Nov 30, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English Program Information

Departmental Overview

The Master of Arts degree program in the Department of English 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 for their undergraduate degrees can also take additional courses for graduate credit 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). Creating Writing concentration applicants must also submit a creative writing sample, in addition to the critical writing sample (10 pages of poetry or 15 pages of prose)
  • 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:

  • earn 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 (30 credit hours) and non-thesis (33 credit hours) options. Details about the non-thesis requirements are listed with each concentration below.

All thesis-option students, regardless of concentration, are required to take 6 credit hours of ENGL 6990  and complete all thesis requirements, in addition to the specific course requirements for their respective concentrations. An oral defense is required for all concentrations, and thesis students in the Creative Writing or Professional and Technical Communication concentrations must also complete a written comprehensive exam.