English M.A.

girl writing on whiteboard

The Master of Arts degree in English is designed for students who desire the challenge of an intense study of literature. Graduates of the program will have a critical appreciation of literature, a thorough knowledge of scholarly tools and the preparation necessary to become competent writers and teachers of writing. The degree requires a total of 36 semester hours of graduate-level courses in English.

Students in the program receive substantial individual attention from faculty. There are opportunities for students to do research and publish on their own or with faculty, as well as opportunities for meeting important scholars and writers at both on-campus and off-campus conferences and events. In addition, graduate assistants gain valuable professional experience as editors, scholars or instructors.

Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale) on all undergraduate work, and an undergraduate major in English. This must also be supported by a writing sample and two letters of recommendation from referees who know the student’s work well and are prepared to comment on its quality.

The program will prepare the student for doctoral work in English or for careers demanding advanced skills in critical reading and writing. The degree can make one eligible for teaching at a two-year college, and certified teachers who complete the degree can extend their certification to the fifth-year level. The degree is also useful for anyone interested in a career in professional writing, administration, entertainment or public service. Recently, GCSU students have been accepted into the following graduate programs: Auburn University, Boston College, Florida State University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia State University, Northeastern, Ole Miss, Texas A and M, University of Delaware, University of Georgia, University of Iowa, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, University of Rochester, and University of Virginia.



Welcome to the Master of Arts in English

Available at the Milledgeville Campus

Our Master of Arts in English program is located in historic Milledgeville, Ga. The university is located approximately 100 miles from Atlanta and Augusta and 75 miles from Athens. Milledgeville is in the heart of the Middle Georgia area, which is close to several recreational sites. 

The library houses the Flannery O'Connor Collection and the department publishes the Flannery O'Connor Review and Arts and Letters.

A small graduate enrollment provides close interaction between students and faculty.

Degree requirements include:

  • 36 graduate semester hours in English, including Methods of Research and three other graduate seminars
  • Demonstrated reading proficiency in a foreign language
  • A written comprehensive examination 
  • A graduate thesis or graduate portfolio

All graduate courses are listed at the 5000- or 6000-level. Please note that whereas 6000-level courses are graduate seminars, 5000-level courses are cross-listed at the 4000-level and therefore include graduate and undergraduate students.

A common reading list for the comprehensive examination offers all students the opportunity to gain a breadth of knowledge about literature.

Students who wish to pursue a subject in depth may choose to write a thesis; those who would like to explore a variety of topics may choose the non-thesis option.

See the complete list of programs.

M.A. Faculty

These accomplished, publishing faculty holding doctorates are among those available to guide you in your literary and cultural studies in these and other areas:

Alex Blazer, Post-Modern Studies
Dr. Blazer is an Associate Professor of English at Georgia College. After studying literature and photography at Denison University, he earned a Ph.D. in twentieth-century literature and critical theory at The Ohio State University. He previously taught at the University of Louisville and Grand Valley State University. His poetry scholarship focused on the relationship between critical theory and American poetry in the 1970's and 1980's. His research on the contemporary American novel examines the relationship between postmodern culture and existential madness. Dr. Blazer teaches a wide variety of courses in composition, writing about literature, poetry, drama, critical theory (particularly existentialism and psychoanalysis), and twenty- and twenty-first century American literature (particularly the postmodern novel and contemporary poetry).

Craig Callender, Linguistics
Dr. Callender is an Associate Professor, who has been at Georgia College since 2008. He completed a PhD in Linguistics at the University of South Carolina, and regularly teaches courses in Linguistics, Medieval Literature, and World Literature. His research centers on historical linguistics, dialectology, and phonological systems in West Germanic.

