Prepare for doctoral work, teaching at community colleges, and entry into other advanced professional schools: You’ll do that here.

An English master’s degree from Southeast deepens understanding of fundamental texts, languages principles, and critical theory. Graduates also hone critical and creative writing skills.

What You’ll  Do

The program offers a broad range of courses in literature, rhetoric, theory, and creative writing which not only deepen students’ understanding of classic and modern humanist texts but provides much-needed opportunities for the development of critical and creative thinking, crucial for nurturing the global citizen. Such development prepares students for a workplace that will continue to evolve in a changing 21st-century world. The Master of Arts in English also provides fundamental preparation for doctoral work, or for entry into other advanced professional schools.

  • Critically analyze British, American and World literature and language.
  • Use a wide array of critical theories.
  • Engage in primary and secondary research.
  • Develop critical thinking.
  • Develop critical and/or creative writing skills.
  • Develop professional presentation skills.
  • Receive professional attention from a faculty advisor with expertise in the field of literature and language.

Outcomes & Careers

  • 96%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of English report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $81k

    English language and literary teacher, Postsecondary

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a postsecondary English language and literary teacher is $81,340. 

  • $61k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an Editor is $61,370.

  • $63K 

    Copy Writer

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a Copywriter is $63,200.

What You’ll Study 

With a master’s degree in English, you’ll complete a minimum of 30 credit hours.

A student will be admitted to graduate study in English when the following admission requirements are satisfied:

  • The student holds a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • The student has an undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • The student has a minimum of 24 undergraduate credit hours in the field of English.

Degree Requirements

  • All students must complete a thesis, a graduate paper plus a comprehensive exam, or a capstone project.
  • No course taken as part of an undergraduate degree program will fulfill any Master of Arts requirement.
  • EN694 Thesis may be taken for 3 credit hours only (for those opting to write a thesis).
  • At least 18 hours must be at the 600 level.
  • No course fulfills more than one requirement.

(30 Hours Required)

Core Courses: Choose one course from each category

Choose one course in Literature, Linguistics, Rhetoric, or Pedagogy – 3 hours
  • EN606 Topics, Issues, and Trends in English (3)
  • EN623 Visual Rhetoric (3)
  • EN686 Sociolinguistics (3)
  • LI605 Anglophone Literature/Contemporary Theory (3)
  • LI542 Literature for the Young Adult (3)
  • LI565 Southern Literature (3)
  • LI568 Masculinities in the 19th Century American Novel (3)
  • LI570 Modern and Contemporary Novel (3)
  • LI576 American Fiction of the 21st Century (3)
  • LI577 Studies in Early English Literature (3)
  • LI578 Studies in Later British & Postcolonial Literature (3)
  • LI582 Topics in Literature (3)
  • LI625 Focus on the Author (3)
  • LI673 Studies in Early British Literature (3)
  • LI674 Studies in Modern American Literature (3)
  • LI676 Early Twentieth Century British Literature (3)
  • TL585 Methods and Techniques for TESOL (3)
  • TL620 Approaches to the Teaching of Grammar (3)
  • TL625 Materials Development and Assessment Tools for TESOL (3)
  • TL630 Special Problems in TESOL (3)
  • TL648 Foundations in Linguistics (3)
  • TL650 Approaches to Second Language Literacy Instruction (3)
Choose one course in Broadened and Contemporary Perspectives in English Studies – 3 hours
  • LI612 Native American Literature (3)
  • LI617 Writing Race and Gender in the South (3)
  • LI626 Gender and Sexuality in Literary Studies (3)
  • LI634 African-American Literature before 1900 (3)
  • LI636 African-American Literature after 1900 (3)
  • LI670 Immigration in Literature and Film (3)
  • TL525 ESL/EFL Learning and Teaching (3)
  • TL610 Developing Intercultural Awareness and Competence (3)
Choose one course in Professionalization and Career Readiness  – 3 hours
  • EN600 Orientation Seminar for Teaching Assistants (3)
  • EN601 Research in English Studies (3)
  • EN535 Rhetorical Theory and Written Discourse (3)
  • EN550 Style in Writing (3)
  • EN572 Creative Nonfiction (3)
  • EN624 Editing and Research in Professional Writing (3)
  • EN6xx Internship (3)
  • EN645 Advanced Literary Publishing (3)
  • EN6xx Composition Theory and Pedagogy (3)
  • EN670 Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry (3)
  • EN678 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction (3)
  • TL601 Research Methods in TESOL (3)

Electives (Choose 21 hours)

  • EN, LI, TL 5xx-6xx
  • EN694 Thesis (may be taken for 3 credit hours only (for those opting to write a thesis)

Capstone (Choose one)

  • Thesis with Critical Introduction, including reflection
  • Comprehensive Exam including reflection question
  • Portfolio with qualifying paper including reflection essay
  • Teaching Portfolio including reflection essay



Accelerated Program

The accelerated master’s degree program allows certain undergraduate students to take     classes in their senior year that count for both undergraduate credit and graduate credit.  Our Master of Arts in English and TESOL program’s were approved for this program.  We encourage you to consider this opportunity.

If you have ever considered working on a Master’s program, this may be an excellent opportunity for you to begin. 

Program Requirements:

  • Junior Standing with at least 75 credit hours completed 
  • Maximum of 12 hours (500 level) of EN, LI or TL can be transferred to the graduate program.
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0
  • In the final semester of the undergraduate program the formal graduate application must be submitted

Program Notes:

  • Tuition will be charged at the undergraduate rate.
  • Course will be initially recorded as undergraduate class at the end of semester.
  • After grades are submitted at the end of the semester, the courses will be added to your graduate course list for graduate credit. 

Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Sandra Cox ( MA English

Graduate Assistantships

The graduate assistantship (GA) is designed to provide support during full-time graduate study. It’s an opportunity for the graduate students to serve in a professional role while establishing a professional relationship with faculty and administrators. In addition to a per year stipend, GAs gain valuable experience. There are two kinds of assistantships: teaching and administrative.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

This degree is housed within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The College prepares students for lifelong careers. We boast programs that train students in problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, organization, and adaptability. Skills employers value, so we prepare you for basically any career field.

Graduate Coordinators 

Graduate coordinators serve as the contact for graduate programs. The coordinators are most often faculty within the college that houses the program, helping you to get questions answered and first-hand knowledge of the degree requirements and placement opportunities. 

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Contact Us
Grauel 236
Mailing Address

One University Plaza, MS 2650
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701