Why study English language and literature?

Because reading and writing shape the world.

Only current KU undergraduate students are eligible to apply to the Accelerated MA program. If you are not a current undergraduate student at KU, please review the admission requirements for the regular MA program.

The accelerated master's program will offer our best undergraduate majors the opportunity to earn both the BA and MA degrees in a focused and accelerated manner. The program enables qualified KU students to count 12 hours of graduate-level coursework toward both major requirements and the MA degree, which will be completed in the 5th year. 

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

Careful course selection and steady progression through the undergraduate career is necessary to ensure all requirements for both degrees may be completed within the 5-year timeframe. All prospective students should discuss their interest in admission to the accelerated master's track with both the Undergraduate Director (UGD) and the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) no later than the Fall of the student’s Junior year (Year 3).

Prospective students are eligible to apply to the graduate program in the Fall semester of their Senior Year. The following requirements must be met by this time:

  • Major GPA of at least 3.5
  • Overall GPA of at least 3.25
  • On track to complete all requirements for a BA degree in English from KU by the spring semester of Senior year (Year 4).

GRE scores are not required.

Applicants must complete an Application for Graduate Study online. The following information should be gathered in advance and uploaded with the application:

  • 3 letters of recommendation (at least one from an English faculty member);
  • resume or curriculum vitae (CV);
  • one-page Statement of Purpose (maximum 750 words);
  • writing samples (15 to 20 pages total; more than one paper preferred).

Upon review of the application for admission, the English Department will notify the student of her or his eligibility to begin coursework in the program. Final acceptance to the graduate program will be contingent upon the following:

  • grades of B or above in all English graduate-level coursework taken in Year 4;
  • successful completion of all requirements for the BA/BGS degree.

Application and admission procedures for the Accelerated Master’s program are different from the regular master’s program.  For more information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:

The course requirements for the accelerated MA program are fulfilled by a combination of graduate-level courses taken for both undergraduate and graduate credit in Year 4, fulfilling both BA major requirements and MA degree requirements, and graduate credit courses taken in Year 5.

The student must be approved to begin coursework toward the accelerated program prior to enrolling in any classes that are to count for both undergraduate and graduate credit.

REQUIREMENTS for the BA MAJOR:

The major in English requires 31 hours (34 for Honors English), of which 3 hours may be an appropriate 200-level English course.  Students in the accelerated program must take 6 credit hours at the 590 level or above, and 6 credit hours at the 700 level or above. These courses may be selected from those that count toward major distribution requirements or major electives.  (See the 590+ level options in the course lists below).  

As part of these 31 hours (34 for Honors English), all English majors must complete the Orientation to English Studies within their first two semesters as a declared major. In addition, they must also choose courses from each of the following 7 categories:

  1. Individual Authors or Movements
  2. Literary Theory
  3. English Language or Rhetoric
  4. Transcultural Approaches to Language, Literature, or Writing
  5. Writing
  6. Forms and Genres
  7. Literary History (2 courses)

Note: courses may be listed in more than one category, but may only count in one category for an individual student.  At least one course must be focused language, literature, or writing before 1850 (see course list below).

Category requirements:

Orientation Requirement1
Orientation to English Studies
Individual Authors or Movements3
Topics in British Literature to 1800: _____
Topics in British Literature Since 1800: _____
Studies in British Literature
Topics in American Literature to 1865: _____
Topics in American Literature Since 1865: _____
Contemporary Authors: _____
Recent Popular Literature
Studies in Twentieth-Century Drama: _____
Chaucer
Shakespeare
Major Authors: _____
Topics in U.S. Ethnic Literature: _____
The Literature of: _____
Advanced Topics in British Literature 1800: _____
Advanced Topics in British Literature After 1800: ______
Irish Literature and Culture: _____
James Joyce
Whitman and Dickinson
William Faulkner
Major Authors (Capstone): _____
British Literature of the 20th Century: _____
The Gothic Tradition
Modern Drama: _____
American Literary Environmentalism
Topics in American Literature: _____
American Indian Literature: _____
U.S. Latina/o Literature: _____
African American Literature: _____
Literature of the American South
Advanced Topics in American Literature to 1865: _____
Advanced Topics in American Literature Since 1865: _____
Poetry, 1900-1945
Poetry since 1945
The Literature of England to 1500
Renaissance English Literature: _____
Milton
British Literature, 1600-1800: _____
Romantic Literature: _____
Victorian LIterature: ______
African Literature: _____
Introduction to Old English
Beowulf
Middle English Literature
Chaucer: _____
Shakespeare: _____
Topics in Early Modern Literature: _____
British Literature of the19th Century: _____
Forms: _____
British Literature of the 20th Century: _____
Modern Irish Literature: _____
Studies in Modern Drama: _____
Studies in Life Writing: _____
Topics in Literatures of Africa and the African Diaspora: _____
American Literature to 1900: _____
American Literature after 1900: _____
U.S. Poetries Since 1900
Criticism and the Teaching of Literature
Studies in: _____
Literary Theory3
Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory
Contemporary Literary Theory
Ecocriticism
Literary Criticism to 1800
Literary Criticism after 1800
Critical Theory: Problems and Principles: _____
English Language or Rhetoric3
English Grammar
Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition
Topics in Rhetoric and Composition: _____
The Development of Modern English
Introduction to the English Language
Topics in English Language Studies
Rhetoric and Writing: _____
English Language Studies: ______
American English
Transcultural Approaches to Language, Literature, or Writing3
World Indigenous Literatures
Global Environmental Literature
Introduction to African Literature
Jewish American Literature and Culture
Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
Introduction to African-American Literature
Introduction to Caribbean Literature
Topics in U.S. Ethnic Literature: _____
American Literature of Social Justice
Topics in Transcultural Literature, Language, or Rhetoric: _____
Topics in Writing: _____
The London Review
American Indian Literature: _____
Women and Literature: _____
U.S. Latina/o Literature: _____
African American Literature: _____
African Literature: _____
Modern Irish Literature: _____
Topics in Literatures of Africa and the African Diaspora: _____
Writing (Note: students not pursing a BA in creative writing may only count one creative writing workshop toward the major; creative writing workshops noted below.)3
Topics in Reading and Writing: _____
Freshman-Sophomore Honors Proseminar: _____
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
Introduction to the Drama
Fiction Writing I
Poetry Writing I
Screenwriting I
Playwriting I
Nonfiction Writing I
Topics in Writing: _____
Professional Writing: _____
Foundations of Technical Writing
Teaching and Tutoring Writing
The London Review
Fiction Writing II
Poetry Writing II
Screenwriting II
Playwriting II
Nonfiction Writing II
Honors Proseminar: ______
Honors Essay
Forms and Genres (Note: students not pursing a BA in creative writing may only count one creative writing workshop toward the major; creative writing workshops noted below.)3
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
Introduction to the Drama
The British Novel
Studies in Twentieth-Century Drama: _____
Literature and Film: _____
Topics in Forms and Genres: _____
Shakespeare
Fiction Writing I
Poetry Writing I
Screenwriting I
Playwriting I
Nonfiction Writing I
Topics in Writing: _____
Science Fiction
Fiction Writing II
Poetry Writing II
Screenwriting II
Playwriting II
Nonfiction Writing II
Modern Drama: _____
Poetry, 1900-1945
Poetry since 1945
Forms: _____
Studies in Modern Drama: _____
Studies in Life Writing: _____
U.S. Poetries Since 1900
Literary History6
Major British Writers to 1800
and American Literature II
American Literature I
and Major British Writers after 1800
Literary History I
and Literary History II
Major British Writers to 1800
and Literary History II
American Literature I
and Literary History II
Literary History I
and Major British Writers after 1800
Literary History I
and American Literature II
Additional six hours of any ENGL course numbered 300 and above6
Total Hours31
One course (three hours) in Literary History must focus on literature before 1850:3
Topics in British Literature to 1800: _____
Literary History I
Major British Writers to 1800
Studies in British Literature
Topics in American Literature to 1865: _____
American Literature I
Chaucer
Shakespeare
Advanced Topics in British Literature 1800: _____
Shakespeare: _____
The Gothic Tradition
The Literature of England to 1500
Renaissance English Literature: _____
Milton
British Literature, 1600-1800: _____
Romantic Literature: _____

Notes:

  • 27 hours must be at the junior/senior level.
  • One 200-level course may count toward major requirements. No 100-level ENGL courses count toward major requirements except ENGL 199.
  • Only 1 (3 credits) creative writing workshop (fiction writing, nonfiction writing, poetry writing, screen writing or playwriting) may be applied as a major course.
  • Up to 6 credits combined of ENGL 494 (Research Internship) or ENGL 495 (Directed Study) may be applied as major electives.
  • Up to 3 credit hours of ENGL 496 (Internship) or ENGL 497 (Service Learning Internship) may be applied as a major elective.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 31 hours of major courses (34 for Honors English).

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 25 hours of KU resident credit in the major; exceptions by permission of Director of Undergraduate Studies only.

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 24 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

MA DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:

In addition to the 12 graduate credit hours completed during the senior year, MA students must complete an additional 18 hours of graduate-level coursework. The candidate’s program should be arranged in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or a member of the departmental committee on graduate studies.  No more than 6 hours of the 18 hours of graduate-level coursework for the MA may be taken at the 590-600 level. The following requirements also apply: 

3 hours (1 course) on Methods or Theory appropriate to different areas of focus in Literary Studies: ordinarily 708, 709, 800, or another course appropriately designated by the Graduate Director. A 998 (Directed Reading) directly focused on questions of methods and theory can fulfill this requirement if approved by the Graduate Director.

3 hours on Pedagogy: ENGL 780, ENGL 781, or other appropriate course as approved by the Graduate Director.

