Jul 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

3220 Department of English

Main Office 23rd floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-5800

Department of English
23 Floor, 25 Park Place Building
Email: tmcaldwell@gsu.edu

Audrey Goodman, Chair
Elizabeth Sanders Lopez, Associate Chair
Tanya Caldwell, Director of Graduate Studies

The Department of English offers the Master of Arts (M.A.), the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The M.A. degree program provides concentrations in literary studies and rhetoric and composition; the M.F.A. degree program allows students to concentrate in either poetry or fiction; and the Ph.D. degree program provides concentrations in literary studies, creative writing, and rhetoric and composition. The M.A. degree program prepares students for further graduate study or for careers in writing, editing, technical communications, research, or business. Time to degree for the M.A. program depends on whether students choose the M.A. thesis track or the M.A. independent study track. The M.A. thesis track usually requires two to three years of study, while the M.A. independent study track is designed to enable students to complete the degree within four semesters. The M.F.A. and Ph.D. degree programs prepare students to write, to teach at the college level, and to conduct scholarly research. The M.F.A. degree usually requires three to four years of study, including coursework, and a substantial creative thesis. The Ph.D. degree usually requires four to six years of study, including coursework, examinations, and a dissertation. In addition to its course offerings in British, American, and Transnational Literatures, as well as literary theory, folklore, rhetoric, composition, technical/professional writing, and creative writing, the department provides opportunities for training in scholarly and textual editing through several long-term publishing and editing projects.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of English by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above.

Transfer Credit

No more than six semester hours or two courses of graduate work completed at another accredited college or university and approved by Georgia State University may be applied to a graduate degree in English. All transferred coursework must correspond to courses offered in the Georgia State Department of English. Such transferred coursework must have a grade of B (3.0 grade-point average) or higher and must not have been used toward the satisfaction of any previous degree requirements. Transferred credits will be included in the time limitations placed on credits applicable to graduate degrees.

Please note that the acceptance of transfer credit is not automatic; it must be approved and documented by the departmental director of graduate studies and the Office of Graduate Services for the College.

Financial Aid

Students interested in scholarships and student loans should consult the Office of Student Financial Aid. The Department of English currently provides financial support primarily in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships, which carry full tuition waivers. Graduate Teaching Assistantships are available on a competitive basis to a limited number of M.F.A., Ph.D., and second-year M.A. students with superior qualifications (the department cannot generally fund M.A. students in their first years). The Paul Bowles Graduate Fellowship, the Virginia Spencer Carr Graduate Fellowship, and the Scholarship Endowment in Creative Writing are awarded to entering fiction writing students who have been admitted to the M.F.A. or Ph.D. program. Again, Graduate Teaching Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis, and admission alone to any graduate program in English does not automatically guarantee funding. Further information and application forms are available from the Department of English.


Throughout their coursework students must maintain a B average or higher. Only those courses in which students earn an A or a B will be credited toward a degree.

Academic Warning and Dismissal

A graduate student whose cumulative grade-point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 at the end of any semester will receive a warning from the associate dean for Graduate Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences. At the end of the next 18 hours of enrollment, the student must achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA, or the College of Arts and Sciences will dismiss the student. As per the Graduate Assistant Policy of the College, students may not receive assistantship funding while on academic probation.

Non-Degree and Transient Student Admission

Students may be admitted on a non-degree status only if classroom space is available. Preference will be given to degree students. Students must complete an application, submit two transcripts of all previous college or university work, and provide a list of courses they wish to take. Only six credit hours earned while on non-degree status may later be applied to degree programs. Transient students must reapply each semester.

Further Information

Application forms are available at cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/. If you have any questions about graduate studies in English, please call 404-413-5800 to make an appointment to see the Director of Graduate Studies.

Master of Arts

The Department of English offers three master’s degree programs:

  1. Master of Arts, Concentration in Literary Studies;
  2. Master of Arts, Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition; and
  3. Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (M.F.A.).


Applicants should be aware that admission is competitive and that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the M.A. program. Before entering the program a student must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a major in English or its equivalent from an accredited college or university with at least a B average (3.0) in the undergraduate major. The Department of English admits students to its M.A. programs in the spring and fall semesters of the academic year; admission to the M.F.A. program occurs only in the fall semester. The Director of Graduate Studies in English will consider only complete admission files. Applicants are responsible for seeing that their admission files are complete by the deadlines for admission published in the current edition of this catalog.

The applicant should supply the following materials:

  1. A statement of purpose that includes a brief explanation of what the student hopes to accomplish, a clear indication of which degree program the applicant is seeking admission to, and (if the applicant has not yet completed a bachelor’s degree) an indication of the term in which the applicant expects to receive the degree;
  2. Transcripts of all previous college or university work. Students should upload unofficial transcripts from every post-secondary institution directly to the application. Any student offered admission will need to have official transcripts sent to the Office of Graduate Services.
  3. Two letters of recommendation sent directly from persons who testify to the applicant’s ability to do graduate work;
  4. A critical writing sample of approximately eight to twelve pages. The critical sample is not required for the M.F.A.
  5. Applications for the M.F.A. program must also contain the following: competitive scores (no more than five years old) on the general GRE test; a portfolio consisting of a minimum of 10 poems; or two or three works of fiction totaling no fewer than 30 and no more than 50 pages. One of the two or three fiction samples may be an excerpt of a longer work (novel, novella, etc.), and fiction samples may include short-short/flash fiction, but we ask that the applicant send at least one complete, stand-alone example of short fiction of 15 pages or more. The first page of the creative portfolio should list the student’s name, email address, phone number, and the program the student is applying to (M.F.A. Fiction, M.F.A. Poetry.)

Registration and Advisement

Approximately one week before registration begins, the Office of the Registrar will post registration timeticket assignments on the web, and students can find out the date and time of their registration by entering the GoSOLAR website. The Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English will act as advisor to all entering M.A. students. Students are responsible for making appointments with the Director of Graduate Studies for advisement and for being familiar with the requirements for their degree as set forth here. Students are encouraged to select a faculty advisor early in the program.

The Graduate Research Skill Requirement

The Graduate Research Skill Requirement will connect to, and further, a graduate student’s selected field of study and program emphases. Graduate Research Skill may be defined as the acquiring and practice of specialized skills, methods, and linguistic or language studies that include world languages (spoken fluency, written competency, reading knowledge, or translating from English into a world language, or translating from a world language into English), translation studies, or a specialized language system, such as digital humanities and/or emerging communication technologies. Note: The Graduate Research Skill is not a requirement of the M.F.A. program.

The Graduate Research Skill Requirement may be fulfilled with or by:

  1. A sequence of undergraduate courses in a world language (French, German, Italian, Spanish, etc.) culminating in a grade of B or better in an intermediate course (numbered 2002 or higher) completed within five years of admission to the graduate program;
  2. A grade of B or better in a world language course numbered 2002 or higher taken while in the graduate program;
  3. Passing a CLEP examination in a world language;
  4. Passing a translation examination administered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures;
  5. Passing any other course (with a grade of B or better) or examination representing the acquisition and practice of a research skill that may be proposed by the student and approved by the Graduate Admissions and Review Committee.

The Graduate Research Skill Requirement may be fulfilled at the level of the M.A. or Ph.D. Students who fulfill the requirement during their M.A. program will have no further research skill requirement to fulfill at the doctoral level. Doctoral students who did not satisfy the requirement during their M.A. program must do so before taking any doctoral exams.

Time Limit

All requirements for a master’s degree must be completed within seven years.


    Bachelor of Arts/Master of ArtsDoctor of PhilosophyMaster of ArtsMaster of Fine Arts