Feb 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

English, M.A.

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Program Requirements 30 hrs.

Required Core Courses 18 hrs.

With three credit hours from each of the following categories: Scholarly Methods; Theory; Earlier British Literature; Later British Literature; Earlier American Literature; and Later American Literature

Scholarly Methods: (3 credit hrs. required)

Earlier British Literature (3 credit hrs. required)

Later British Literature (3 credit hrs. required)

Earlier American Literature (3 credit hrs. required)

Later American Literature (3 credit hrs. required)

Required M.A. Course

Electives 6 hrs.

Elective courses for the Literature option : 6 credit-hours to be chosen from the list below:

Masters Final Exam: Goals of a Comprehensive Exam

A Radford University graduate student seeking an M.A. or M.S. in English will complete the Comprehensive Exam in accordance with the following criteria. The exam must:

  1. provide an opportunity for the candidates to demonstrate through a written argument a significant level of scholarly or critically literate knowledge gained through classwork and independent scholarship, and
  2. provide an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate knowledge sufficient to be successful in year one of a PhD program, or to teach a college-level literature or composition class, or the subject area of high school English, or to be proficient as a professional writer or editor.
Process and Breadth
  1. Format and administration
    The English Graduate Comprehensive Exam is a 48-hour open-book test. It will be given on a single weekend each semester, with the date to be announced at the beginning of the preceding semester. A student who has an unresolvable conflict that weekend may petition the Graduate Program Coordinator for a change of date.
  2. Subject Matter
    The student’s committee will devise a comprehensive examination consisting of a single question.  The purpose of this examination will be to give students the opportunity to synthesize and to make connections from the student’s program of study.
  3. Committee composition and function
    The composition of the committee will be reported by the student to the Graduate Program Coordinator by the end of the third week of the semester in which the comprehensive examination is to be taken. Based on his or her major interest, each student will ask a professor to serve as chair of the comprehensive examination committee; the remaining members of the committee will be selected jointly by the student and the committee chair.

    The role of the committee will be to read the student’s written examination and evaluate it as satisfactory, marginal, or unsatisfactory.

    Satisfactory: If the written examination is satisfactory, there will be no follow-up.

    Marginal: If the written examination is marginal, the committee will ask the student to complete either an oral examination or a written follow-up, depending on the deficiencies in the original. At that time, the committee will determine whether the comprehensive exam is satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

    Unsatisfactory: If the written examination is unsatisfactory, there will be no follow-up. According to the policies of the Graduate College, the student will have one opportunity to retake the comprehensive exam.

Additional Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree


The thesis will be written under the supervision of the candidate’s committee. The committee must approve the thesis.

Oral Thesis Examination

After the thesis has been completed but prior to its submission to the office of the dean of the Graduate College, the committee will meet with the candidate for an oral examination of one hour on the topic of the thesis. The examination must occur at least two weeks prior to graduation.

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