The English Department at NDSU

The mission of the English Department at North Dakota State University is to cultivate understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of the English language, its speakers and writers, and its literatures and cultures, such that students and department members use the language creatively, critically, and effectively to participate ethically in civic and professional life.

In Memoriam

Dr. Muriel Brown
Nov. 11, 1937 - Jan. 20, 2020

The English Department mourns the passing of one of its finest. After suffering a stroke, Dr. Muriel Brown was first hospitalized from Jan. 8–17, 2020, and then moved to Bethany for hospice care, where she died on Jan. 20, 2020.

Dr. Muriel Brown first joined NDSU's Department of English as an Assistant Professor in September of 1974. In 1985, she sued the university for tenure and won! As an Associate Professor, she then stayed at NDSU for another 3 decades, eventually chairing the English Department for two terms, from 1997-2000 and then again from 2000-2003. Having earned her BA (magna cum laude) from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1958 and her MA (1960) and her PhD (1971) from the University of Nebraska, Dr. Brown regularly taught medieval literature and British literature surveys, as well as courses in women's literature and world literature.

Of her 82 years of life, Dr. Muriel Brown spent almost 40 in service to her students, colleagues, and the university, where she shared her love of literature and her commitment to education with several generations of NDSU graduates. Her legacy as the first woman chairing the department is underscored by the many students who remember her fondly, as a kind, knowledgeable, and generous teacher and as an honest and supportive mentor and by NDSU faculty who have described her as a wonderful, kind, and truly delightful colleague, a gentle presence on campus, and a force to be reckoned with when need be. She will be missed by us all.

“What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.”― Geoffrey Chaucer

Dr. Brown's funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Moorhead, with visitation from 2-3 pm and a memorial service at 3 pm. For more information, see the obituary below or contact Wright Funeral Home in Moorhead.<wbr />ries/death-notices/4877182-<wbr />Muriel-Brown


Grad Studies in English

We are accepting applications

The English Department offers a PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture and an MA in English. Both degrees provide a robust core in rhetoric, writing, literary, and cultural studies, while including practical and immersive learning experiences alongside innovative strategies to specialize within the program of study. 

Our graduate students come to us from five continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and North America. Representing over 15 countries (such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Uruguay, Russia, Germany and Italy), our students create a diverse community of engaged scholars. Together we are committed to learning, collegiality, cultural exchange, world citizenship, civility, and social outreach.

Deadline: February 1.

For more information email the Graduate Studies Director.


All required application materials must be received and processed by the Graduate School before your file is forwarded to the department for review. Incomplete files cannot be reviewed. It is your responsibility to make sure all materials have been received by the Graduate School. 

Required Application Materials

  1. A $35 application fee
  2. All official transcript(s) (grade report) 
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation (2 of which must be academic), addressing your abilities as a student and your potential for graduate work 
  4. An academic writing sample that demonstrates your abilities as a writer: a research paper (including citations) 
  5. A statement of purpose that includes the following:
    • how your education and/or life experience have prepared you for graduate work
    • research you plan to pursue
    • faculty members with whom you wish to study
    • coursework you plan to complete in the program
    • a sense of what you hope to do once you have completed a graduate degree in English
  6. A letter of interest in a teaching assistantship, describing your qualifications and prior experience, if any. If no teaching assistantship is desired, please state your source of outside funding.
  7. Official TOEFL or IELTS scores, English Proficiency Requirements for international applicant 
    • TOEFL ibT 100
    • IELTS 7

Note that the GRE is not required of any applicants. Interviews in person or via video software may be used to evaluate applicants to our graduate program. Application Deadline: February 1.

Once the department has completed its review, recommendations will be forwarded to the Graduate School and applicants will be notified. Final admission decisions are made by the Graduate School. 

For additional questions, contact the Graduate Program Director at

RRGSC 2020

"Writing Across Communities: From Poetry to Praxis" 

17th Annual Red River Graduate Student Conference | February 28-29, 2020 

North Dakota State University

About Andrea Wilson, our 2020 Keynote Speaker: 
Andrea Wilsonis the Founder & Executive Director of the Iowa Writers' House. A visual artist, writer, and storyteller, Andrea believes that creativity and expression define the beauty of the human experience.  In early 2014, she moved back to the UNESCO City of Literature to passionately pursue writing, only to feel disconnected from the very literary community that brought her home. The Iowa Writers' House started as an altruistic dream to create a springboard for all of those involved in using art and literature to connect themselves with the world. Today the organization reaches over 3000 writers, offers workshops and programs in both Iowa City and Des Moines, and has created strategic relationships connecting Iowa with festivals in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other Cities of Literature across the globe. Click here to read more about the Iowa Writers' House.

The registration fee for conference participation is $35 if submitted online by January 15. Alternatively, registration is $40 if paid at the door. Important conference updates will be sent to presenters via email. 

Abstracts of about 250 words should be submitted by January 15

Contact Stephanie Lemmer, EGO President, with questions and for abstract submission:

Study Abroad with NDSU English

Hello, NDSU Students in All Majors!

Do you want to experience the literature of Scotland and England?  Do you want to walk in the footsteps of famous authors such as William Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling?  Do you want to explore Edinburgh Castle?    

If so, you will want to study abroad in the United Kingdom in summer 2020! 

For program information, access the website and attend one of the following informational sessions:

1.    Wednesday, October 16, at 1:00 
       Where: Rose Room in the Memorial Union

2.    Thursday, October 17, from 1:00 to 3:00 (come-and-go)
       Where: Center for Writers in the library

Planning begins now because the initial deadline is November 1, so do not delay--you won’t want to miss this international literary experience! Please feel free to contact me for answers to your questions—and tell your friends because this program is open to all majors.

Contact me at Mary Pull and 701.231.7928.
Hope to hear from you soon! 

2019 Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Award Recipients

North Dakota students announced as 2019 Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Award Recipients.Click here for the names of the announced regional award recipients of the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Congratulations!!

NDSU Academic Scholarship Application is Now Open!

Apply for a scholarship for the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Dr. Rebecca Weaver-Hightower
Chair of English
Director of Graduate Studies

Pen & Pixels

Department Newsletter
Click here to read the
Fall 2019 edition!

July 31 - August 2, 2020
North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND
Please click here for the CFP.

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Mailing Address

English Department
NDSU - Dept. 2320
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, ND  58108-6050

Physical Address
NDSU English Department
318 Minard Hall 
Fargo, ND  58102

Office Phone: 701-231-7143

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