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What will I learn?

Tennessee’s MA program is offered in two concentrations: Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies and Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics. They both provide excellent training and a flexible curriculum. Students may specialize in anything from medieval literature to critical theory or may pursue a more general curriculum. We look for strong, thoughtful candidates who will enrich our intellectual community in a variety of ways and who will benefit from the breadth of our resources.

We have an excellent financial support, a nationally and internationally recognized faculty, and world-class research library. Travel funds for research and presentations at scholarly conferences help our students enter the profession and begin to establish themselves in their respective fields within the discipline.

The Graduate Students in English organization, field-specific reading groups, and other activities draw students together as an intellectual and social community with shared passions and aspirations. Our MA graduates go on to excellent PhD programs in English, as well as to careers in editing, publishing, technical writing, and the non-profit and private sectors.

Students in the MA in Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies choose either the Thesis or the Non-Thesis option. Both options include the following requirements:

  1. Two 600-level courses in English.
  2. Four additional courses in English at the 500- to 600-level. A student may apply only one course of English 593 (Independent Study) toward the MA in English.
  3. Two English graduate courses.
  4. Evidence of proficiency in one foreign language, to be fulfilled in one of the following ways:
    • Completion of a second year of a language at college level with a grade of C or better.
    • Completion of French 302 or German 332 at UT with a grade of B or better.
    • Passing the doctoral PhD foreign language examination as administered at UT.

Which department am I in?

College of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (30 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$31,139.00 per year
Start date

January 2022


College of Arts and Sciences

312 Ayres Hall, 1403 Circle Drive,



37996, United States

Entry requirements

For international students

Applicants must have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency. A non-U.S. degree must be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from the United States and must be accredited by its regional or national accreditation agency. Applicants with non-U.S. degrees must have earned a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or other equivalent to a ‘B’ average. If you have completed previous graduate coursework, you must have earned a minimum of 3.3 out of a possible 4.0 GPA or other equivalent to a ‘B+’ average.

An applicant requesting admission to the Graduate School may be required to submit results of the TOEFL or IELTS. Minimum score requirements for admission to the Graduate School are:

  • a total score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT),
  • a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.