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MA Program of Study

MA Core, 9 credits
760: Graduate Scholarship
762: Critical Theory
755: Composition Theory or 756: Composition Research 

Rhetoric/Writing/Linguistics and Literature, 12 credits
Students select, in consultation with their advisor, two courses in Rhetoric/Writing/Linguistics, for a total of 6 credits, and two courses in Literature, for the remaining 6 credits. 

Other/Electives, 6 credits
Students select, in consultation with their advisor, two courses from either category above from inside the English department. NOTE: Courses may be at the 600- or 700-level; additional courses, from outside the department, may be recommended by the student’s academic advisor if they clearly match the student’s research and deepen his/her understanding of the field. A request for substitution needs to be submitted prior to course enrollment and be approved by the graduate director. 

Foreign Language Proficiency
Master’s students need to demonstrate intermediate (200-level or 2nd year) competency in one foreign language by the time the program of study is completed.

Master's Paper Prospectus
Students are required to submit and defend a prospectus after they have formed a supervisory committee and before they formally begin to write their Master’s Paper. The prospectus is a brief overview of the master’s project that provides the committee with (in this order) the proposed problem and topic, the anticipated research method, a review of extant literature, a description of the study, the projected results and impact on the existing body of knowledge on the topic, and an anticipated timeline for completion.

The MA Paper, 3 credits
The Master’s Paper will demonstrate a thorough understanding of existing knowledge and the ability to apply that existing knowledge to a problem of interest. Master’s Papers grow out of work completed for a course or undertaken as an independent study. The degree culminates in the oral defense of the polished Master’s Paper (ca. 35-50 pages, incl. front matter and bibliography) by the MA candidate and administered by the student’s supervisory committee. Note that students need to be enrolled continuously for a minimum of 1 credit while working on their Master’s Paper.

For more information, consult the MA Planning Worksheet, speak to your advisor, or contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

PhD Program of Study

A. PhD Core, 12 Credits
English 760: Graduate Scholarship
English 755: Composition Theory
English 762: Critical Theory
English 756: Composition Research

B. Other Research Methods, 3 Credits
Students select, in consultation with their advisor, at least one of the following methods courses.
English 4/649: Usability and User Experience
Sociology 700: Qualitative Methods
Sociology 701: Quantitative Methods
History 701: Methods of Historical Research
Communication 704: Qualitative Methods in Communication
Communication 767: Rhetorical Criticism
Other (needs to be approved by advisor and Director of Graduate Studies)

C. Pedagogy, 3 Credits
Students select, in consultation with their advisor, at least one of the following pedagogy courses.
English 764: Classroom strategies for TAs*
English 765: UDW - Pedagogy, Practice, and Technology
English 766: Teaching Literature

D. Additional Courses, 21-51 Credits
Students select, in consultation with their advisor, additional courses inside the English department that match their research and deepen their understanding of the field. Three additional methods, pedagogy, or theory courses may be taken from outside the English department, as approved by advisor and graduate director. Courses in this category may be at the 600-, 700-, or 800-level. Note that students with no background in English studies must include courses in literature and linguistics in their plan of study and that topics and studies courses may be repeated.

E. Experiential Learning, 6 Credits (see guidelines below)
Teaching Mentorship (0-6 credits); may be take twice but total may not exceed 6 credits.
Students work with faculty to read theory and co-teach 200, 300, or 400 level class.
Internship (0-6 credits); may be taken twice but total may not exceed 6 credits.
Students work in administrative, editing, consulting, or writing roles.
Life experience (0-3 credits).
Students submit, in consultation with their advisor and the graduate director, a portfolio that reflects their professional experience prior to enrolling in the program.

F. Comprehensive Exams (see guidelines below)
Comprehensive exams are taken after the successful completion of 72 credits (grade B or higher) and are administered by the student’s supervisory committee, which is comprised of a committee chair and two readers from within the depart­­ment. The exams consist of two timed, written exams and conclude with the defense of the dissertation proposal.

G. Proficiency in Language or Research Skill (see guidelines below)
Students are required to demonstrate foreign language or research skill competency by the time they begin to write the dissertation

H. Dissertation, 15 Credits (English 899)
The dissertation proposal concludes the comprehensive exams and precedes formal work on the dissertation. The supervisory committee is comprised of the three members of the exam committee, plus a Graduate School Representative (GSR) from outside the department.

