About Our Program The Master of Arts (MA) program in English Literature equips graduate students with
the knowledge and skills necessary both to the outstanding teacher and to the well-prepared
candidate for further graduate study while providing for personal and professional
enrichment through advanced study of literature. Master's candidates follow a course
of advanced study that leads to a comprehensive knowledge of English and American
literature. Candidates are also given training in the principles of literary criticism
and in the use of bibliographic tools so that they will have a general competence
in criticism and research.
Our program has been a leader in developing innovative and interdisciplinary courses
that target the changing career needs of our student body. We provide enrolled students
with expansive experiential learning opportunities to further their education through
co-operative internships (including an internship with Dzanc Publishers), research assistantships, and mentorship programs. Recent graduates have found success
as media designers, high school teachers, PhD candidates, and community college faculty,
among other career paths.
The English department at Wichita State University boasts a broad and flexible program
of courses that are central to a liberal arts education. Our curriculum regularly
offers traditional and online courses in British and American literature, major authors,
the genres of drama, poetry, and fiction, image literacy in film and graphic novels,
publishing, teaching practicums, digital humanities, professional, technical, and
scientific writing, linguistics, and many more!
"Pursuing a Master’s degree in English has been the best thing I have done for my
career as a teacher. Because of the program and the English department at WSU, I’ve become a more conscientiousteacher, reader, and writer. The professors have allowed me the freedom and flexibility to apply the content
knowledge to my own craft of teaching, which has benefitted my students directly."
Applications for the MA program are accepted on a continuous basis. However, the MA program deadline for applications for Graduate Teaching Assistantships
are February 10 for Fall admissions and October 1 for Spring admissions. While applications
for teaching assistantships will be considered after the deadlines if the department
has additional assistantships to award, all applicants are advised to make every attempt
to submit their materials before the deadline dates.
Applicants must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School, with the additional
requirement that they have a 3.000 grade point average in their previous work in English
courses. Successful candidates typically have completed 24 credit hours in English
and American literature or in other work acceptable to the Department of English at
the time of admissions. Applicants with fewer than 24 credit hours may be prescribed additional undergraduate credit hours
by the Graduate Coordinator. Courses in freshman composition, grammar, teaching methods, journalism, speech, etc.
may not be included in the required 24 hours. Exceptions may be made for outstanding
students who have majored in related fields.
Applicants who earned their undergraduate degrees more than ten years before the time
of application must be interviewed by the Graduate Coordinator before admission to
the degree program. Applicants who have earned degrees at institutions in countries
in which English is not the native language of instruction must score at least 600
paperbased, or 100 Internet-based on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
Examination, or an overall band score of 7.5 on the IELTS before being admitted to
the MA degree program in English.
The MA program offers teaching and research assistantships with full or partial tuition
waivers. Research asssistantships are typically offered to advanced students whereas
the teaching assistantships are available to all admitted graduate students and awarded
on a competitive basis. Interested applicants are thus strongly encouraged to make every attempt to submit their materials before the deadline dates of February
10 for Fall admissions and October 1 for Spring admissions.
In addition to these assistantship opportunities, the MA program offers the MA Fellowship,
awarded on a competitive basis to students with advanced standing, and the Gordon
Parks Fellowship, which provides financial support to students who might be otherwise
unable to pursue further graduate instruction. The Graduate School also offers additional
awards to full and part time students.
In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate School, the MA program
requires that applications be accompanied by a 500 word statement of purpose which addresses motivation for graduate study, degree goals, and qualifications that
make the applicant likely to succeed as an English graduate student. GRE results are
not required by the Graduate School or the Department of English at Wichita State
Interested applicants must apply online through the Graduate School's online application
system, CollegeNet. The 500-word statement will need to be uploaded at this time. GTA application materials
for the MA program, including the supporting writing sample and letters of recommendation,
should be sent to the Graduate Coordinator directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The MA degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, including the successful completion
of either the Master’s Thesis (up to 6 credit hours) or Master’s Portfolio (3 credit
hours). The Master’s Thesis is intended for students interested in an intensive, independent
research experience while the Master’s Portfolio is intended for students interested
in developing documents more reflective of the diverse work they have completed while
enrolled in the degree program.
