Curriculum & Requirements

Coursework and Credit Requirements
The following requirements apply to students in all programs:
  • All graduate students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework.
  • Only graduate courses completed with a grade of A or B (or Pass, for P/ NC courses) will count towards the degree. 
Each of the three Master’s degrees in English has distinctive requirements: 
  • MA Literature & Language and MS students must take 601 in their first semester, 613 in their second semester, and 695 in their final semester. They must also complete at least three 600-level seminars.
  • MA Literature & Language students must take at least 24 of their graduate credits in English. 
  • MS students must take at least 18 of their graduate credits in English courses and must take 6 credits in graduate Education courses, and they may take the remaining 6 credits in either or another field. 
  • MA TESOL students must complete 17 semester hours of required graduate English TESOL courses (Eng. 580, 581, 582, 583, 584, 614), and at least 6 additional semester hours from other graduate courses (not including English 699) in the English Department. The remaining 7 semester hours may be graduate courses in the English or Education Departments.
Before completing 16 graduate credit hours, students must submit the original and 3 copies of the Application for Admission to Candidacy form, which may be downloaded from the English Graduate website, to the WSU Office of School of Graduate Studies. A copy must be given to the Director of School of Graduate Studies in English. On the Candidacy form, students may transfer towards their degree up to 10 credit hours of approved, pertinent graduate coursework from other institutions and up to 12 graduate credit hours of approved, pertinent coursework from WSU Graduate Special Student coursework. Relevant transcripts must be included for such transferred graduate credit. If any changes are made to the Application for Admission to Candidacy form, a Supplement to Candidacy form, which may be downloaded from the WSU Office of School of Graduate Studies website, must be filed with the Office of School of Graduate Studies, and a copy must be given to the Director of School of Graduate Studies in English.

All graduate students must complete a portfolio and the portfolio course (695). The portfolio is designed to be a final presentation of both breadth and depth of mastery in the discipline. Final portfolios include the following materials:

Introductory Statement: The introductory statement is a critical reflection that articulates a vision of how a student’s graduate coursework relates to their future goals.  The statement could articulate professional objectives, explore artistic vision, situate a body of work within a scholarly framework, etc. The statement ought to point towards professional plans and articulate how the collection of work shows mastery in the discipline. 

Supporting Evidence for this introductory statement:
These materials must include:
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A Publishable Work that is a significant contribution to the field related to the student’s professional aspirations. A traditional scholarly article is not the only option. Publishable work may also include pedagogical tools/texts/electronic materials that have been reviewed and vetted. This may be a selection or chapter from a Master’s thesis.
  • An Annotated Bibliography with 20-25 scholarly works that support the introductory statement. [A precise description is forthcoming and will be included in the course materials for the Portfolio class]
  • One additional supporting piece (TAs must submit a teaching philosophy. All other graduate students may select from the following: a teaching philosophy, a pedagogical tool, another substantial revised seminar paper or research work, a creative work, or another piece at the discretion of the School of Graduate Studies Committee.)  

Presentation of a paper at the Life and Work of the Scholar Graduate Symposium. The paper presented can be based on the publishable work included in the portfolio.

The department’s School of Graduate Studies Committee and the instructor of 695 will assess the portfolios on a Pass/Fail system.  If a student fails the portfolio, the student will revise and defend the revised portfolio in front of select members of the graduate committee. Students have only one opportunity to revise and must do so within one semester. Plagiarism will result in immediate failure of the portfolio and dismissal from the program. 

All graduate students must fulfill the graduate research requirement through taking either 601 or 614 and through writing a Master’s thesis or fulfilling the Non-Thesis Option.

During their second fulltime semester, students must submit to the Director of School of Graduate Studies in English the Thesis/Non-Thesis form.

Students enrolled in the graduate program through an agreement with an international partner institution may be required to select the Non-Thesis Option.

Students who have taken thesis credits may switch to the Non-Thesis Option, but they must submit a:

Students who select the Master’s thesis option may choose to write a scholarly thesis on a literary topic, a scholarly thesis on a linguistics or TESOL topic, or a creative thesis with a scholarly introduction. Descriptions of various types of theses may be found on the English Graduate Website, as may further information about the thesis prospectus, the thesis forms, and the typical thesis-writing schedule. Students who intend to write a Master’s thesis must secure a director, finish a prospectus, find two thesis readers, have the prospectus approved by the director and two readers, and submit to the Director of School of Graduate Studies in English the Prospectus Submission & Thesis Committee form before the summer between their first and second fulltime academic years.

A student may not register for 699: Arranged Course: Thesis Credits until this form has been filed. After writing and revising the thesis in consultation with their director and readers, thesis students must defend their theses and complete the bindery process at least one month before the anticipated graduation date.

The Application for Graduation and related paperwork must be submitted before the deadlines indicated on the WSU Academic Calendar, and all English Department requirements for graduation must be met no later than one month prior to graduation.