Tarleton State University offers the Master of Arts, a thirty-six hour degree with two possible tracks. For full admission to either track, students should have an undergraduate major in English and a minimum of fourteen undergraduate hours (or the equivalent) in one foreign language. Both degree tracks require students to complete English 598 (Methods of Bibliography and Research Analysis). Both tracks also require a written comprehensive examination.
The M.A. with thesis is best suited to students whose goal is two- or four-year college teaching; this degree track also prepares students to continue graduate studies towards the doctorate in English. All students take one 3-hour course that is a "directed readings" with their committee chairs; non-thesis students will produce a long research paper at the end of the course and thesis students will produce either the first chapter of the thesis or the thesis proposal.
The degree requires thirty hours of courses, including departmental courses in four categories: (1) American literature, (2) British literature, (3) rhetoric and composition, and (4) other. The six-hour M.A. thesis, which offers students an opportunity to specialize in an area of literature, language, or composition and rhetoric, concludes the program.