The Masters of Arts in English (MAE) degree requires the minimum completion of 30 course credits and a successful thesis/professional paper defense. MAE students build a degree plan consisting of required courses (3 credits), electives (17-21 credits), and a culminating degree project (a scholarly thesis, 10 credits, or a professional paper, 6 credits). MAE Advisors assist graduate students in developing their degree plan to ensure that the coursework and culminating project enhance their knowledge as well as build and sustain their research interests. 

Prior to admittance, students are expected to have completed the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree in English. Students with undergraduate degrees other than English are encouraged to apply; however, they may be required to take additional English courses as a condition of their acceptance. Students entering the program with a BA in hand often complete the program within two years, taking six to nine credits per term, with summer study as a possibility for facilitating progress toward the MAE.

Course Requirements

Students enrolled in the MA in English program take one required for a total of three credits (repeatable up to six credits). Elective courses are selected for the remaining 17-21 course credits. These courses vary in particular subject matter but provide foundational knowledge for graduate-level work in the MAE program.

Required and Elective Courses


Yellowstone Writing Project

The summer courses through the Yellowstone Writing Project are also available to students in the MA option. These courses focus on building and participating in writing communities and the teaching of writing.                      

Culminating Degree Project

Graduate students choose to write either a scholarly thesis (Plan A, 10 credit hours) or a professional paper (Plan B, 6 credit hours). In the MA, most students choose the professional paper option.  This paper is one that can be delivered at a professional conference and/or, with revision, submitted to a professional journal. 

Graduate Student Handbook