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Find a Degree
About This Degree
The master's degree in English is a great program for students who are looking for a broad education in English. Students are able to take a variety of classes and gain a broad base of knowledge to prepare them for further education or teaching. Students receive the kind of training necessary to prepare them for the professional world of academia. They are able to gain experience presenting their work at conferences and submitting for publication.
The MA degree requires students to gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages. The MS degree is identical except that it does not require foreign language study.
Students must choose a specialization.
- Literature and Writing: This specialization is for students who wish to do advanced work in the fields of literary criticism, composition, rhetoric, and creative writing. The aim is to professionalize students, helping them to become scholars and teachers of English.
- Technical Writing: This specialization is designed for students who already have some training and/or experience as practitioners of technical writing. It is taught entirely online and aims to prepare students to enter, reenter, or move ahead in nonacademic workplaces, not just as practitioners, but also as developers and managers of technical documents.
- MA - Logan Campus
- MTC - Regional Campuses (Beaver, Bicknell, Blanding, Brigham City, Castle Dale, Cedar City, Cortez, Delta, Ephraim, Grantsville, Heber City, Ignacio, Junction, Kanab, Kaysville, Milford, Moab, Montezuma Creek, Monticello, Monument Valley, Nephi, Orem, Panguitch, Park City, Price, Richfield, Roosevelt (Uintah Basin), Salt Lake, St George, Tooele, Tremonton, Vernal (Uintah Basin), Wendover)
The Master of Technical Communication is only available online through USU-Online.
Most students pursuing a master’s degree in English have plans to go on to doctoral programs and academia. They may also teach at two-year colleges, or end up in various professions across the career spectrum as a result of the broad education received in the master’s degree program. Students pursuing the technical writing specialization are typically already employed as working professionals in the field of technical communication.
Students from various majors are welcome to apply; however, for the literature and writing specialization, it is preferred that students have experience in undergraduate literature courses. For the technical writing specialization, students may come from any undergraduate background, but they must have workplace experience in professional communication.
- Fill out the online application
- Pay the $55 application fee
- Score at or above the 40th percentile on in the GRE or MAT
- Provide a copy of your transcript
- Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
- Submit writing samples to the English Department. Students may submit more than one sample, each sample must have an introductory paragraph or preface and the writing sample must equal at least 10 pages in total of academic writing. Applicants for the technical writing specilization must submit samples of technical/practical communication writing rather than academic writing.
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Literature and Writing specialization:
- Fall semester – January 15
- Applications received after that date will be reviewed if there is still space available in the program. However, for the best chance at being offered a position as a graduate instructor, students must have their applications submitted by January 15.
Technical Writing specialization:
- Summer or fall semesters – March 1
- Spring semester – November 1
Master's Degree Plan Option(s)
Students with a literature and writing specialization and American Studies Degree can receive the MS or MA by pursuing one of two options:
- In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
- The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.
Students in the online technical writing specialization complete the MS by completing the Plan C option, which does not involve a thesis or a defense meeting and is comprised of coursework only.
Students can apply to become graduate instructors. Graduate instructors teach English 1010 and English 2010, general education courses that all USU undergraduates are required to take. Students who are graduate instructors might also receive tuition awards through the School of Graduate Studies, as well as subsidized health insurance, in addition to the following salaries:
- First-year GIs in the English Department are currently paid $2,251 per class. Since most teach two classes in fall and another two in spring, this works out as a typical annual salary of $9,004.
- Second-year GIs are currently paid $2,545 per class, which works out as a typical annual salary of $10,180.
Additionally, the cost of living in Logan, Utah, is about 12% lower than the national average.
To be considered, students must submit their graduate school applications early and submit a specific application to be a graduate instructor, as well as a letter of interest and a resume, by January 15 to Dr. Christine Cooper Rompato, Director of Graduate Studies in English.
Graduate instructors must be full-time, on-campus students; therefore, as the technical writing specialization is offered entirely online, students pursuing this specialization are not eligible to apply to become graduate instructors.
Click here to see course requirements for the Master of Arts.
Click here to see course requirements for the Master of Technical Communication.
