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Master of Arts in English at WIU-Quad Cities
The Department of English and Journalism offers graduate-level education in all areas of English studies. Our graduates pursue information-intensive careers in business and education, including those demanding intensive writing and editing, as well as secondary or community college teaching in composition or literature. Many also complete further graduate study in the humanities.
We offer individualized programs that encourage students to choose courses and projects tailored to their interests and career goals. While some students focus on literary studies, others work with literature and emerging new media, film, popular culture, professional editing, composition, and writing studies. All students take one required introductory course, and consult with faculty to choose elective courses, consider independent work such as internships, and select an exit option.
Many students earn credits with internships in teaching, professional writing, library science, and other fields, gaining hands-on experience and making valuable professional connections. In addition to the MA, we offer a post-baccalaureate certificate with three emphasis options: literary studies, professional writing, and teaching writing. These certificates offer students a chance to earn credentials as they complete their degrees.
Our graduate students run the English Graduate Organization (EGO). Together, they plan the ann
ual EGO Conference, presenting papers on exciting and emerging fields of study with scholars from around the country and the world. Additionally, EGO students attend regional and national conferences, plan local picnics, softball games, and more. In the Quad Cities, the Interdisciplinary English and the Arts Society (IDEAS) facilitates opportunities for students and faculty to come together to share their work and take part in other activities of interest to humanities students, and many English students also participate in activities sponsored by the Liberal Arts & Sciences Student Organization (LASSO).
We emphasize professional development, with workshops offered every semester. The MA program has successfully supported many students seeking professional development funding from the School of Graduate Studies. Graduates of the MA program are highly skilled speakers, writers, and readers. Recent graduates have made careers in editing, technical writing, management, and public relations. Many of our graduates also teach in community colleges, or teach English overseas. Students have also gone on to further graduate study in prestigious schools around the country, including programs leading to the Master of Library Science and the PhD in English Studies.
Scholarships, Awards, and Assistantships
Among many funding options, the program offers several fellowships that allow students to conduct independent research, scholarships that provide summer support, and awards that recognize student writing.
Assistantships provide strong educational and professional advantages, offering hands-on experience and close mentoring from faculty. Teaching assistants teach composition classes and work as consultants in the University Writing Center in Macomb, gaining valuable experience in teaching writing and interpersonal communication. All assistantships include a stipend and tuition waiver.
Western Illinois University is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people, including, but not limited to, minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities. WIU has a non-discrimination policy that includes sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, and veteran status.
The English Graduate Faculty offer cutting-edge courses in every area of English Studies, and publish innovative scholarship in traditional and emerging fields, including textual studies, writing studies, new media, film, literary studies, and popular culture.
All candidates must meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and must have a GPA of 3.0 in English courses taken above the required composition courses.
To apply, students are required to submit the following:
- The Graduate School application form available at wiu.edu/grad
- One official transcript for each college or university previously attended sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies
- One- to two-page personal statement articulating your larger purposes and career goals, and how an MA in English will further those goals
- Three letters of recommendation (may also be used for the assistantship application, if applicable)
- Ten- to 15-page scholarly writing sample such as an essay from an upper-division English course (please direct questions about this requirement to the program director)
- International students: Evidence of an overall TOEFL score of at least 580 paper-based, or 92 internet-based, or satisfactory completion of the WESL program
Students should review the guidelines for the preparation of application materials on our webpage before submitting applications.
Students working toward the MA in English work with their faculty supervisory committee to develop individualized plans of study. All students must satisfy three requirements totaling 30 semester hours (sh):
- One core course, ENG 500, Theory and the Practice of English Studies (3 sh)
- Seven elective courses (21 sh)
- Two-course equivalent exit option (6 sh), culminating in a thesis or examination
For recent course offerings, specifics about exit options, and recently completed theses, and further information, please see the English MA program webpages. The English Graduate Student Handbook is also an invaluable resource for answering many common questions.
"The Department of English and Journalism . . . has really encouraged me to explore and develop my interests, providing the necessary support for the projects, papers, and research that I’ve undertaken beyond the classroom. The faculty truly stand out in their willingness to work with students individually; they are invested in our success."
- Flannery Scott, MA, 2008, Graduate Student
For admissions process and general program information, contact Admissions, Western Illinois University–Quad Cities, 3300 River Drive, Moline, IL 61265, (309) 762-1495, WIU-QC-Admissions@wiu.edu, wiu.edu/qc.
For specific program questions, contact Christopher Morrow, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies in English, Department of English and Journalism, Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455, (309) 298-1322, firstname.lastname@example.org, wiu.edu/cas/english_and_journalism/graduate/.