Selected Educational Outcomes

  1. To demonstrate an ability to interpret language and literature in light of key facts, concepts, and contexts.
  2. To employ a variety of critical approaches.
  3. To produce systematic and thoroughly researched work appropriate to the discipline.
  4. To participate in activities related to the profession.

Outcome Assessments

The English Department assesses the extent to which its program requirements create the desired outcomes by using a variety of techniques. Examples of these assessments (and the related educational outcome) include the following:

  1. Students will pass a two-hour written comprehensive examination or prepare a master’s thesis.
  2. Students will pass either an oral examination or successfully defend a thesis.
  3. Students will complete a Graduate Student Exit Questionnaire and an exit interview.

Prior to admission to any graduate program at Valdosta State University, applicants must first submit a completed application to the Graduate School. A completed application includes official transcripts from all institutions previously attended, official test scores (GRE) if needed in place of required GPA, completed application, fee, and any additional program requirements, submitted by the admission deadline. To be considered for the preferred term, all required materials must be received by the Graduate School no later than the close of business on the deadline. It is the responsibility of the applicant to allow adequate time for document submission and to ensure receipt of documents.

Application Deadlines:

Fall: July 1
Spring: November 1

Summer: April 1

Go to the Graduate School website and click on Our Programs, then click on English for information on:

  • Specific English Program Admission Requirements
  • English Program Retention, Dismissal, and Readmission Policies
  • English Program Graduation Requirements

To Apply Online, click here.

Students may be accepted as probationary students in the Department of English. In order to be accepted as such, students must meet either the minimum GPA or GRE requirements. Moreover, students must submit a three-page essay to the Department of English, detailing (a) career goals and (b) academic interests. Probationary acceptance is provisional and at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.

Thesis Option

A master’s thesis in English should be a work of 50 or more pages demonstrating competent and substantial research coupled with an innovative approach to the subject matter. The thesis will be directed by a faculty member and a committee of two other faculty members (one of whom must be from a department outside English). Once the thesis has been submitted, students will have an oral defense covering both the thesis and their coursework. Students following this option must complete a minimum of 30 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis credit.

For important additional thesis guidelines, click here.   

Non-Thesis Option—Comprehensive Examination

In either track, students will develop, in consultation with their committee, a reading list representative of a currently recognized sub-field or specialty in their specific area of emphasis. This list should consist of no fewer than 20 secondary sources (articles and/or book chapters), excluding material that students have already studied in their classes.

Students will then take a three-hour written examination over the reading list as well as undergo a follow-up oral examination over the written test and their coursework. These examinations should be taken during the final semester. Students following this option must complete 36 hours of coursework.

For important additional exam guidelines, click here

Students who plan to take the comprehensive examination in either area of emphasis may take 3 credits of exam reading hours (ENGL 8995). Students should submit a formal request to the graduate coordinator briefly outlining the scope of the exam and must include the reading list assigned to them by their exam committee chair as well as a copy of the committee appointment form including all required signatures. The three credits of reading hours can count toward the 36 hours of coursework required for the degree. Exam reading hours may not be repeated for credit.

Students entering either emphasis without an undergraduate degree in English or an English minor must complete the following requirements prior to enrollment in graduate-level coursework with a grade of "B" or higher in each:

ENGL 3060Introduction to Criticism and Research3
ENGL 3210American Literature I3
ENGL 3215American Literature II3
ENGL 3110British Literature I3
ENGL 3120British Literature II3

Emphasis in Literature

Required Courses18
ENGL 7010Literary Theory and Criticism in Graduate Studies3
ENGL 8800Teaching College Composition3
Seminars (8000-level)6
Graduate Option Courses (ENGL 6000)6
Guided Electives 212-15
Select 12-15 hours from the following options:
Studies Courses (7000-level ENGL)0-12
Seminars (8000-level ENGL)0-12
Graduate Option (ENGL/LING 6000 and/or course from other departments) 10-9
Culminating Experience: Select one of the options below
Option A: Comprehensive Examination3
Comprehensive Exam Reading Hours 2
Option B: Thesis6
Total Required for the Degree36

Emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition

Required Courses18
ENGL 7010Literary Theory and Criticism in Graduate Studies3
ENGL 8800Teaching College Composition3
Select three from the following:9
History of the English Language (if not taken as an undergraduate) 1
Survey of the History of Rhetoric ( if not taken as an undergraduate) 2
Studies in Composition Theory (strongly encouraged if not taken as an undergraduate) 1
Studies in Rhetoric and Composition (if not taken above)
Composition Theory for Language Arts Teachers
Rhetorical Theory for Language Arts Teachers
Revision and Editing for Professionals
Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition (if not taken above)
History of Rhetorical Theory for Language Arts Teachers
Workshop in Rhetoric and Composition 3
Principles of Language Study
Language in Society
Guided Electives 315-18
Select fifteen hours from the following (including any courses listed above not taken for credit):
Studies Courses (7000-level ENGL)
Seminars (8000-level ENGL)
Graduate Option (ENGL 6000/LING 6000 and/or courses from other departments) 4
Culminating Experience: Select one of the options below3-6
Option A: Comprehensive Exam
ENGL 8995Comprehensive Exam Reading Hours3
Option B: Thesis
ENGL 8999Thesis6
Total Required for the Degree36

Students seeking the M.A. in English as a second master’s degree must satisfy all the requirements for the Master of Arts in English.

T-5 Certification

Students wishing to obtain T-5 certification may do so after the completion of the M.A. program, provided they have a T-4 certificate and complete the professional education courses required for T-5 certification by the State Department of Education.