Degree Requirements

Have Questions?

Anne Boyd Rioux, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Phone: 504-280-6484 

Graduate English Office
Phone: 504-280-6276 

Master of Arts in English
Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in English Program requires its students to take a number of core courses, to choose a concentration, to take the courses required for that concentration, and to complete 30 or 36 credit hours. Students who choose to demonstrate a reading knowledge of an appropriate foreign language are required to take a total of 30 hours to complete their degree. Those who do not choose the foreign language option are required to take a total of 36 hours to complete their degree.

The core courses are ENGL 6280, 6230 or 6231; one course in British Literature numbered 5000 or above; one course in American Literature 5000 or above; one course in writing or rhetoric numbered 5000 or above.


All students admitted to the graduate program will be referred to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in English, who will guide each student in selecting and following a sound program of study suited to his or her needs and level of preparation. This program may, in individual cases, involve more coursework than is specified in the general requirements for the degree. In all cases, a minimum of 18 hours must be earned in English courses numbered 6000 and above. One three-hour Directed Study course (English 6397) may be counted toward fulfillment of this minimum requirement. For those students who select the thesis option, three hours of Thesis Research (English 7000) will count toward the 18-hour requirement.

All students must take a three-hour written comprehensive examination in one of the following fields: American Literature; British Literature; Rhetoric and Composition; Classical Rhetoric; or Professional Writing. Students may choose to take another comprehensive examination in another of the fields above; or they may instead write and defend a thesis. The M.A. thesis (usually 30-40 pages long) is written under the supervision of an advisor assigned to the student by the Graduate Coordinator. Credit for English 7000 (Thesis Research) is granted only after the candidate has passed a one-hour oral examination on the thesis administered by a committee appointed by the Graduate School and the thesis has been approved by the committee.