Steven W. Lynn, Chair of the Department
Matthew J. Bruccoli, Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1960
Amittai F. Aviram, Ph.D., Yale University, 1984
Pamela Barnett, Ph.D., Emory University, 1996
Robert Lee Oakman III, Ph.D., Indiana University, 1971
Jean Bohner, M.A., University of Delaware, Newark, 1969
Mary Anderson, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1966
The Department of English offers programs leading to the M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees and, in cooperation with the College of Education, the M.A.T. and I.M.A. degrees in English. Given the current condition of the job market, it is important to realize that an advanced degree in English does not guarantee a college-level teaching job. Consequentlyeven though our placement record is generally above the national averagesome of our recent M.A. and Ph.D. graduates have pursued careers in high-school teaching and such nonacademic fields as publishing, journalism, and public relations.
Applicants for an M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D. degree in the Department of English must have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours in English beyond the sophomore, or lower-division, level with grades indicating ability for successful graduate work in the department. Applicants also must submit a sample of academic writing, a statement of purpose, and at least two satisfactory letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their academic achievement. Applicants for an M.A. or Ph.D. degree must have satisfied the departments current standards on the GRE (both aptitude and advanced test of literature in English); applicants for an M.F.A. degree must have satisfied the departments current standards on the GRE (aptitude test only).
An applicant without a standard undergraduate English major may have to take up to 12 credits of 400-level English/American literature courses to make up for undergraduate deficiencies before the application will be considered.
Application deadlines are February 15 for those wishing to be considered for graduate assistantships and April 15 for all others.
Residence and other basic requirements for degrees in English are established by The Graduate School. Special requirements established by the department are outlined below.
Graduate credit for degree candidates in English normally is restricted to courses numbered 700 or above. Qualified graduate students may enroll in courses numbered 500699 with the approval of the departments director of graduate studies and may receive graduate credit by doing such additional work as required by the department and the instructor. The chair of the department may authorize students in other departments or schools to obtain graduate credit in most English courses numbered 500699.
Master of Arts in English, with Emphasis in English and American Literature (30 hours)
The student must select one of the following areas for concentration: English literature before 1660, English literature after 1660, or American literature. Requirements include:
1. one course in American literature, one in English literature before 1660, one in English literature after 1660, and one additional course in the exam area (12 hours )
2. five electives (two may be taken outside the department; ENGL 700 and 732 are recommended) (15 hours)
3. a comprehensive exam covering one of the three areas of concentration
4. thesis writing (3 hours)
5. a reading knowledge of one foreign language.
Master of Arts in English, with Emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric (33 hours)
1. ENGL 790 and 791 (6 hours)
2. two courses from the following: ENGL 690* (see workshop course restrictions below), 792, 793, 794, 795, 890 (6 hours)
3. English and/or American literature, 700800 level* (6 hours)
4.linguistics (must be approved by the Composition and Rhetoric Committee) (6 hours)
5. electives (must be approved by the Composition and Rhetoric Committee) (6 hours)
6. a three-hour written comprehensive exam on composition and rhetoric. Once candidates have taken 30 graduate credits in this M.A. program (including any credits transferred from other institutions), they must take the M.A. exam before being allowed to enroll for more graduate credits. The exam may be taken no more than twice.
7. reading knowledge of a foreign language.
8. thesis, ENGL 799 (3 hours).
*Neither ENGL 701A and 701B nor more than one workshop course may be counted in the 30 hours of classroom credits; students wishing to emphasize technical writing should consult the graduate director about special conditions.
Master of Arts in Teaching (30 hours)
Eligibility for admission is limited to those persons seeking initial certification. The M.A.T. degree is for South Carolina certification in secondary English, and a candidate must satisfy the requirements for that certification in order to receive the degree. Admission as a candidate requires a satisfactory score on the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test, a promising undergraduate record including a standard major in English, two letters of recommendation, and an acceptable writing sample (a paper submitted in an upper-division [400-level] literature course or equivalent).
To gain admission, a student must have at least 18 semester hours of these 400-level literature courses or their equivalent, including Black literature (ENGL 428may be taken after conditional admission); contemporary literature (ENGL 413 or 423); Shakespeares tragedies (ENGL 405); a non-Western literature; and six credits in survey-type, upper-division English and/or American literature courses.
Applicants without a standard English major please note: to fulfill this 18-credit requirement, you may take only upper-division courses that the Department of English M.A.T. advisor approves.
Applicants with an unsatisfactory test score or a marginal undergraduate record have a chance to be admitted conditionally and will have to take certain upper-division (400-level) English courses to make up for this undergraduate deficiency.
The English M.A.T. advisory committee will determine in each case what a conditionally admitted student must do to advance to degree candidacy.
1. A minimum of 30 graduate credits, with at least 15 graduate credits in English. In some cases a candidate who has taken undergraduate courses in education may use one of those courses to satisfy the overall education course requirements. These include a total of 30 credits graduate and undergraduate. The undergraduate courses are ENGL 447, 473, and 484.
2. Since all candidates must qualify for a South Carolina secondary English certificate in order to qualify for the English M.A.T. degree, all candidates must take, or have already taken, the specific courses required for that certificate. These are advanced composition, modern grammar, the development of modern English (the history of the English language), adolescent literature, and literary criticism. Such courses will be in addition to the minimum 15 graduate credits in English used to satisfy the English course requirements in the degree program. These certificate-required courses may be taken at the undergraduate level, and some of them are offered through Distance Education.
Interdisciplinary Master of Arts (33 hours)
The I.M.A. degree for secondary-school teachers is designed for college graduates who already hold a professional certificate in the teaching field in which they wish to earn the masters degree or who are academically certifiable by virtue of course work previously earned. Upon completion of the I.M.A. degree program, recipients will be eligible for a South Carolina Class I certificate in the teaching area. Major emphasis in this program is placed on course work in the teaching area.
1. nine hours in professional education
2. twenty-one hours in English
3. three-hour elective in either English or education.
Master of Arts in English and Master of Library and Information Science (55 hours)
The joint masters program is a 55-hour program leading to an M.A. in English and a Master of Library and Information Science. It is administered by a joint committee, which recommends students for admission and approves their programs. Admission is only to the joint program. Neither degree will be awarded separately. If students wish to change from the joint program to the regular degree program in English or library and information science, they must reapply to the particular program they wish to enter.
M.A. English (28 hours)
1. ENGL 700 (3 hours )
2. one course from each of five course groups (15 hours)
b. drama: ENGL 711, 712, 713, 718, 728
c. British literature, 1660-1900: ENGL 717, 720, 723, 724, 725, 726, 727
d. American literature before 1900: ENGL 742, 744, 745, 751, 758
e. twentieth-century literature: ENGL 729, 730, 752, 755, 760, 761
3. one course in an allied field (3 hours)
e.g., ENGL 776, ENGL 870-872, HIST 790
4. two elective courses (6 hours)
5. ENGL 799 (thesis) (1 hour)
6. a reading knowledge of one foreign language.
M.L.I.S. (27 hours)
1. LIBR 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 706 (18 hours)
2. library and information science electives (9 hours).
Master of Arts in English and Master of Science in Business Administration (51 hours)
To enter the program the student must successfully complete 24 hours of English courses beyond the lower-division level and/or complete the major or cognate in business administration. The student must also have satisfactory scores on the GRE Subject Test in English and the GMAT exam for business administration. A personal interview or letter explaining why one wishes to enroll in the joint program is also required. Admission is only to the joint program. Neither degree will be awarded separately.
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (45 hours)
The student must choose one of three options within the program: poetry, fiction, or writing for the media. In addition to all the basic requirements for admission to the graduate English program, applicants must submit a writing sample in the genre that they wish to pursue (25 pages of fiction or writing for the media; at least 12 poems).
1. fifteen hours of workshop courses
2. six hours in theory (three of these hours may be in the theory and teaching of composition)
3. nine hours in literature
4. nine hours of approved electives
5. six hours of thesis writing
6. a three-hour written comprehensive examination in the history and practice of the students genre
7. a thesis, which will be a book-length work (a novel, a collection of short stories, a group of poems, or a piece of writing for the visual media) of a quality that compares favorably with work being published by university presses and commercial publishers
8. an oral examination on the thesis
9. a reading knowledge of one foreign language.
Doctor of Philosophy in English, with Emphasis in English and American Literature (36 hours)
For admission, the applicant must have a masters degree or its equivalent. Each candidate must have a major and minor field. The major field may be chosen from the following: Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration and 18th-century English literature, 19th-century English literature, 20th-century English literature, colonial and 19th-century American literature, 20th-century American literature. The following may be used for the minor field only: linguistics, comparative literature, criticism theory, womens studies, history of the book and authorship, composition and rhetoric, and Southern literature. Students may choose to design an ad hoc minor, subject to approval by the Graduate Program Committee. Examples of ad hoc minors approved in the past include religion and literature, childrens literature, and computers and literature.
Admission by the Department of English for graduate study does not mean admission as a candidate in the English and American literature Ph.D. program. Students are admitted to such candidacy on the basis of their record and a written qualifying exam; the exam is the section of the M.A. comprehensive exam in literature relevant to their chosen major field. Students should take this qualifying exam no later than the semester in which they are taking their 15th hour of course work. A student is allowed only two attempts to pass the admission-to-candidacy exam. Students in the M.A. program who apply to and are accepted into the Ph.D. program may request to have their M.A. exams reread as a Ph.D. qualifying exam. In such a case, the reread will count as one attempt. M.A. exams will not be read for Ph.D. qualifying purposes unless or until the student has been accepted into the Ph.D. program.
1. In consultation with the doctoral advisory committee (in place by the end of the first semester of course work), each student develops a program of study that includes at least two 800-level seminars and one class in critical theory (ENGL 732, 734, or its equivalent). ENGL 700 is also recommended. (24 hours, exclusive of ENGL 701 A and B)
2. A comprehensive exam that consists of two written exams, one in the major field and one in the minor field, must be passed.
3. An oral exam covering the students major figure and a major field must be passed.
4. Students must take 12 hours of dissertation preparation.
5. A reading knowledge of two foreign languages or one language satisfied by taking a 400-level course of literature, not in translation, with a grade of B or better, or a 500-level course of literature, not in translation, with a grade of C or better, is required. These courses may not be used to fulfill the elective requirement. Completion of ENGL 702 and 703 with an average grade of B or better may fulfill one foreign language requirement.
Doctor of Philosophy in English, with Emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric.
1. ENGL 790 and 791 (6 hours)
2. two courses from ENGL 792, 793, 794 (6 hours )
3. linguistics (3 hours)
4. human learning processes (3 hours)
5. ENGL 700 (3 hours)
6. ENGL 690 or 795 (3 hours)
7. English and/or American literature, 700800 level (may include literary theory) (12 hours)
8. specialization (to be approved by the departments Committee on Composition and Rhetoric and the graduate director) (12 hours)
9. eight-hour written comprehensive exam in composition and rhetoric and the field of specialization (Once a candidate has taken 48 credits in this Ph.D. program [including courses accepted in lieu of specific course requirements], the candidate must take the Ph.D. exam before being allowed to enroll for more graduate credits as a candidate in the program. This exam may be taken no more than twice.)
10. oral comprehensive exam (This exam may be taken no more than twice.)
11. a reading knowledge of two foreign languages or one language satisfied by taking a 400-level course of literature, not in translation, with a grade of B or better, or a 500-level course of literature, not in translation, with a grade of C or better
12. at least one years experience teaching English composition at the school or college level
13. dissertation and defense (12 hours)
Admission to candidacy. Admission by the Department of English for graduate study does not mean admission as a candidate in the composition and rhetoric Ph.D. program. Students are admitted to such candidacy on the basis of their record and a written qualifying examthe M.A. three-hour comprehensive exam in composition and rhetoric. A student who passes this exam for the M.A. degree may or may not have done well enough on the exam to be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.
Students with a masters degree from other institutions must take this exam no later than the semester in which they are taking their 15th hour of course work or, if attending summer sessions only, no later than the second summer of study. An applicant may take this exam no more than twice, including the exam for the M.A.
The 48 semester hours of classroom course credit are the equivalent of two years (four semesters) of full-time graduate study. The Department of English may therefore waive up to 24 credits of this 48-credit requirement on a course-by-course basis for students with masters-level course work. In cases where the eight-year limit has passed, The Graduate School rule on the revalidation of one year of residency will apply.
This web site updated September 2001 by Thom Harman, and copyright © 2001-2002 by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina. All Rights Reserved.