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Department of English

Graduate Program

I am delighted that you have chosen to visit the UNO's Graduate Studies in English web page.

The post-baccalaureate program at UNO includes a Master’s degree-granting program; three 15 credit hour stand-alone certificates in Advanced Writing, Technical Communication, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); and a Minor of 9 hours for students enrolled in Master’s degree programs in other departments across the University. Non-degree students may also enroll in our courses as long as they do not exceed 9 credit hours of total non-degree work.

The Master of Arts degree in English at UNO is a generalist degree with some opportunities for custom specialization, as well.  Course offerings span a wide range of traditional and contemporary subjects, methodologies, and areas within the professional discipline of English, and students are encouraged to pursue their degree by freely tailoring it to their own personal interests and needs. The UNO English faculty offer courses in Composition Theory; Creative Nonfiction; Linguistics; British, Irish, Anglophone, and American Literature; Rhetoric; and Technical Communication

Feel free to browse this page for specific information about the many facets of UNO’s Graduate Program in English.  If you have any questions that you cannot find answers to on this website, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  We hope you enjoy learning about our program.

Dr. Tracy Bridgeford, 402.554-3312
Graduate Program Chair

Aspects of the Graduate Program

Masters of Arts in English (Option I and II)

Option I: Successful completion of 24 credit hours in course work, including at least 12 hours in seminar-level courses; plus a thesis (six credit hours) on an approved topic accepted after oral defense before a faculty committee; plus a comprehensive written examination over a designated body of literature or language prepared and judged by a faculty committee.

Option II: Successful completion of 36 credit hours in course work, including at least 18 hours in seminar-level courses, plus a comprehensive written examination over a designated body of literature or language prepared and judged by a faculty committee.

The following English seminars vary in emphasis and may be repeated for credit: English 8100, 8200, 8400, 8500. 8600, 8800, 8900, and 9120.

With approval of a student's adviser and the English Graduate Program Committee, a student may include a minor or course work from another related discipline or disciplines as part of the Plan of Study. For Option I (thesis) a minor is nine hours.

Deciding which MA Option is Best for You

When you begin the Master’s degree program in English at UNO, you have two choices of program available to you.  The first is a coursework option, in which a student completes 36 hours of coursework, at least half of which will be at the seminar-level.  The second is the thesis option, in which a student completes 24 hours of coursework plus 6 hours of thesis credits towards the production of a Master’s thesis.

English Graduate Student Profile

The student body includes area high school teachers seeking further expertise and accreditation in their areas as well as future Ph.D.s who will go on to national doctoral programs after graduation.  English M.A.s also work in local business environments in Omaha and also disperse to join a broad array of employment opportunities nation-wide.  They are grant writers; non-profit directors; free-lance writers; writers for the popular press; editors; bloggers; grass-roots organizers; web designers; technical writers; proofreaders; journalists; and teachers who work both stateside and overseas.  The combination of writing and critical thinking skills that the discipline of English stresses at the core of its mission prepares students well for a wide range of professional pursuits after graduation.

MA Minor in English

Students who are currently enrolled as Master’s degree students in disciplines other than English elsewhere in the University are eligible to pursue a Graduate Minor in English, after securing permission from their home department advisor and Graduate Program Chair.  Successful completion (with a “B” average) of 9 hours of graduate coursework in English is sufficient to earn the Minor, without any additional requirements or stipulations imposed by the program in English.  Students should check with their home departments for any additional requirements that may need to be met there.

In some cases, the 9 hours of coursework required for the minor can substitute for 9 hours of requirements in the student’s home Master’s program.  Students are urged to check with their home Graduate Program Chairs to confirm this possibility for their specific situation.

Students pursuing the Minor need to alert the Graduate Studies Office of their intentions by filling out a Change in Plan of Study Form before graduating.  Minors will appear on student transcripts.

MA Minors outside of English

Students are free to take courses outside of English, with the permission of their advisors.  Up to nine hours of coursework toward the M.A. degree may be taken at UNO outside of English, when those courses are coherent with the student’s learning and program objectives.  Students must register these courses, however, using the following form: Application for Coursework Outside of English.

If students take 9 hours in a single department--or in an interdisciplinary area such as Medieval/Renaissance Studies--they may be eligible for a minor in that area, which will be conferred upon graduation.  Student must, however, apply for the minor to be recognized.  The form for declaring such a minor is here: Change in Plan of Study Form.