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Pursue the M.A. and/or the Ph.D. in English with a nationally and internationally recognized faculty, whose members have published more than 90 books. The lively, dynamic program looks at texts ranging from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Study in both traditional fields (medieval literature, the Renaissance, American lit, rhetoric and composition, linguistics) and new interdisciplinary areas (popular culture, film studies, Anglophone lit, folklore, children's and adolescent literature). Students are encouraged to think and create freely within a structure that provides support from peers, guidance from faculty, resources for research, challenging goals, and rigorous standards. The relatively small size of graduate seminars allows for highly individualized attention to students. Assistantships are available, as well as awards, fellowships, and other financial support. 


What We're Doing

New Film Course in the British New Wave

New Graduate Film Course on the British New Wave

Dr. Christopher Weedman’s special topics graduate course “British New Wave Films” explores this social realist movement of the late 1950s and 1960s. New to the English Department’s graduate curriculum, this course is devoted to this gritty and rebellious group of films on this side of the Atlantic. These films provide a frank depiction of the working class and the changing attitudes about gender, race, and sexuality in post-World War II Britain. By examining the unglamorous characterizations and ideological contradictions of complex and, at times, unsettling narratives such as The Leather Boys, The L-Shaped Room, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Taste of Honey, and This Sporting Life, Dr. Weedman’s students learn how these films broke pivotal ground in world cinema by being among the first to give a strong voice to people living on the margins of society.

Faculty and Graduate Students Work with Archival Documents

Faculty and Graduate Students Work with Archival Documents

When Holocaust survivor Nessy Marks passed away in 2011, her son donated to the English Department one of her most valued possessions, a collection of thank-you letters written to her by the children from the many schools and places of worship she visited during her lifetime. In Spring 2019, Dr. Kate Pantelides' graduate students began cataloging and analyzing this archive. Is Summer 2019, Ms. Lauren Blade began the process of digitizing the archive, and Ms. Elizabeth McGee plans to seek grant funds to continue this work. Ms. McGee, Ms. Abbie Moody, and Dr. Pantelides recently submitted an article based on this work to Peitho: Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. The manuscript describes their efforts to recover, preserve, and analyze the letters in this archive. They highlight two trends in these letters: that of writers to affiliate with Ms. Marks through a sense of patriotism and duty, or through ancestry as a way to connecting to guilt and pain.


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The graduate programs in English have enjoyed a highly successful placement record for students. The department's M.A. degree also has a national reputation for preparing students for doctoral study at prestigious programs throughout the nation. Some potential professional careers include

  • academic/university official advertising/public relations executive
  • author
  • college professor
  • content manager
  • creative writer
  • director/support staff for non-profit organizations
  • editor
  • lawyer (after law school)
  • librarian
  • manager
  • playwright
  • professional/technical writer
  • public servant
  • publisher
  • researcher
  • reviewer
  • school administrator
  • software developer
  • teacher
  • writing coach

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Alabama State University
  • Appalachian State University
  • C. S. Lewis Foundation (Oxford, England)
  • University of the Cumberlands
  • Ingram Books
  • Ingram Content Group
  • Judson College
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Lipscomb University
  • Metro-Nashville Public Schools
  • Michigan State University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • University of Montana
  • Motlow State Community College
  • University of North Alabama
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Savannah State University
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tennessee Tech
  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Watkins College of Art and Design
  • Western Kentucky University

Master’s graduates are studying for doctorate degrees at a number of institutions including

  • Boston College
  • University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Georgia State University
  • Kent State University
  • University of Louisville
  • Southern Illinois University
  • SUNY-Albany
  • Texas Tech

Graduate

The Department of English offers the Master of Arts (M.A.), the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and a minor at the graduate level. Both degree programs provide students with opportunities to integrate advanced training in traditional and emerging areas of English studies with teaching experience and pedagogical training.

The English M.A. degree, one of the oldest in the state, is a non-specialized program that offers advanced studies in American and British literature, popular culture and film, the English language, rhetoric and composition, and linguistics. Thesis and non-thesis options are offered.

The Ph.D. program allows for specialization in a number of areas, including American Literature; Anglophone Literature; British Literature; Children's and Young Adult Literature; Folklore; Linguistics; Literary Theory; Popular Culture and Film; and Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy.

Admissions decisions for both programs are based on the department’s judgment of the applicant’s capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study.

Master’s or doctoral applicants should have completed at least 30 semester hours of English at the undergraduate level. Ph.D. candidates without an M.A. will be expected to have completed at least 20 hours of graduate coursework in English.