For more information, download our PhD Planning Worksheet and Curriculum Guide.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning (EXL) can be a very important part of your graduate program because it allows you to expand and explore your classroom skills, by taking them out into the workplace or into a new type of classroom and by applying them in a practical work environment.

Through experiential learning you might learn what it is like to teach your own literature, writing, or linguistics course; how to work as a communicator in a nonprofit or for-profit setting; and how to adapt to an organizational culture. You will gain practical experience in working with and for others.

You may also discover new strengths about yourself and uncover areas that need improvement.Perhaps most important, experiential learning allows you to bring experiences from outside the regular degree curriculum into your program of study. It may help you practice and apply skills you learned in a practical work environment; it may help you network with professionals in the field; and it may help you reach decisions about the type of work you would like to pursue.

Experiential learning is a way to gain valuable practical experience that may lead to a job offer after graduation. Note that all experiential learning credits require approval by the student's academic adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies prior to enrollment.

Available Courses and Credits Hours
PhD students in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture are required to complete 6 credits of Experiential Learning during the course of their degree program (see PhD Planning Worksheet, section E). While experiential learning is not a requirement for the MA in English, MA students may enroll in any one category-with the exception of d) Life Experience-and earn 3 academic credits toward their degree program.

a) ENGL 792/892 Graduate Teaching Mentorship (0-3 credits)
Graduate student teaching experiences for professional development under the guidance and supervision of NDSU graduate faculty. Graded 'S' or 'U.'

Course Creation Form: ENGL 7-892 Graduate Teaching Mentorship 

The teaching mentorship is an opportunity to observe and co-teach with an experienced instructor. Both MA and PhD students are eligible to complete a teaching mentorship for experiential learning credits. Teaching mentors should be faculty in the English Department.

On rare occasions the Graduate Director, in consultation with the English Department Chair/Head, will approve a teaching mentorship with a Senior Lecturer or a member of another department in a related discipline, if graduate faculty status can be established for the duration of the course work.

b) *ENGL 794/894 Internship (0-6 credits)
Course designed to provide practical participation under professional supervision in selected situations to gain experience in the application of concepts, principles, and theories related to the student's area of specialization. Graded 'S' or 'U.

Course Creation Form: ENGL 7-894 Internship

Directed study allowing an individual student under graduate faculty supervision to undertake selected, independent work in topics of special interest or a limited experience in research on campus.

c) *ENGL 795/895 Field Experience (0-3 credits)
Field-oriented supervised learning activities outside the college classroom that include a preplanned assessment of the experience, registration during the term the experience is conducted, and post evaluation with the instructor. The Field Experience takes place off-campus, either on a volunteer basis or is paid, involves an evaluation by an outside employer, and is supervised and graded by the graduate student's faculty adviser. Graded 'S' or 'U.'

Course Creation Form: ENGL 7-895 Field Experience/Practicum

d) Life Experience (0-3 credits)
PhD students submit, in consultation with their advisor and the graduate director, a portfolio that reflects their professional experience prior to enrolling in the program. Up to 3 credits of ENGL 795/895 Field Experience/Practicum may be granted for the life experience portfolio; a letter contextualizing the life experience needs to accompany the portfolio submission.

Course Creation Form: ENGL 7-895 Field Experience/Practicum

NB: Requires submission of "Life experience rationale" and approval by the Grad Committee prior to course creation and enrollment. In addition, students must submit a curriculum vitae and a portfolio containing a substantial sample of work-related writing or teaching-related documents for work completed prior to their degree begin at NDSU.

The experiential learning portfolio will be assessed by the graduate committee in consultation with the student's academic adviser. Academic credit can only be granted for writing or materials that the committee is able to read and evaluate. If students' work-related writing is protected by patent or copyright, students must seek clearance to share this work.

  • Students seeking one credit should submit a five-page paper synthesizing their work experience and academic goals and integrating scholarly sources relevant to the work experience.
  • Students seeking two credits should submit a conference-length paper (8-10 pages) synthesizing their work experience and academic goals and integrating scholarly sources relevant to the work experience. Students will present this paper in an appropriate department forum.
  • Students seeking three credits should submit an article-length paper (15-20 pages) synthesizing their work experience and academic goals and integrating scholarly sources relevant to the work experience. Students will present this paper in an appropriate department forum. 

