Literature and Culture


Rhetoric and Comp


Film and Visual Studies

The MA program in English within the School of Writing, Literature, and Film allows graduate students to work closely with faculty while pursuing advanced study in literature, rhetoric, culture, and film.  MA students choose one of three of the above concentrations.

Program requirements are focused but flexible, ensuring that every student will be trained in current methodologies and will study contexts and interdisciplinary exchange as well as the primary texts of specific historical periods.

Program Highlights

Full Funding

To enable our School to fully fund our incoming students, the MA Program now offers three sources of financial support:

    • All applicants to the MA/English program are invited to apply for Graduate Teaching Assistantships, which provide full tuition remission and a living stipend.  First-year GTAs teach WR 121, OSU’s first-year composition course.  Based on School needs, second-year GTAs with appropriate training are eligible to teach selected sections of business/professional writing or apply to lead a discussion section for a lower-division literature course. 
    • All applicants will be considered for external GTA and GRA positions in academic and professional units beyond the School of Writing, Literature, and Film.  Last year, for example, MA students received GTA or GRA appointments in the College of Engineering, the Division of Outreach and Engagement, the Writing Center, the Academic Success Center, and the Writing Intensive Curriculum Program.
    • All applicants are automatically considered for Tuition Scholarships, which cover all of resident or non-resident tuition.

In addition to tuition remission, travel funds are also available to students who are presenting at a conference in their second year.


As members of a Carnegie-Recognized (R1) Institution, members of the MA faculty produce cutting-edge scholarship in their respective subfields, publishing at venues such as Cambridge UP, University of Michigan Press, Stanford UP, Cornell UP, Ohio State UP, University of Delaware Press, University of Virginia Press, Duke UP, University of Edinburgh Press, NYU Press, Routledge, Palgrave, Bucknell UP and WW Norton.

The faculty has also been awarded a number of international and national prizes and fellowships including the Morton W. Bloomfield Fellowship (Harvard University), a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grant (Digital Livingstone Project), a Fulbright Guest Professorship (University of Heidelberg), an Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Fellowship (University of Edinburgh), and a UC Humanities Research Initiative Fellowship (UC Irvine).


Thesis Experience

All MA students write original theses, closely mentored by one primary advisor and two additional faculty members. Theses give students the chance to complete a work of substantial original scholarship. In 2011, 2014, and 2016, a thesis written by a student in the MA program in English was selected as the OSU Outstanding Thesis of the Year across all disciplines. Recipients of this award are also submitted for competition for the Western States Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award. Congratulations to Liz Delf (MA 2011), Matt Dodson (MA 2014) and Marie Wiley (MA 2016)!


MA graduate student Wes Snyder defends his thesis on public proof.

ENG 514: Introduction to Graduate Studies

This course provides the full incoming cohort with the methodological foundation for graduate work and professionalization strategies while fostering a sense of community and building close working relationships among the graduate students.


Pedagogical Development

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) receive sound support for their teaching and its evolution through a sequence of professional development activities, which enhance their effectiveness (and often enjoyment) as instructors. 

In addition to the Assistantships offered within the School of Writing, Literature, and Film, students also have the opportunity to apply for a range of other teaching-related opportunities with the Writing Center, the Writing Intensive Curriculum program, or INTO-OSU (a program of English-oriented courses for international students).


Scholarly Connections

The School of Writing, Literature, and Film regularly hosts lectures and workshops for graduate students by prominent writers and critics, including events in the Critical Questions series.  The MA program also sponsors a graduate symposium, holds professional development workshops on subjects ranging from how to apply for scholarly conferences to job interview best practices, and nominates students for University-wide travel awards.  Recently, our students have presented papers at conferences held by a large number of organizations such as the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, the Cormac McCarthy Society, the Popular Culture Association, the Society for Cinema & Media Studies, Southwest English Symposium, Far West Popular Culture Association, and the College Composition and Communication Conference. In Fall 2016, SWLF will also begin to coordinate a set of academic, corporate and NGO internships that MA and MFA students may pursue during the academic year and during the summer between their first and second years of the program.


Guest lecturer Licia Fiol-Matta giving a talk on "A Queer Singer for the Nation: Voice, Gender, and Politics in Chavela Vargas”.

Strong Learning Outcomes

Our graduates have gone on to teaching or administrative positions at the secondary and university levels; to professional careers in business, government, and publishing; and to PhD programs.  Over the last five years, for example, MA students have been admitted into:

PhD programs at institutions such as Emory University, Concordia University (Montreal), Ohio State University, Syracuse University, Michigan State University, the University of Colorado, Purdue University, the University of New Mexico, Oklahoma State, TCU, University at Buffalo - SUNY, University of Oregon, University of Washington, and the University of Notre Dame.

Administration, teaching, or writing center positions at institutions including Oregon State University, Portland State University, Western Carolina University, University of the Arts (Philadelphia), St. Martin’s University, Ashford University, Wisconsin Eau Claire, Texas Tech University, Chemeketa Community College, Howard Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Portland Community College, Linn-Benton Community College, Yakima Valley Community College, South Puget Sound Community College, Kalama High School, and Alsea High School.

Management positions at companies and organizations such as the State of Oregon, Twilio, Zillow, VigLink, C2 Education, CTGI inc, The Federal Aviation Administration, and bepress.

 For questions about the program, please contact MA Director, Raymond Malewitz.