M.A. in English


The Department of English at Valdosta State University offers a Master of Arts in English designed for students who wish to continue their study of either literature or rhetoric and composition. 

Students earning a Master of Arts in English are well prepared for a wide variety of professional careers and programs. These include college and secondary school teaching, doctoral studies, business, editing, and other professional endeavors.

Poised as the intellectual leader in the region, Valdosta State University offers a wide array of support for student study and research. Award-winning teachers and published academic authors in their own right, English graduate faculty mentor graduate students exploring the profession and their own research interests. Odum Library provides additional support through its more than 350,000 volumes, including several special collections and subscriptions to more than 2,700 periodicals. It also provides an online catalogue and database searches, interlibrary loan facilities, and access to websites and library catalogues all over the world.

Graduate students are encouraged to participate in the rich departmental and community culture at Valdosta State. From involvement in colloquia held annually by the Department of English and the Graduate School to participation in university conferences, workshops, and faculty forums, graduate students in the English M.A. have a variety of opportunities for professionalization. Regular encouragement and support for graduate student travel to regional and national conferences are also the norm. In addition, graduate students are encouraged to participate in and enjoy the many cultural events open to them as students at Valdosta State: department- and university-sponsored poetry and fiction readings by world-renowned writers and scholars, award-winning theatrical and orchestral performances, and outdoor excursions in the region. English graduate students at Valdosta State are likewise encouraged to play an active role in Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, to take leadership in the English Graduate Student Association, and to submit their work to Odradek, the literary magazine, or to the Spectator, the student newspaper.

Students in the English M.A. program are also in high demand, not only within the department, but across campus for employment, and very often receive funding in the form of Graduate Assistantships (mentored research, teaching, and editing assignments) and/or Teaching Assistantships (teaching English 1101 or 1102). Both types of employment include tuition remission and a stipend. Funding is also available through the VSU English Graduate Scholarship, awarded to the top graduate student in the first year of the program, and through the VSU English Graduate Award, given to the top graduate student in the second year of the program.

Goals of the Literature Emphasis:

The English Department expects its graduate students with a literature emphasis to acquire the following:

  • A breadth of knowledge including:
    • general knowledge of major literary periods and movements.
    • general knowledge of useful literary concepts and terminology.
    • specific knowledge of key works and figures.
  • The ability to produce cogent written works blending knowledge of specific texts, history, and sources, with a clearly developed critical point of view.
  • The ability to discuss their work articulately.
  • The ability to produce systematic and thoroughly researched work appropriate to the discipline.
  • The ability to participate in activities related to the profession.

Goals of the Rhetoric and Composition Emphasis:

The English Department expects its graduate students with a rhetoric and composition emphasis to:

  • demonstrate their ability to apply theoretical, pedagogical, and historical approaches in the study of composition and rhetoric.
  • demonstrate their ability to interpret language and literature in light of key facts, concepts, and contexts, employing a variety of critical approaches.
  • produce systematic and thoroughly researched work appropriate to the discipline.
  • participate in activities related to the profession.