Jun 23, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Master of Arts in English (MA)

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Graduate Studies  >>  College of Liberal Arts  


Mission Statement and Program Goals

The Master of Arts in English (MAE) at the University of Southern Indiana supports the university’s mission to advance education and knowledge particularly in ways that respond to the present and emerging needs of the Southwest Indiana region. The MAE is a graduate program designed for individuals who want to develop their credentials in order to teach dual credit courses in high school classrooms or composition classes in two-year and four-year institutions of higher education. It also serves the needs of professional writers and other members of the workforce whose occupations require excellent reading, writing, and analytical skills, as well as students who are preparing for further work in a doctoral program in English.

Mission Statement

The Master of Arts in English program at the University of Southern Indiana serves the needs of current and future teachers, professional writers, and other members of the Southwest Indiana community by offering advanced courses in Literature, Rhetoric and Writing, and Creative Writing that will prepare students to conduct independent research, participate actively in the theoretical discussions central to the field, write critically and effectively in a variety of professional contexts.

Vision Statement

Preparing future teachers and writers to bring fresh perspectives and critical insights to the challenges facing our communities and our educational, commercial, and not-for-profit institutions.

Goals of the MAE program

Upon completion of the MAE program, students should be able to do the following:

  • Read, interpret, and write about a diverse range of texts in English. 
  • Demonstrate a solid grounding in Literature, Rhetoric and Writing, and Creative Writing.
  • Conduct independent research.  
  • Write critically and effectively in specific professional contexts.  
  • Critically examine and analyze texts critically from a diverse range of perspectives and through the lens of history and theory.  
  • Participate actively in academic discourse communities in written form, engaging in the theoretical discussions central to the field with current and relevant research-based information. 

MAE Admission Requirements

Applying to the Master of Arts in English program at the University of Southern Indiana involves two steps: applying to Graduate Studies and applying to the MAE program.

Applicants must submit the following materials to Graduate Studies:
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate/graduate institutions attended. 

Electronic transcripts should be sent directly from the institution to Graduate.Studies@usi.edu. Applicants who have taken coursework and/or received a degree from the University of Southern Indiana will not need to obtain an official USI transcript (however, those applicants will need to submit official transcripts of coursework not taken at USI). 

  • USI Application for Graduate Study. 

Applicants may complete the admission application online, or they may print a paper application and mail it to Graduate Studies. 

  • A non-refundable application fee of $40. 

Applicants may pay the non-refundable application fee online or mail a check to Graduate Studies. 

Students who are veterans or are currently serving in the US Armed Forces are not required to pay the $40 application fee.

Materials sent to Graduate Studies are used to determine the eligibility of applicants for graduate study at the University of Southern Indiana. In order to be deemed eligible for graduate study at USI, applicants must have an overall minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.5. However, the overall minimum grade point average for admission to the MAE is 3.0. 

To expedite the admission process, please contact the Registrar’s Office of all previous colleges and universities you have attended and have your transcript sent DIRECTLY FROM the institution(s) to Graduate Studies. Electronic transcripts should be sent to Graduate.Studies@usi.edu; paper transcript should be mailed to the following address: 

Graduate Studies
Orr Center Rm 1060
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712-3534


The web address for Graduate Studies is: www.usi.edu/graduatestudies  


Graduate students who fail to enroll in a graduate course for consecutive fall and spring or spring and fall semesters (the equivalent of one academic year) must reapply to both Graduate Studies and the MAE program for readmission before they can continue their work in the program. 


Students may apply to Graduate Studies at any time.

The Master of Arts in English program admits new students in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students may apply to the MAE program at any time. However, in order to ensure sufficient time for review of application materials, students who hope to begin their graduate studies in fall semesters should attempt to have all materials submitted by August 1. To begin in spring semesters, students should submit all materials by January 1. Application materials for students who want to begin the program in summer semesters should be submitted by April 15. If you anticipate problems meeting the application deadlines, contact the Director of the MAE program.

International Students

International applicants will need to submit additional materials to Graduate Studies. For more information on the materials required of international applicants, please see the “International Students” page on the office of Graduate Studies website: www.usi.edu/graduatestudies/international-students.

Effective May 1, 2012, all international applicants must have official transcripts and other academic credentials evaluated and translated prior to applying for graduate study at USI. 

Applying to the MAE program

In addition to applying to Graduate Studies, students must also apply for admission to the Master of Arts in English program. Admission to the MAE will be based on the following: 

  • Applicants must hold a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution. Although applicants do not need to hold an undergraduate degree in English, preference will be given to those applicants with an educational background or work experience in English or a related field. 

The MAE includes courses in Literature, Rhetoric and Writing, and Creative Writing. The Graduate Faculty in the English Department prefers to admit those students who appear to have the best chance of successfully completing the Master’s degree, and we assume the most successful students will be those whose educational backgrounds or work experiences indicate that they possess the abilities to examine, analyze, and write critically about a diverse range of texts in English

  • Applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.  However, applicants with an overall undergraduate GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 may also apply to the program, provided that the student majored in English and has a GPA in the major of 3.25 or higher. 
  • Applicants must submit a well-written cover letter of approximately 500 words. 

In the cover letter, applicants should indicate how their education or work experience has prepared them for graduate studies, and they should outline their goals in pursuing a graduate degree in English at USI. 

  • Applicants must submit a writing sample of approximately 3500 words. 

Examples of writing samples include literary analyses, rhetorical analyses, grant applications, or any other kind of professional writing. 

The cover letter and the writing sample must be submitted to the Director of the Master of Arts in English. The MAE Admissions Committee will review this material and evaluate the applicant’s potential and ability for graduate-level work. 

  • Applicants must arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to the Director of the Master of Arts in English. 

The letters of recommendation should come from people familiar with the applicant’s academic and professional abilities. If possible, at least one of the letters should be sent from a faculty member at an institution of higher education who is familiar with the applicant’s undergraduate coursework. Those writing the letters should explain who they are, what their relationship to the applicant is, and what they know of the applicant’s academic and professional abilities. 

These materials may be submitted electronically through email to: 


Or they may be printed and mailed to the following address: 

Dr. Charles Conaway
Director, Master of Arts in English
University of Southern Indiana
English Department
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712 

Additional questions and concerns may be addressed to: 

Dr. Charles Conaway
Fax: 812-228-5110


The program is comprised of thirty-three (33) credit hours of coursework leading to a Master of Arts degree in English. The program includes nine (9) credit hours selected from a Shared Core of classes, twenty-one (21) credit hours selected from elective course offerings, and three (3) credit hours of a culminating project including a comprehensive exam and a thesis or a comprehensive exam and the preparation of a professional portfolio.

Shared Core (9 hours)

Shared Electives (21 hours)

Culminating Project (3 hours)

After completing 30 hours of coursework, students will be required to enroll in one of the following culminating projects:

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