Jennifer Flaherty, Shakespeare Studies
Dr. Jennifer Flaherty received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an Associate Professor of Shakespeare studies, and her research emphasizes appropriation and global Shakespeare. Her work has been published in journals such as Borrowers and LendersComparative DramaInterdisciplinary Literary Studies, and Topic. She has also contributed chapters to the volumes The Horse as Cultural Icon and Shakespeare and Millennial Fiction. Dr. Flaherty regularly teaches courses in Renaissance literature, dramatic literature, film studies, adaptation, Milton, and Shakespeare for the Literature program. She also teaches courses for Women's Studies, GC1Y and GC2Y, and the Georgia College Honors College.

Marshall Bruce Gentry, Flannery O'Connor Studies 
Dr. Gentry has earned English degrees from Arkansas, Chicago, and the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his PhD. After eighteen years at the University of Indianapolis, where he served as chair of the English Department, in 2003 he became Professor of English at Georgia College in Milledgeville and Editor of the Flannery O’Connor Review. He is the author of the book-length study Flannery O’Connor’s Religion of the Grotesque, published by the University Press of Mississippi and available in paperback. He is the editor of The Cartoons of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College and co-editor of At Home with Flannery O’Connor: An Oral History. His articles on O’Connor’s works appear in Flannery O’Connor’s Radical Reality"On the Subject of the Feminist Business": Re-Reading Flannery O’ConnorFlannery O’Connor: New Perspectives, and The Southern Quarterly. Publications by Gentry on other American fiction writers include Conversations with Raymond Carver (a collection of Carver’s interviews, for which Gentry was co-editor) and articles on such writers as E. L. Doctorow, Philip Roth, and Raymond Carver in Contemporary LiteratureSouth Atlantic ReviewThe CEA CriticShofar, and South Carolina Review. In 2007, Gentry was co-director with John D. Cox for "Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor," a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College and University Teachers; the Institute brought 24 college professors to Milledgeville for a month of studying O’Connor’s works. Gentry has also co-directed O’Connor conferences in Milledgeville in 2006, 2008, and 2011.

Julian Knox, British and World Romanticism
Dr. Julian Knox earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. His teaching and research interests include British and World Romanticism, literature and visual culture, Romanticism and popular music, theories and practices of translation, life-writing, and philosophies of time. He has published articles in the journals European Romantic ReviewThe Wordsworth CircleThe Coleridge BulletinGrave Notes, and The New German Review, and has contributed chapters to The Oxford Handbook of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Transnational England: Home and Abroad, 1780-1860. His latest article, "Ashes Against the Grain: Black Metal and the Grim Rebirth of Romanticism," is forthcoming in the two-volume collection Rock and Romanticism.

Mary Magoulick, Interdisciplinary Studies
Dr. Magoulick has publications in folklore and literature, Native American studies, and women and popular culture. She also works on nature writing, literature of the Islamic world, and global perspectives. She holds a PhD in folklore from Indiana University, an MA in English from University of Virginia, and a BA in English from University of Michigan—Dearborn. She has traveled widely, teaching, living, and exploring in over 30 countries. She believes cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives enhance the study of literature.

Stefanie Sevcik, Comparative Literature 
Dr. Sevcik is a Lecturer in the Department of English at Georgia College.  She received a BA in General Literature from Reed College and a PhD in Comparative Literature (English, French, and Arabic) from Brown University. Her research engages with questions of gender and resistance in 20th and 21st century conflicts across the Global South including the Algerian War for Independence, the Liberian Civil Wars, and the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. Most recently, she completed a chapter for a forthcoming edited collection, In the Crossfire of History: Revisiting Women’s War Resistance Discourse, titled “Syrian Women’s Prison Art: Toward a Poetics of Creative Insurgency” as well as an article titled “'Peace in the Home is Peace in the Family': Bodily Redemption and Women’s Inheritance after the Liberian Civil Wars." She is currently working on organizing her diverse research interests into a book manuscript titled Bloggers, Bombers, and Babies: Women’s Resistance Across the Global South.  She teaches courses in African and Middle-Eastern literatures as well as interdisciplinary courses in Comparative Literature, African Studies, Women & Gender Studies, and Cultural and Media Studies.   She also teaches a GC2Y titled “Sex and Resistance” at Georgia College.

