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To enable our School to provide full 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 a full tuition waiver and a stipend of approximately $13,800 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 ten 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 waivers 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 also cover all of resident or non-resident tuition and provide 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.
The keystone project for all MA students is the creation of a 40- to 60-page scholarly thesis that will be permanently housed in OSU's Valley Library. Closely mentored by one primary advisor and two additional faculty members, each student will complete this work in stages, beginning with a prospectus meeting in the spring term of their first year and concluding with a public defense of the thesis one year later.
Since 2011, six theses written by students in the MA program in English have been selected as OSU Outstanding Theses 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), Ryan Lackey (MA 2018), and Ikhzaan Saleem (2021)! Cole Crawford (MA 2017) 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."
MA Student Marisa Williams answers the question "What is a Motif?" for the Oregon State Guide to English Literary Terms, a popular public education YouTube video series sponsored by our School of Writing, Literature and Film.
MA students on our standard contract will have the opportunity to teach introductory composition classes and online composition classes. They may also have the opportunity to serve as graders for large literature or film classes. Before entering the classroom and throughout their time at OSU, these Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) receive continuous mentoring and sound support for their teaching through a sequence of professional development activities designed to 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). Upon graduation, they will have therefore obtained a diverse set of skills that will serve them well as they pursue work in a variety of pedagogical professions.
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 Distinguished Chair (University of Warsaw), an Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Fellowship (University of Edinburgh), and the CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award.
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, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, the Northeast Modern Language Association, the 21st Century Englishes Conference, the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, the 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.
MA students are also encouraged to pursue international networking opportunities. In March 2019, for example, 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. Since Summer 2017, OSU has also partnered with Beijing Normal University to bring their graduate and undergraduate students to Corvallis for an intensive set of lectures of literature, film, and cultural studies. We anticipate that OSU MA students will be able to apply to serve as GTAs for this program in summer 2024.
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 ten 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, UMass-Amherst, 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.
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:
Demonstrate mastery of the discipline by applying the 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).
Demonstrate mastery of the discipline by creating original scholarship that appropriately analyzes and contextualizes the object of study. 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.
Conduct research in order to appraise theoretical and/or critical traditions to contextualize original scholarship. 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). The thesis will be 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.
The application guide can be found here.
For questions about the program, please contact Program Assistant, Molly McFerran.