Graduate Studies


We offer two graduate programs in English, the MA and the PhD, both of which provide a comprehensive education in the field of English Studies. With particular strengths in multicultural American literatures; rhetoric, composition, and technical and professional writing; and critical theory, our award-winning faculty work closely with students to design a program of work that fits their particular scholarly interests and career goals.

Our diverse course offerings will soon be connected by a sequence of themes, beginning with “Imagining New Worlds” in Fall 2020. Faculty will develop their courses in light of this theme and in conversation with one another, thus providing dialogue and coherence across subdisciplines and methods as various as archival scholarship, composition studies, digital humanities, feminism, literary studies, posthumanism and environmental studies, race theory, and rhetoric.

Each theme will be synchronized with the English Department’s annual lecture series, the Hermanns, so that conversations begun in classrooms can flourish and grow in a public-facing setting, informed by the work and presence of prominent scholars. As one theme is phased out after a two-year period, another takes its place, the emergence of a new theme periodically renewing and rejuvenating our course offerings.


While many of our students are enrolled full time in graduate work, our program also accommodates working professionals, offering the option of part-time enrollment and the flexibility of both day and evening classes.

Our close-knit department fosters a vibrant community of learning. An active graduate student association, EGSA, sponsors events throughout the year, including writing groups, get togethers, and information-sharing panels on milestones and challenges like comprehensive exams and the academic job search. A yearly highlight is the annual graduate student conference that EGSA organizes every spring. Department research clusters comprising faculty and advanced doctoral students allow for shared intellectual inquiry in areas such as posthumanism and the scholarship of teaching and writing in English.

Students in our program have multiple opportunities for professional development. The department offers graduate courses in the teaching of composition as well as literature. Doctoral students supported by a teaching assistantship teach the first-year writing sequence, and they often have the opportunity to teach a sophomore-literature course as well. Students in our program, both MA and PhD, may also work as consultants in the Writing Center. Advanced doctoral students can gain administrative experience working as Assistant Directors in the Writing Center or the First-Year Writing Program.

Our graduates are employed in tenure-stream positions at liberal arts colleges and research universities; full-time and tenure-stream positions in community colleges and area secondary schools, both public and private; administration in secondary and higher education; publishing; and technical writing, among other career paths. Our MA students wishing to pursue the PhD have been very successful in their application process, many of them receiving excellent offers from premier PhD programs across the nation, while some of our MA students pursue advanced graduate study in our own nationally-ranked doctoral program.


Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) are the primary source of support for graduate study in our Department. Contingent upon available funding, secondary forms of support for graduate students in English may include dissertation fellowships and travel awards.
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Graduate Faculty

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