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Two forms must be completed prior to the completion of 9 hours: (1) Admission to Candidacy and (2) Program of Study and Graduate Committee. These forms are available in the Graduate Office (KB 203). The "Admission to Candidacy" establishes that you are a candidate for degree; the "Program of Study and Graduate Committee" specifies both the courses to be taken within your graduate program and your graduate committee (three professors) who will approve and oversee your program. Your adviser or the English Graduate Coordinator will help you pick your committee.
If you have chosen the non-thesis program, this committee is merely a safeguard to ensure that a rational program has been established. If you have chosen the thesis program, the committee becomes much more important as it will oversee the writing of your thesis and should be chosen with the defined subject area of your thesis in mind. This committee will also need to approve a brief summary of your thesis topic and will sign off on a form which indicates "Approval of Proposed Thesis."
The department will provide you with a tentative schedule for graduate English classes for a two or three year period. It is often necessary to make a change in your Program of Study because you may need to change a course, a committee member, or change from the thesis to the non-thesis option. For such changes, you will need to complete a "Change of Program of Study" form or a separate "Revised Committee" form. Both forms are available in the Graduate Office (KB 203).
There are two central choices that we ask you to make within your English M.A. Program of Study: (1) whether you will choose the thesis or non-thesis option (see below) and (2) whether you will choose a traditional English M.A. focused on literary study (possibly with a thesis in literary criticism) or an English M.A. with specialization in creative writing (which requires a thesis in creative writing). All of our Programs of Study require 33 credit hours from course work at the 5000-level or above, including English 5000 (Bibliography and Methods of Research). Also note that all English M.A. candidates are required to pass a Comprehensive Reading Exam. We ask you to take this exam towards the end of the completion of your course work.
If your Program of Study is an English M.A. with a specialization in creative writing, your program should include two of the following creative-writing courses: English 541A, English 541B, or English 541C before you register for your creative thesis hours. You will need the permission of the instructor to enroll in these courses. If not familiar with your work, the instructor may require samples of your writing. One of these courses will typically be taught every fall and spring semester, often with participation of creative writers on guest appointments through the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts.
If your Program of Study is a traditional English M.A. with either a thesis or non-thesis option, you are encouraged to include within your course selection either English 508A or English 508B. We particularly stress the importance of completing one of these courses if you are intending to apply to Ph.D. programs.