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Office: RWST 312 E
Phone: (435) 797-3653
Christine Cooper Rompato, PhD, University of Connecticut
Area: Medieval literature, Shakespeare, literary analysis, literary theory
Office: RWST 204 E
Phone: (435) 797-3856
Paul Crumbley, PhD, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Area: American literature, poetry, women writers
Office: RWST 420 C
Phone: (435) 797-3860
Brock Dethier, PhD, University of Virginia
Area: Teaching writing, teaching literature, poetry
Office: FL 201 C
Phone: (435) 797-3546
Evelyn Funda, PhD, University of Nebraska
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Area: American literature, western American literature
Office: RWST 312 E
Phone: (435) 797-3653
Lisa Gabbert, PhD, Indiana University
Office: RWST 204 C
Phone: (435) 797-2721
Patricia Gantt, PhD, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Area: English education, folklore
Office: RWST 305
Phone: (435) 797-2718
Shane Graham, PhD, University of Indiana
Area: World literature, especially African, Caribbean, Black British, and Ethnic American literature; critical theory
Office: RWST 301 B
Phone: (435) 797-2719
Keith Grant-Davie, PhD, University of California - San Diego
Area: Editing, technical writing, rhetorical theory
Office: RWST 310 A
Phone: (435) 797-3547
Melody Graulich, PhD, University of Virginia
Professor, American Studies Graduate Director
Area: American studies, American West
Office: RWST 211 B
Phone: (435) 797-3855
David Hailey, PhD, University of New Mexico
Area: Technical communication, rhetorical theory, computer writing, computer technologies
Office: RWST 313 A
Phone: (435) 797-2741
Kerin Holt, PhD, Brown University
Area: Early American literature, regionalism, transnational studies, borderlands
Office: RWST 204 D
Phone: (435) 797-8946
Phebe Jensen, PhD, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Area: Shakespeare, Early Modern literature
Office: RWST 302 A
Phone: (435) 797-1406
Joyce Kinkead, PhD, Texas A&M University - Commerce
Professor, Associate Vice President for Research
Area: Writing program administration, personal narrative, undergraduate research, and English education
Office: MAIN 162
Phone: (435) 797-1706
Sonia Manuel-Dupont, PhD, University of Kansas
Associate Professor of English and Civil and Environmental Engineering
Office: LILLY 101
Brian McCuskey, PhD, University of Michigan
Area: Nineteenth-century British literature, contemporary literary theory, film
Office: RWST 302 D
Phone: (435) 797-0262
John McLaughlin, PhD, University of Kansas
Office: RWST 307
Phone: (435) 797-2738
Kristine Miller, PhD, University of Michigan
Associate Department Head
Area: Twentieth century British literature
Office: RWST 205
Phone: (435) 797-3646
Ryan Moeller, PhD, University of Arizona
Area: Rhetorical theory, rhetoric of technology, professional and technical writing, computer game design and development
Office: RWST 312 B
Phone: (435) 797-8637
Steven Shively, PhD, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Area: Teacher education, American literature, multicultural literature
Office: RWST 204 F
Phone: (435) 797-0325
Ron Shook, PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Area: Technical writing, rhetorical theory
Office: RWST 303
Phone: (435) 797-3499
Jennifer Sinor, PhD, University of Michigan
Area: Creative writing, memoir, teaching writing
Office: RWST 302 B
Phone: (435) 797-3440
Steve Siporin, PhD, Indiana University
Area: Folk narrative, material culture, Jewish folklore, fieldwork
Office: RWST 204 B
Phone: (435) 797-2722
Jeffery Smitten, PhD, University of Wisconsin
Area: Eighteenth century British literature, Scottish literature
Office: RWST 420 B
Phone: (435) 797-3854
Michael Sowder, PhD, University of Michigan
Area: Poetry, creative writing, American literature
Office: RWST 301 A
Phone: (435) 797-7100
Jeanie Thomas, PhD, University of Oregon
Department Head of English
Area: Legend, the supernatural, material culture, folklore theory
Office: RWST 201
Phone: (435) 797-2733
Charles Waugh, PhD, University of Denver
Area: Fiction writing, studies in fiction, American culture and environment
Office: RWST 302 C
Phone: (435) 797-3481
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
Student Association for Graduates of English: SAGE is a graduate student association. Students meet and hold workshops on various subjects, namely how to present at conferences and information on PhD programs.
Society for Technical Communication: STC is an individual membership organization dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of technical communication. It is the largest organization of its type in the world. Worldwide, the STC has 25,000 members including writers, editors, documentation specialists, visual designers, web designers and developers, and more.
Labs, Centers, Research
Creative Learning Environments Laboratory: The CLE is a dedicated research space of interdisciplinary emphasis within the Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences and in conjunction with the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning (COSL). CLE is comprised of educators and students dedicated to researching educational applications of rich sensory-based technological media.
Fife Folklore Archives: The Fife Folklore Archives is one of the largest repositories of American folklore in the United States. The FFA is part of Utah State University's Special Collections and Archives, where the historical American Folklore Society Manuscript Collection is housed.
Interactive Media Research Laboratory: This focuses on researching and developing protocols that enhance cognition in digital environments. The lab strives to evaluate the full spectrum of digital media and identify successful approaches to communication, entertainment, and education.
Learning Suite: The Learning Suite is comprised of two student computer labs: the Teaching Lab and the Open-Access Lab. The Learning Suite strives to foster an environment where communication can develop between students, instructors, and their audiences. It supports communication as any expression through the medians of written text, graphics, sound, and still and moving images, and updates its technology to provide as much support as possible for these forms of communication.
Writing Center: The Writing Center provides tutoring services for students across the university with either face-to-face or online help, allowing them to implement and improve upon concepts introduced in class. Students can work as tutors in the writing center which will help them gain experience in writing. Graduate instructors in the English Department are required to work two hours each week in the Writing Center.