A foreign language requirement must be met for graduation for both advanced degrees.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS  tab above.

Undergraduate

MTSU has five undergraduate major programs in English, all leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. These include the traditional English major and concentrations in Writing, Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, and Secondary Education Teaching Licensure.

The department offers an undergraduate minor in English and coordinates four interdisciplinary minors: Film Studies, Great Books, Jewish and Holocaust Studies, and Writing.

The English Department also participates in several interdisciplinary minors including African American Studies; American Culture; Classical Studies; Early Modern European Studies; Environment and Human Society; Global Studies; Latin American Studies; Linguistics Studies; Media, History, and Culture; Medieval Studies; Middle East Studies; Native American Studies; Russian Studies; Southern Studies and Twentieth-Century European Studies.

Apply Now!

English M.A. 

English, M.A.

Kevin Donovan, Program Director
(615) 898-2665
Kevin.Donovan@mtsu.edu

The Department of English offers the Master of Arts, the Doctor of Philosophy, and a minor at the graduate level.

Graduate study in English is primarily an engagement in the deep and intense study of literature and language, theory, and writing, undertaken for the special pleasure in knowledge and understanding of the world and its semiotic systems that such studies bring. It also provides preparation and training for careers within and without the academy.

The Master of Arts in English curriculum allows students to explore traditional areas of literary study (Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, etc.) as well as topics related to popular culture, film, gender, folklore, linguistics, and children's literature. Opportunities are also available for concentrated studies in rhetoric, pedagogy, and composition theory.

Please see the undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admissions decisions are based on the department's judgment of the applicant's capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study. Admission to graduate study is not automatically guaranteed by meeting minimum admission requirements.

Candidates will be expected to have earned 15 hours of coursework at the 2000 level or above in English or in related fields when that coursework includes a significant component of literature or writing.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1. Application for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Those seeking teaching assistantships must apply by February 1 for the following Fall semester. All application materials, including the assistantship application, should be sent directly to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit three letters of recommendation from professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete an M.A. program in English;
  3. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (English subject test optional);
  4. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  5. submit a writing example of 2,000 to 5,000 words;
  6. submit a 500-word statement of purpose outlining academic interests and professional goals.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in English requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours (thesis) or 33 semester hours (directed portfolio).

Candidate must

  1. successfully complete a directed portfolio (ENGL 6913) if in the non-thesis option;
  2. successfully complete and defend a thesis (ENGL 6640) if in the thesis option.

Curriculum: English

All students are required to take ENGL 6001. Depending on interests, students may focus on literary studies, language and writing studies, teaching writing and literature, or popular culture/culture studies. Students should consult with the graduate program advisor to select courses suitable for their interests.

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Thesis Option (30 hours)

  • ENGL 6001 - Introduction to Graduate Study: Bibliography and Research

    3credit hours

    Literary scholarship: its nature and scope; traditional and modern methods; the definition and solution of research problems; the production of literary scholarship. Required of all master's students enrolling in English.

  • ENGL 6640 - Thesis Research  1 to 6 credit hours  
    (3 credit hours required)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credit hours required) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    ENGL 6640 - Thesis Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of thesis. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

  • Advisor-approved electives 24 credit hours

Non-thesis Option (33 hours)

  • ENGL 6001 - Introduction to Graduate Study: Bibliography and Research

    3credit hours

    Literary scholarship: its nature and scope; traditional and modern methods; the definition and solution of research problems; the production of literary scholarship. Required of all master's students enrolling in English.

  • ENGL 6913 - Directed Portfolio  1 to 6 credit hours  
    (3 credit hours required)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credit hours required) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    ENGL 6913 - Directed Portfolio

    1 to 6credit hours

    Prerequisites: 27 hours of M.A. coursework and permission of the director of graduate studies. Individually supervised intensive revision of three seminar papers to demonstrate an appropriate breadth of knowledge and sophistication of writing. Normally 3 credit hours in one semester; may be repeated only once.

  • Advisor-approved electives 27 credit hours

Graduate Assistant Requirements

Graduate teaching assistants are required to take ENGL 6821 - Seminar in Teaching Composition in their first year of the program.

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which the student intends to graduate.

English Ph.D.

English, Ph.D.

Kevin Donovan, Program Director
(615) 898-2665
Kevin.Donovan@mtsu.edu

The  Department of English offers the Master of Arts, the Doctor of Philosophy, and a minor at the graduate level.

