The master’s degree under Option A requires a thesis. Option A is most appropriate for students who are preparing for careers in research and scholarly work or additional academic pursuits beyond the master’s degree. Under this option, a student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours, consisting of 20 to 24 credit hours of regular course work, plus a thesis equivalent to 6 to 10 credit hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree, including thesis, must be in the major (at least 18 credit hours for the Master of Education degree). The remaining work may be in supporting courses and may comprise a minor consisting of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. At least 8 credit hours, excluding thesis, must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
Option A is not available for the Master of Professional Accountancy degree.
Thesis Requirements. The subject of the thesis shall be chosen from the student’s field of major interest and must be approved by the departmental Graduate Committee. The thesis should reveal a capacity to carry on independent study or research and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the techniques employed in their field of investigation. Research activities involving human subjects or live vertebrate animals may not be conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln unless the research activities have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate board or committee. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews projects involving human subject research and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews the use of animals in research. These reviews are in accordance with Federal regulations, state laws and institutional policies. Submission of protocols to conduct human subject or animal research is coordinated by the Research Responsibility offices. Approval must be secured prior to the initiation of the research.
The thesis must conform to the required style and format described in Steps to Degree Completion. A copy of the thesis and abstract must be approved by the student’s major advisor and submitted for preliminary review to the Master’s Programs Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks (one week in the summer sessions) before the date of the candidate’s final oral examination. A candidate is not eligible for the oral examination until the thesis is completed and approved. After passing the final oral examination, the thesis must be electronically submitted to the Master’s Programs Coordinator for a final review prior to being uploaded to Digital Commons.
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The master’s degree under Option B does not require a thesis. Option B is most appropriate for students pursuing practice-based or professional careers in which the master’s degree provides suitable training. Under Option B, a student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree must be in the major. The remaining work may be in supporting courses and may comprise a minor consisting of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. At least 15 credit hours must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
The Master of Professional Accountancy plan of study may not include a minor.
The Master of Education plan of study may not include a minor, but must include at least 6 credit hours of education courses outside the major.
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Accelerated Master's Programs allow University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate students to pursue this degree in an abreviated timline.
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Dual Degree programs allow students to be admitted to two degree programs simultaneously with approval of each Graduate Program Committee and the Dean(s) for Graduate Studies.
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The Department of English offers an MA degree in the areas of literature studies, creative writing, and composition and rhetoric.
We offer graduate course work in all listed areas of study. There are also opportunities for students to obtain a specialization in ethnic studies; Great Plains studies, human rights and humanitarian affairs, 19th-century studies, and women's and gender studies. We also have certifications in Digital Humanities and the Teaching of Writing.
Diverse opportunities are available for professional development, including the development of scholarly and teaching portfolios, participation in critical/literary study groups, a fiction and poetry reading series, and collaboration with faculty on research, teaching, and creative activities.
In addition, the department houses a number of prestigious journals and projects, including Prairie Schooner, one of the most respected literary journals in the nation, The Western American Literature Journal and the Quarterly Review of Film and Video. We also have the Walt Whitman Archive, the Cather Project, the Nebraska Writing Project, the Nebraska Literacy Project, the Corvey Collection of 19th Century British Literature and the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric Monograph Series. Graduate students regularly enrich their academic experience through work on these major departmental projects.
Composition and Rhetoric
Great Plains Studies
Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
Literary and Cultural Studies
Nineteenth Century Studies
Women's & Gender Studies
Graduate Admission Requirements
- Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
- Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.
If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certiﬁcates, diplomas, and degrees plus certiﬁed English translations.
After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certiﬁed records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certiﬁed copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.
- If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.
When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.
- If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
- Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.
Program-Specific Admission Requirements
- Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL100, IELTS 6.5
- Personal Statement: This statement should be 1-3 pages and include why you want a degree from Nebraska. The department particularly welcomes personal statements that articulate the applicant's connection to our English Department Mission Statement.
- If applying for a specialization in Great Plains Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies, Nineteenth Century Studies, or Women's and Gender Studies: To be considered for a Willa Cather Studies Research Assistantship, 1) answer yes to the application's Cather Assistantship question and 2) in your personal statement describe your interest in the life and works of Willa Cather and/or a related field such as early twentieth century women's writing, LGBTQ literature, or Western American literature. Applicants with experience in digital humanities, textual studies, and historical research are particularly welcome but no prior experience is necessary.
- Writing Sample: Provide 15-20 pages of a critical paper in English Studies.
- Creative writing applicants only: In slot 1 upload a critical writing sample (15-20 pages of a critical paper in English Studies) and in slot 2 upload a creative writing sample in the appropriate genre (12 poems or no more than 30 pages of fiction or non-fiction). See department website for details.
- Other Upload: A summary of your teaching experience or a discussion of your teaching potential, no more than 2 pages.
- Three recommendation letters.
Admission Application Deadlines
December 1 for Fall. Prospective students admitted Fall only.
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.
UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.