BA/MA Accelerated Degree

  • In the second semester of the junior year, prospective students submit application materials (statement of purpose, writing sample, 3 letters of recommendation) by April 15 (or October 15 for spring admission) to Applicants will be notified of Admissions Committee decision by May 1.
  •  Senior year of the BA, admitted students take two 500 level courses that will count toward undergraduate degree hours.
  • Upon graduation from the BA, the Registrar’s Office will grant credit for those 6 hours toward the MA degree. If for some reason the student decides not to continue on to the MA, he or she will graduate with the BA requirements met.
  • The student will be officially admitted to the MA program in the summer semester so he/she may take graduate coursework offered that term.
  • The remaining required hours for the MA will be fulfilled during the first year in the graduate program.
  • The following summer, the student will defend their thesis and take the comprehensive exam
  • The student need not complete the BA/MA degree in five years if they need extra time to complete coursework, exams or the thesis.


33 credit hours (27 hours coursework + 6 thesis hours)

  • ENG 640: Critical Readings and Methods
  • ENG 641: Advanced Research and Methods
  • One course in literary theory (ENG 642, 644 or 744)
  • Four courses in four different distribution areas (American Lit to 1890, British Lit to 1660, British Lit 1660-1890, British & American Lit 1890-1960, Literatures in English after 1960, Non-traditional Literatures in English)
  • Two electives
  • ENG 698: Thesis (6 hours)

Additional requirements and guidelines:

  • Students must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language. For further information on the foreign language requirement, please click here.
  • 500-level classes count towards a University of Southern Mississippi master's degree only with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, and at least 6 hours must be at the 700-level.
  • Students must take ENG 690: Teaching Freshman Composition if they hold an assistantship which includes teaching as one of their duties. ENG 690 hours count as part of the required hours for degree completion. Students must successfully complete a Master’s Comprehensive Examination in August, after the first year of study. The exam may be retaken once.
  • Students must complete a Master’s thesis. The Master’s thesis is an article-length critical essay that emerges from a paper produced during the first year of study and that will be revised and developed during the course of ENG 641.



Note: We currently offer no graduate courses online.