The field of English study has become increasingly diverse. It has responded to the theoretical challenges of deconstruction, feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, and New Historicism; it has tried to make sense of the postmodern and postcolonial present; it has watched its anthologies swell with the expansion of the canon. An ongoing revolution in the discipline has been occurring, and it is not over yet.
Given this continuing revolution in the field, the Truman graduate program in English offers students flexibility and possibility. In keeping with the mission statement of the University, our program "grows naturally out of the philosophy, values, content, and desired outcomes of a liberal arts education." Our graduate faculty has expertise in many traditional areas of study as well as in recent interests of our discipline. We assist students in finding their niche of disciplinary interest, be it linguistics, literary theory, pedagogy, a particular literature, or creative writing. While one goal of our undergraduate major is breadth of exposure, the M.A. in English offers an opportunity for in-depth exploration in one corner of the discipline, which the student finds useful and fascinating.
As expressed in the University mission statement, our program is "committed to the advancement of knowledge, to freedom of thought and inquiry." Although one of our greatest strengths is our flexibility, the personal attention each student receives is also central to our program. Each student works closely with a faculty advisor; this strong bond between advisors and advisees is essential for graduate students tailoring their own course of study.
Selected candidates who show exceptional promise in college teaching may compete for generous teaching stipends. As apprentice teachers, they will hone their professional techniques and shape philosophies of teaching and composition. Few graduate programs offer such opportunities.
Our program offers a variety of courses in literary theory, composition theory, rhetorical theory, creative writing, and linguistics (and additional coursework for the graduate teaching assistants). We also offer, based on needs and interests, advanced courses with rotating topics. In accordance with the University mission, students approach "creative and critical thought through effective reading and research." Our ultimate aims are leadership development in a select community of exceptionally able students, scholars, teachers, and creative writers; the nurturing of a lifetime commitment to writing and literature; and, for those who desire it, serious preparation for work on the doctoral level. A plethora of pathways paradoxically leads to these simple goals so characteristic of our liberal arts mission and so useful outside the academy. As with our fellow Missourian Thomas Stearns Eliot, our end is our beginning.
The English and Linguistics Departments also maintain a website that is full of useful information for students.
Applicants should submit the following materials to the Graduate Office:
For more information, contact the Graduate English Program Director:
English MA options:
Thesis Option: Students electing the thesis option complete 32 credits in English graduate coursework and a 4 credit thesis, to a total of 36 credits. At least half of the English graduate coursework credits must be at the 600-level. At least four (4) of the English graduate courses must be literature courses, and at least one (1) of the English graduate courses must be in literary criticism or literary theory or linguistic theory.
Non-Thesis Option: Students electing the non-thesis option must complete 40 credits in English graduate coursework; additionally, they must successfully complete a 1 credit final summative portfolio preparation course, producing a portfolio of their English graduate coursework. At least half of the English graduate coursework credits must be at the 600-level. At least four (4) of the English graduate courses must be literature courses, and at least one (1) of the English graduate courses must be in literary criticism or literary theory or linguistic theory.
NOTE: All GT/RAs are required to take the following courses:
For more detailed information about course offerings please visit the current course catalog.