of a 30-40 page Research Report. This Research Report is not intended to constitute an original contribution to scholarship but will otherwise conform to the standards of scholarly discourse in the field of English.

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