The Master’s Degree

The program is not accepting applications for the Master’s in English at this time.

This degree is available on campus.

The English Master’s degree is a liberal arts degree in English Studies with a focus on digital research, writing, and dissemination of knowledge. Students will concentrate in one of two areas within the degree: Digital Pedagogy or Digital Publishing.

Degree Requirements

Entrance Requirements

  • Candidates must meet UIS requirements for admission to graduate studies
  • Candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree in English or another related area of study
  • Candidates without a Bachelor’s Degree in English must have completed the minimum course work equivalent to an English minor (15-16 credit hours in English beyond first-year composition)
  • Candidates must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and an English GPA of 3.0 or higher. Candidates who have earned a GPA lower than 3.0 in English, in some cases and in consideration of all application materials, may receive conditional admission. They may be required to complete additional course work.
  • Candidates who are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent must receive a score of 580 or higher to be admitted.

Admissions process

  • UIS Online Graduate Application; UIS Downloadable Application (PDF)
  • Complete transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • English Department Application Form
  • A cover letter (one-two pages) explaining your interest in the MA program
  • Curriculum Vitae (two pages)
  • Names and contact information of three references, two of which need to be academic references
  • Writing Sample
    • For Digital Publishing concentration – a creative writing sample (10-15 pages of poetry of prose) and an analytical writing sample (10-15 pages) illustrating a sustained argument built from primary and secondary sources
    • For Digital Pedagogy concentration –  an analytic writing sample (10-15 pages) illustrating a sustained argument built from primary and secondary sources

Graduate Assistantships: Students are eligible to apply for Graduate Assistantships at UIS when admitted into a program. Students interested in an assistantship, which historically defrays some of the cost of tuition and fees and provides a stipend for living expenses, should indicate in the statement of intent their plans to apply for a GA position.


An academic advisor is assigned to assist students in developing appropriate courses of study. All students should consult their academic advisors before enrolling in courses; a plan of study must be completed by the end of the first semester a student is enrolled as a graduate student. Students may choose a different academic advisor at any time.

Grading Policy

Only courses in which students have earned a B- or better are accepted towards the M.A. degree in English

Tutorial (Independent Study) Credits

Graduate students are limited to four tutorial hours. A student may take a tutorial only if a course (s)he needs to graduate is not being offered within a two-year time period from when a full-time student first enrolled in courses. The tutorial credits may be taken online or on-campus. Part-time students may anticipate more difficulty accommodating their schedules.

Master’s Closure

The master’s degree program in English offers graduate students three closure options: the traditional thesis, a critical project, or a creative project. At closure, students must enroll in ENG 589 (one to four hours). This course may be repeated for a maximum of four credit hours. After initial registration in ENG 589, students must maintain enrollment until all four hours of closure credit have been accumulated. If the thesis or project is not completed by the time four hours of ENG 589 are accrued in continuing enrollment, students must register for ENG 590 (zero credit hours, one billable hour) in all subsequent fall and spring semesters until the thesis or project is complete.