MA in English at MSU: Now Accepting Applications


We are now accepting applications for the Master of Arts in English program at Mississippi State University, to begin in Fall 2022. We offer an MA in English with emphases in Literature, Creative Writing, Linguistics, and TESOL. In our intellectually challenging but supportive program, students work closely with a distinguished faculty that includes renowned poets and novelists and recognized experts in British and American literature, linguistics, and composition and rhetoric. Our students follow a flexible curriculum which allows students to pursue their interests while continuing to hone their skills in writing, research, and literary analysis.
The MA in English at Mississippi State is generally completed in two years. Students complete 30 (thesis option) or 33 (non-thesis option) hours. A course in research methods (EN 8103), foreign language competency (i.e. fourth semester undergraduate coursework or equivalent), and a comprehensive MA exam are also required of all students.

The department also offers MA students many opportunities for professional development and growth, including funding to support graduate students’ travel to present research at academic conferences. Teaching Assistantships are available to qualified applicants, and all of our TAs receive extensive training and support in the teaching of college writing. Mississippi State is home to The Mississippi Quarterly and The Jabberwock Review, which employ graduate students as editorial assistants.

Teaching Assistantships
Our Teaching Assistantship comes with a 70% tuition, as well as a small stipend to help cover living expenses. Our TAs gain experience working in the Writing Center and aiding a Composition Instructor in their first year, and in their second year teach their own Composition course. Our TAs also receive training in Composition Pedagogy in their second semester. The valuable training and experience our TAs receive well-prepares them for careers in community college instruction, dual enrollment programs, or as college lecturers.

Summer Internship Program
Our students also have the opportunity for summer funding through our paid MA Summer Internship Program, which provides our students with the opportunity to gain professional experience in such areas as research writing, editing, library science, publishing, public relations, and grant writing. Although these paid internships are awarded competitively, they are reserved exclusively for MSU English MA students.

Career Development
Our program hosts multiple informational sessions on how to prepare and apply for programs and jobs upon graduation. These sessions include workshops on applying to graduate programs, and roundtables with alumni who have gone on to successful careers in such areas as research writing, dual enrollment programs, community college instruction, and library science.

How to Apply
You may apply to our program through MSU’s Graduate School. Applicants to the MA program in English must have a BA in English or 18 hours in English beyond composition requirements to be considered. International applicants must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. The GRE is not required.

The English Department awards a number of competitive scholarships to incoming students. These include two Elizabeth and Howell Gwin Scholarships ($1,000 and $500), the Eugene Butler Scholarship in Creative Writing ($3,000), and the Richard Patterson Memorial Scholarship. Please visit our scholarship page for information on how to apply. 

*In addition to the regular application, students who wish to be considered for the MA in English with Creative Writing emphasis must submit a writing sample (10-12 pages poetry, 12-20 pages of fiction, or up to 30 pages of a combination of both) via email directly to the appropriate Director of Creative Writing: Dr. Catherine Pierce (poetry) or Dr. Michael Kardos (fiction).


If you would like to set up a meeting to discuss our program further or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Shalyn Claggett.

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