Department of English at Illinois State University

Master's in Writing

The master's degree in writing offers two sequences: (1) Professional Writing and Rhetorics and the (2) Teaching of Writing. Our graduates have enjoyed a high placement rate in teaching positions, in doctoral programs, and in the professional world as technical writers and editors.

The degree consists of two options:

  • Option I: This degree option, made in consultation with the advisor, requires 11 courses and either a comprehensive examination or a portfolio, the contents of which are to be determined by the student, also in consultation with the advisor.
  • Option II: This degree option, made in consultation with the advisor, requires 10 courses and a thesis. The typical program is approximately 33 semester hours.

Students can enroll in the Master's in English either full-time or part-time. The majority of graduate offerings are taught in the evening.

Language Requirement for the Master of Arts Degree

The Master of Arts degree is awarded to a student who has completed an appropriate degree program and met the foreign language requirement for this degree at the college level. This requirement may be met by
  • Completing a minimum of four semesters (or its equivalent) in one foreign language. The requirement may be met by earning a C or better (or Credit or Pass) in the courses at either the graduate or undergraduate level.
  • Obtaining a satisfactory score on a University administered language examination approved by the Graduate School available in German, French, or Spanish at the University Testing Office.
  • Other methods as determined by the department/school with approval by the Graduate School. Students whose native language is not English may, with departmental approval, petition the Graduate School to substitute proficiency in the English language as fulfillment of the language requirement.

 

Professional Writing and Rhetorics Sequence

The sequence in Professional Writing and Rhetorics prepares students to bring English Studies to professional and civic contexts where language and texts are involved in social and organizational change. The complexity of such literacies requires technical competencies in writing, editing, and designing texts. In our program, these competencies are rhetorically informed, guided by an understanding of the ethical, legal, economic, and political consequences of professional practices in the workplace, in the public forum, and in private lives.

Course Requirements

  1. ENG 401: Introduction to Graduate Study (3 hrs.)
  2. ENG 402: Teaching Composition (NOTE: Required only for students with a graduate assistantship in the English Department) (3 hrs.)
  3. 6 courses (18 hrs.), with at least two from both of the following areas:

    a. Technical Writing and New Media Studies: ENG 349, 350, 351, 353, 356, 451, 452, 467
    b. Rhetoric and Composition Studies: ENG 391, 392, 402, 483, 494, 496, 497

  4. 3 or 4 elective courses (9-12 hrs.): Students are strongly encouraged to select a literary studies course and a linguistics course as electives. Additional electives may be chosen from the above list.
  5. An internship (ENG 498) or appropriate professional experience (3 hrs.)

Teaching of Writing Sequence

The sequence in the Teaching of writing offers graduate students advanced work in the theory and practice of the teaching of writing.

Course Requirements

  1. ENG 401: Introduction to Graduate Study (3 hrs.)
  2. ENG 402: Teaching Composition (NOTE: Required only for students with a graduate assistantship in the English Department) (3 hrs.)
  3. 6 courses (18 hrs.), with at least two from both of the following areas:

    a. Teaching Writing: ENG 390, 395, 402, 409.01, 409.02, 409.03, 409.04, 409.05, 409.06, 445, 452, 492
    b. Rhetoric and Composition Studies: ENG 391, 392, 402, 483, 494, 496, 497

  4. 3 or 4 elective courses (9-12 hrs.): Students are strongly encouraged to select a literary studies course, a linguistics course, and a teaching internship as electives. Additional electives may be chosen from the above list.
  5.