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Department of English Graduate Studies

Overview & Programs

The graduate program in English at Washington State University supports students working toward advanced degrees at both the M.A. and Ph.D. levels. Students may elect to concentrate either in Literary Studies or Rhetoric and Composition. The English Department also offers graduate certificates in TESOL, Digital Humanities and Culture, and participates in WSU’s interdisciplinary American Studies Program. Along with courses in English, students are free to take specialized seminars in related disciplines such as History, Women’s Studies, Philosophy, and Political Science.


Graduate Programs in English

WSU’s English graduate program is one of the few programs in the nation that fully funds almost all of its M.A. and Ph.D. students. As a consequence, ours is a relatively small program: the total number of students at any given time ranges between 40 and 50, and the normal admission rate is roughly ten M.A. students and five or six Ph.D. students per year. Virtually all of our students receive support in the form of a Teaching Assistantship, which comes with a full tuition waiver and a nine-month stipend to cover room, board, and related expenses. M.A. students are guaranteed their Teaching Assistantships for two years, and Ph.D. students for five years. We also provide students with annual funding for travel to conferences, and opportunities exist within the Department for internships with our academic journals (ESQ and Poe Studies) and our computer lab.

Our time-to-degree figure for doctoral students is significantly lower than the national average. Our job placement rate, meanwhile, is significantly higher than the national average (see our Alumni & Job Placement page for details). We attribute our relative success in this regard to the fact that we provide rigorous academic and pedagogical preparation while simultaneously offering forms of mentoring and pre-professional training that enable our students to compete successfully in multiple postgraduate career paths.


If you are interested in learning more about our program, our faculty, or the opportunities afforded by graduate study in English at WSU, we encourage you to follow the links in the left-hand sidebar on this page. You are also welcome to contact, the current Director of Graduate Studies, Jon Hegglund (  or our Graduate Program Coordinator (, for additional information. We would be happy to help you contact current graduate students or faculty members, and we can also assist you in arranging a visit to campus.

Degrees offered:

Master of Arts (M.A.) Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Areas of concentration:

Rhetoric and Composition, Literary studies (British, American, and post colonial Anglophone literature)

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes for the English graduate program (both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees) include the following:

  • Demonstrate a broad and critical understanding of English Studies and its associated fields, including an intersectional engagement with diversity, equity, and oppression.
  • Develop and employ knowledge of diverse and specialized areas within English Studies in order to compose substantial academic projects.
  • Locate and synthesize primary and secondary texts in order to conduct original research under the guidance of faculty members with expertise in chosen fields of specialization.
  • Create academic and public texts and/or works that present new claims and original research.
  • Circulate original research findings in appropriate presentation venues, such as regional conferences, departmental colloquia, community engagement, and/or outreach.
  • Teach various courses that include writing, are informed by pedagogies of inclusion, and attend to social justice commitments in education.