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Department of English

Graduate Studies in English

Graduate Program Flyer

K-State’s Department of English provides students with a carefully structured but individualized program that encourages creativity, promotes innovative scholarship, and fosters close working relationships between students and faculty.

Our graduates enter diverse professions: Graduate Teaching Assistants in offices

  • Technical and professional writing
  • Community and social services 
  • Arts administration
  • Public school teaching
  • Community college instruction
  • University instruction and administration
  • Librarianship
  • Publishing and editing
  • Journalism
  • Business
  • Law 

Within the last five years, our graduates have entered M.F.A. and Ph.D. programs at institutions in the U.S. and overseas, including:

University of Alabama · University of California, Santa Barbara · University of Cambridge (UK) · University of Durham (UK) · University of Connecticut · University of Florida · University of Houston · University of Kansas · University of Kentucky · University of Missouri, KC · University of Nebraska, Lincoln · University of North Texas · Northeastern University · University of Pennsylvania · University of Texas, Austin · Texas A & M · Western Sydney University · University of Wisconsin, Madison · University of York (UK). 


I was given tremendous freedom to craft a project around my own research interests; I was encouraged to follow my instincts and think expansively.

-- Laine Nooney (M.A. 2006)

The M.A. Program

The M.A. degree in English is awarded in one of five tracks, each of which can be completed in 30 to 33 hours.

All tracks include:

  • Introduction to Graduate Studies (3 hrs)
  • Literature core (9 hrs)
  • Courses in chosen track (9 hrs)
  • Electives (6 hrs)
  • A seminar (3 hrs)
  • Language proficiency
  • A writing project or thesis

Full-time students typically finish the degree in two years.

Many students in full-time employment have also successfully completed the degree part-time.

GTA instructor teaching

Most M.A. students qualify to be graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and are provided valuable teaching experience as well as financial support.

GTAs also receive a competitive stipend, full tuition waiver, and the ability to enroll in the university's health insurance program. 

The Five M.A. Tracks

  • Literature  Concentration in this track allows students to emphasize literature in any time period, with individual guidance from specialized experts.  
  • Children's Literature  Concentration in this track is on children's literature and adolescent literature.
  • Creative Writing and Literature  Concentration in this track is on the student's creative work in drama, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry; the student will work closely with graduate faculty well-published in the genre the student chooses to emphasize.  
  • Cultural Studies and Literature  Concentration in this track is on the theoretical bases for examining cultural texts and contexts. Study may encompass both literary and nonliterary areas, such as politics, sociology, and political economy.  
  • Composition, Rhetoric and Literature  Concentration in this track is on language, composition, and rhetorical theory. In addition to preparing students for future Ph.D. work, the track provides professional training as preparation for teaching in community and junior colleges.

Graduate Certificate Program

The Department of English is also home to a Graduate Certificate program that offers students an interdisciplinary focus on communication in non-academic professions, particularly business, government, high technology industries, and the non-profit sector.


My M.A. training was essential to my getting into the University of California, Riverside. I graduated at the top of my Ph.D. class and I won teaching awards because of my pedagogical training. Going to KSU helped me talk about teaching different student populations when interviewing for my current job. KSU also laid the intellectual foundation for what I hope will become my first book.

-- Emily Mattingly (M.A. 2007)

The Department

Intellectual community makes Kansas State's English Department a remarkable place to do graduate work. Because approximately 50 M.A. students are supervised by about 30 graduate faculty, students can expect individual attention and small classes.

In the past five years, the graduate faculty have published nearly two dozen books as well as articles, reviews, poems, essays, and stories in more than 100 journals and anthologies.


I learned how to write with clarity and purpose. I learned how to be a better listener with my teaching experience as a GTA. I was prepared to do research and work in the publishing industry with my last job at the Nebraska State Historical Society. 

-- Kylie Kinley (M.A. 2013) 

The M.A. program is enriched by an active and diverse visiting writers program, lectures by visiting scholars, an annual symposium in cultural studies, a departmental colloquium, and other special events, such as recent residencies of Shakespearean actors from Britain.

Graduate students may participate in the production of Touchstone, a student-edited journal of creative work by students from colleges and universities across the country.

The University

As the country's first land-grant university, founded in 1863, Kansas State offers a rich diversity of programs involving a distinguished graduate faculty who are renowned for their dedication to the education of students. 

The campus is nestled in the heart of Manhattan, a city of 50,000, located two hours west of Kansas City in a tree-filled valley amid the unique geography of the dramatically rolling Flint Hills. 

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Notice of Nondiscrimination

Kansas State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex (including sexual harassment and sexual violence), sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, ancestry, disability, genetic information, military status, or veteran status, in the university's programs and activities as required by applicable laws and regulations. The person designated with responsibility for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning the nondiscrimination policy is the university's Title IX Coordinator: the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity, equity@k-state.edu, 103 Edwards Hall, 1810 Kerr Drive, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506-4801. Telephone: 785-532-6220 | TTY or TRS: 711. The campus ADA Coordinator is the Director of Employee Relations and Engagement, who may be reached at charlott@k-state.edu or 103 Edwards Hall, 1810 Kerr Drive, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506-4801, 785-532-6277 and TTY or TRS 711.

Revised Aug. 29, 2017.