Master of Arts in English Degree Requirements
Rhetoric and Writing Studies Option
The Master of Arts program in English, Rhetoric and Writing Studies Option, serves several categories of students: those teaching high school and community college, those anticipating doctoral studies, those studying creative or expository writing, and those simply interested in extending and intensifying the knowledge acquired in their undergraduate studies.
Admission. Admission to the Master of Arts program in English assumes preparation equivalent to an undergraduate major in English or a related field in the liberal arts. Students who do not already have a bachelor’s degree in English may be required to take upper-division undergraduate courses as preparation to attain classified standing and before being allowed to enroll in English graduate seminars.
To achieve classified standing, both English and non-English majors must have achieved a GPA of 3.0 or better in their major. International students must also submit IELTS or TOEFL scores. A minimum Band 7 score is required on the IELTS; minimum Band scores of 7 are also required in the Writing and Reading subsections. A minimum overall TOEFL score of 94 is required; minimum scores of 22 in the Reading subsection and 24 in the Writing subsection are also required.
In addition, all candidates must submit a writing sample to the graduate committee, whose approval is necessary for admission to the program. This writing sample is due to the department by April 15 for admission the following fall semester, or by Oct.15 for admission the following spring. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early in the previous semester as possible for eligibility for Admissions, Financial Aid, and Teaching Associateships.
The admission writing sample should be devoted to a sustained analysis (8-12 pages in length) of a text or related texts; it should demonstrate comprehensibility in exposition and clear and logical organization and presentation of ideas. It should establish a sound scholarly argument with thorough and complete documentation. The critical analysis should be modeled on MLA style guidelines and will reflect a knowledge and awareness of contemporary analytical theory in rhetoric, literary, or writing studies. The admission writing sample will be evaluated by members of the English Department to determine whether the applicant is denied entry into the M.A. program or admitted under either Classified or Conditionally Classified Standing. After understanding suggested coursework and obtaining no less than a B in such course(s), those admitted under Conditionally Classified Standing will be given one opportunity to submit one additional revised or new writing sample for review. If the second writing sample is not approved, the candidate will not be admitted into the program.