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Department of English

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the application fee be waived? 

In special, very limited circumstances, the Director of Graduate Studies may offer a waiver of the application fee for qualifying students. If paying the application fee would be an unusual hardship for you or if it poses an insurmountable obstacle to your application, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies at gradeng@ksu.edu.

Do you require GRE scores?

Applicants are not required to submit scores for either the GRE General Text or the Subject Test. If, however, you have taken the GRE and would like to share your scores with us, please arrange with ETS to have a copy of your score report sent to Kansas State University (Institution Code: R6334).

Can the writing sample be made up of more than one piece? 


Can I submit letters of recommendation through Interfolio?

Yes. Please have Interfolio letters of recommendation emailed directly to <gradeng@ksu.edu>.

Can I earn an M.A. in English if I don’t hold a B.A. in English?

The Department recognizes that students who have majored in fields other than English as undergraduates may choose English for their graduate work. A number of our students in cultural studies, children's literature, technical writing, and creative writing come to us from other fields and majors. Such students are often admitted with provisional standing and are enrolled in selected courses for undergraduate credit to prepare them for their graduate work.

What does the department look for in a successful applicant for admission? 

The Graduate Admissions Committee will look carefully at the applicant's entirefile. It does not set minimum GRE score or minimum GPA cut-offs but instead attempts to get a full picture of candidates abilities and potentials by examining each component of the application, including especially the writing sample, the statement, and the letters of recommendation.

What factors do you consider when assigning GTAs?

A student's academic achievements and her or his promise for graduate study are the most important qualities considered by the Graduate Admissions Committee when awarding GTA positions. Experience or promise as a teacher, an interest in teaching and writing, and a desire to work with students can also become factors in the Committee's decisions.

Can the department offer incoming students any assistance finding housing? 

The university provides inexpensive housing for both single and married graduate students in conveniently located residence halls and apartment houses. Inquiries about on-campus housing should be sent to the Department of Housing, Pittman Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-4601. Email: housing@ksu.edu and apartments@ksu.edu

The department can also put incoming students looking for roommates in touch with current students and other incoming students. Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies for guidance at gradeng@ksu.edu

What is an average course load?

Nine to twelve credit hours (three to four classes) is an average course load for a full time graduate student who is not a GTA. The typical load for GTAs is ten hours during the semester when they are teaching one section of Expository Writing and seven hours during the semester when they are teaching two sections.

Part-time students take smaller course loads, often just one or two classes each semester.

How long will it take to complete the M.A. program? 

The average time to degree is one year and nine months. Those who do not have GTA responsibilities are sometimes able to finish the degree more quickly, whereas part-time students may sometimes take longer than two years to complete the needed graduate work. The program can be quite flexible to fit a student's individual needs.

The M.A. typically requires ten graduate courses, fulfillment of the foreign language requirement, a writing project or thesis, and a defense of the writing project or thesis.

Should I be worried about the "language proficiency" requirement if I have never previously studied a foreign language?

The Graduate Program in English offers several different ways for students to fulfill the language proficiency requirement. For details about these various options, check out Section 25 of the Graduate Student Handbook.

What do graduates of your program usually do after they graduate? What kinds of careers do they pursue? How successful are they in obtaining jobs after graduation? 

After completing their M.A. Degrees, our graduate students pursue a variety of different options. Some go on to earn advanced degrees in a variety of fields from law to literature and linguistics to cultural studies and composition. Others begin careers in technical and professional writing, community service, public school teaching, arts administration, community college teaching, publishing and editing, journalism, and business.

Our graduate program has produced famous poets, distinguished writers and editors, university leaders, successful doctors and lawyers, a number of passionate teachers at all levels, business executives and small business owners, caring counselors and clergy, and much more.

From talking with our alumni, we have learned that our alumni tend to be very successful in their chosen fields and that the M.A. in English leads to a variety of possible rewarding career options.

Does your program offer any help or any resources to help students as they search for jobs and begin their careers?

Yes. The Graduate Program in English offers an ongoing professional development opportunities composed of workshops and seminars designed to assist students as they choose career paths and make the transition from graduate school to career. Some workshops focus on graduate and professional schools, while others focus on career development and job searches.

The always-popular Alumni Connections brings successful departmental alumni back to campus to talk with students about various career options. It is an opportunity for students to learn about various careers, to make contacts with professionals in areas that might interest them, and to pick up valuable insight and information on everything from successful job searches to making the most of a graduate education in English.

We also work closely with the Career Center to make sure that our students have access to the information and resources that will allow them to move most successfully from their graduate studies to their future careers.