Graduate-Only Requirements:
  • 4 credit hours: ENG 514 (Introduction to Graduate Studies)
  • 12 credit hours: ENG/WR 503 (thesis)
  • 16 credits of grad-only courses designated "MA Experience"*

For Graduate Teaching Assistants:

  • 2 credit hours WR 517 (WR 121 teaching practicum)
  • 1-2 additional credits of a second teaching practicum (ENG 507 Literature Practicum and/or WR 519: WR 222 Practicum)

Total: 32 credit hours of graduate-only coursework (35 for English Department TAs)

*MA Experience courses are designated as such, term by term, in their course descriptions. They include secondary readings (critical and/or theoretical) tied to a substantial written research project.

Additional Requirements:
  • 4 credit hours: pre-1800 literature
  • 12 credit hours in an area of emphasis (Literature & Culture or Rhetoric, Writing, & Culture)

For Graduate Teaching Assistants:

  • 4 credit hours from a pedagogical course on foundations in writing and rhetoric (if this course is 500-only, it may count toward the 16 required hours in graduate-only seminars listed above)

Total: 16 credit hours of additional coursework (16 or 20 for English Department TAs)

Total Core Requirements: a minimum of 48 credit hours, 51 or 55 for English Department TAs, and 45 for AMP Students


There are two thesis options:

  • a single document of 40-60 pages, presenting a sustained argument and generally broken into closely related chapters or sections;
  • or two article-length essays developing arguments on distinct but related topics, each 20-25 pages, with a framing introduction that addresses their relationship. Digital projects can be understood as a variant on the two article option, with one part fulfilled by a digital-first project and the other fulfilled by a written document related to that project; together, these items must present a sustained argument that situates the project within a body of scholarship.

Thesis committees, arranged by the end of the student's first year of study, include one major and two minor professors. Work on the thesis is directed principally by the student’s major professor. All committee members must be members of the MA faculty, with the major professor possessing significant expertise in the area of the student’s thesis project. Other committee members’ roles should be determined by the committee as a whole on a case-by-case basis; if a student chooses the second thesis option, for example, a committee member might oversee one essay while the major professor oversees the other essay and the framing introduction.


  • Proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to a second-year university course (see OSU graduate catalog)
  • Continuous enrollment (see OSU graduate catalog)

 For graduate advising, please contact MA Director, Megan Ward.