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    Jan 20, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, M.A.

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Priority Admission Application Deadlines:


Rhetoric and Composition

Also offered as a Bachelor’s/Master’s Pathway

Contact Information

College: Arts and Sciences
Department: English

Contact Information:

The M.A. in English with a concentration in Literature is a continuation of the B.A. with greater depth in literary knowledge and an introduction and implementation of methods, standards, and conventions of scholarship on literature.  It is a generalist degree with broad-based distribution requirements, but it has the flexibility to study cutting-edge theories and newly emerging fields of interests (including cultural and comparative studies, ethnic literatures, and genre studies such as film).  The department also offers a M.A. in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition. It is designed to produce teacher-scholars who have solid, foundational knowledge of critical theory, PTC theory and practice, and composition pedagogy, as well as a specialized knowledge in their field of concentration.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • B.A. in English
  • A competitive Verbal aptitude score on the GRE general test, with a target Analytical Writing score of 4.0 (while the Quantitative score is not a determining factor in our admission decisions, both the Verbal and Quantitative score are factors in some university scholarships and fellowships)
  • Undergraduate GPA 3.50
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Scholarly writing sample of approximately 2500 words (ten double-spaced pages) excluding bibliography or works cited; applicants may excerpt from a longer essay. Generally, the committee seeks to review academic writing from an English course.
  • A two-to-three page personal statement describing the student’s background, purpose for attending graduate studies, and career goals

All materials, including GRE scores and transcripts, must be received by the application deadline in order for students to be considered for admission. Graduates of USF do not need to order official transcripts. Applications are reviewed by an admissions committee. Students will be notified of the admissions decision within four to six weeks after the deadline.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours -33 Credit Hours

  • Core Requirements – 6 Credit Hours
  • Concentration – 21 Credit Hours (Literature) / 12 Credit Hours (Rhetoric)
  • Electives - 3 Credit Hours (Literature) / 9 Credit Hours (Rhetoric)
  • Non-thesis (Literature) - 3 Credit Hours  / Thesis (Rhetoric) - 6 Credit Hours

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Concentration Requirements:

Students must select from the following concentrations:

Literature Concentration (21 Credit Hours)

Rhetoric and Composition Concentration (12 Credit Hours)

Electives (3 Credit Hours Minimum)

No CRW courses will be allowed in the Literature Concentration.  One Directed Study may be used to substitute for degree requirement with the approval of the Graduate Director.

Non-Thesis Option (3 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students in the Literature Concentration complete a portfolio and portfolio defense. Three directed study hours to prepare portfolio.  In their fourth and final semester (excluding summer terms), students will submit a portfolio for review to a two-member faculty committee six weeks prior to the Office of Graduate Studies deadline for thesis/dissertation submission.  Upon submission, the student and chair of the committee will establish a defense date with the Graduate Program Specialist.

The portfolio will contain the following:

•    An introductory first-person essay.
•    Two revised seminar papers 5000-6000 words in length.

Papers should be developed under the direction of two different faculty members from the English Department, who then will form the committee for the defense.  The portfolio will be reviewed and evaluated by this two-member faculty committee using the published assessment rubric. There will be a required Oral Defense.

Thesis Option (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students in the Rhetoric and Composition Concentration complete a Thesis or Portfolio on a Rhetoric and Composition subject plus an oral defense.

The thesis – 40-50 pages– should be based on student’s specialization in Rhetoric and Composition.  This manuscript can be a revision and extension of a course paper or conference paper.  It must contribute to the discipline by advancing scholarly discussions in Rhetoric and Composition studies and offering new knowledge.

Comprehensive Exam

Students in the Literature Concentration complete a capstone requirement/portfolio, including an oral defense, in lieu of a comprehensive exam.  For students in the Rhetoric and Composition Concentration, the thesis defense serves in lieu of a comprehensive exam.

Bachelor’s/Master’s Pathway

Also available as a Bachelor’s/Master’s Pathway  

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