"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
- Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1817)
Admission to the Graduate Program
The USA English M.A. Program welcomes applications for its concentrations in the areas of creative writing and literature.
NOTE: Current and former University of South Alabama students applying to our graduate program can request that their transcripts be included with their electronic applications by completing the USA Registrar's Transcript Request Form. In the Name/Organization field, write "USA Graduate School."
For more information about the graduate program or for graduate advising, prospective students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Ellen Harrington, or the English Department. Information about M.A. Program funding is available here.
The admissions criteria below supplement those of the Graduate School, which can be found in the Bulletin.
- For the Literature Concentration, applicants normally have an undergraduate major
or minor in English or at least 21 semester hours of course work in English beyond
the freshman level, at least 12 of these hours in upper-division literature courses.
For the Creative Writing Concentration, applicants normally have 15 semester hours
of course work in English beyond the freshman level. Students lacking prior coursework
can complete additional upper-division courses in English to strengthen their applications.
- Applicants to graduate programs in Arts and Sciences typically have a minimum GPA
of at least a 3.0 on all undergraduate work. In exceptional cases, applicants may
be considered with at least a 2.5 GPA on all undergraduate work, or at least a 2.75
GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. The English Department normally requires
a minimum GPA of 3.0 in junior- and senior-level courses presented in fulfillment
of requirement 1.
- Applicants normally have a score of at least 153 on the Verbal section of a GRE General
Test taken within the past seven years. Admission with a lower Verbal GRE score requires
specific approval of the Department’s Graduate Committee. In rare cases, applicants
may be admitted provisionally without submitting a score, but one must be submitted
before the student can progress to the second semester.
- All applicants should submit a personal statement of no more than 500 words, a writing
sample of 5-15 pages in the area of concentration (creative writing or literature)
and three letters of recommendation.*
- All applicants for whom English is a second language should submit a TOEFL IBT score of at least 79 or IELTS score of at least 6.5. (Note that ESL applicants must apply through the International Admissions Office at USA.)
*Students must specify their concentration at the time of application and may not thereafter change concentrations without the specific approval of the English Department’s Graduate Committee.