West Texas A&M University

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English Graduate Program

Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages

Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree

Major in English (Major Code: 5106)

Major Area Options (33 hour program)

  • Thesis option
  • Non-thesis option

General Requirements

  • Prerequisite to admission to master’s degree program: 30 semester hours of English
  • Prerequisite to enrollment in 6000-level English courses: 24 semester hours of English
  • Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: 6-8 hours of Foreign Language

Specific Requirements

To complete the master of arts degree in English, the student may choose either a thesis or a non-thesis program. The department head will help prepare a plan of study in either program. Both thesis and non-thesis require 33 hours of graduate work. The recommended schedule for graduate work is as follows:

  • 1st Year
    • Fall – 9 hours
      • Teaching Assistants -ENGL 6380 & ENGL 6300 + 3 non-thesis hours
      • Thesis & Non-thesis Students -ENGL 6300 + 6 hours
    • Spring – 9 hours
  • 2nd Year
    • Fall – 9 hours
      • Thesis students – ENGL 6301 + 6 non-thesis hours
      • Non-thesis students – 9 hours
    • Spring – 6 hours
      • Thesis students: ENGL 6302 + 3 non-thesis hours
      • Non-thesis students – 6 hours

Note: Graduates may take summer courses when available with the understanding that enrollments of fewer hours during the long semesters may affect financial aid.

Comprehensive Exam and Thesis

Sample Exam

All students studying for the master of arts in English must satisfactorily complete a written Comprehensive Exam administered each spring. Specific information about the exam (length, scoring, sample questions, etc.) is available in the English office. The reading list for the exam is available in the department office.

In addition to the comprehensive exam, thesis students are required to complete a thesis of 60-80 pages on a research topic and an oral defense of that thesis. In consultation with the department head, the student must select a committee with one chair and one or two second readers. While taking thesis hours, the student is expected to consult with the committee and to make satisfactory progress on the thesis. The final thesis must be formatted according to the thesis handbook for West Texas A&M University, available through the Graduate School. The thesis director will notify the graduate office that the candidate has successfully defended the thesis.

Students must see the department head and file a plan of study before completion of 15 graduate hours.


ENGL 6300 Intro to Graduate Studies
ENGL 6311 Seminar in Technical Communication
ENGL 6094 Individual Study
ENGL 6301 Seminar in Thesis Methods
ENGL 6302 Thesis
ENGL 6310 Seminar in Language Studies
ENGL 6330 Seminar in Literary Genres
ENGL 6331 Seminar in Major Writers
ENGL 6350 Seminar in Cultural Periods
ENGL 6381 Seminar in Theory
ENGL 6392 Seminar in Special Topics