May 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, M.A.

Anton Vander Zee, Program Director

Mission Statement

The Masters Program in English provides students with a rigorous education in literature and literary analysis, research, and writing. The M.A. in English provides a strong preparation for careers in teaching at the secondary and two-year college levels, in publishing, in technical writing, in non-profit organizations, and in related fields.  Some students graduating with the M.A. continue their education at the doctoral level. The program serves students from across the country and the world, but particularly focuses on its regional constituency.  It is committed to the goal of a diverse faculty and student body.

Program Description

The Graduate School and The Citadel offer a joint Master of Arts in English. The thirty credit hour program, with a thesis option, provides advanced coursework in British literature, American literature, English language, and composition and rhetoric. The program is designed to attract qualified holders of the baccalaureate degree, whether recent college graduates, English teachers, or others interested in pursuing graduate studies in English. A joint program committee, comprised of faculty members from each institution, oversees admissions, course scheduling, comprehensive examinations, degree certification, and other matters related to the management of the program. Diplomas and other official documents will indicate that the program is a joint endeavor and will include the names of both institutions.

Admission Requirements and Application Deadlines

Institutional Admissions Requirements

  • A completed application form with a nonrefundable application fee of $60.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework. An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required.
  • International applicants should refer to the International Students area within the “Admissions Information”  section of the catalog for information on providing appropriate documentation with the application.

Program Admissions Requirements

Degree-seeking Students:

  • Applicants are expected to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.500 on a 4.000 scale and a 3.000 in the major.
  • At least two letters of recommendation from former professors or immediate supervisors in recent employment. Each referee should be as specific as possible in addressing the applicant’s motivation and ability to successfully complete a graduate degree.
  • A two-page statement of educational goals and interest in a graduate program in English.
  • A writing sample that demonstrates an ability to perform literary analysis and conduct research. Typically, this requirement can be met by submitting a research paper prepared for an advanced undergraduate English course.
  • An official copy of scores from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). The test(s) must have been taken during the past five years. Those taking the MAT should have a score of at least 45. Those taking the GRE should have a minimum composite score of 300 and 4.0 on the writing assessment section.

Non-Degree Students:

  • An official copy of a transcript from each institution of higher learning attended, including documentation of graduation from an accredited four-year college or university. The transcript(s) should be sent directly from the institution(s) attended to The Graduate School.
  • Non-degree students may be permitted to register for up to 12 semester hours of credit prior to applying for admission to the program. Non-degree students who have taken in excess of 12 semester hours of graduate courses in English must have written permission from the Joint Program Committee to continue enrollment in a non-degree status.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: January 15, priority*; July 1, final
  • Spring: November 1, priority; December 1, final
  • Summer: January 15, priority; April 1, final

*Candidates who submit a completed application by the priority deadline will automatically be considered for Graduate School and/or graduate program funding.



Graduate study in English demands extensive reading and writing, thorough research, and advanced literary analysis. Advanced undergraduates - upper-level students in English and related fields - may request enrollment in 500-level classes. To do this they will need to submit the appropriate form to the Graduate School Office. No more than two 500-level courses may be taken by an undergraduate. Courses at the 600- and 700- levels are for graduate students exclusively.

Foreign Languages

The program does not require proficiency in a foreign language, but students who plan to puruse a doctorate in English should be aware that PhD programs typically do require competency in one or two foreign languages.

Transfer Credit Policy

An applicant or student of the M.A. in English program can seek approval from the Joint Program Committee to accept up to 12 transfer credit hours. These courses must have a grade of B or higher, and can count toward the M.A. in English degree requirements. Courses with a grade of “Pass” or “Satisfactory” will not be accepted.


Program Requirements
Program Learning Outcomes