21 distribution hours to be selected in consultation with advisors.  Two options are available:

  • Option 1a, Literature:  At least 1 course (3 hours) must be pre-1700; at least 1 must be 1700-1900; and at least 1 must be after 1900. 2 courses (6 hours) outside the department may be included in the distribution hours with approval of the Graduate Director.
  • Option 1b, Literature and Literary Theory: At least 1 course (3 hours) must be pre-1800; at least 1 (3 hours) must be post-1800. At least 2 courses (6 hours), besides the course used to fulfill requirement 2 (Methods or Theory) must focus primarily on Literary Theory. 2 courses (6 hours) outside the department may be included in the distribution hours with approval of the Graduate Director.

ENGL 899: Portfolio Preparation:  This course is completed during the last semester of the MA year (Year 5). Students prepare a portfolio of work from their graduate courses over which they will be examined at an oral defense, not to exceed 90 minutes.

PROGRESSION REQUIREMENTS:

Given the accelerated nature of this program, each student’s progress will be closely monitored at various points during the program:

  • Once approved to begin graduate coursework, the student must meet with the DGS to plan the final year of undergraduate study;
  • At the end of the final semester of undergraduate study (Year 4), the department will review the student’s performance in graduate-level English courses taken in Year 4. The student must earn a grade of B or better in each course to be eligible to continue in the accelerated program;
  • Following the completion and award of the BA or BGS degree, the accelerated masters student will meet again with the DGS to review the course plan for the 5th year of study and update it as needed. The student’s performance in the graduate-level courses taken as an undergraduate will be evaluated;
  • For students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 in the first semester of Year 5, the department may, at its discretion, devise a plan of study to address the student’s deficiencies, or may dismiss the student from the program;

The program is designed so that students can complete all requirements for the accelerated masters degree within one year of receiving the BA/BGS degree.

If unforeseen circumstances prevent the timely completion of the MA degree, the student must consult with the DGS and her or his graduate advisor to develop an alternative plan for finishing the program. Similarly, a student may decide to discontinue in the graduate program after finishing the bachelor’s degree, or while still completing undergraduate requirements; the student should notify the DGS of this decision. Those still completing requirements for the BA should also contact their undergraduate advisor as soon as possible to ensure timely completion of the bachelor’s degree.

If a student performs poorly in graduate coursework in Year 4 (receiving lower than a B in any graduate classes), the student will be advised to withdraw from the accelerated program. As long as the BA requirements have been met, the student will be able to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

If the student performs poorly in Year 5 (dropping below a 3.0 GPA/“B” average in English classes), the student will fall out of Good Standing. The student’s name will be forwarded to the College and the student will be put on academic probation for one semester. The DGS and Graduate Committee senior staff will review the student’s progress regularly. If satisfactory progress is not being made, the student may be dismissed from the accelerated program. The student can also withdraw voluntarily.

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 101 (Goal 2.1, BA Writing I)3ENGL 102 (Goal 2.1b, BA Writing II)3
MATH 101 (Goal 1.2)3Quantitative Reasoning (Goal 1.2, BA Quantitative Reasoning)3
1st Semester Language (BA 2nd Language)52nd Semester Language (BA 2nd Language)5
First Year Seminar (Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking)3Goal 2.2 Communication3
 Goal 3 Natural Science3
 Lab Science (BA Lab Requirement)1
 14 18
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
3rd Semester Language (BA Second Language)34th Semester Language (BA Second Language)3
Goal 4.1 US Diversity3Goal 4.2 Global Awareness3
ENGL 200+ Level Course/from Writing category (Writing Category: Major Requirement)3ENGL 300+ from English Language or Rhetoric Category (Major Requirement)3
ENGL 199 (Major Requirement)1Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3
ENGL 300+ from Literary History Category (Major Requirement)3Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3
Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3 
 16 15
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 300+ from Literary Theory (Major Requirement)3Goal 5 Social Responsibility & Ethics3
ENGL 300+ from Literary History (Major Requirement)3ENGL 300+ from Transcultural Approaches to Lang, Lit, or Writing (Major Requirement)3
Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3
Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3
Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3
 15 15
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
Goal 3 Social Science3ENGL Elective 700+ (Major Requirement)3
ENGL 700+ from Individual Authors/Movements (Major Requirement)3ENGL 590+ from Forms & Genres (Major Requirement)3
ENGL 590+ Elective (Goal 6 Integration & Creativity, Major Requirement)3Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3
Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3
Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)3 
 15 12
Year 5
FallHoursSpringHours
Graduate Distribution Hours3Graduate Distribution Hours3
Graduate Distribution Hours3ENGL 708, 709, or 800 (Methods or Theory (or other agreed upon course))3
ENGL 780 or 781 (Pedagogy (or other appropriate course as approved by the Graduate Director))3ENGL 8992-3
 9 8-9
Total Hours 137-138

Please note:

The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one KU Core Goal. However, overlap of a KU Core course with a major or degree-specific requirement is allowed. Overlapping is recommended to allow more opportunities to explore other majors and/or minors.