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English Graduate Program


The Department of English offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in English in addition to a certificate in Rhetoric and Composition. Graduate students can enjoy reading from a range of British, American, and world traditions, honing their critical reading and writing skills, and enjoying the pleasures of sophisticated literary discussion in small classes with graduate faculty. Courses in film analysis and traditions augment the curriculum. In addition, students can take courses that ground them philosophically and pedagogically in the history of rhetoric, a sure way to deepen one’s understanding of the practice of writing. Finally, students can enroll in graduate teaching practica, gaining experience by teaching others under the tutelage of an experienced professor or take a course in documentary film production. The M.A. in English offers a number of routes for preparing students for a diverse number of career fields. The program entails eleven courses (33 credit hours). 


The Department also offers undergraduates an accelerated BA/MA degree path in English.

The Value of an M.A. in English

Focusing primarily on the analysis and appreciation of literary texts, the program provides students the opportunity to develop their analytic, interpretive, and writing skills; prepares aspiring community college English instructors to teach composition, rhetoric, and literature; offers secondary-level English teachers the chance to explore new pedagogical strategies for reading and composition; gives currently practicing and soon-to-be-practicing technical writers, editors, and Internet publishers training in the intricacies of well-formed language; helps prepare students who intend to pursue the Ph.D. in literature or cultural studies for the challenges of advanced graduate work; and makes available to creative writers further experience with literature.


For financial assistance, please the UNF Graduate School's information on Student Funding and Scholarships. The department also offers Graduate Assistantships on a limited basis; please contact the Graduate Coordinator for more information.

Employment Prospects

In addition to offering one of the supreme human enjoyments, the study of literature enables students to enhance the ability most critical for success in an information-based economy -- the ability to communicate well. Many graduates of our program are teaching in public schools or at the community college level. Others have found or created jobs for themselves in:

  • web-based publishing
  • technical writing
  • editing
  • trade publishing
  • law
  • television and radio production
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • advertising
  • marketing
  • bookstore management
  • corporate in-house education and training
  • university admissions
  • fund raising
  • script writing, and more.

There will always be employment opportunities for people who can read critically, analyze quickly and accurately, translate their ideas in ways others can readily grasp, and write clearly. See our Graduate Handbook for more information. or visit our page featuring a list of the employment and educational opportunities of recent graduates.

Literature Courses

The literature courses focus on the analysis of poetry, drama, fiction, film, and other kinds of texts, including biography and memoir; on developing a critical vocabulary for describing the complexities of literary texts; on understanding the nature of literary conventions; on exploring the different traditions in British, American, and world literature; and on investigating developments in and the value of contemporary literary theory.

Concentration in Composition and Rhetoric

A number of graduate students in the M.A. Program in English go on to teach writing at community colleges, and a few teach in UNF's Writing Program. Moreover, most secondary-level English teachers give some form of writing instruction. The program provides students the option of taking courses in rhetoric and composition, which will enhance their qualifications for this kind of work. The program also recommends this concentration for students wishing to pursue careers as technical writers, editors, or Internet publishers. The concentration consists of nine-credit hours (three courses). Students take courses in theory, research, pedagogical issues, and/or technical writing. Students may also take a teaching practicum following the completion of background courses in composition and rhetoric.

Teaching Practicum and Independent Study Courses

Students who would like college-level classroom teaching experience or who wish to pursue a course of independent study with particular professors may do so by seeking out faculty members willing to direct them. Students can sign up for an independent study or a practicum after they have completed 18 hours of graduate study (or six courses). In the program's eleven courses, students are allowed to enroll in a maximum of two practica, or two independent studies, or one practicum and one independent study.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy both the SUS general requirements and the specific requirements of the Department of English M.A. in English Program.

  1.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher for the last two years (60 semester hours) of undergraduate course work. 
  2.  A B.A. in English or related field. 
  3.  A course in literary criticism (such as ENG 4013 or 4014) with a grade of B or higher. (Applicants who lack such a course but who otherwise fulfill the admissions requirements may take ENG 4013 or 4014 as part of the admissions process.) While not required, LIT 3213 (The Art of Critical Reading) is recommended.
  4.  A writing sample must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator (see sidebar for contact information). The sample should consist of 4-7 pages of literary criticism, composition research, or rhetorical analysis (not creative writing or personal essay); a paper written for an undergraduate literature class is appropriate.

Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place in the M.A. Program in English. Candidates need to demonstrate that their previous studies have given them the tools to complete successfully graduate level work. For more complete coverage of our procedures, see our Graduate Handbook.

Admission Status

For an explanation of the differences among the types of admission status and the advantage of having Full Admission rather than Provisional or Post-Baccalaureate status, please refer to the discussion in the Admission section of the Graduate Catalog or consult with the Graduate Coordinator.

Admission Sequence

  1. Prospective students must complete the university's application forms.
  2. Once the Admissions Office receives the applicant's transcripts and GRE scores, an Admissions Officer will forward a Graduate Referral to the Graduate Coordinator, who will make the final decision concerning the applicant's acceptance and so inform the Admissions Office.
  3. An Admissions Officer will then send a formal letter with the Graduate Coordinator's decision.
  4. Students should meet with the Graduate Coordinator as soon as possible to review their Programs of Study.

Graduate Advising and the Program of Study

The Graduate Coordinator serves as the advisor to all graduate students in the M.A. in English Program. All newly admitted students should meet with the Graduate Coordinator to identify their program aims, discuss their program options,and develop their initial programs of study. Students interested in applying to the Program are encouraged to contact the Graduate Coordinator to discuss the Program and any application concerns.

Program Requirements

The official program of study for the MA can be found in the UNF catalog:


MA in English


Concentration in Rhetoric & Composition

Program Options

ENG 6971 - Thesis (pass/fail). A literature thesis will count as one of the required 11 three-credit hour courses.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

All students must maintain a GPA of 3.00 (B) or higher. Grades lower than 2.70 (B-) will not count toward completion of the program but will be included in the GPA.

Registration for Courses

Fully enrolled graduate students will receive an early registration appointment from the Registrar's Office. They will not need the Graduate Coordinator's approval or electronic permission unless they wish to enroll in (a) ENG 6941, Practicum in Teaching Composition, (b) LIT 6941, Practicum in Teaching Literature, (c) LIT 6905, Directed Independent Study, or (d) ENG 6971, Thesis. Post-baccalaureate students must first receive both the Graduate Coordinator's approval to enroll in any graduate courses and his or her electronic permission to register. Please see the Graduate Handbook for more detailed information.

First-Day Attendance Policy

Students must notify the course instructor in advance if they will miss the first class meeting. If they do not, the instructor has the authority to drop them from the course.