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Graduate Degrees

Tarleton State University offers a primarily on-line Master of Arts degree in English, with some of our courses being offered in a multiple-delivery format (face-to-face with electronic webcam). Our program offers an opportunity for graduate students to work toward a master’s degree that will provide them with the skills and background to teach dual-credit courses at Texas high schools, or to teach as an adjunct or even an instructor at community colleges, junior colleges, and universities, or go on for PhD work. We also offer course work in professional writing, enabling our graduates to enter the growing and lucrative technical writing and editing field, as well as careers in journalism, educational administration and services, and many areas of business that demand writing, critical thinking, and communication skills. Our grad students have the freedom to do a completely online degree or mix online courses with face-to-face or hybrid format selections at our main campus in Stephenville or at our satellites in Fort Worth and elsewhere. 

Our program’s course offerings provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary examination of traditional literary studies in conjunction with rhetorical studies, which will equip the student with solid training in the discipline and the requisite confidence for the demands of the college freshman and sophomore classroom in both composition and literature. We provide close, personal advising from start to finish, and through our various course delivery options (including summer offerings) can accommodate the busy schedule of a working teacher. Our faculty have earned PhDs from major universities across the country and work hard to provide an exciting, interactive, and demanding course of study, so that our graduates leave with a rigorous degree in which they will always be proud. While most of our students prefer to go a non-thesis route, they may do a thesis if they choose; this decision, which they reach with their academic advisor, is based on personal inclination and individual career goals.

We are looking for mature students who share our love of language, literature, and teaching. If you are a student looking to grow in your profession, Tarleton State University’s excellent yet affordable graduate English program may be the right choice for you. To apply, go to The recommended deadline for fall admission is July 1. The recommended deadline for spring admission is November 1. The recommended deadline for summer admission is April 1. You’ll also need to email a 10-12 page scholarly writing sample (use the MLA Handbook, 8th edition), along with having 3 letters of recommendation sent to the Director of Graduate Studies in English (

12 hours of a foreign language at the undergraduate level are required. Additional undergraduate leveling hours may be required.The GRE is not required for admission into the program.

Master of Arts in English

Thesis Track

The M.A. thesis track is designed for students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. to teach at the college/university level and who intend to engage in scholarship beyond the M.A.

A thesis is not mandatory for doctoral work, but is strongly encouraged.

Master of Arts in English

Non-Thesis Track

The M.A. non-thesis track is designed primarily for students planning to continue their teaching careers at the secondary level.

Our program is especially tailored to meet the special needs of professionals interested in earning a degree through distance learning, especially (but not limited to) Texas high school teachers who need to be qualified to teach dual credit and AP English courses in their high schools. The MA will qualify you to also teach at the college-level in a university or community college.

Request More Information

Dr. Cynthia McPherson
Director of Graduate Studies
Office: O A Grant 318
Phone: 254-968-9036