Jan 20, 2020  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, M.A.

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Departmental Overview

The Master of Arts degree program in the Department of English and Communications prepares graduates for success in any further graduate and professional education which might require superior analytical and communication skills. It prepares them for Ph.D. programs in English by increasing their knowledge of literary history and improving their skills in writing, literary analysis, and research. Graduates can become effective high-school or college-level teachers by improving their knowledge of writing pedagogy and theory. They will also be prepared for careers outside the academic world wherever superior analytical and communication skills and knowledge of literary and cultural traditions are essential.


Literature: This concentration is designed for graduate students wishing to further develop their abilities as literary scholars and critics, in preparation for graduate school and/or careers requiring high-level interpretive and written communication skills. 

Creative Writing: This concentration is a great option for graduate students wishing to develop their abilities as creative writers in poetry, fiction, and/or essay/memoir. Graduates in this degree concentration will develop exceptional creative and communication skills, applicable to a variety of career uses, as well as for artistic development.

Professional and Technical Communication: This concentration was created for graduate students who are preparing for careers within the field of Professional and Technical Communication. Students will have opportunities to work with other disciplines (such as Engineering, Business, Nursing, and Law), both on campus and off campus, that require facility with technical writing and effective communication skills in business environments. Additionally, this concentration provides opportunities for students with various backgrounds who are seeking advanced skills in grant writing, technical writing, or other advanced Professional and Technical Communication proficiencies.

BA/MA FastTrack - English

The FastTrack program is designed to enable undergraduates to accumulate up to six (6) credit hours of graduate coursework, to satisfy both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements, while still pursuing their undergraduate degree. The coursework would enable an efficient graduate program transition with the potential for accelerated completion. The courses must be taken at Tennessee Tech University. (Students who reach the number of credits required before graduation, thus potentially accelerating their M.A. program even more.)

The minimum admission requirements for participating in the English Fast Track Program are:

  • Enrollment as a TTU undergraduate English major with at least 90 hours of completed courses within their program of study;
  • Completion of ENGL 3000;
  • Overall GPA of 3.25 or better; GPA in 3000-level and above English coursework of 3.5 or better;
  • Recommendation from the student’s undergraduate advisor;
  • Course approval from course professor and graduate faculty advisor;
  • In addition to the requirements for admission to the FastTrack BA/MA program, all requirements for admission to the graduate program must also be met upon graduation. Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the graduate program.

Departmental Admission Requirements

  • An official transcript of undergraduate work reflecting an overall QPA of 2.5 or above.
  • GRE® General Test (GRE)  Verbal and Writing Score
  • A Writing Sample (should be an 8-page minimum, critical essay appropriate for submission in an upper-division, undergraduate English class).
  • For students seeking a Graduate Teaching Assistantship: three (3)  letters of recommendation.

Evaluation Criteria

The Graduate Committee will evaluate each application using the following criteria ratings:

Transcript; based on QPA in Major: 2.7 - 2.999 10 pts.
  3.0 - 3.499 20 pts.
  3.5 - 4.0 30 pts.
GRE Verbal Score: 153-159   5 pts.
  160-165 10 pts.
  166-170 15 pts.
GRE Analytical Writing Test: 3.50 – 4.00  5 pts.
  4.50 – 5.00 10 pts.
  5.50 – 6.00 15 pts.
Writing Sample Score*:  9 – 10 total 10 pts.
  11 - 12 total 20 pts.
  13 - 15 total 30 pts.

*Writing Sample Evaluation: Each writing sample will be read by 3 individuals, either members of the graduate committee or their designees (who themselves must be graduate faculty members).

The Graduate Committee shall admit to the program those students whose applications (based on the Evaluation Criteria above) either:

  • a minimum of 10 points each in the Transcript and Writing Sample scores, and a combined total of at least 10 points for the two (2) GRE(R) General Test (GRE) scores
  • OR have a total score of 40 points or higher.

Students admitted to the program who possess an undergraduate degree (either major or minor) in English will be given Full Standing. Students who qualify for admission but who have no degree in the discipline will be given Provisional Standing in order to account for any deficiencies identified in their background. When the student is informed that he/she has been given Provisional Standing, he/she shall also be informed of the specific courses which he/she needs to take in order to qualify for Full Standing. Once these deficiencies have been rectified, that student must then apply to the Graduate Committee for a change to Full Standing.

A student with an undergraduate degree in English who does not meet the minimum points score but has reasonable chance of success based on the quality of his/her writing sample may be admitted with provisional status.

A student who is granted Provisional Standing will, upon completion of nine (9) hours of graduate study, be evaluated by the Graduate Committee in consultation with the faculty members who have taught him/her. At that point, the graduate committee will decide whether to grant the student Full Standing or to deny admission to further study.


Departmental Degree Requirements by Concentration

The Master of Arts degree program in English has both thesis and non-thesis options. In addition, non-thesis option students will be required to take ENGL 6890 , for which they will develop and present a research project of 20-30 pages.


Literature Concentration

In addition to Graduate School degree requirements, the student must complete:

  • One graduate course in British Literature before 1800
  • One graduate course in British Literature after 1800
  • One graduate course in American Literature before 1865
  • One graduate course in American Literature after 1865
  • ENGL 6000 - Introduction to Graduate Studies  


Creative Writing Concentration

Core Courses (9 credit hours)


Content Courses (15 credit hours)

Three courses from among the following (must take 5000-level in dual-listed courses):

( *Any of these courses may be repeated, for credit.)


Thesis Hours (6 credit hours)


Professional and Technical Communication Concentration

Core Courses (9 credit hours)


Content Courses (15 total credit hours)

*ENGL 6010 - Teaching Composition  may be substituted for one of the 5000-level courses above.


For students who have taken any of the above courses at the 4000-level, two of the following 5000-level courses may be substituted for two of the above 5000-level courses:


Thesis Hours (6 credit hours)


NOTE: While students within the Professional and Technical Communication concentration of the English M.A. will have opportunities for teaching assistantships, graduate students will not teach PC 2500 - Communicating in the Professions.

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