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Department of English
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Rarick Hall 370
Phone: 785-628-4285

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Master of Arts in English Programs

The Department offers a Master’s degree in English to take your studies to a deeper level. Depending on your needs, you can enroll in a traditional on-campus program or in the summer MA program for in-service teachers and other students needing a low-residency program. The requirements for both programs are the same; only the schedule differs.

Our traditional MA program allows on-campus students the opportunity to work with outstanding faculty all year, devoting time to conference papers, individual research projects, and further career discovery. Students practice presenting in front of their classes and leading discussions, preparing them for teaching or further study in English.

Or enjoy the flexibility of the Summer MA program, which allows you to take up to five on-campus classes in the summer. Particularly designed for teachers but open to all students, summer residence students get the reading lists for the summer classes in December, take classes in June and July, and complete papers and projects by the following December. Dispersing your class responsibilities throughout the entire year allows you to complete your degree without disrupting your career.

Considering applying for our special low-residency Summer MA Program? Meet some of our recent students and hear what they have to say about the program.

Program Summary (General Requirements for Both Programs)  

The Master of Arts in English is a 30-credit hour program. The sole course common to all Master’s students is ENG 826 Approaches to Literary Studies in English. The remaining 27 elective hours are chosen from courses in the following areas:

  • American, British, world, and comparative literature
  • period studies
  • thematic studies
  • genre studies
  • regional studies
  • major authors
  • criticism
  • linguistics
  • modern grammar
  • rhetoric and composition
  • creative writing and
  • pedagogy.

At the end of your program, you will write a four-hour graduate examination based on limited reading lists in three specializations you choose. For complete details on the MA Programs, download the Guide to Graduate Study. (For current students who began the program before January 2014, please read this information on the MA Exam for students who began the program before January 2014.)

The exam dates for 2017 are April 17, June 23, and October 20. Exams will take place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Rarick Hall 366 on the dates noted. Students are responsible for registering to take the exam with the Graduate School by each semester's deadline (February 29, June 19, and October 2, respectively). In addition, students must notify the English Department by email or telephone that they plan to take the exam no later than three weeks before the exam date.

Program Schedule for the Summer MA Option

If you wish to complete the Summer MA program in two years, you will enroll in five courses over two consecutive summers. As a student in this program, you will receive all course syllabi and reading assignments in December, and you can order texts from the University Bookstore. You will come to your June and/or July courses with materials already prepared , and you will complete all course requirements during class, except for out-of-class papers. In the fall, while off campus, you will write your papers and receive your final course grades. Students needing additional time because of extenuating circumstances may apply for an extension by completing the Extension Request form.

If you want to extend the program over three summers, you can take four classes each of the first two summers, followed by two classes during the final summer.

Click here for information on the current year's summer course schedule.  

How to Apply for the MA in English (Either Program)

Admission to the MA in English requires 3.0 GPA or higher in a minimum of 18 hours of English courses beyond the general studies composition courses as well as a completed graduate school application. To learn more about applying to the FHSU Graduate School and the MA in English program, visit the FHSU Graduate School site.


 You may also apply for scholarships offered through the English Department for graduate students; visit our Scholarships page to read more.

Contact the English Department if you have any questions or if you would like additional information.



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