Graduate Programs

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Graduate Programs

The graduate program in NIU's Department of English is unique in its blend of the full range of English studies. On the M.A. level, we offer seven concentrations: British and American literature; film and literature, literature and rhetoric/composition; rhetoric and professional writing, English education, linguistics, and TESOL. The Ph.D. accommodates not just specialized study in literary genres and periods, but also the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary connections. Our Ph.D candidates have, for example, applied literary theory to film adaptation and linguistic theory to fiction and poetry.

This same spirit of diversity can be found in graduate students' opportunities for professional development. The department has a thriving English Graduate Student Association that plans a wide range of social and academic events, including the fall and spring Graduate Colloquium speakers. Each spring semester, our graduate students organize the Midwest Conference on Literature, Language, and Media, which attracts presenters from all across the nation. In addition, graduate students have the opportunity to compete for positions as editorial assistants for Style, an internationally recognized journal. Although many pursue degrees without a traditional graduate assistantship, a large number of our graduate students receive teaching assistantships, which provide a tuition waiver, a stipend, and invaluable professional experience.

Our graduate students go on to a wide variety of professional careers, ranging from writing and editorial positions to faculty positions in higher education. For those seeking to enter academic professions, the department offers regular professionalization workshops on such topics as abstract-writing, presenting at conferences, and publication in scholarly journals. For those embarking on academic job searches, the department's Placement Advisor provides hands-on assistance such as workshops on how to apply for academic jobs, assistance in composing vitae and cover letters, and mock interviews.

Being a graduate student in English at NIU means breadth of opportunity - in the range of periods and genres of literary studies offered, the range of English studies offered in addition to literature, the range of professionalization and academic opportunities available, and the balance of scholarly and social interactions with both peers and professors. In short, the Graduate Program in English at NIU is an exciting place to be!

Browse the web site for details about the options in our program, and if you need more information, contact the graduate director, Mark Van Wienen, at 815.753.6624 or vanwienen@niu.edu