Department of English at Illinois State University

Professional Opportunities for Graduate Students

Crafting a strong professional identity is an important part of the experience of being a graduate student. In our Department, graduate students have many opportunities for professional growth in all areas of English Studies. These opportunities include an honors society, graduate student organizations, department-supported conferences, funding for professional travel, and mentoring in preparation for the job search.


Rhetoric Society of America at ISU

The Rhetoric Society of America at Illinois State University, or RSISU, was founded in Fall 2010. It is affiliated with the national Rhetoric Society of America organization.

RSISU encourages the collaborative learning of scholars and teachers of rhetoric through various activities including reading and writing groups and an annual conference.

Learn More about RSISU.


Sigma Tau Delta

The ISU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society, offers academically excellent students professional, service, and social opportunities. The chapter has both a graduate and undergraduate president and publishes a graduate student volume of its journal Polyglossia each spring.

Learn more about Sigma Tau Delta.




New Directions in English Studies Conference

The New Directions in English Studies Conference has been sponsored by the English Department since 1992. Each spring, graduate students organize the conference and present many of the papers.

Learn more about New Directions in English Studies.


Graduate Research Symposium

Held each spring in the Bone Student Center, the Illinois State Graduate Research Symposium offers opportunities for graduate students to present what they have learned through their research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. The symposium also offers small research grants to help graduate students complete their research.

Learn more about the Graduate Research Symposium.


Professional Travel

Professional travel is an important aspect of the graduate student experience at Illinois State. Graduate students who plan to present a paper at an international, national or regional conference; who are invited to make presentations of original, creative work; who plan to attend a conference for a job interview; or who plan to travel to conduct archival or field research as part of their program of study may apply—once every academic year—for financial support from the Department of English.

Learn more about Opportunities for Professional Travel.


Job Mentoring

The Department regularly hosts mentoring sessions for Master's and Ph.D. students who are preparing to go on the job market. The mentoring includes suggestions on preparing materials for the job search, mock interviews, and advice when negotiating a job offer.

Learn more about the job mentoring process.


Graduate Forum

The graduate forum consists of monthly meetings, organized by graduate students, focusing on program policies, university policies, and professional development opportunities. The meetings are open to all graduate students.

Learn more about the graduate forum.