Dec 04, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, MA


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The two-year MA program in English at the University of Kentucky provides broad training in literature, language, and theory. The flexible program is designed to meet the academic and professional needs of a range of students, including scholars who plan to move on to the PhD degree and teachers and professionals in the region who wish to pursue the terminal MA. Students can select either literature or film as their area of concentration. With rare exceptions, all MA students are funded through TAships. 

The department offers a wide variety of specializations not only in traditional literary history but also in film studies, cultural studies, African-American Studies, and Postcolonial Theory.  The Department of English consists of 41 full-time faculty members who offer a range of courses in British, American, African-American, and Women’s Literature, Creative Writing, Film, and Literary Theory.  The graduate program relies on a nationally recognized faculty, a strongly supportive University of Kentucky Research Foundation, an active university press, and a research library of 1.2 million volumes. 

 

Admission Requirements 

 Students eligible for the MA program must have:  

  • A UGPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.  Unofficial transcripts from all attended institutions are required. If the student is admitted and accepts, the graduate school will require all official transcripts. University of Kentucky graduates should note their degrees on the application but are not required to submit transcripts.  

  • An undergraduate degree in English or its equivalent. Applicants who do not complete an undergraduate English major but have a substantial background in literature should contact the Director of Graduate Studies. 

  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty familiar with the student’s strengths and interests.  

  • A statement of purpose of no more than two pages that outlines what research interests the student expects to pursue for the PhD. 

  • A writing sample of approximately 20 pages that demonstrates the student’s ability to carry out original research and make cogent arguments. 

  • A CV or resume.  

  • As of fall 2021, neither the general GRE nor the subject test in English is a required component of a student’s application.  

 

Degree Requirements  

The MA timeline has two paths: a thesis (Plan A) and a non-thesis (Plan B) option. 

Plan A students must 

  • Take 30 credit hours of coursework at the graduate level, which may include up to 6 hours of ENG 768 .  Students on assistantship are advised to take nine credit hours each semester (fall and spring) during the first year, six credit hours in the fall of the second year, and spend the spring semester of their second year writing their thesis and preparing for their oral examination.  The oral examination will take place toward the end of the spring semester of the second year. 

  • Form a thesis committee consisting of a director and two other faculty members from within the English department. 

  • Write a Master’s thesis (normally not to exceed 60 pages) on an original topic in a recognizable subfield of the discipline.  

  • Defend the thesis in a 90-minute oral examination. 

 

Plan B students must 

  • Take 30 credit hours of coursework at the graduate level. Students on assistantship are advised to take nine credit hours each semester (fall and spring) during the first year and six credit hours each semester (fall and spring) during the second year.  The oral examination will take place toward the end of the spring semester of the second year.  

  • Form a committee consisting of a director and two other faculty members from within the English department.  

  •  Take a 90-minute oral examination based on a reading list of 30 to 50 texts to complete their degree.   

 

MA students who choose either Plan A or Plan B may take up to six credit-hours of courses at the graduate level outside of the English Department.  They can also apply for a wide variety of graduate certificates, which typically require 9 to 15 hours of coursework. These certificates range from Gender and Women’s Studies to Social Theory to Preparing Future Faculty.   

For a list of the available certificates, see here: https://gradschool.uky.edu/graduate-certificates  

For a fuller sense of what the English department doctoral program’s requirements and expectations are, including sample timelines to degree, see here: https://english.as.uky.edu/doctoral-program 

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