Graduate Studies

English

"Professors are adamant about challenging students to work outside of the familiar, to stand on original thought, and their passion is infectious. When I finished school, it was the work ethic and intellectual curiosity I gained in the program that allowed me to move to Chicago and 'live the dream' as a professional writer. The people you meet at WIU will shape your story well beyond graduation." - Cody Cunningham, M.A. 2016, Senior Copywriter at JLL Commercial Real Estate, Chicago

Program Overview

The Western Illinois University Department of English offers graduate-level study in literature, writing, and cultural studies. Our graduates pursue careers in areas such as business and education, including fields that demand practice and expertise in intensive writing, editing, and sophisticated literacies. Some students pursue the teaching of composition and literature at the secondary or community-college levels, while others pursue further graduate study in the humanities and in Ph.D. programs.

Why Choose English at WIU?

We offer individualized programs that encourage students to choose courses and projects tailored to their interests and scholarly and professional goals. While some students focus on literary studies, others work with literature and emerging new media, film, popular culture, professional editing, and composition/writing studies. All students take one required introductory course, consult with faculty to choose elective courses, consider independent studies and other opportunities, such as internships, and select an exit option.

Exit options offer a choice between writing a thesis, directed readings, or an applied project. These options help develop scholarly and professional skills by allowing students to cultivate expertise in one or more areas of English Studies.

Many students earn credits toward the degree by fulfilling internships in teaching, professional writing, library science, and other fields, while gaining practical experience in their area of concentration and establishing valuable professional connections.

Our Faculty

English Graduate Faculty offer courses in every area of English Studies, and publish in an array of traditional and emerging fields, including textual studies, new media, film, literary studies, and popular culture.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Our graduate students run the English Graduate Organization (EGO). Together, they plan the annual EGO Conference, a forum for the presentation of papers and the discussion of exciting topics in the company of nationally and internationally recognized scholars who give keynote addresses and interact with students during the conference. Additionally, EGO students attend regional and national conferences, organize roundtables and talks, plan local events such as picnics and softball games, and participate in other organizations on campus such as Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and events sponsored by the Interdisciplinary English and the Arts Society (IDEAS) based at WIU's Quad Cities campus.

Other Information

Recent graduates have made careers in copywriting, editing, technical writing, management, and public relations. Many of our graduates also teach writing in community colleges, or teach English abroad, while other students have entered Ph.D programs in English Studies, or Master’s programs in Library Science. Visit our website for student profiles and other information::www.wiu.edu/cas/english/graduate/index.php.

Quick View

Degrees Available:

  • M.A.

Locations:

  • Quad Cities
  • Macomb

Required GPA:

  • Cumulative: 2.75
  • Last 2 years: 3.00

Admission Requirements:

  • Goals Statement
  • Transcripts
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Writing Sample

Interesting Facts: Fall 2019

  • Currently enrolled: 26
  • International: 4
  • Minority: 4
  • Male: 9
  • Female: 17
  • Students with Assistantships: 15

Department Contact Information:

Simpkins Hall 129
309/298-1322