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English – Graduate Degree

Degrees Offered: Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed..)


In addition to the Graduate School Admission Requirements, applicants must have achieved an average grade of B or higher in upper-level undergraduate courses in the major. A writing sample and two recommendations (three recommendations are required for the M.A.Ed. and the M.A.T.) addressing the applicant's aptitude for graduate study are required. A personal interview may be requested.

Program Description

The M.A. degree in English provides broad training in English studies, with a concentration in one of three areas: literature, professional writing, or rhetoric and composition. A total of 33 graduate English credit hours is required: 12 hour core, 9 hour concentration, and 12 hours in one of the following options

  • Thesis Option: 6 hours of thesis and 6 hours of ENGL electives
  • Non-Thesis Option: 12 hours of ENGL electives

In addition to the coursework, all M.A. in English students must successfully pass written comprehensive examinations based on reading lists and content knowledge, which are specific to each concentration.  For those writing a thesis,  a final oral defense is required. For reading lists, sample exams, and other information on the M.A. in English, see the current Guide to Graduate Studies in English, available at (Any student who receives two final course grades of C or one final course grade of F will be dismissed from the program.)

 M.A.T. applicants must have an undergraduate degree in the major of the concentration and must meet the prerequisite requirements of the department housing the concentration. Candidates with an undergraduate degree in a major other than the MAT concentration may not qualify for the MAT and are subject to prerequisite course requirements as determined by the faculty in the department of the concentration. Prerequisite requirements will vary by department and depend on the credentials presented by the candidate. Pending satisfactory completion of state-mandated licensure requirements, the program leads to a recommendation for an initial and advanced license from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

M.A.Ed. applicants must hold or be eligible to hold a North Carolina Class A teaching license, or a comparable license from another state.                     

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Location of Course Offerings: Cullowhee and Biltmore Park

Admission Requirements:

  • Graduate School Admission Requirements
  • Program Admission Requirements
    • An average grade of B or higher in upper-level undergraduate courses in the major
    • GRE General Exam is required for the M.A.T. and the M.A.Ed.
    • GRE General Exam is optional for the M.A.
    • Writing sample
    • For the M.A., two letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's aptitude for graduate study
    • For the M.A.T. and M.A.Ed., three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's aptitude for graduate study 
    • For the M.A.T. and M.A.Ed., a personal interview may be requested
    • For the M.A.Ed., applicants must hold or be eligible for the North Carolina "A" license in this field

Application Deadline:  The graduate English program has a rolling application deadline; the Graduate School must have all required application materials at least two weeks before the term begins. However, if students wish to be considered for graduate assistantships, for best consideration submit materials by early March for the following fall term. Assistantships may be available at other times.

Graduate Program Director:

Dr. Annette Debo
Department of English

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