Full Funding

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

1.) All students admitted to the MA in English program will automatically receive a standard Graduate Teaching Assistantship contract, which provides full tuition remission and stipend of approximately $12,800 per year to cover living expenses. First-year GTAs teach WR 121, OSU’s first-year composition course. Based on School needs, first and second-year GTAs with appropriate training may be eligible to teach selected sections of advanced academic writing. They may also qualify as Teaching Assistants for large introductory film or literature courses, such as Introduction to Fiction or Introduction to Film Studies.

2.) All applicants will be considered for external GTA and GRA positions in academic and professional units beyond the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. Over the last five years, 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, the Graduate School, and the Writing Intensive Curriculum Program. These positions provide full tuition remission and a stipend of between $12,300 and $16,000 per year to cover living expenses.

3.) All applicants are automatically considered for Oregon State Provost Fellowships, which cover all of resident or non-resident tuition and provides a $24,000 stipend for living expenses during the first year. All Provost Fellows receive a standard GTA contract in their second year. We also nominate strong applicants for university-wide Graduate Scholarships to supplement the GTA contract, and we have a strong record of success in securing these awards.

In addition to tuition remission, all graduate students have the option to receive 89% coverage of health insurance costs for themselves and their dependents. Travel funds are also available to students who are presenting at an academic conference in their second year. Summer teaching or related work may be available for interested MA students. In Summer 2017, 2018 and 2019, for example, we were able to support summer teaching appointments for some MA students through a partnership between Beijing Normal University and OSU. The outbreak of COVID-19 has suspended this program, but we hope to reinstate it as soon as possible.

"What is a Metaphor?" A Guide for English Students and Teachers

Professor Tim Jensen answers the question "What is a Metaphor?" for the Oregon State Guide to English Literary Terms, a public education YouTube video series.

Distinguished Faculty

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, BucknellUP 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 the CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award.

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, 2016, 2017 and 2018, 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), Marie Wiley (MA 2016), Cole Crawford (MA 2017), and Ryan Lackey (MA 2018)! Cole Crawford's (MA 2017) thesis also went on to win the 2018 Western Association of Graduate Studies/ProQuest Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for his thesis "Respect the Gap: From Big to Boutique Data through Laboring-Class Poets Online." The Western Association of Graduate Schools comprises more than 90 member institutions offering master’s and doctoral degrees in the western United States, Canada and Mexico. Each year, WAGS and ProQuest offer the WAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award in two categories: Outstanding Thesis Non-STEM Award, and Outstanding Thesis STEM Award (Humanities, Social Science, Education, and Business).

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 Association for Latin American Art, Digital Humanities Summer Institute, Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, David Foster Wallace Conference, Northeast Modern Language Association, 21st Century Englishes Conference, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, Conference on Communication and Environment, and the Sirens Conference. Since Fall 2017, SWLF began 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.

In March 2019 the MA in English supported 8 students in traveling to Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany to take part in The Transatlantic Students Symposium, an annual partnership between OSU, Humboldt-University Berlin, and the University of Warsaw in Poland. Three students were scheduled to present at the 2020 Transatlantic Students Symposium, “The Legacy and Presence of Colonialism in the Transatlantic World,” but it was canceled due to COVID-19. We anticipate the continuation of this program when international travel becomes possible again.

Post-Graduate Success

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 six years, for example, MA students have been admitted into:

PhD programs at institutions such as University of Texas in Austin, Princeton University, Purdue University, University of Nevada in Reno, Emory University, Concordia University (Montreal), UCLA, Ohio State University, Syracuse University, the University of California Berkley, the University of Colorado, Temple University, University of Georgia, Texas Christian University, 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, Harvard University, Northwestern University, Western Carolina University, University of the Arts (Philadelphia), St. Martin’s University, Ashford University, Wisconsin Eau Claire, Texas Tech University, George Fox University, Northwest Arkansas Community College, 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.

Learning Outcomes of the MA in English

University-wide Graduate Learning Outcomes (GLOs) for Master’s Degree programs state the student shall:

  • Conduct research or produce some other form of creative work;

  • Demonstrate mastery of subject material;

  • Be able to conduct scholarly or professional activities in an ethical manner

Drawing upon the university-wide GLO language, the MA in English further specifies how these GLOs will be met in our program:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of the discipline by detailing the development and current practices of literary studies, rhetoric, or film.

    • (a) In the literature and film concentrations, the student’s knowledge of the medium will be sufficient to allow that student to contextualize and judge contemporary literature or film in a long continuum (as would be expected, for instance, of an editor, producer, or publishing professional); to describe literature or film in terms of major periods, practices, and/or genres (as would be expected, for instance, of a community college instructor); and to evaluate the significance of individual works in their cultural and intellectual contexts (as would be expected, for instance, of an archivist, curator, or bibliographer).

    • (b) In the rhetoric and writing concentration, the student’s knowledge of the history, theory, and practice of the medium will be sufficient to allow that student to explain, evaluate, and practice divergent pedagogical methods (as would be expected, for instance, of a writing teacher); to describe rhetoric contextually and comparatively (as would be expected, for instance, of a rhetorical ethnographer); and/or to historicize and theorize emerging forms of composition and expression (as would be expected, for instance, of a professional in the ever-expanding world of digital communication).

  2. Demonstrate mastery of the discipline by characterizing, instantiating, and critiquing the dominant critical theories, methodologies, and practices in the field. Mastery will be achieved and represented by the successful completion of ENG 514, Introduction to Graduate Studies, and, thereafter, by the inclusion of substantial critiques of the relevant scholarly literature in end-of-term essays and in the thesis.

  3. Conduct research that leads to a substantial original thesis, written over the course of the second year, in a subfield of the student’s choice. The thesis will be directed by a major professor in the subfield and additionally advised by two minor professors in related subfields.

  4. Conduct research that engages and responds to diverse audiences of scholars, students, and community members. This will be demonstrated through the thesis defense; through presentations at professional conferences; through internships and independent studies; through the use of research on pedagogical approaches to writing/literature/film in university teaching assignments and/or through intellectual events within the School (including the annual graduate student conference, seminar presentations, and scholarly talks).

  5. Perform all activities in an ethical manner. This will be demonstrated at the disciplinary level by the student’s ability in coursework and in written essays, to recognize and to appropriately document the prior scholarly conversation informing any given line of research or argument; by the student’s engagement, in coursework, with historically under- represented perspectives and a diverse canon of primary and secondary works in literature/writing/film; and by the use of unbiased language in written and oral scholarly conversation. Training in these areas will be provided by ENG514, Intro to Grad Studies, by the varied research methods and subfields addressed in courses, and by a curriculum that includes historically marginalized works.

These programmatic GLOs contribute to OSU’s three signature areas of distinction, which are defined as

  • Advancing the Science of Sustainable Earth Ecosystems,

  • Improving Human Health and Well Being, and

  • Promoting Economic Growth and Social Progress.

The application season for Fall 2020 admission is closed. The application deadline for Fall 2021 is December 28, 2020.

For questions about the program, please contact Program Assistant, Molly McFerran.