Master of Arts in English

Gain a strong foundation in language and literature

The UNA Master of Arts in English Program offers a solid professional and academic foundation in literary studies, enhanced with available coursework in writing, linguistics, and film studies. All courses are taught by a faculty of dedicated mentors and skilled educators with numerous publications and a wide range of research interests. The program provides an ideal environment for students who want the challenge of a large university with the personal attention of a small liberal arts college. UNA is a diverse, mid-sized university, located in the city of Florence, with excellent resources and a supportive faculty intent on preparing our graduate students for both teaching and scholarship.

Graduate study at UNA is competitively priced for the region. Graduate students may apply for assistantships, fellowships, or research awards. Our graduate students receive faculty guidance to develop conference presentations and publications. We host an annual graduate conference which attracts presenters from the region and beyond. Our graduate organization is growing and active, with many opportunities for professional development.

“The MA in English provided a forum for my critical thinking and judgment to grow. Learning the complex philosophical relationships in literature and connecting these to modern life is the heart of the degree. Thinking, Writing, and Maturity are staples of UNA's program, made possible by the outstanding scholars who expertly balance teaching and one on one interaction for the student's benefit.”

M. Brett Fish
M.A. in English

The MA in English prepares students to teach at the community college level, pursue advanced study at the Ph.D. level, or pursue career or salary advancement in fields of education, business and industry.
Application Deadlines:
Applications are considered immediately upon receipt, and admissions decisions are made within three weeks. Students applying for assistantships or departmental endowed scholarships must apply to the graduate program by January 15 in order to be eligible for awards beginning in August.

Program Requirements

Master of Arts Degree in English: a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit, to include the following core and options:

Core Courses of Study 6

Literature Requirement18

Students must take a minimum of 18 semester hours of literature courses, not including the core classes. At least 15 of those hours must be in the student’s area of concentration, e.g., British or American literature.

Elective Courses of Study12

Foreign Language Requirement: The M.A. in English requires demonstration of reading proficiency in a foreign language. Students satisfy the foreign language requirement in one of the following ways:

  • by completing a second-year course sequence in a language with a 3.0 or higher, or
  • by successfully completing graduate coursework in foreign language reading proficiency, or
  • by the successful completion of a reading proficiency examination administered through the Department of Foreign Languages, or
  • by a comparable alternative approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Total 36

THESIS OPTION: The master’s degree program in English provides for an option of a minimum 36 semester hours of coursework or 30 semester hours of coursework plus a thesis earning six hours’ credit. Student electing the thesis option must obtain approval from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and must register for the thesis and pay the appropriate fee.

THESIS: Students choosing the Thesis Option must complete six (6) semester hours of EN 690 Thesis in addition to the core and 24 additional semester hours of graduate courses in English for a total of 36 hours.

THESIS PROPOSAL: Students choosing this option must submit a thesis proposal no later than mid-term of the semester prior to enrolling in EN 690 Thesis.

THESIS DEFENSE: Students choosing the Thesis Option must enroll in EN 695 Thesis Defense during the term in which they complete the thesis.

NON-THESIS OPTION: Students choosing the Non-Thesis Option must complete 30 hours of graduate courses inEnglish in addition to the core, excluding EN 690.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION: Students choosing this option must enroll in EN 696, Comprehensive Examination, at the appropriate time and must successfully complete a comprehensive examination.

At least 50 percent of the coursework required to complete the selected option must be earned at the 600 level.

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