Katie Simon, American Literature; Critical Theory; Women’s and Gender Studies
Dr. Simon earned a PhD in English from U.C. Berkeley, where she also earned a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. She previously taught at Mills College in Oakland, CA, before moving to Georgia in 2010. Her teaching and research interests include American Romanticism, narratives of slavery, and ecocriticism. Her book project examines the logic of haunting in American autobiographical writing, examining work by Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Harriet E. Wilson, and Mary Baker Eddy. Her work has appeared in ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture and Women's Studies: An Inter-Disciplinary Journal and in Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life. She was awarded a stipend to attend an NEH seminar on the Transcendentalists in 2016, and won the Georgia College Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014.

Jennifer Ellis West, Composition and Writing Studies
Dr. West's research focuses on how people use writing to engage with controversy, especially around issues related to women's health. She is an Assistant Professor of Composition and Writing Studies, and her teaching and research interests include rhetorics of health and medicine; feminist rhetorics; and composition pedagogy and theory. She earned her Ph.D. in Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture at Louisiana State University. Her work has appeared in Women's Studies in Communication, Gender and Society, and Literature and Medicine. 

How to Apply

Prospective students are encouraged to apply prior to
July 1st for the Fall Semester, November 15th for Spring Semester, and April 1st for Maymester and Summer Semesters. 

View more information from The Graduate School


  • Undergraduate major in English
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale) on all undergraduate work

One official copy of all transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions should be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office at the time of application.

The application must also be supported by two letters of recommendation from referees who know the student's work well and who are qualified to comment on its quality. The letters should be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office (letters may be mailed or faxed):

Graduate Admissions Office
Georgia College & State University
Campus Box 107
Milledgeville, GA 31061

A 10-15 page critical essay in English must also be submitted with your application. Writing samples should be submitted directly to:

Dr. Julian Knox
MA Program Coordinator 
Department of English and Rhetoric
Arts & Sciences 3-04
Georgia College & State University 
Campus Box 44
Milledgeville, GA 31061           
478-445-3509 English Graduate Office

Students who do not meet requirements for regular admission may be admitted provisionally.

Information about Graduate Assistantships


Graduate Consultant

Interdisciplinary Writing Coordinator

Resources Coordinator

M.A. Seminars

Graduate Seminars

All MA students must take four 6000-level seminars:

  1. ENGL 6601 Methods of Research (3 semester hours)
  2. ENGL 6680 Graduate Seminar in Studies in Literature (3 semester hours)
  3. ENGL 6685 Graduate Seminar in Critical Approaches to Literature (3 semester hours)
  4. ENGL 6690 Variable Topics (3 semester hours)

All students should take ENGL 6601 as soon as possible, preferably in the first term of graduate work. ENGL 6601 is a prerequisite for ENGL 6970 Thesis.

Previous Graduate Seminars 

ENGL 6601 Methods of Research. Dr. Bruce Gentry.

Description and Goals: This course is an introduction to the fields contained in the beautiful catch-all term "English." We will survey the practicalities of studying English and building a career around English. Students will also produce examples of scholarly work using texts of major American short stories—scholarly work that is informed by thinking about issues in the profession. Conferences: Much of this course will be conducted as an independent-study course with conferences in support of your research work. Instead of having two classes of an hour and fifteen minutes in a given week, you will sometimes be asked to come to my office (or to our classroom) for a fifty-minute, individualized conference once a week. We will work on our scheduling during the first week or so of the course. Individual conferences must be rescheduled if you find you are not ready for them at the originally scheduled time.

Required Texts:

  • Joyce Carol Oates, ed., The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
  • David G. Nicholls, ed., Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Ross Murfin and Supriya M. Ray, The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms
  • Recommended but not required: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th ed.

ENGL 6680 Graduate Seminar in Studies in Literature: Medieval Heroes and Monsters. Dr. Craig Callender.