* Note that as per Graduate School guidelines, the difference between ENGL 794/894 Internship and ENGL 795/895 Field Experience/Practicum is that the FE/P takes place off-campus while internships are conducted on-campus and under the exclusive supervision of a graduate faculty adviser. The following guidelines apply to Internships, Field Experience, and Practicum credits.

MA and PhD 600-level courses

Note that 600-level can be taken by both MA and PhD students; typically, they are concurrently offered on the 400-level and, therefore, serve undergraduate seniors and graduate students at the same time. 


Rhetoric/Writing Studies/Linguistics 
All information is tentative, subject to revision, and dependent upon faculty availability, funding, and enrollment.
See above for degree requirements and follow this link for semester specific offerings. 

ENGL 649: Usability and User Experience. 3 Credits
This course teaches the core competencies for working in the English department UX lab. Additionally, it prepares students to collaborate with design teams to create better documentation, to create fuller user understandings of user inscription preferences, and to craft information strategies. This course teaches user inquiry methods, data collection, genre conventions, and rhetorical strategies for user advocacy. (Fall semester)

ENGL 652. History of the English Language. 3 Credits.
Development of the English language from its Germanic origins to the modern period. (Spring semester, even years)

ENGL 653. Social and Regional Varieties of English. 3 Credits. 
Study of sociological factors as they relate to language (American English). Examines region, age, gender, ethnicity, selfidentity, situation, profession, etc. and their relation to pronunciation, word choice, politeness, formality, turn-taking, etc. Students conduct original research. (Spring semester, odd years)

ENGL 654. Language Bias. 3 Credits. 
Application of current linguistic, rhetorical, and literary theory to examine and analyze the ways in which the social asymmetries of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity are reflected and sustained through discourse practices. (Spring semester, odd years)

ENGL 655. International Technical Writing. 3 Credits. 
Theories and practical applications of approaches to international technical documents, including globalization, localization, and translation preparations and procedures. Extensive use of case studies and cultural models. (Fall semester, even years)

ENGL 656. Literacy, Culture and Identity. 3 Credits. 
Reading, writing, research, and discussion of diverse types of literacy from functional to cultural to technological and their roles in culture and identity formation. Completion of related community projects. (Fall semester, odd years)

ENGL 659. Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal. 3 Credits. 
A rhetorical approach to researching and writing academic grants, business proposals, and related professional documents. Students develop a portfolio of professionally designed and edited documents as well as the vocabulary of grants writing and research. (Fall semester)


Literature


ENGL 635. Young Adult Literature in a Multicultural World. 3 Credits. 
Introduction to the field of Young Adult Literature (YAL) with an emphasis on multicultural novels. Recommended for English Education majors, English majors seeking breadth in their reading, and students seeking diverse reading. (Spring semester, odd years)

ENGL 671. American Realistic Literature. 3 Credits. 
Principles of American literary realism as exhibited in the major works of Howells, James, Twain, Crane, Chopin, Gilman, Norris, Wharton, Dreiser, and others. Combination varies. 

ENGL 672. 20th Century American Writers. 3 Credits. 
Intensive study of major American writers from 1900 to 1950. 

ENGL 674. Native American Literature. 3 Credits. 
The development of literature by and about Native Americans is traced from 1850 to the present. Focus on Native American identity and contributions to the American culture. 

ENGL 676. Topics in American Literature. 3 Credits. 
Intensive study of a special theme, form, period, or group of writers central to the formation and development of American literature. May be repeated with change of topic. 

ENGL 680. Medieval Literature. 3 Credits. 
British poetry and prose from the beginning of the Middle Ages to 1500, excluding Chaucer. 

ENGL 682. Renaissance Literature. 3 Credits. 
Study of British writers of the 16th and 17th centuries. 

ENGL 683. Topics in British Literature. 3 Credits. 
Intensive study of a special theme, form, period, or group of writers central to the formation of British literature. May be repeated with change of topic. 

ENGL 685. 18th Century Literature. 3 Credits. 
Study of major writers: Dryden, Pope, Swift, and Johnson, with occasional excursions into the fictional territory of Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, and Smollett. 

ENGL 686. Romantic Literature. 3 Credits. 
Study of major British writers from the French Revolution to the coronation of Queen Victoria. 