Graduate study in English is primarily an engagement in the deep and intense study of literature and language, theory, and writing, undertaken for the special pleasure in knowledge and understanding of the world and its semiotic systems that such studies bring. It also provides preparation and training for careers within and without the academy.

The Ph.D. in English offers a generalist program that allows for specialization in a number of areas, including American Literature; Anglophone Literature; British Literature; Children's and Young Adult Literature; Folklore; Linguistics; Literary Theory; Popular Culture and Film; and Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy. Courses are designed as seminars, and graduate students may expect highly individualized attention from the graduate faculty.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admissions decisions are based on the department's judgment of the applicant's capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study.  Admission to graduate study is not automatically guaranteed by meeting minimum admission requirements.

Candidates will be expected to have earned 15 hours of coursework at the 2000 level or above in English or in related fields when that coursework includes a significant component of literature or writing. Applicants without an M.A. degree will be expected to have completed at least 20 hours of graduate coursework in English.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1. Application for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Those seeking teaching assistantships must apply by February 1 for the following Fall semester. All application materials, including the assistantship application, should be sent directly to the College of Graduate Studies through mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit three letters of recommendation from professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete a Ph.D. program in English;
  3. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (English subject test optional);
  4. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  5. submit a writing sample of 3,000 to 5,000 words;
  6. submit a 500-word statement of purpose outlining academic interests and professional goals.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in English requires completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours.

Candidate must

  1. demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language. (Committees may require more than one language.) The language requirement must be fulfilled in one of the following ways:
    1. completing two 3-hour foreign language courses of 3000- or 4000-level work emphasizing reading, translation, or composition;
    2. earning a final grade of A or B in a foreign language course numbered 5990 or in SPAN 5920;
    3. passing a reading examination administered by the World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department;
    4. earning a final grade of B or better in both ENGL 7011 - Old English Language and Literature and ENGL 7015 - Beowulf, which must be taken sequentially; or
    5. meeting this requirement at the M.A. level.
  2. successfully complete a qualifying exam, comprehensive in scope, before the completion of two semesters of coursework above the M.A. level (12 hours of 7000-level work). Ph.D. students must pass this exam in order to proceed in their program. (The examination may be taken no more than twice.)
  3. upon the completion of coursework, successfully complete two written Ph.D. exams in chosen concentrations from among the following areas: Old and Middle English Literature; Early Modern British Literature (1500-Milton); Restoration and 18th Century British Literature; Long 19th Century British Literature (1770-1900): 20th Century and Contemporary British Literature; Early American Literature (through 1900); 20th Century and Contemporary American Literature; Anglophone Literature; Children's and Young Adult Literature; Composition and Rhetoric; Popular Culture and Film; Criticism and Critical Theory; Folklore; and Linguistics. An oral exam will be given upon the successful completion of each written exam.
  4. complete a dissertation (12 hours minimum) and oral dissertation defense.

Curriculum: English

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements. In addition, a maximum of 21 hours of dissertation research may be required to fulfill degree requirements.

Core Courses (6 hours)

 

  • ENGL 6001 - Introduction to Graduate Study: Bibliography and Research  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ENGL 6001 - Introduction to Graduate Study: Bibliography and Research

    3credit hours

    Literary scholarship: its nature and scope; traditional and modern methods; the definition and solution of research problems; the production of literary scholarship. Required of all master's students enrolling in English.

  • ENGL 7001 - Introduction to Graduate Study: Bibliography and Research

    3credit hours

    Literary scholarship: its nature and scope; traditional and modern methods; the definition and solution of research problems; the production of literary scholarship. Required of all master's students enrolling in English.

 

  • ENGL 7701 - History of Criticism  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ENGL 7701 - History of Criticism

    3credit hours

    Examines significant critical movements in Western literature from classical times into the twenty-first century.

  • ENGL 7705 - Contemporary Critical Theory

    3credit hours

    Covers major critical trends in literary theory since 1965, including feminist, Marxist, structuralist, and deconstructive approaches to literature. Students explore background and implications of these theories and analyze selected works of literature in light of these approaches.

One course from each of the following groups (9 hours)

British Literature through the Renaissance

 

  • ENGL 7011 - Old English Language and Literature

    3credit hours

    Introduction to Old English language (grammar, phonology, syntax, and vocabulary) and literature (poetry and prose) and to the historical and cultural background of the Anglo-Saxon period.

  • ENGL 7015 - Beowulf  3 credit hours  

    ENGL 7015 - Beowulf

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 7011. Intensive line-by-line study of Beowulf in Old English, with special emphasis on its sources and analogues, significant criticism, and current dating studies of the poem.

