Program Mission: The Master of Arts in English offers students opportunities to pursue advanced training in one of three areas of concentration: Literary Studies, Literary Studies with Creative Writing emphasis, and Composition/Rhetoric. The program will prepare students for careers in a variety of fields, including secondary and college-level teaching, editing and publishing, creative writing, research and technical writing in either the private or the public sector. Master of Arts graduates will also be prepared to undertake further study at the doctoral level. Close contact with the department’s excellent graduate faculty allows students to deepen their knowledge of literary study, the teaching of writing and literature, and the use of technology for both scholarly and practical research. Graduate assistantships, internships, mentorships, and some classroom teaching are available and integrated into students’ individualized programs of study. An online program option is available.
Admission Requirements: To be eligible for degree candidacy, applicants must meet all of the requirements for admission to the Graduate School (see “Admission to Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs”). A GRE score may be submitted but is not required for admission. The following is required on the program application accessed and submitted through MyEIU:
international students must also document a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paperbased), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (internet-based)
- two letters of recommendation: Provide email addresses for two recommenders
- statement of purpose: Upload a statement of 500-750 words that explains your reasons for undertaking graduate study, your academic preparation, your interests and goals.
- writing sample: Upload a writing sample of no more than thirty pages in length that shows us your ability to think and write critically on one of the following: 1) a subject related to English; 2) the academic interests you intend to pursue in graduate school; 3) an area of study in which you have research and writing experience. Students interested in the Creative Writing concentration are strongly encouraged to upload a creative writing sample in addition to the critical writing sample.
- curriculum vitae or resume.
Degree Audit: The graduate plan of study is the EIU Degree Audit, which is generated automatically at the time of degree or certificate candidacy. Modifications of the standard EIU Degree Audit are submitted by the graduate coordinator to the certification officer in the Graduate School at the time modifications are approved. The Degree Audit serves as an unofficial summary of requirements for the program. Degree and certificate candidates are advised to review the comprehensive summary of the Degree Audit process specified on the “Requirements for All Degree and Certificate Candidates” section of the Graduate Catalog. Individual programs may require candidates to submit plans of study in addition to the Degree Audit, candidates should consult with the program coordinator.
Degree requirements include those outlined for the master’s degree by the Graduate School (see “Requirements for the Master’s Degree”). A maximum of 12 semester hours earned in scheduled English courses numbered 4750-4999 and/or (with prior approval) of courses numbered 5000 and above in other departments can be applied towards the Master of Arts in English. Degree candidates in English must meet all degree requirements stipulated by the Graduate School.
The Master of Arts in English requires satisfactory completion of 33 total semester hours. Students choose either the Thesis Option, which requires 27-30 hours of coursework and a 3-6-hour thesis course (ENG 5950), or the Non-Thesis Option, which requires 33 hours of coursework. All students are required to take Introduction to Methods and Issues in English Studies (ENG 5000) and required courses specific to one of three concentrations: Literary Studies, Literary Studies with a Creative Writing Emphasis, or Composition/Rhetoric.
In addition to required coursework, students must complete a professional portfolio, comprised of a résumé, a professional statement, and three documents from coursework and/or professional development. Students begin the portfolio during enrollment in English 5000 (a required course) and will complete the portfolio no later than their final semester of study. The Certificate of Comprehensive Knowledge will not be issued until the final portfolio is complete.
Students with competitively-awarded Graduate Assistantships are required to work in EIU’s Writing Center and must take these graduate courses in addition to the required courses:
Concentrations for the Master of Arts in English
Total hours 33
Total hours for the thesis option: 33
The following courses are required in addition to 18 hours in Literature Courses and 5 to 9 hours in electives.
Total hours for the non-thesis option: 33
The following course is required in addition to 18 hours in Literature Courses and 8 to 12 hours in electives.
Literary Studies with Creative Writing Emphasis
Total hours for the thesis option: 34
The following courses are required in addition to 9 to 12 hours in Literature Courses, 9 to 12 hours in Creative Writing Courses, and 3 to 6 hours in electives.
Total hours for the non-thesis option: 34
The following courses are required in addition to 9 to 12 hours in Literature Courses, 9 to 12 in Creative Writing Courses, and 9 hours in electives.
Total hours for the thesis option: 33
The following courses are required in addition to 18 to 21 hours of electives.
Total hours for the thesis option: 33
The following courses are required in addition to 23 to 24 hours of electives.
Candidates applying for an assistantship must have a GPA of 3.00. Following the instructions specified under Admission Requirements (above), candidates need to submit to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies the following documents: a completed application form (available on the Graduate School’s web site or in the MyEIU program application), a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and a writing sample (a critical, professional, or scholarly essay of no more than 30 pages).
More information on assistantships may be obtained by contacting the Coordinator of Graduate Studies or Chair, Department of English, 3135 Coleman Hall, EIU
Accelerated Graduate Program
Admission to the accelerated MA in English requires that a student have completed a minimum of 60 hours of undergraduate course credit and have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.25 undergraduate cumulative and 3.5 undergraduate in the major. In addition, applicants must have completed a minimum of 15 hours in the English major or complementary degree, excluding ENG 1001G, 1002G, 1091G, and 1092G.
To apply for the accelerated MA in English, applicants meeting the above requirements must submit two letters of reference, a statement of purpose 500-750 words that explains your reasons for undertaking graduate study, your academic preparation, and your interests and goals. Please provide also a writing sample of no more than twenty pages in length that shows your ability to think and write critically on one of the following: a subject related to English; the academic interests you intend to pursue in graduate school; an area of study in which you have research and writing experience. Students interested in the Creative Writing concentration are strongly encouraged to submit a creative writing sample. You will also need to submit a resume or curriculum vitae. International students must document a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (internet-based). All items should be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator and you must also complete the Graduate School’s Accelerated Program Application.
A maximum of 9 credit hours (3 courses) may be counted as shared course credits towards the Thesis option (33 hours total) of the English M.A. degree.