Flexible Topics Courses

The following courses can be offered in Rhetoric, Writing Studies, Linguistics, and/or Literature. Their content is dependent upon the instructor's area of expertise or the students's needs. Check with the instructor, your advisor, and the graduate program coordinator before you register.

ENGL 690. Graduate Seminar. 1-3 Credits.
A group of students engaged, under a professor or professors, in research or criticism and in presentation of reports pertaining thereto.

ENGL 692. Study Abroad. 1-15 Credits. 
Pre-arranged study at accredited foreign institutions or in approved study abroad programs. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and prior approval by major department. Graded 'S' or 'U.' (every other summer) 

ENGL 695. Field Experience. 1-15 Credits. 
Field-oriented supervised learning activities outside the college classroom that include a preplanned assessment of the experience, registration during the term the experience is conducted, and post evaluation with the instructor. Departmental approval.

ENGL 696. Special Topics. 1-5 Credits. 
A group study of the known and established literature of a field, or other evidence, for purposes of scholarly development.

MA and PhD 700- and 800-level courses

Note that 700-level can be taken by both MA and PhD students; while 800-level courses are reserved for PhD students only and typically indicate independent study and dissertation research.


Requirements all Graduate Students
All information is tentative, subject to revision, and dependent upon faculty availability, funding, and enrollment.
See above for degree requirements and follow this link for semester specific offerings.

First Semester
(unless recommended otherwise by academic advisor and approved by the Graduate Studies Director)

  • ENGL 760. Graduate Scholarship. 3 Credits. 
    Introduction to scholarship in English studies and to the nature and state of the discipline. (every Fall)
  • ENGL 764. Classroom Strategies For TAs. 3 Credits. 
    Introduction to current issues in composition pedagogy, research, and theory, focusing on how they inform teaching practices. Instruction on developing philosophy of and strategies for teaching through short position papers, literacy autobiography, and a sequence of assignments for ENGL 120. (every Fall)

Second Semester
(unless recommended otherwise by academic advisor and approved by the Graduate Studies Director)

  • ENGL 762. Critical Theory. 3 Credits. 
  • Study of contemporary literary theory and criticism. (every Spring)
  • ENGL 755. Composition Theory. 3 Credits. 
  • Study of contemporary theories of teaching writing with frequent summary/response papers on assigned readings and a research paper on composition theory.
  • ENGL 756. Composition Research. 3 Credits. 
  • Study of designs and basic statistics for writing research; analysis of current research; and a research project in composition.


Rhetoric/Writing Studies/Linguistics
All information is tentative, subject to revision, and dependent upon faculty availability, funding, and enrollment.
See above for degree requirements and follow this link for semester specific offerings.

ENGL 751. Tools for Academic Writing: Clarity and Style. 1 Credit. 
Primary goal: Students will learn and practice using specific strategies for writing clear, correct, and audience-appropriate academic documents. In addition, they will investigate writing expectations and analyze academic writing in their own discipline. S/U grading.

English 752: Tools for Academic Writing: Writing Your Manuscript 1 credit/full semester.
Semester-long intensive academic writing with extensive individualized feedback. Students develop a writing plan, obtain approval from their advisors, and write intensively, receiving regular individualized assistance from a graduate writing consultant. S/U grading.

ENGL 753. Rhetorics, Poetics Of New Media. 3 Credits
This web-based class will provide in-depth study of major new media theorists and require students to consider the research and teaching implications of new media for the humanities and social sciences. . Prereq: Graduate standing.

ENGL 754. Rhetorics of Science and Technology. 3 Credits. 
The study and critique of the rhetorics of science and technology, informed by rhetorical theory and by the philosophy of and the social studies of science and technology. Prereq: Graduate standing or instructor approval.

ENGL 755. Composition Theory. 3 Credits. 
Study of contemporary theories of teaching writing with frequent summary/response papers on assigned readings and a research paper on composition theory.

ENGL 756. Composition Research. 3 Credits. 
Study of designs and basic statistics for writing research; analysis of current research; and a research project in composition.

ENGL 758. Topics in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. 3 Credits. 
Intensive study of a theme, form, period, theory or theorist, writer or group of writers, or issue in rhetoric, writing, and culture. May be repeated with change of topic. (Spring semester, odd years)

ENGL 759. History of Writing Instruction. 3 Credits. 
The study of the history of writing instruction from antiquity to the present, with emphasis on relevance of writing instruction. Prereq: Graduate standing or instructor approval.

