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South Dakota State University    
 
    
 
  Dec 14, 2017
 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog

English (M.A.)


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Program Coordinator/Contact

Jason McEntee, Department Head
Sharon Smith, Assistant Professor/Graduate Coordinator
Department of English
Pugsley Continuing Education Center 301, Box 2218
605-688-5191
E-mail: jason.mcentee@sdstate.edu
www.sdstate.edu/engl

Program Information

SDSU’s English department offers the M.A. degree in English. There are two emphases available to students:

  • Studies in Literature
  • Studies in Language and Rhetoric

Within these two areas of study, the department offers two options for completing the degree:

  • Option A requires twenty-four credit hours of coursework, six credit hours of thesis, a thesis project, and an oral examination. Within this option, the student may write a thesis reflecting traditional scholarship in literature, rhetoric, or linguistics or a thesis with a creative component.
  • Option C requires thirty-six credit hours of coursework, a comprehensive written examination, and an oral examination.

Either option will support a variety of educational or professional goals including doctoral study, teaching, technical writing, editing, and publishing. Students generally complete the program in two to three years.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the English graduate program at South Dakota State University will demonstrate:

  • In-depth knowledge of, intellectual curiosity about, and aesthetic appreciation for a wide variety of literary texts and authors representing a diversity of historical, artistic, philosophical, social, and cultural perspectives.
  • An understanding of the standard practices, research methodologies, and critical theories that define the discipline of English studies.
  • The ability to use these practices, methodologies, and theories to produce sophisticated and original scholarly and/or creative work.
  • The ability to synthesize knowledge of literature, history, culture, theory, and criticism to produce insightful and engaging textual analysis and interpretation, both spoken and written.
  • Superior critical, analytical, research, and communication skills, as well as an understanding of how to apply these skills within a wide variety of professional, social, and personal contexts.
  • A knowledge of and adherence to the professional and ethical standards that define the discipline.
  • Excellence in the teaching of writing to undergraduate students (graduate teaching assistants only).
  • Continuing professional or educational goals and a plan for achieving them post-degree.

Course Delivery Format

Graduate courses are delivered face-to-face in small, seminar settings.

Student Support and Engagement Opportunities

The department offers a number of graduate teaching assistantships for the nine-month academic year. Graduate teaching assistants teach two sections of composition per semester. During some semesters, graduate teaching assistants may have the opportunity to tutor in the writing center in lieu of teaching one section of composition. Graduate teaching assistants receive a stipend, office space, faculty library status, and a two-thirds tuition waiver. Applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship should indicate their interest in the cover letter submitted to the Graduate School as part of their online application.

Note: Graduate teaching assistants begin their duties in the fall semester of the academic year; therefore, students who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship must submit their applications on or before April 15. Students applying to begin during the spring semester will not be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship until the following fall semester.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees


Master of Arts   Option A - Thesis 30 Credit Hours
  Option C - Coursework Only 36 Credit Hours

Core Requirements


Total Required Credits: 30 (Option A), 36 (Option C)


Additional Admission Requirements


To be admitted into the M.A. Program in English, the applicant should have a minimum of 24 semester hours of undergraduate credit in English or receive the consent of the Department Head.

To be considered for unconditional acceptance and to be eligible for a graduate teaching assistantship, applicants must have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a 3.25 GPA in their undergraduate English courses.

GRE: Not required
TOEFL: Department requirement of 600 paper-based, 100 Internet-based
IELTS: Department requirement of 6.5

In addition to the materials required by the Graduate School, the English department requires the following application materials:

  • A one-page cover letter in which the applicant explains his or her interest in and goals for graduate study. In the cover letter, the applicant should indicate whether or not he or she would like to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship. The applicant may upload this letter while completing the Graduate School’s online application.
  • An eight- to ten-page scholarly writing sample. This sample must engage in scholarly research and include a works cited page. The applicant may upload this writing sample while completing the Graduate School’s online application.
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty at the applicant’s undergraduate institution. Letters should come from faculty who are directly familiar with the applicant’s academic work. They must address the applicant’s scholarly potential and may also speak to his or her potential as a graduate teaching assistant. Letters should come directly from the recommenders, who may submit their letters electronically along with the personal recommendation form provided by the Graduate School.

General Requirements


Graduate students should consult with their advisor before registering for graduate work.

For additional information refer to the Master's Degree Requirements .

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