Master of Arts Degree in English Thesis Option

Students interested in pursuing a Thesis Option in English should consult with the MA Graduate Advisor of Record and a prospective supervising faculty member early in their Programs of Study. University-wide requirements for Thesis Option (Option I) are detailed in the UTSA Graduate Catalog. The Thesis Option in English is consistent with these requirements, and it is the student’s responsibility to follow the University-wide requirements.

Program of Study and the Thesis Option

  1. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credit hours in an approved program of study with a grade point average of 3.5 or better, upon submission and approval of a thesis proposal to a Thesis Director and the MA Graduate Program Committee, may elect to include ENG 6983,6 Master’s Thesis in their 12 elective hours. Students choosing to write a creative thesis must have completed, among their approved electives, 6 hours of ENG 6043 Creative Writing or the equivalent; at least 3 of these 6 hours must be in the genre of the thesis. Students may enroll in ENG 6983 only after successfully completing the Master's Comprehensive Examination.
  2. Before registering for thesis hours students must have met all conditions of their admission to the MA Program in English, as verified by the MA Graduate Advisor of Record.
  3. Students may enroll in ENG 6983 in consecutive semesters or in ENG 6986, but only six hours of thesis can be applied to a MA degree in English. The student must be enrolled in each term in which the thesis is in progress.

Intent to Write a Thesis

  1. Students who choose to write an MA Thesis in English must submit a “College of Liberal and Fine Arts Intent to Write a Thesis” form, obtained from the English graduate office.  This form must be signed and dated by all members of the thesis committee and returned to the English graduate office no later than the last class day of the semester before the first semester in which the student intends to enroll in Master’s Thesis.
  2. Students must also obtain a “Guide for the Preparation of a Master’s Thesis at the University of Texas at San Antonio,” available in the UTSA Office of Graduate Studies and online here.

Master’s Thesis Committee

  1. The Master’s thesis committee will consist of no fewer than three members of the UTSA Graduate Faculty, normally members of the English Graduate Faculty. The supervising professor, who is also Chair of the thesis committee, must be a member of the English Graduate Faculty. 
  2. The thesis committee must be approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
  3. The Master’s thesis committee is charged with helping the student to develop a thesis topic, directing the student during the course of thesis preparation, and providing the student with feedback on drafts of the written thesis. The committee must approve the thesis for course credit to be granted.

Writing the Thesis

  1. In consultation with chair and committee members, the student may elect to write one of two types of thesis:  A) a substantial researched analytical study of some issue or problem in English literature, language, or rhetoric; the study should reflect the student’s ability to comprehend, synthesize, and extend relevant primary and secondary literature. B) a substantial work or group of creative works which is designed as a book project, a minimum of 50 pages of poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction. Students who choose to write a creative thesis must have completed at least 6 hours of ENG 6043: Creative Writing or the equivalent at UTSA.
  2. The student should consult with the chair of his/her thesis committee to establish an appropriate writing schedule. Both the student and the committee chair are responsible for ensuring that drafts of thesis chapters are circulated to committee members in a timely fashion. The chair and the committee members are responsible for assessing the progress of the thesis and providing constructive feedback.
  3. Students should anticipate that writing the thesis is a process of continual revision, and should allow sufficient time for the committee to read and respond to various stages of the development of the thesis.  Committee members should return their evaluations to the student and the committee chair as expeditiously as possible.  The committee will convene as often as necessary to discuss the student’s progress and how best to advise the student. This is especially important in cases where committee members disagree about the quality of the thesis or when committee members agree that portions of the thesis require substantial improvements.

Approval of the Thesis

  1. A preliminary draft must be submitted for approval by the Thesis Chair no later than 45 calendar days before final examinations of the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.  This first draft should demonstrate the student’s understanding of the preparation guidelines and it is understood the text is still being modified.
  2. A final, formatted version of the thesis must be submitted to the supervising professor and Thesis Committee no later than 20 calendar days before final examinations of the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.  If approved by the chair and all members of the Thesis Committee, this final copy will be forwarded to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, College of Liberal and Fine Arts.  The Associate Dean will assess the formatting of the thesis and return it to the student should corrections be required.
  3. On issues of format, refer to “Guide for the Preparation of a Master’s Thesis at the University of Texas at San Antonio.”

Submission of the Thesis

  1. Once the thesis is accepted by the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, the student must obtain all necessary signatures on the Thesis Approval Pages provided by the College.
  2. The student must deliver five correctly formatted and correctly reproduced final thesis copies (complete with signed Thesis Approval Pages) to the Office of Graduate Studies at least 10 days before the last day of classes in the semester in which the student intends to graduate.

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