Tennessee State University

Masters of Arts Program in English

Information for Prospective Applicants




Our M.A. program offers students an opportunity to get to know their professors.  Class sizes are small, and students work with individual faculty mentors on independent study projects, teaching apprenticeships and thesis projects. 



Our M.A. program is also extremely flexible.  Students must complete two requirements:


            1) Bibliography and Methods course (ENGL 5110); and,

2) a final project which can take one three forms:

a) a traditional master’s thesis on an original research topic relating to English language or literature (a document ranging from 60 to 100 pp. and including an oral defense);

b) a teaching project that combines pedagogical research with a unit lesson plan (a document ranging from 60 to 100 pp.)

 c) three critical papers, each approximately article length (15-25 pp.).


The student must complete a total of 30 credit hours (approximately 10 courses) to complete the degree. 


Beyond the two required courses, the rest of a student’s coursework is elective.  Courses are offered each semester in a variety of areas: English literary history, writing and composition theory, English Education pedagogy, literary theory and special topics (including film and digital media).   


The student may elect to take up to nine hours in a discipline(s) other than English.  


Students are able to work intensively in an area of focus such as African American literature, English education pedagogy, writing, etc.  Students also get experience teaching either as a graduate assistant or teaching apprentice. 


The program has no comprehensive examinations. 



Our M.A. program in English gives students a chance to work with the best that Tennessee State University has to offer.  Each instructor has been awarded status as a member of the Graduate Faculty at the University on the basis of their scholarly productivity.  Our faculty members have received degrees from schools including University of Connecticut, Temple University, Indiana University, Middle Tennessee State University, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Vanderbilt University. 


Admission Requirements:


Unconditional admission requires you to have a



Conditional admission may be granted if you have yet to attain a satisfactory score on the GRE or MAT.  If you are admitted conditionally, you will need to take the GRE or MAT before the end of your first semester.


Conditional admission may also be gained with a lower grade point average, but the GRE or MAT score must be correspondingly higher:


All students must have completed at least 24 hours of English at the undergraduate level, 12 of which must be at the junior or senior level. You may gain conditional admission prior to completion of these undergraduate course requirements, but you must complete these courses before taking any graduate courses.


Online Application:


You can apply online at the website for the School of Graduate Studies and Research http://www.tnstate.edu/grad/ :


1) Click on the link (“On-Line Application”) in the right-hand box labeled “GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATIONS & DEADLINES” to begin the online application process;

2) Click on the link (“First time user account creation”) and follow the prompts to create an account and begin the application procedure.