  • ENGL 7025 - Chaucer Seminar  3 credit hours  

    ENGL 7025 - Chaucer Seminar

    3credit hours

    Close study of Chaucer's major and minor works in Middle English, with attention to Chaucer's historical and cultural context (including his sources) and to significant scholarly criticism.

  • ENGL 7021 - Middle English Language and Literature

    3credit hours

    A study of Middle English literary types (in poetry, prose, and drama) and of the major authors and texts of the Middle English period. Includes study of Middle English dialects.

  • ENGL 7105 - Spenser Seminar  3 credit hours  

    ENGL 7105 - Spenser Seminar

    3credit hours

    Seeks to develop an understanding of individual works in Edmund Spenser's oeuvre and some sense of their place in the larger cultural systems of the sixteenth century. Philosophical meditations, pastoral eclogues, shorter poems are engaged fully to consider Spenser's range and engagement with lyric forms, as well as complete study of his major works, The Faerie Queene.

  • ENGL 7101 - Studies in Sixteenth-Century English Prose and Poetry

    3credit hours

    Considers works of prose, fiction, romance, and poetry of the sixteenth-century to investigate changing vocabularies, genres, and literary practices that emerge in the Renaissance in response to various cultural, social, and historical pressures.

  • ENGL 7111 - Studies in Seventeenth-Century English Prose and Poetry

    3credit hours

    Selected nondramatic literature of the century, with primary emphasis on the seventeenth century before the Restoration. Included are Donne, Herbert, and the metaphysical poets and Jonson and the Cavalier poets.

  • ENGL 7121 - Studies in Milton

    3credit hours

    The major poetry of John Milton, including "Lycidas," Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, and Paradise Regained.

  • ENGL 7115 - Studies in Shakespeare

    3credit hours

    Advanced study of Shakespeare's poems and plays, emphasizing poetic and dramatic techniques in his works and critical reaction to those works.

 

Other courses when appropriate:

  • ENGL 7171 - Major British Writers

    3credit hours

    An in-depth study of one, two, or three British writers. Course varies according to interests of instructor and students. May be taken for multiple credit up to 6 hours.

  • ENGL 7415 - Special Topics in Women's Literature

    3credit hours

    Study of selected women authors with a focus on the way women's voices contribute to literary discourse. Subject will vary with instructor. May be taken for multiple credit up to 9 hours.

  • ENGL 7611 - Special Topics in Literature and Language

    3credit hours

    A specialized field of literary or linguistic inquiry, its bibliography, critical problems, and probable solutions. Topics vary with the professor assigned to the course. May be taken for multiple credit up to 9 hours.

  • ENGL 7901 - Directed Reading and Research

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of the director of graduate studies. Individually supervised reading and research either in a historical period of English or American literature or in a major literary genre. Students may take no more than three directed reading courses.

British Literature since the Renaissance

 

  • ENGL 7131 - Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature

    3credit hours

    Designed to give students a definite critical knowledge of the major literary works of Restoration and eighteenth-century England, 1660-1800. Course may focus on either drama, poetry, or prose or a combination.

  • ENGL 7141 - Studies in English Romanticism: Wordsworth and Coleridge

    3credit hours

    Covers the major lyrical and narrative poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge as well as select prose, e.g., Wordsworth's Preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads and Coleridge's Biogaphia Literaria.

  • ENGL 7145 - Studies in English Romanticism: Shelley, Byron, and Keats

    3credit hours

    Covers the major lyrical, narrative, and dramatic poetry of the three principal younger generation Romantics as well as select prose, e.g., Shelley's A Defence of Poetry and Keats's letters.

  • ENGL 7151 - Studies in Victorian Literature

    3credit hours

    Intellectual backgrounds of the Victorian period; major prose writers: Macaulay, Carlyle, Newman, Mill, Ruskin, Arnold, Pater; major poets: Tennyson, Browning, Arnold.

  • ENGL 7161 - Modern British Literature

    3credit hours

    Intellectual backgrounds of modern British literature; major novelists: Forster, Woolf, Joyce, Lawrence; major poets: Yeats, Eliot, Auden, Thomas; selected minor writers.

 

Other courses when appropriate:

  • ENGL 7171 - Major British Writers

    3credit hours

    An in-depth study of one, two, or three British writers. Course varies according to interests of instructor and students. May be taken for multiple credit up to 6 hours.