In this course we will study major works of medieval literature from Germany, Scandinavia, and England. The texts originate from four cultural/linguistic traditions: Middle High German, Old Norse, Old Saxon, and Middle English. Because the scope of medieval literature is broad, it is impossible to cover every cultural and linguistic tradition in one semester. Thus, I have (somewhat regrettably) excluded Old English and Old High German. As the title of the course indicates, we will be paying particular attention to medieval Germanic conceptions of heroes and monsters, but the texts will compel us to consider other important notions as well, including kinship, religion, and the virtues of chivalry.

ENGL 6685 Graduate Seminar in Critical Approaches to Literature: Ecocriticism. Dr. Katie Simon.

This is an interdisciplinary critical seminar for graduate students that serves as a broad introduction to ecocritical approaches to literature, and to the topic of the environment in literature. We will together explore foundational and newer critical voices in the emergent field of ecocriticism, grounding our analysis in literary works that focus thematically on nature, writ large. Topics will include the social construction of nature; exploration and settler-colonialism; the pastoral; ecofeminism; environmental justice; deep ecology; natural (and unnatural) disasters; dark ecology; and theories of space and the built environment. We will explore fiction, autobiography, creative non-fiction, and poetry. Everyone will write several critical summaries and lead several class discussions. Each student will also engage in a substantial research project tailored to their own academic interests, and this will culminate in a final paper and presentation. Exceptionally-prepared undergraduate students and those outside the English major welcome with professor’s permission.

Required Texts:

  • Ken Hiltner, ed., Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader (Routledge)
  • Greg Gerrard, Ecocriticism (Routledge)
  • Margaret Fuller, Summer on the Lakes, in 1843
  • Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod
  • Natasha Tretheway, Beyond Katrina
  • MLA Handbook, 8th ed.
  • A number of shorter critical readings by Timothy Morton, Jane Bennett, Lawrence Buell, Annette Kolodony, Paula Gunn Allen, Leslie Marmo Silko, Dana Phillips, Susan Howe, Lance Newman, Paul Outka, Monique Allewaert, and others.

ENGL 6690 Variable Topics: Women and Myth. Dr. Mary Magoulick.

This graduate seminar, Women and Myth, examines from a feminist perspective how women are portrayed in classical myths (like Demeter, Persephone, Circe, Dinah, Ariadne, etc.). We will read and consider some literature from the ancient world, and scholarship about that time, as well as reading some contemporary retellings/adaptations inspired by women's mythic traditions and characters (like Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad & Doris Lessing's The Memoirs of a Survivor). Ancient and contemporary works of literature (including myths, novels, poems, and films) will be examined via theory connected to both mythology and feminism. Each student will lead class discussion (including background research on the associated text) for at least one of the assigned readings. Each student will also present on one non-class-example of a woman (fictional or real) somehow connected to myth, ideally one with an associated text. Much of the class will be run seminar-style (with in-depth discussion based on readings and films). Along with two graded presentations (one engaging the class in discussion), students will write two shorter response essays and one longer researched essay, critically engaging work from class in each.

Required Texts

  • Aeschylus. Orestia
  • Atwood, Margaret. The Penelopiad
  • Eller, Cynthia. The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory
  • Lefkowitz, Mary. Women in Greek Myth
  • Lessing, Doris. The Memoir of a Survivor
  • Miller, Madeline. Circe: A Novel
  • Renault, Mary. The King Must Die: A Novel
  • POEMS: Homeric Hymn to Gaia, Louise Gluck, "Persephone the Wanderer," plus others as assigned
  • FILMS: Agora (2009: Alejandro Amenabar); The Mundane Goddess (2014: 10 mm short); Persephone (2014, 22 min); The Trojan Women (1971; 105 min); Medea (von Trier 1987; 76 min)
  • Recommended: Armstrong, Karen. A Short History of Myth
M.A. Thesis Option

Students who choose the thesis option should seek out a member of the English Graduate Faculty as a thesis advisor after they have completed 18 semester hours.

Thesis Committee
The thesis committee consists of the thesis advisor and two other faculty members. One of these two committee members must be from the English Graduate Faculty; the other may be from the Graduate Faculty in another department.

