master of arts in English

As suggested below, Wayland’s Master of Arts in English is a general program of study designed to prepare students for teaching, further graduate school, creative writing, and other related fields. Each of the four annual terms will offer at least two Online courses, as well as an occasional hybrid class.  Seek your literary dream with us.


School of Languages and Literature

Professor Cindy McClenagan, Dean

Professors Steve Michael, Joshua Mora, James Waller

Associate Professors Timothy Brady, Deborah Kuhlmann, Brent Lynn

Assistant Professors Laura Brandenburg, Troy Gregory, Erin Heath, Maria O'Connell, José Rubio and Karen Beth Strovas


Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

The 37-hour Master of Arts in English program is designed to prepare students for teaching, further graduate work, creative writing, or related writing and research fields.  Two options or tracks are available, each requiring a total of 37 graduate hours:  The thesis-option track requires 6 hours of thesis and an oral defense, while the non-thesis track requires 6 additional hours of coursework.  Both the thesis and the non-thesis track require a written comprehensive exam.

Applicants for the Master of Arts in English must have the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university;
  • A minimum of 12 upper-division hours in English, with a 3.0 GPA in all undergraduate English courses;
  • A reading proficiency in a foreign language approved by the School of Languages and Literature.  This proficiency may be met by the prior successful completion of a minimum of 9 hours (generally three consecutive courses) in one approved foreign language, or it may be met within the first year of enrollment through undergraduate leveling courses equal to 9 hours in one approved foreign language.  (See current catalog for a general explanation of Leveling Courses for graduate programs.)


Two-Step Application Process

1.      Apply to the Graduate School/Program: Graduate Admission Requirements

                                                             Application for all graduate students

2.     Apply to the School of Languages and Literature's MA in English Program by completing

        and submitting the following:

     a.  Writing sample (8-10 pages, preferably academic in nature)

     b.  Two academic letters of recommendation

  • Please send these items to the address listed at the bottom of this page.

Final admission to the program requires the Dean of Languages and Literature’s approval, which includes consideration of the items above, and then these two items: 

  • Prior academic or undergraduate performance:
    • Cumulative GPA
    • GPA in all coursework in English


Program Options

Thesis Track (37 hours total, 6 must be thesis hours) - The thesis hours require a student to demonstrate the ability to do independent research.  A committee of three full-time English professors, selected by the student and approved by the Dean of the School, will supervise the thesis.  One member of the committee will serve as the student’s chair or advisor throughout the thesis process.  Once the student begins work on the thesis, continuous enrollment in thesis hours must be maintained until completion of the Thesis.  (However, summer enrollment is required only if the student anticipates working on or completing the thesis in the summer term.)  Near the completion of the thesis, the student must successfully present and support it before committee members, and then publicly present it to the University audience.

Non-Thesis Track (37 hours total) – In lieu of writing a thesis, students may choose to complete two additional courses. 

Comprehensive Exam (1 hour) – Students in both tracks, thesis and non-thesis, must complete a comprehensive exam one or two semesters prior to the completion of coursework.  The exam requires students to familiarize themselves with specific texts from the current reading list and write responses to those texts.  A committee of three full-time English professors, selected by the Dean of the School and approved by the full-time faculty, read and evaluate all comprehensive exams completed in a semester.

Results of the comprehensive are "Credit/CR" or "No Credit/NCR."

*Students who fail the comprehensive exam on the first attempt may attempt the exam a second time in the next four terms.  No student will be allowed to repeat an examination more than once without taking additional course work.

Transfer Credit – Up to 12 hours of approved graduate credit from an accredited college or university may satisfy degree requirements.  To attempt transfer credit from other institutions, a student must submit an official transcript of the courses to be considered, and may also be required to submit a catalog description and course syllabus from the institution where the course was taken.  The Dean of the School and the Executive Vice President and Provost must approve transfer credit.

Course Requirements – The Master of Arts in English requires a total of 37 hours; once a student selects a desired track—thesis-option or non-thesis option—he or she can fulfill the necessary hours by successfully completing the following: 

7 hours of required coursework:

ENGL 5307:  Literary Theory

ENGL 5308:  Advanced Literary Research

ENGL 5102:  Comprehensive Exam (generally completed in last semester of attendance)

Plus 24 hours from:

ENGL 5301:  Seventeenth-century Prose and Poetry

ENGL 5302:  Eighteenth-century Prose and Poetry

ENGL 5303:  Shakespeare

ENGL 5304:  Studies in British Literature

ENGL 5305:  Middle Ages

ENGL 5306:  Sociolinguistics and Discourse Studies

ENGL 5309:  Young Adult Literature

ENGL 5310:  Early American Literature

ENGL 5311:  American Romanticism and Realism

ENGL 5312:  Modern American Literature

ENGL 5313:  Studies in American Literature

ENGL 5314:  Contemporary Usage

ENGL 5315:  Advanced Creative Writing

ENGL 5316:  Special Topics in Literature

ENGL 5317:  Studies in Poetry

ENGL 5318: Structures of Language

ENGL 5345:  Teaching English as a Second Language

ENGL 5346:  Teaching College Composition

And 6 hours of thesis, OR 6 hours of additional coursework from above (if non-thesis):

ENGL 5360:  Thesis I (first term)

ENGL 5361:  Thesis II (second term)


Click here to view the projected course rotation.

For more information, please contact the main office of the School of Languages and Literature:
Ms. Kristen Reddoch, kristen.reddoch@wbu.edu , (806) 291-1100
Dr. Cindy McClenagan, Dean, cindym@wbu.edu, (806) 291-1100
CMB# 1300
1900 West 7th Street
Plainview, TX 79072