Students must complete 24 hours of credit at Wichita State within the English department.
If the credit to be transferred comes from a program in which the student took a graduate
degree, the time limits imposed by the Graduate School on other transfers of credit
will not apply. Credit for transfer courses will not count toward the required number
of courses at the 700 level or above unless the transfer hours are of appropriate
level from Kansas Board of Regents institutions.
All students must complete the following core coursework:
1). 3 credit hours in ENGL 700, Introduction to Graduate Study in English 2). 12 credit hours in period courses in literary seminars, of which 6 hours must
be in literature before the 20th century and 3 hours must be in literature after the
20th century. Of the 12 credit hours, students must take at least one seminar in British
and American literature each.
ENGL 700 normally should be included in the student’s first semester of graduate study.
At least seven courses towards all degree plans must be at the 700 level or above.
The remaining hours may be taken at any level 500 or above. Requests for exceptions
to this rule may be granted by the graduate coordinator in special circumstances.
Candidates completing 500- or 600-level English courses for graduate credit must satisfy
a higher differential of performance relative to undergraduate students in the same
courses, with the nature of this differential set by professor. With graduate coordinator
approval, courses with a minimum of 80 percent the content meeting a requirement can
occasionally be used to satisfy a requirement other than the one for which they are
listed. No single course can be used to satisfy more than one requirement. A major
author(s) course cannot be used to satisfy a period requirement. With approval of
the graduate coordinator, a course can be repeated once for credit if at least 80
percent of the content is different. With graduate coordinator approval, one elective
may be taken in another department or college, such as the College of Education.
In addition to the above core requirements, thesis students select 9-12 credit hours
in elective coursework chosen in consultation with the graduate coordinator and must
complete 3-6 credit hours of the master’s thesis (Engl 890); a maximum of 6 hours
of Engl 890 can be applied toward the degree. The Master’s Thesis is intended to be
a demonstration of the student’s ability to formulate a problem in literary study,
to pursue its solution through appropriate scholarly, critical, and analytical techniques,
and to present the results in suitable written form. Although the essay need not be
thought of as a publishable contribution to knowledge, it should develop a new interpretation,
reinterpret available information, present a new approach to the given material, and/or
refute or modify some interpretation(s) previously appearing in print.The Master’s
Thesis would normally extend to a length (exclusive of title page, preliminaries,
bibliography, appendices, etc.) of 25 to 50 pages.
In addition to the above core requirements, portfolio students select 12 credit hours
in elective coursework chosen in consultation with the graduate coordinator and must
complete 3 credit hours of the master’s portfolio (Engl 895); a maximum of 3 hours
of Engl 895 can be applied toward the degree. The Master's Portfolio should present
the student's best work and be reflective of their course of study. Students submit
a self-reflective statement, an sample of academic writing in the form of a seminar-length
or conference-length paper, and an individualized project. This project should be
representative of the student's professional and/or academic interests and should
reflect work begun, or methodologies explored, in prior coursework. As coursework
in our program is varied, students can specialize in literary studies, linguistics,
composition studies, digital and visual rhetoric, professional writing, and pedagogy,
among other areas.
The MA degree requirements include a foreign language component that MA candidates
may fulfill prior to being accepted into the program or while receiving the degree.
Candidates may fulfill the department's foreign language requirements in any one of
the following ways:
By submitting a transcript showing the completion with a grade of C- or better of
at least 15 hours of undergraduate work in a single foreign language or the equivalent
as defined by the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
By completing the required 15 hours of undergraduate work in a single foreign language.
By taking a test administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages
and Literature in the elected foreign language, with a successful score determined
by the English department.
By taking at WSU or submitting a transcript showing completion of 6 hours of Linguistics
with a grade of C- or better.