Master of Arts in English

The Master of Arts degree in English prepares students for further graduate work, teaching, creative writing, or other related opportunities. Depending on career goals, our students choose from one of three degree plans: thesis, creative thesis, or non-thesis. While studying classic
and contemporary American and English literature at HSU, you will develop and fine tune your critical reading, writing, and thinking skills—the foundation you need to master the discipline.

Every semester you will choose from a variety of graduate-level courses in English or American literature and English language. Special topic graduate seminars allow you to work closely with a professor who is a specialist in the area. Past seminars have included Southern Women Writers, Classical Rhetoric, The Metaphor of Baseball, and Studies in C.S. Lewis.

Our students enjoy opportunities within the field of English through events such as The Lawrence Clayton Poets and Writers Speakers Series, designed to offer students the opportunity to meet nationally recognized writers and literary critics and hear their work. Each year, at least one speaker visits HSU as a part of this series.

Degrees

  • Master of Arts, English (M.A.)

Why earn a Master of Arts in English at HSU?

Meet Famous Writers

The Lawrence Clayton Poets and Writers Speakers Series allows students to meet nationally-recognized writers and poets and hear their work. Most recently, Pulitzer Prize winner Tyehimba Jess read his poetry at the Lawrence Clayton Poets & Writers Speaker Series in April 2018.

HSU student taking notes at the library

Three Degree Tracks

Depending on career goals, students choose one of three degree plans: thesis, creative thesis, or non-thesis. The thesis option concentrates in English or American literature or English language.The creative thesis option concentrates on poetry and fiction workshops, with a collection of fiction or poetry accompanied by a critical introduction as the thesis. The non-thesis path concentrates on English or American literature or English language.

English professor conducting a lecture to a classroom full of students

Know Your Professors

Small classes enable graduate students to establish professional, yet personal, working relationships with professors. Students will find faculty always open to answering questions, giving advice, or simply enjoying a literary discussion.

Program Details

Depending on career goals, students choose one of three degree plans: thesis, creative thesis, or non-thesis.

  • The 30-hour traditional thesis option concentrates either in English or American literature or English language.
  • The 33-hour creative thesis option concentrates on poetry and fiction workshops, with a collection of fiction or poetry accompanied by a critical introduction as the thesis.
  • The non-thesis path concentrates on English or American literature or English language and requires 36 hours.

All three degree tracks offer the opportunity to develop a complementary field of knowledge by pursuing a minor of no more than 12 hours. Minor fields include communication, education, finance and economics, history, family ministry, psychology, and religion.

An integral part of your graduate education includes proficiency in another language. This requirement may be met in the undergraduate degree, and the Haggerton Language Lab is available to aid in the development of reading, aural, and oral skills in a foreign language of your choice.

 

The Master of Arts degree in English prepares students for further graduate work, teaching, creative writing, or other related opportunities.

The Lawrence Clayton Poets and Writers Speakers Series is designed to offer students the opportunity to meet nationally-recognized writers and literary critics and hear their work. Each year, at least one speaker visits HSU as a part of this series.

Most recently, Pulitzer Prize winner Tyehimba Jess read his poetry at the Lawrence Clayton Poets & Writers Speaker Series in April 2018. Jess held a question and answer session, with a reception and book signing. All events are free and open to the public.

In spring 2007, the Clayton Speakers Series brought to campus Donald Hall, the 14th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the United States Library of Congress. In Spring 2011, Edward Hirsch, famed poet and president of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, came to speak to our students. In 2007, HSU hosted the 10th Annual Meeting for the C.S. Lewis & The Inklings Society, and in September 2011, we hosted the Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature.

Other writers who have given on-campus readings are: Melissa Range, Betty Adcock, Max Apple, David Bottoms, Cathy Smith Bowers, Lynn Emanuel, George Garrett, Reginald Gibbons, Andrew Hudgins, Richard Hugo, X.J. Kennedy, April Lindner, Thomas Lux, Walter McDonald, Larry McMurtry, Jack Myers, Naomi Shihab Nye, Linda Pastan, Louis Simpson, David Wagoner, Derek Walcott, and Miller Williams.

Small classes enable graduate students to establish professional yet personal working relationships with professors. Students will find faculty always open to answering questions, giving advice, or simply enjoying a literary discussion.

HSU English graduate faculty members are writers and scholars constantly working to develop their areas of expertise. Researching within their fields, publishing in scholarly and literary journals, and presenting at professional conferences, English faculty bring the highest standards of scholarship together with the belief that expanding the intellectual expands the spiritual, as well.

Dedicated to helping their students succeed and devoted to the study of literature and languages, these men and women provide each student the opportunity to participate in graduate education enlightened by faith.

The Hardin-Simmons University English Department will foster an appreciation of language and literature in all students, regardless of major, by offering courses designed to strengthen reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.  The department will also promote and support a course of study—for both undergraduate and graduate students—that guides them through complex texts of literary and cultural variety, that inspires them to discover the power of language, and that prepares them to put their language skills to use in a variety of professions.