Jun 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Master of Arts in English (MA)

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Graduate Studies  >> College of Liberal Arts  


33 Credit hours

The online Master of Arts in degree English (MAE) at the University of Southern Indiana supports the University’s mission to advance education and knowledge in the Southwest Indiana region and elsewhere. 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 workforce 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, and 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. 

Application Deadline

Students may apply to Graduate Studies at any time in the calendar year. Once admitted, they may begin their coursework in the MAE program in either the fall, spring, or summer semester. 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.

Graduate Studies Admission Criteria and Application Process

Refer to the Admission  section of the bulletin for information about Graduate Studies admission criteria and the online application process.

MAE Program Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in English program will be based on Admission to Graduate Studies and 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 submit contact information including name, address, phone number, and email address information for three references.

Additional questions and concerns may be addressed to Dr. Charles Conaway (email conaway@usi.edu; phone 812-461-5435; fax 812-228-5110).


The program is comprised of 33 credit hours of coursework leading to a Master of Arts degree in English. The program includes 12 credit hours in English Core classes, 18 credit hours of additional English classes, 3 credit hours of a Capstone Project including a research paper and presentation at an end-of-semester Capstone Symposium.

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