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.

Experiential learning provides hands-on, professional training from expert faculty [English Department]

  • Selecting, editing, designing, and preparing manuscripts for the Southeast Missouri State University Press; [Semopress
  • Serving on the editorial boards of our student-run literary magazine, Journey, and journal of literary criticism, Literati;
  • Researching, archiving, and assisting with the Center for Faulkner Studies; [Faulkner Studies
  • Assisting with planning, organizing, and supporting the biennial Faulkner conference; [Conferences
  • Teaching courses in the First-Year Writing Program; and 
  • Tutoring in the Center for Writing Excellence. [Writing Center]
    Students may apply for competitive Graduate Assistantships [English Experiential Learning] that provide tuition remission as well as the opportunities above.

What will you do? Apply now

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.

Work Toward Your Goals

The MA in English program lets students choose ten courses in literary studies, creative and professional writing, rhetorical studies, literacy pedagogies, grammar, linguistics and cultural studies.

Our MA in English also includes a customizable capstone project. The project could be (but is not limited to):
  • a collection of fiction or poetry;
  • a thesis or article of original research; or
  • a portfolio of professional work and accomplishments.
You will graduate with something to show employers and PhD programs.

What You’ll Study 

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

In addition to the criteria established for general admission to graduate studies, applicants must have the following: 

  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale 
  • A minimum of 24 semester hours of undergraduate credit in English, linguistics, literature, rhetoric, or creative and professional writing

Degree Requirements

  • All students must complete their choice of a thesis, a graduate paper plus a comprehensive exam, or a capstone project. 
  • No course taken as part of an undergraduate degree will fulfill any Master of Arts requirement. 
  • EN694 Thesis may be taken only for 3 credit hours (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
Category I: Literature, Linguistics, Rhetoric, Pedagogy
  • 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 English Renaissance 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) 
  • TL648 Foundations in Linguistics (3) 
  • TL650 Approaches to Second Language Literacy Instruction (3) 
Category II: Broadend and Contemporary Perspectives in English Studies
  • 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) 
Category III: Professionalization and Career Readiness
  • 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) 
  • EN657 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

English (MA) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

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.

Alumni Accomplishments

What have alumni of the MA in English program done?

  • Published novels, fiction, or poetry;
  • Worked as content strategists, copy writers, or copy editors;
  • Worked as grant writers, technical writers or editors, and office managers;
  • Taught English abroad, in high schools, or at colleges; or
  • Earned PhDs and law degrees from prestigious programs.
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