  • ENGL 7415 - Special Topics in Women's Literature

    3credit hours

    Study of selected women authors with a focus on the way women's voices contribute to literary discourse. Subject will vary with instructor. May be taken for multiple credit up to 9 hours.

  • ENGL 7601 - Studies in the Novel

    3credit hours

    The novel as a literary genre may be approached from a variety of perspectives, including generic, historical, theoretical, or single-author approaches. Course varies according to interests of instructor and students.

  • ENGL 7611 - Special Topics in Literature and Language

    3credit hours

    A specialized field of literary or linguistic inquiry, its bibliography, critical problems, and probable solutions. Topics vary with the professor assigned to the course. May be taken for multiple credit up to 9 hours.

  • ENGL 7901 - Directed Reading and Research

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of the director of graduate studies. Individually supervised reading and research either in a historical period of English or American literature or in a major literary genre. Students may take no more than three directed reading courses.

American Literature

 

  • ENGL 7221 - African American Literature

    3credit hours

    An in-depth study of the African American literary tradition with emphasis on significant authors, genres, texts, and contexts.

  • ENGL 7225 - Studies in Southern Literature

    3credit hours

    Themes, theories, movements, and types of literature produced in the American South with particular emphasis on selected authors and texts.

  • ENGL 7201 - Studies in American Literature to 1800

    3credit hours

    Surveys literature associated with the discovery and colonization of America from the first recorded European encounters with the New World until just after the founding of the United States. The readings represent a rich variety of genres (reports, letters, poetry, histories, journals/diaries, autobiographies, sermons, novels, slave/captivity narratives, trickster tales, drama, etc.) in accordance with the broad definition of literature characteristic of the period.

  • ENGL 7205 - Studies in American Literature: 1800-1860

    3credit hours

    Surveys literature associated with the Romantic period in American literary history, from the beginning of the nineteenth century through the 1860's.  Writing across a variety of genres including essays, short stories, poetry, novels, and slave narratives. Authors of this era answered the calls that had been made since the nation was founded for an artistically sophisticated and distinctive national literature.

  • ENGL 7211 - Studies in American Literature: 1860-1910

    3credit hours

    Covers the development of American literature from roughly the Civil War to World War I, including the rise of realism, naturalism, regionalism, and local color. Considers historical and cultural contexts.

  • ENGL 7215 - Studies in American Literature: 1910-1950

    3credit hours

    Covers the rise of American modernism, including experiments in fiction, drama, and verse; considers the phenomenon of expatriation, the radical visions of the depression decade, and the literary experience of the two world wars.

  • ENGL 7401 - Studies in Contemporary Literature

    3credit hours

    Intellectual backgrounds of contemporary literature; significant developments in fiction, nonfictional prose, poetry, and drama.

 

Other courses when appropriate:

  • ENGL 7231 - Major American Writers

    3credit hours

    An in-depth study of one, two, or three American writers. Course varies according to interests of instructor and students. May be taken for multiple credit up to 6 hours.

  • ENGL 7415 - Special Topics in Women's Literature

    3credit hours

    Study of selected women authors with a focus on the way women's voices contribute to literary discourse. Subject will vary with instructor. May be taken for multiple credit up to 9 hours.

  • ENGL 7601 - Studies in the Novel

    3credit hours

    The novel as a literary genre may be approached from a variety of perspectives, including generic, historical, theoretical, or single-author approaches. Course varies according to interests of instructor and students.

  • ENGL 7611 - Special Topics in Literature and Language

    3credit hours

    A specialized field of literary or linguistic inquiry, its bibliography, critical problems, and probable solutions. Topics vary with the professor assigned to the course. May be taken for multiple credit up to 9 hours.

  • ENGL 7901 - Directed Reading and Research

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of the director of graduate studies. Individually supervised reading and research either in a historical period of English or American literature or in a major literary genre. Students may take no more than three directed reading courses.

Electives (33 hours)

  • ENGL 7909 - Doctoral Readings  3 credit hours  
    (recommended)(recommended)  dotslash:(recommended) title:(recommended) 
    (recommended) 

    ENGL 7909 - Doctoral Readings

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 7001 or the equivalent with a grade of B or better. A candidate-designed course of readings constructed in consultation with faculty in preparation for writing a dissertation.

  • Chosen from the above courses or any other English graduate courses to complete the required number of hours.

