English Graduate Studies


Program Overview

Our M.A. Program in English offers students opportunities to deepen their knowledge of literary periods, genres, and theories, as well as hone their writing, research, and analytical skills. We offer seminars in American literature, British literature, multi-ethnic literatures, composition and rhetoric, gender studies, and visual studies. Our seminars are small and discussion-oriented, and students will work closely with professors on their graduate research project or thesis.

Admission Requirements and Process

Our award-winning faculty members regularly present their research at major national and international conferences, including the Modern Language Association, Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, and Conference on College Composition and Communication. Their work has been published in prestigious academic journals—such as  Studies in English Literature, Journal of Modern Literature, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and Kairos—and in critical anthologies, including Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen (2010), Critical Insights: Brave New World (2014), and Identity and Leadership in Virtual Communities: Establishing Credibility and Influence (2014). Because faculty are actively involved in their fields, they are prepared to offer an assortment of innovative seminars—examples include Literature and Photography, The Cosmopolitan Novel, and Shakespeare and Film—and to introduce students to current developments in literary criticism and theory as well as composition and rhetoric.

Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to continue their graduate studies in English studies or related disciplines, such as education and law. They will also have acquired professional and intellectual skills that will be applicable in a variety of careers, including public relations, editing, and government service. To date, most of our graduates have either continued with their education, in programs such as the M.F.A. at The New School in New York City, or have gone on to teaching careers in San Antonio high schools and community colleges.

Program Details

The English M.A. is a 36 hour Program. Students are required to take an introduction to graduate studies seminar (ENGL 5300), a composition and rhetoric seminar (ENGL 5302), a topics in American literature (ENGL 5360), and a topics in British literature seminar (ENGL 5320). Students must also choose either a Graduate Research Project (ENGL 5305: 3 hours) or a Thesis (ENGL 5306: 6 hours) for their capstone project. Students select the remainder of their coursework based on their interests. Since the topics courses frequently rotate, students can repeat the Special Topics course (ENGL 5370) twice and the Topics in British and American Literature courses up to three times each.

Once students complete 18 hours of coursework, they are eligible to take the Graduate Exam, typically offered in August and January. The Graduate Exam is a four-hour test focusing on one poem and one longer work, such as a novel or play. Students must pass the Exam in order to receive their degree; the Exam can be re-taken up to 3 times.

Students can choose to pursue a supporting field in Business or Education; however, supporting fields are not required.

For more information on degree plans, course listings and descriptions, thesis and graduate research project guidelines, and admission requirements, as well as the many opportunities available to graduate students in our program, please follow the links on the side of this page.

Who Should Apply?

The M.A. in English can be beneficial for a variety of careers. Typically, students who have completed the degree either attend M.F.A. or Ph.D. Programs, or they go on to teach literature and writing in secondary schools or community colleges. However, earning a M.A. in English is also excellent preparation for students seeking careers in technical writing, editing, or publishing. The M.A. in English can also greatly benefit students pursuing careers in advertising, law, banking, marketing, and public relations.

Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree in English or a related field. Prospective students should be committed to their education, prepared for an intensive but supportive program. Strengths of the program include, but are not limited to, American literature after the Civil War, Shakespeare and early modern studies, digital rhetoric, modern and contemporary British literature, pedagogy, and Chicana/o studies. We also regularly offer seminars on film, women’s literature and gender studies, and popular culture.

Why English at A&M-San Antonio?

Here are just a few of the many reasons for pursuing an M.A. in English at Texas A&M University-San Antonio:

      • Small class sizes that emphasize student discussion and interaction
      • Faculty committed to excellence in teaching and personalizing your education
      • Intensive and innovative seminars that will introduce you to the most current developments in the discipline
      • Regular professionalization workshops on topics that will help you maximize your education experience, for instance strategies to help you craft your curriculum vitae as well as how to apply to academic conferences
      • Opportunities to customize your education based on your academic interests and career goals; our students have written their capstone projects on such diverse topics as American young adult literature, aesthetics and politics of Camp, classroom and writing center pedagogy, and Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, among many other topics
      • A supportive and intellectually stimulating environment with plenty of opportunities for extracurricular activities and participation in program events— click here for more information                                                                                                   
      • Classrooms equipped with sophisticated computer and multimedia technology

But don’t just take our word for it! Here are testimonials from current and alumni graduate students in English with details about their experiences in our program:

Christen Plyler, MA 2014

“The English program at Texas A&M-San Antonio prepares you for both professional and future academic success. The professors created a wonderful learning environment where I felt comfortable and motivated to express my own thought process. I gained an appreciation for literature across many different cultures and literary periods. It was a fantastic experience building strong relationships with my peers and professors.”

Sophia Botello, MA 2013

“The English M.A. program at TAMU-SA encouraged me to think critically, not just in reading literature, but in all aspects of my life. The communication and writing skills I learned in the program boosted my professional confidence and helped me to stand out in the job market. As a non-traditional student, I was apprehensive about starting the program. But the support from faculty and staff kept me focused and on-track. Additionally, because the university is located on the south side of San Antonio just a few miles from my home, I was able to avoid traffic and get to classes easily.”

Lisa Sanna, MA 2016

“The MA in English program has fostered my growth in literary and film studies. The faculty presents multiple perspectives on how to think critically about literary texts, the importance of language as meaning, and fundamental questions to consider when constructing an argument. The small class size allows for a collaborative and student-focused learning environment, which allowed me to gain confidence that my literary analysis were valuable and worthy of entering into academic conversations. Although the program is challenging, the faculty alleviates common graduate-level stress and doubts by continuously offering support and encouragement, all the while striving to help each student develop their academic voice.”


AnnaMarie Ramsey, MA 2014

“The professors in the English department at Texas A&M-University individualize instruction by helping to identify areas for potential growth. They are all very personable and available during office hours to answer all questions, which really helps students expand upon writing and studying skills. Each course is unique in that they offer diverse opportunities for research and analysis. Classes are also student-centered, allowing students to lead discussions over course material which helps to broaden prospective research topics. Support comes not only from faculty, but also from fellow students who can strengthen theses and ideas by posing questions and helping refine student-developed materials.”


For more information about the M.A. program at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, please query our English Studies Graduate Coordinator:


Dr. Jackson Ayres
Office: Central Academic Building #318A
Phone: (210) 784-2229
Email: jfayres@tamusa.edu