ENGL 761. Writing: Invention to Innovation. 3 Credits. 
Exploration of the use of rhetorical canon in writing, spanning a period from the Aristotelian concept of invention to the contemporary manifestation of innovation. Prereq: admission to English graduate program.

ENGL 765. Upper Division Writing: Pedagogy, Practice, and Technology. 3 Credits. 
Theory, practice, and pedagogy for teaching upper-division writing classes. Discussion will include a number of writing studies topics, including Writing across Curriculum (WAC), Writing in the Disciplines (WID), and writing program administration. Prereq: ENGL 764.


Literature/Cultural Studies
All information is tentative, subject to revision, and dependent upon faculty availability, funding, and enrollment.
See above for degree requirements and follow this link for semester specific offerings.

ENGL 766. Teaching Literature. 3 Credits. 

Theory, practice, and pedagogy for teaching literature at the college and/or university level. This course focuses on literary genres, cultures, and theories in the context of pedagogy. Prereq: ENGL 764 or ENGL 765. Recommended prereq: ENGL 762.

ENGL 770. Studies in American Literature. 3 Credits. 
Intensive study of a special period, theme, technique, or group of writers central to the formation, development, or flowering of American literature. May be repeated for credit with change in topic.

ENGL 780. Studies in British Literature. 3 Credits. 
Intensive study of a special period, theme, technique, or group of writers central to the formation, development, or flowering of British literature. May be repeated with change of topic.

ENGL 782. Studies in Irish Literature. 3 Credits. 
Intensive study of a special theme, form, period, group of writers, or individual writer (Joyce, Yeats) in Irish literature. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.


Flexible Topics Courses
The following courses can be offered in Rhetoric, Writing Studies, Linguistics, and/or Literature. Their content is dependent upon the instructor's area of expertise or the students's needs. Check with the instructor, your advisor, and the graduate program coordinator before you register.

ENGL 790. Graduate Seminar. 1-3 Credits. 
A group of students engaged, under a professor or professors, in research or criticism and in presentation of reports pertaining thereto.

ENGL 791. Temporary/Trial Topics. 1-5 Credits. 
University-wide course focused on group study involving critical examination and discussion of subject matter selected for proposal as a temporary or trial course.

ENGL 792/892. Graduate Teaching Mentorship. 1-3 Credits
Graduate student teaching experiences for professional development under the guidance and supervision of NDSU graduate faculty. Graded 'S' or 'U.'

ENGL 793/893. Individual Study. 1-5 Credits. 
Directed study allowing an individual student under faculty supervision to undertake selected, independent work in topics of special interest or a limited experience in research. Requires approval.

ENGL 794/894. Internship. 1-6 Credits. 
Course designed to provide practical participation under professional supervision in selected situations to gain experience in the application of concepts, principles, and theories related to the student's area of specialization. (Taught by graduate faculty. Takes place on campus.) Requires approved program and consent of instructor Graded 'S' or 'U'.

ENGL 795/895. Field Experience. 1-15 Credits. 
Field-oriented supervised learning activities outside the college classroom that include a preplanned assessment of the experience, registration during the term the experience is conducted, and post evaluation with the instructor. Departmental approval. Graded 'S' or 'U.'

ENGL 796. Special Topics. 1-5 Credits. 
A group study of the known and established literature of a field, or other evidence, for purposes of scholarly development.


Disquisition Research and Writing Credits
The MA in English follows the Plan B and requires a 35-50 page Master's Paper for degree completion. Research for both the MA paper and PhD Dissertation ought to be substantial and contribute to knowledge in the field. Disquisition credits may, therefore, be taken during the research as well as the writing stage. A total of 2-4 ENGL 797 credits may be applied to the Master's degree; 1-15 ENGL 899 credits may be applied to the doctoral degree.

ENGL 797. Master's Paper. 2-4 Credits. 
Literature review, research, and preparation for paper required for the comprehensive study option. Graded 'S' or 'U'.

ENGL 899. Doctoral Dissertation. 1-15 Credits.
Original investigation under the supervision of a major adviser and an advisory committee. Graded 'S' or 'U'.


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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 10:05:49 PM
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