Writing and Defending the Thesis:

  • The student should develop a two-page thesis proposal under the direction of the thesis committee.    
  • The thesis must demonstrate scholarly research on a literary topic of considerable depth, should normally have between 50 and 100 pages of text, and should also include a comprehensive list of works cited.                       
  • The thesis should be prepared in the documentation style recommended by the Modern Language Association and should meet the criteria for theses as established by the University.
  • Copies of the completed thesis in unbound form should be submitted to the thesis committee for a critical reading at least four weeks before the end of the semester in which the student completes all requirements for the degree.
  • The oral defense of the thesis should be held at least two weeks before the end of the relevant semester. The defense will normally take at least one hour and will demonstrate the student's knowledge of the thesis topic and the implications of the thesis for the general study of literature.
  • After the defense, the student should make final corrections to the thesis as soon as possible. Theses will be accepted digitally, and the MA in English thesis will conform to current MLA style. See the Graduate Coordinator for additional information. The original copy of the signature page should be signed by the members of the thesis committee, the Graduate Coordinator, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College. To upload your thesis as a pdf on the library’s Knowledge Box, please contact Holly Croft, Digital Archivist, in Special Collections. She can be reached at holly.croft@gcsu.edu, 478-445-2097. The department recommends that Masters theses be copyrighted and embargoed for at least two years if students wish to publish the work. Please discuss this with the Graduate Coordinator or the Thesis Advisor. The Graduate Coordinator will not sign the release for graduation until the capstone requirement is fulfilled. To see examples of recent MA Theses archived in Knowledge Box, go here

For additional information on requirements and deadlines, please see the graduate catalog or contact the Graduate Coordinator.

M.A. Non-Thesis Option

Students who choose the non-thesis option submit a writing portfolio after they have passed the comprehensive exam.

Portfolio Requirements

  • The writing portfolio must be at least 35 pages. 
  • It must include a brief reflective essay as its introduction, followed by revisions of three research papers written during the student's course of study in the English MA Program at Georgia College.
  • The portfolio must include the original and revised versions of the papers.

The papers included in the portfolio should illustrate the student's finest scholarly work and must demonstrate an appropriate level of disciplinary competence and scholarly expertise.

The introduction should describe the papers selected and reflect on the development of the student as a scholarly writer and professional.  

Because the rhetorical situation of the portfolio is different from a term paper, revisisions should engage an audience of scholars in diverse literary fields with no knowledge of the original course's context and content.

The portfolio should be submitted to the MA Coordinator for a critical reading at least four weeks before the end of the semester in which the student completes all requirements for the degree, and will be awarded a pass with distinction, pass, or fail by a committee consisting of members of the English Graduate Faculty. Students whose portfolio is not awarded a passing grade may revise and resubmit the portfolio during the following fall or spring semester.


Q: Who should I contact for more information about the Master of Arts in English Program at Georgia College?

A:    Dr. Julian Knox
       MA Program Coordinator 
       Department of English
       Georgia College & State University 
       Campus Box 44 
       Milledgeville, GA 31061           
     English Graduate Office 478-445-3509

Q: What time are classes usually offered?

A: The majority of our courses are offered before 5pm, but during the fall and spring semesters there are also a few evening courses available.

Q: Are the required 6000 level graduate seminars offered during the summer?

A: We do not offer any of the required seminars during the summer.

Q: Is there a particular order that I should take the seminars in?

A: The program is designed so that English 6601, Methods of Research, should be the first seminar students take. If this is not possible, students should take this course as soon as they can.

Q: If I am an undergraduate in the English literature concentration, can I count some of my undergraduate coursework toward the English MA?

A: Yes. We offer an Accelerated BA to MA Program in English that undergraduates can apply for. Two courses during an undergraduate student's time can be designated for the "graduate option." Students can apply for the Accelerated Program any time, even before enrolling at Georgia College. For more information on this program, visit the catalog.