Degree Requirements

The department requires students to fulfill the following requirements for a Master’s Degree in English:

  • Eight courses (24 credit hours) with an average grade of B or above: at least 5 courses at the 700-level (graduate student courses), with three additional courses at the 600-level (advanced undergraduate) courses or 6 courses at the 700-level and 2 courses at 600-level. A number of credit hours are allotted for doing thesis research; these courses receive a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory only.
  • Foreign language requirement: Candidates for degrees are required to have a reading knowledge of a modern foreign or classical language. The student can meet this requirement by making a satisfactory grade in an advanced reading course in a foreign language taken in residence at the University or by satisfactorily passing a translation examination administered by the English department.
  • In the second year: by the time students have completed their course and language requirements, and upon recommendation of the English Department, they may apply for Degree Candidacy. At this point, the student will work with a thesis adviser; two additional faculty members will be added to the committee for the purpose of the thesis defense. Students are expected to complete their thesis with one additional semester’s work. Recent theses emerging from the program have been wide-ranging in their scope. Click to see some recent theses.


 See the department’s course listings for current and past graduate courses.

MA Program Handbook

English graduate students have created a handbook that includes information about the MA program at Wake Forest, campus resources, and living in Winston-Salem. View a PDF of the handbook here.

You can also find information about the Graduate School’s requirements and the English MA program in the Graduate Bulletin, located here: