Composed, Creative, Critical

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M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in English

The Department of English offers a vibrant, diverse, and intellectually stimulating place to do your graduate work. We currently have approximately 120 graduate students in our M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Literary and Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, and Composition and Rhetoric. We offer graduate coursework in all these areas. Students can obtain Area of Specialization Certificates in affiliated interdisciplinary programs or Graduate Certificates such as the Certificate in the Teaching of Writing.

Through research, teaching, and outreach, our department enacts a commitment to imaginative reasoning, a value and a practice that allows us to make connections across boundaries, imagine new possibilities, and exchange ideas with others. We enact this through analyzing literature and moving images, producing creative works and rhetorical texts, and developing critically-informed digital environments. At the crux of this work is a commitment to teaching. Our department boasts a university-wide award for teaching excellence, and our faculty and graduate instructors are regular recipients of teaching awards. Beyond the classroom, graduate students gain experience connecting their work to larger publics by participating in the department’s many prestigious journals and projects, including the Prairie Schooner; the Walt Whitman Archive; Livingstone Online; the Cather Project; and the Western American Literature Journal. Our students also publish Watershed, a blog of critical theory. They regularly read their creative work at the No Name Reading Series in downtown Lincoln, and at various other sites in the city.

Through the Nebraska Writing Project, students connect with teachers from K through college, and help enhance writing in classrooms and in the community. Writing Lincoln Initiative, founded and led by graduate students, provides another avenue for civic engagement. Through these rich opportunities, students become important members of the department, the profession, and their larger communities.

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Graduate Admissions

The application deadline for 2018-2019 is December 4, 2017. The Creative Writing program, in which genres alternate each subsequent year, will be accepting applications to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in poetry.

Admissions Information

How to Apply

Read the world and write your future at the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences. With specialized programs of study to match any interest area, the opportunity for hands-on experience through our acclaimed masters and Ph.D. programs, and a campus located at the heart of an innovative college city of more than 250,000 people, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers the ideal graduate experience for students at an affordable cost.

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Teaching and Assistantship Opportunities

Our financial aid packages include teaching and reading assistantships for M.A. and Ph.D. students that offer stipends and/or tuition. Reading assistantships give students the opportunity to work with faculty on their research, plan conferences, work on special projects, or work for Prairie Schooner, while Teaching Assistantships place M.A. and Ph.D. students in the classroom as instructors. In addition, many of our graduate students have obtained assistantships in other campus offices, including Women’s and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, the Great Plains Quarterly, and the Arts and Sciences Advising Office.

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Job Preparation and Placement

We are committed to training our students for life after graduate studies, and we take job preparation very seriously. Our Placement Advisor works closely with students, and all our faculty assist students with their job searches. Many students have obtained tenure track jobs in colleges and universities, while others have found excellent jobs in publishing or other areas, such as with the MLA. A number of our recent graduates have already published books, both academic and creative.

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Award-Winning Faculty

Our English department faculty are internationally recognized leaders in their fields of research and creative work, and consistently win the most prestigious teaching awards at the university. Many faculty also serve as editors or on the editorial boards for national and international journals.

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Affiliated Interdisciplinary Programs

Many of the department faculty and graduate students are actively engaged and have partial appointments with interdisciplinary academic programs at UNL. These interdisciplinary programs host many activities - including symposia, conferences, outside speakers, and panel discussions - in which department faculty and graduate students often participate.

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Graduate Student Directory Want to know who's who among our graduate students? Browse our students' profiles and catch a glimpse of the breadth of writing and research that takes place here.