Master of Arts in English


Program Description

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 that attracts presenters from the region and beyond. Our graduate organization is growing and active, with many opportunities for professional development.

The MA in English prepares students to teach at the community college level, pursue advanced study at the Ph.D. level, or pursue a career or salary advancement in fields of education, business, and industry.

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)

  • EN 601 – Introduction to Graduate Studies: Bibliography and Research (3)
  • EN 655 – Literary Criticism (3)

Literature Requirement (18)

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 Study (12)

Foreign Language Requirement: The Master of Arts in English requires a 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 of 36 semester hours of coursework or 30 semester hours of coursework plus a thesis earning six hours’ credit. Students 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.

  • EN 690 – Thesis (3-6)
  • EN 695 – Thesis Defense (0)

Non-Thesis Option: Students choosing the Non-Thesis Option must complete 30 hours of graduate courses in English 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.

  • EN 696 – Comprehensive Examination (0)


In addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate studies, admission to the Master of Arts in English degree program also requires:

Unconditional Admission

  1. Preparation: Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and have at least 24 semester hours in English above the 200 level. A Graduate Admission Committee will review each application; consequently, all applications and supporting documents must be submitted to the Office of Admissions of the University in accordance with submission deadlines established by that office.
  2. Scholastic Achievement: A minimum of 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale in all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  3. Test Scores: Submission of satisfactory scores on either the Graduate Record Exam (General Test) or the Miller Analogies Test. Students who seek admission to the program must receive a minimum of 286 on the combined Verbal and Quantitative portions of the GRE or a minimum of 388 on the MAT.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation to be sent to Graduate Admissions and Services, University of North Alabama.

Conditional Admission

  1. Applicants who satisfy all requirements for unconditional admission except for the minimum scholastic (grade) requirement but who have an overall grade point average of 2.0 or better (4.0) may be admitted on conditional status subject to the attainment of grades which include no more than three semester hours of C and no grades lower than C on the first three graduate courses (nine semester hours) for which enrolled.
Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

The College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, 19 different departments with an array of majors, minors and certificate programs working independently and together to ignite th ... Read More

The College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, 19 different departments with an array of majors, minors and certificate programs working independently and together to ignite the dream that creates the steam that powers your future. Join us and get ahead! Read less