Admission to MA and MS Programs
Prerequisites and criteria for admission to MA and MS programs:
For MA Literature & Language and MS in English programs: BA or BS in English or a closely related field of study.
For MA TESOL: BA or BS in English, Applied Linguistics, TESOL, or a closely related field of study.
Applicants must have an undergraduate degree completed by the time of graduate enrollment, and the undergraduate degree should correlate to the course of study that the applicant wishes to pursue at the graduate level. In some cases, students accepted into the English Graduate Program may be required to take equivalency courses in certain subjects not covered by their undergraduate coursework. Strong application materials, as well as a minimum 3.00 GPA overall, figured on a basis of 4.0, and a minimum 3.25 GPA in undergraduate English courses.
International student transcripts must be provided in English and reflect strong academic performance. Admission criterion for international students is a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test) / 250 (computer-based test) or equivalent on the internet-based test. Students who have an undergraduate degree from an American university or those who have attended WSU for at least one year are exempt from submitting a TOELF score.
Annual receipt deadline of all application materials is March 1. All application forms can be downloaded from WSU’s Graduate Studies website. The Application for Admission, Immunization Form, and official academic transcripts should be sent to:
WSU Graduate Studies Office, Somsen 106B
P.O. Box 5838
Winona State University
Winona, MN 55987-5838
International applicants must provide the following additional admissions materials:
- Application for admission as an international student to the International Student Services office. Forms are available on WSU’s International Student Services website.
- Official TOEFL Score: An official TOEFL score should be sent to the English Department, 3rd Floor, Minné Hall, Winona State University, Winona, MN 55987.
All applicants must, in addition, send a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation to the Director of Graduate Studies in English (3rd Floor, Minné Hall, Winona State University, Winona, MN 55987) by the March 1 receipt deadline.
A statement of purpose: A one to two-page essay addressing topics such as why the applicant would like to pursue graduate studies in English, why the applicant believes he or she will succeed in conducting advanced work in this field, and how the applicant envisions the shape that his or her studies and endeavors will take within our program.
A writing sample: Treating a subject related to literature or language study, a substantial analytical paper at least five pages, with multiple sources written for an upper-level English, linguistics, or related course. If the applicant is interested in pursuing creative writing, he or she may also include a short sample of his or her work in this area.
Three letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors (or, if applicable, graduate professors or teaching supervisors): These letters should consider, among other relevant matters, the applicant’s academic performance and promise in the field of literature, language studies, and/or TESOL. Applicants for admission who are also applying for a teaching assistantship should have each recommender add a section about how well the applicant is likely to handle the responsibilities and challenges associated with tutoring and teaching.
Each year the Department of English offers a number of graduate assistantships that involve teaching, tutoring, and related work for a total of twenty hours per week. A separate Graduate Assistantship Application form, which may be downloaded from the WSU Office of Graduate Studies website, is required and should be sent by March 1 to:
The English Department
Dept. of English, 3rd Floor, Minné Hall
Winona State University
Winona, MN 55987
Assistantships are awarded for one year; students may reapply for a second appointment. All new graduate assistants must take ENG 611 - Teaching Writing: Theory and Practice .
Additional Requirements for MA and MS Programs:
All forms required by the English Graduate Program and the WSU Office of Graduate Studies must be submitted in a timely manner. See the two websites for further information. All WSU Academic Policies for Graduate Programs apply to English Department graduate students.
- Admission to Candidacy: Before completing 16 graduate credit hours, students must submit the original and 2 copies of the Application for Admission to Candidacy form, which may be downloaded from the English Graduate website, to the WSU Office of Graduate Studies. A copy must be submitted to the English Department office. On the Candidacy form, students may transfer towards their degree up to 10 credit hours of approved, pertinent graduate coursework from other institutions and up to 12 graduate credit hours of approved, pertinent coursework from WSU Graduate Special Student coursework. Relevant transcripts must be included for such transferred graduate credit. If any changes are made to the Application for Admission to Candidacy form, a Supplement to Candidacy form, which may be downloaded from the WSU Office of Graduate Studies website, must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies, and a copy must be given to the English Department.
- Coursework and Credit Requirements: All graduate students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework. Only graduate courses completed with a grade of A or B (or Pass, for P/ NC courses) will count towards the degree. Each of the three Master’s degrees in English has distinctive requirements.
- Graduate Portfolio
- Introductory Statement
The introductory statement is a critical reflection that articulates a vision of how a student’s graduate coursework relates to his/her future goals. The statement could articulate professional objectives, explore artistic vision, situate a body of work within a scholarly framework, etc. The statement ought to point towards professional plans and articulate how the collection of work shows mastery in the discipline.
- Supporting Evidence for the introductory statement.
- Curriculum Vitae
- A Publishable Work that is a significant contribution to the field related to the student’s professional aspirations. A traditional scholarly article is not the only option. Publishable work may also include pedagogical tools/texts/electronic materials that have been reviewed and vetted. This may be a selection or chapter from a Master’s thesis.
- An Annotated Bibliography with 20-25 scholarly works that support the introductory statement.
- One additional supporting piece TAs must submit a teaching philosophy. All other graduate students may select from the following: a teaching philosophy, a pedagogical tool, another substantial revised seminar paper or research work, a creative work, or another piece at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee.
- These materials should include:
- Presentation of a paper at the Life and Work of the Scholar Graduate Symposium. The paper presented can be based on the publishable work included in the portfolio.
The department’s Graduate Studies Committee and the instructor of ENG 695 - Graduate Portfolio will assess the portfolios on a Pass/Fail system. If a student fails the portfolio, the student will revise and defend the revised portfolio in front of select members of the Graduate Studies Committee. Students have only one opportunity to revise and must do so within one semester. Plagiarism will result in immediate failure of the portfolio and dismissal from the program. All graduate students must complete a portfolio and the portfolio course (ENG 695 - Graduate Portfolio ). The portfolio is designed to be a final presentation of both breadth and depth of mastery in the discipline. Final portfolios include the following materials:
- Thesis / Non-Thesis Option:
All graduate students must fulfill the graduate research requirement through taking either ENG 601 - Introduction to Graduate Studies or ENG 614 - TESOL Research Methods .
During their second fulltime semester, students must submit to the Director of Graduate Studies in English the Thesis/Non-Thesis form.
Students enrolled in the graduate program through an agreement with an international partner institution may be required to select the Non-Thesis Option.
Students who opt not to write a thesis must take, in lieu of ENG 699 - Thesis credits, two additional 600 level courses.
Students who have taken thesis credits may switch to the Non-Thesis Option, but they must submit a Supplement to Candidacy form and a Request for 699 Withdrawal form.
- Master’s Thesis:
Students who select the Master’s thesis option may choose to write a scholarly thesis on a literary topic, a scholarly thesis on a linguistics or TESOL topic, or a creative thesis with a scholarly introduction. Descriptions of various types of theses may be found on the English Graduate Website, as may further information about the thesis prospectus, the thesis forms, and the typical thesis-writing schedule. Students who intend to write a Master’s thesis must secure a director, finish a prospectus, find two thesis readers, have the prospectus approved by the director and two readers, and submit to the Director of Graduate Studies in English the Prospectus Submission & Thesis Committee form before the summer between their first and second fulltime academic years.
A student may not register for ENG 699 : Arranged Course: Thesis Credits until this form has been filed.
After writing and revising the thesis in consultation with their director and readers, thesis students must defend their theses and complete the bindery process at least one month before the anticipated graduation date.
- The Application for Graduation and related paperwork must be submitted before the deadlines indicated on the WSU Academic Calendar, and all English Department requirements for graduation must be met no later than one month prior to graduation.