Cognate Option (6-9 hours)

The cognate option in the Ph.D. degree plan allows doctoral students to take graduate-level courses (6000 and 7000 level) in other disciplines related to their areas of concentration or professional goals that would apply as electives toward the degree in English. The cognate option is limited to a minimum of six (6) hours and a maximum of nine (9) hours. Courses taken in other departments beyond the nine hours for the cognate may not apply toward the Ph.D. in English, even as elective hours. Likewise courses taken outside the department by students who have not declared a cognate or received permission of the graduate advisor or program director will not count as credits toward the degree. 

Dissertation (12-21 hours)

  • ENGL 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  
    (12 hours minimum)(12 hours minimum)  dotslash:(12 hours minimum) title:(12 hours minimum) 
    (12 hours minimum) 

    ENGL 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file an approved Advancement to Candidacy form listing the members of the candidate's doctoral committee with the Graduate Office upon successful completion of the written and oral preliminary examination;
  3. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which the student intends to graduate.

 

 

Americanists

Children's Literature

Medieval and Renaissance Literature

  • Dr. Kevin Donovan
  • Dr. Marion Hollings
  • Dr. Amy Kaufman
  • Dr. Pete McCluskey
  • Dr. Rhonda McDaniel
  • Dr. Philip Phillips

Southern Literature

  • Dr. Pat Bradley
  • Dr. Will Brantley
  • Dr. Robert Bray
  • Dr. Laura Dubek
  • Dr. Patricia Gaitely

Admissions Process

Admission Process for Graduate Program in English:

You may apply on-line or by filling out and sending in an application (found in the back of the graduate catalog). A $35 application fee is due at the time of application. In order to complete your application, you will need to see that the following materials are sent to the College of Graduate Studies, Sam H. Ingram Building, MTSU Box 42, Murfreesboro,TN 37132:

  • All undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation (These can be emailed to askgrad@mtsu.edu)
  • GRE scores (We look primarily at the Verbal and Analytical portions of the General exam; the English subject test, though not required, is recommended.)
  • A short statement of purpose (500 words or so) in which you present your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies in English (your professional plans, areas of interest, etc.) as well as any relevant experience that prepares you for graduate studies.

APPLICATION DEADLINES for fall semester admission:

February 1st for those wishing to be considered for graduate assistantships

March 1st for all others

APPLICATION DEADLINES for spring semester admission must be completed by October 1.

For more information, visit the English Department section of the Graduate Catalog and Admissions to the College of Graduate Studies.

Assistantships

If you would like to be considered for a graduate assistantship, in addition to the material required for the general application, you will need to fill out an application for an assistantship and send it to the Director of Graduate Studies in the English Department (P.O. Box 70, Department of English, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132) along with a short statement of purpose (500 words or so) in which you present your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies in English (your professional plans, areas of interest, etc.) as well as any relevant experience that prepares you for graduate studies.

M.A.-level graduate assistants: 
Until students have completed 18 hours of course work, they are generally assigned as tutors in the Writing Center for 20 hours a week. Some students may be given 20-hour assignments to work as a classroom assistant for particular professors. Once students have completed 18 hours of course work, they may serve as teaching assistants, under the guidance of our supervisor of teaching assistants. During their first year teaching, they are required to enroll in Seminar in Teaching Composition (ENGL 6560/7650).

Our M.A. assistants receive a stipend of $6500 distributed over a nine-month period with a waiver of tuition fees and out-of-state fees if the GA is a non-resident.

Ph.D.-level graduate assistants: 
Doctoral level assistants are generally given teaching assignments (two courses a semester), if they have some previous tutoring or teaching experience. If they have not already taken appropriate pedagogy courses, they will be expected to take our two pedagogy seminars the first year. Doctoral-level stipends are presently $14,000 for a twelve-month contract, with a waiver of tuition and fees.

For more information, visit the MTSU Graduate College site.

Awards

In addition to providing full tuition to graduate assistants, MTSU rewards excellence by offering the Albert and Ethel Carver Smith Award ($2,000). In addition, the English Department offers the following awards to qualified graduate students:

  

 

Contact Information

Dr. Kevin Donovan
Director of Graduate Studies
Peck Hall 316

Dr. Rhonda McDaniel
Graduate Advisor
Peck Hall 373

Dr. Theodore Sherman
Director of Graduate Admissions
Peck Hall 372

Ms. Debbie Flanigan
Program Secretary
Peck Hall 316 
for appointments (615) 898-2665

Graduate Office Liaison

Ms. Mandy Pinkston
615-898-2840
Mandy.Burns@mtsu.edu

Who is My Advisor?

Dr. Kevin Donovan
Kevin.Donovan@mtsu.edu
615-898-2665

Mailing Address

Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 70
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132


College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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