The Graduate Handbook


Dr. Lara Dodds, Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Lara Dodds

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies


Graduate Classes

Our Facultly

Areas of Study

Potential Areas of Study:


The Master of Arts in English

  • Our Program
  • Our Faculty
  • Applications, Assistantships, Financial Assistance
  • Resources


The Mississippi State University English Department offers two options in the M.A. program: the traditional curriculum, calling for twenty-four hours of course work plus thesis, and a non-thesis option, calling for thirty-three hours of course work. With the former option, a student may pursue a concentration in Creative Writing culminating in a creative thesis. With either option, the student may pursue an emphasis in Linguistics or the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages. External minors are also available.

General Program Requirements: (1) A seminar in bibliography and research methods, offered each fall, is required of every student. (2) All students must display a reading knowledge of a foreign language, usually by having completed four undergraduate semesters in that language with a B average or higher. (3) All students, regardless of their fields of concentration, must take a comprehensive examination based on a reading list in British and American literature. Students will normally be expected to take the exam at the beginning of their final full semester. Click for information on the M.A. exam.

M.A. Thesis Proposal Form: All students choosing the thesis option, in any area of concentration, must complete and submit the proposal form near the beginning of the semester before that of planned graduation (see the form for deadlines).

Potential Areas of Study:

Mississippi State University's full Graduate Catalog.

The Faculty

Members of the graduate faculty have served as Fulbright Senior Lecturers in Europe and Australia, have held Guggenheim, American Council of Learned Societies, and Huntington Library Fellowships, and have been awarded numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Their publications include books on Shakespeare, Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Paul Bowles, Richard Harding Davis, Mark Twain, Graham Greene, Donald Barthelme, renaissance poetry and architecture, medieval mysticism, sociolinguistics, the history of the English language, textual editing, women's studies, Southern literature, Caribbean literature, Los Angeles culture, and the teaching of English as a second language, as well as books of poetry and fiction, and dozens of scholarly articles on language and literature.



  • The English Department offers teaching assistantships to a large number of graduate students. Those selected have the opportunity to gain teaching experience in the department's composition classes and tutoring experience in the Writing Center. The department also offers editorial assistantships for work on The Mississippi Quarterly. Applicants for assistantships must be sure all their application materials are received by March 15, 2015.

Departmental Scholarship Opportunities

  • Through the generosity of various donors, the English Department is able to offer a number of scholarships and awards.

Financial Aid

Further Information

  • For more information about the graduate program, contact Dr. Lara Dodds, Director of Graduate Studies (

The Mississippi State University Library

The Mitchell Memorial Library at Mississippi State contains more than a million volumes and subscribes to thousands of periodicals. In addition, full interlibrary loan facilities and Computer Assisted Information Retrieval Service give students access to millions of other research sources. The library's Special Collections division, which houses the University Archives, rare books, and manuscripts, has a number of holdings of particular interest to the student of Southern literature and culture, including the John C. Stennis, Turner Catledge, and Hodding Carter Collections. The Mitchell Memorial Library houses the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library.

The Writing Center

The Writing Center located on President's Circle is staffed primarily by English Department teaching assistants and offers that staff professional experience in tutoring.


Mississippi State University utilizes a Blackboard system, locally called myCourses, for online instruction. Many professors utilize MyCourses to enhance their efforts in traditional classes. Teaching assistants have the opportunity to develop supplementary materials for their classes using MyCourses.