Apr 24, 2024  
2017-2018 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2023 
2017-2018 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2023 [Archived Catalog]

English (MA)

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Affiliation: School of Arts & Letters


The field of English study has become increasingly diverse. It has responded to the theoretical challenges of deconstruction, feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, and New Historicism; it has engaged emerging interdisciplinary fields such as disability studies, cognitive science, and the digital humanities; it has tried to make sense of the postmodern and postcolonial present; it has watched its anthologies swell with the expansion of the canon. A revolution has been occurring in the discipline, and it is not over yet.

Given this continuing revolution in the field, the Truman graduate program in English offers students flexibility and possibility. In keeping with the mission statement of the University, our program “grows naturally out of the philosophy, values, content, and desired outcomes of a liberal arts education.” Graduate faculty in the program assist students in finding their niche of disciplinary interest, be it in literary theory, pedagogy, linguistics, a particular literature, or creative writing and each student accepted to the program works closely with the Director of Graduate Studies to tailor a course of study that best meets their personal and scholarly goals.

Our program offers a variety of courses in literary theory, composition theory, pedagogy, creative writing, and linguistics. We also offer, based on needs and interests, advanced courses with rotating topics. In accordance with the University mission, students in the program approach “creative and critical thought through effective reading and research.”

English MA candidates who show exceptional promise in college teaching may compete for teaching stipends. As apprentice teachers, they hone their professional techniques and shape philosophies of teaching and composition. 

Our ultimate aims are leadership development in a select community of exceptionally able students, scholars, teachers, and creative writers; the nurturing of a lifetime commitment to writing and literature; and, for those who desire it, serious preparation for work at the doctoral level.


Applicants should submit the following materials to the Graduate Dean in the Graduate Office:

  • Undergraduate transcripts from an accredited college or university showing an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • Graduate Record Examination scores on the general section, usually above the fiftieth percentile.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A statement of academic experience, aspiration, and philosophy.
  • Other evidence of service and academic promise.


Graduate Record Exam percentile rankings corresponding to mean scaled scores for incoming English students (2016):

Verbal Reasoning: 72%
Quantitative Reasoning: 45%
Analytical Writing: 78%

Average GPA of incoming English MA students (2016) 3.76.


English MA options:

Thesis Option: Students electing the thesis option complete 32 credits in English graduate coursework and a 4 credits of ENG 611G - Research in English (Thesis) , to a total of 36 credits.  At least half of the English graduate coursework credits must be at the 600-level. 

Non-Thesis Option: Students electing the non-thesis option must complete 35 credits in English graduate coursework and ENG 625G - Graduate Portfolio Seminar , to a total of 36 credits. At least half of the English graduate coursework credits must be at the 600-level. 

Required Courses: 1-4 Credits


No more than 12 combined credits of ENG 609G  and ENG 650G  may count toward the MA in English.

All English GTRAs are required to take

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