Master of Arts in English

Program Description

Distinctive modes of communication develop constantly. Our program anticipates the need for students to learn and use multiple literacies in these new modes in order to successfully communicate effectively in what has become a multi-genre world. In this program, we invite students from all disciplines to engage in rigorous critique of today’s ever-evolving rhetorical modes.

This program uses not only the ancient traditions of rhetorical and critical inquiry, but applies these traditions to current and emerging modes as well. In addition, the interdisciplinary program will explore how emerging modes and contexts alter existing rhetorical and critical traditions, thereby building students’ foundations in the liberal arts and sciences.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MA in Literacy Studies will be able to:

  • Distinguish the common and unique characteristics of various literacies, including written, spoken, aural, visual, or digital;
  • Identify, use, and critique various discourses and codes of power in various media;
  • Critique standards of literacy and analyze the cultural implications of those standards; and
  • Critically analyze and interpret literacies and language in their specific historical, cultural, social, political, and economic contexts.

Curriculum Sheet

Click here to view curriculum sheet

Sample Completion

Spring 2012
ENGL 5000:  Intro to Literary Studies
ENGL 6XXX:  Seminar in Visual Literacy
HUMN 6XXX:  Multimedia Theory and Production

Summer 2012
ENGL 5XXX:  Composition and Critical Literacy
ENGL 5XXX:  Composition and Digital Literacy
HUMN 6XXX:  Multimedia Theory and Production

Fall 2012
ENGL 6XXX:  Seminar in the Cultural History of American English
ENGL 6XXX:  Critical Literacy and Literature
ENGL 6XXX:  Women and Literacy

Spring 2013
ENGL 5XXX:  Composition and Critical Literacy
ENGL 5XXX:  Composition and Digital Literacy

Summer 2013
ENGL 6XXX:  Seminar in the Technologies of Literacy
ENGL 6XXX :  Cultural Studies in Rhetoric
ENGL 7XXX:  Graduate Research Methodology

Fall 2013
ENGL 7XXX:  Graduate Research

Application Process and Materials


Successful applicants typically present a BA in English or its equivalent; a good undergraduate grade-point average, especially in upper-division English courses; acceptable scores on the GRE general test, and a graduate application—found online.  We also require three accurate and candid letters of recommendation from three professors who assess the applicant’s suitability for graduate work in English, a thoughtful Statement of Purpose, and a writing sample (approximately 10-15 pages) that demonstrates the applicant’s ability for graduate study.

The Department and the University 

Our Department of English is the largest department in the College of Arts and Sciences. Our Graduate Faculty personally designed this program to meet the needs of the ongoing changes in the form and function of literacy.  The faculty remains committed to the University’s focus on teaching, service, and research.  To that end, the faculty will be open to joint research with our graduate students, to supporting publication and presentation of student work at regional and national venues, and to maintaining a standard of excellence in their own area of expertise.

Although the Director of the Graduate Program considers applications throughout the academic year, to receive full consideration for financial support, plan to complete the application process by January 1.  Our application process includes the following:

  • Complete the online application form and pay the application fee.
  • Request official transcripts for prior degrees be sent to the Director of the Graduate Program: 

Dr. Margaret Ellington
Department of English and Modern Languages
Georgia Southwestern State University
800 Georgia Southwestern State University Drive
Americus, GA 31709

  • Take the GRE verbal, quantitative, and writing tests. Request scores to be sent to the Director of the Graduate Program.  Be aware that it takes up to six weeks for GRE scores to be received and processed. Click here to view more information of GRE test.
  • Send your Statement of Purpose, Writing Sample, and three letters of recommendation addressed to the Director of the Graduate Program (to be mailed by the recommenders, no special forms required.

Online Application

Transfer Credit Form

Transfer Credit Form

Reading List

Coming soon