Degree Requirements

Degree Options

As a Master of Arts in English student, you must complete the major’s core requirements and 1 of our 2 options to earn your degree.

You can choose one of the following options:

Post Baccalaureate Certificate

The Master of Arts in English Program also offers a graduate certificate in Rhetoric & Writing Studies. This nondegree program provides students with advanced training in Rhetoric and Writing Studies with an emphasis on the teaching of college-level composition.  

Rhetoric & Writing Studies

Post Baccalaureate Certificate

Grade Requirements

To earn a master’s degree, you must complete all courses with a grade of B- or higher. In addition, your overall program GPA must be 3.0 or higher. Failure to maintain a 3.0 GPA, or 2 consecutive course sessions where a grade lower than B- has been earned, will result in academic probation in accordance with program policies.

Credit Hour Requirements

You will complete a minimum of 33 semester hours of graduate work to earn your master’s degree. 

See the catalog for a complete description of current requirements.

Transfer Credits/Residency Requirements

Transfer credit must be approved by the program director and cannot exceed 11 credit hours. Transfer classes must be at appropriate levels and fulfill the objectives of the master’s degree at WSU. No courses for which credit was used to fulfill requirements of another degree may be used toward the master’s degree at WSU. You must successfully complete a minimum of 2/3 of your requirements with WSU courses to meet graduate residency requirements.

All transfers are subject to program approval. The transfer of graduate credits from other institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Foreign Language Requirement

With a Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited college or university, you automatically fulfill the language requirement to graduate with your master's in English. If you have a Bachelor of Science degree, you must show foreign language competency before graduation.

If needed, you can fulfill the language requirement in 1 of 2 ways:

Option 1: Foreign Language Coursework

You may show foreign language competency by completing 6 credit hours of a foreign language with a grade of C (or better). All 6 credits need to be taken in a single language and may not be split between multiple languages.

The Department of Foreign Languages offers SPAN 1010 and SPAN 1020 online during the spring and fall semesters. Taking both of these courses will meet the foreign language requirement necessary for your degree.

Option 2: Language Test

Alternately, you may show foreign language competency by passing a foreign language reading test.

Steps needed to take the test:

  • Contact a professor:
  • For other languages, contact the Master of Arts in English Program to make arrangements.
  • Pay the $50 fee to the Cashier's Office in SSC 209 under Detail Code: D143. Keep the receipt or request a duplicate to submit to the Master of Arts in English Program. The professor or staff member will deliver the test to a WSU Testing Center.

What to expect on the test:

  • The test consists of a reading passage from a text selected by the professor in the foreign language of your choice. You will then answer in English a number of comprehension questions, which are written in English.
  • The test is open book, meaning you can bring dictionaries or grammar books to the test. Electronic devices, however, are not permitted.
  • There is no time limit for the test.

How the test is scored:

  • The professor will score the test, and notify the Master of Arts in English office.
  • Our program assistant will notify you and the program director of the test results.
  • A score of 70 percent on the comprehension questions is required to pass the test.
  • Cat Tracks will be updated to reflect the completion of this degree requirement.

Degree Completion

You have a maximum of 6 calendar years to complete your degree requirements, starting from the semester you register and begin taking classes. If you exceed this requirement, you may submit a letter of appeal to the program director to request that this requirement be waived. If you fail to enroll in graduate courses for 3 consecutive semesters (not including summers), you must apply for readmission to the program.