Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, Non-Thesis, MA

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

Department of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Graduate Faculty

Anderson, Katherine, PhD, British literature, empire/postcolonial studies, gender and sexuality studies, critical terrorism studies. 
Araki-Kawaguchi, Kiik, MFA, long form fiction, speculative fiction. 
Brown, Nicole, PhD, rhetoric and composition, technical writing, visual rhetoric, service learning and cybercultural studies.
Cushman, Jeremy, PhD, rhetoric and composition, workplace writing, public rhetorics, digital humanities and postmodern research methodologies.
Dietrich, Dawn, PhD, cinema studies, literature and technology, cyberculture, critical theory.
Geisler, Marc, PhD, Renaissance literature and culture, literary theory, politics and literature.
Giffen, Allison, PhD, American literature, women’s literature.
Guess, Carol, MFA, creative writing (creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry), gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender literature and theory.
Laffrado, Laura, PhD, American literature, gender studies.
Loar, Christopher, PhD, British literature, early American literature, eighteenth-century culture, critical theory, literature and science.
Lucchesi, Andrew, PhD, rhetoric and composition, professional and technical writing, disability studies.
Lyne, William, PhD, American literature, African-American literature, cultural studies.
Magee, Kelly, MFA, creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, multi-genre).
Miller, Brenda, PhD, creative writing (fiction and nonfiction), autobiography.
Odabasi, Eren, PhD, film studies, global cinema, screen industries, auteur theory.
Qualley, Donna, PhD, composition theory and pedagogy, literacy, rhetoric and social class.
Rivera, Lysa, PhD, American literatures and culture, Chicana/o and African-American literature, cultural studies, critical theory.
Shipley, Ely, PhD, creative writing (multi-genre, poetry).
Trueblood, Kathryn, MFA, creative writing (fiction), publishing and editing.
VanderStaay, Steven, PhD, English education, creative writing (nonfiction), and linguistics.
Vulić, Kathryn, PhD, medieval British and Continental literatures and culture, manuscript studies.
Warburton, Theresa, PhD, feminist theory, women’s literature, Native literature, transnational and multiethnic literature, and memoir.
Wise, Christopher, PhD, comparative literature and critical theory.
Wong, Jane, PhD, creative writing (poetry).
Youmans, Greg, PhD, film and media studies, LGBTQ history and historiography, queer and feminist theory.

 Contact Information

Director of Graduate Studies & Program Advisor
Lysa Rivera
Humanities 365

Graduate Program Coordinator
Erica Dean-Crawford
Humanities 325


The MA program in English is designed for those who desire to prepare for:

  • PhD and MFA programs, as well as other advanced degrees
  • Teaching at two-year colleges
  • Public or private teaching (elementary, middle, secondary)
  • Careers in technical writing and communication
  • Careers in editing and publishing
  • Careers in nonprofit and other business organizations

Depending on the chosen area of concentration, students will attain the following skills:

  • Preparation in national and global literatures and cultures, creative writing, critical and cultural theory, film and media, pedagogy, composition and rhetoric, technical writing, professional writing, editing and publishing, and linguistics
  • Teaching experience (if awarded a teaching assistantship or internship)
  • Professional editing with scholarly and creative writing journals, such as the Bellingham Review
  • Professional communication, oral and written
  • Competency in the use of classroom and communications technologies
  • Awareness of diversity, educational equity, and social justice issues
  • Awareness of ethical and reflective pedagogical practices


Undergraduate major in English or departmental permission. Candidates with an insufficient background in English are normally requested to acquire 30 upper-division credits in literature and criticism with a grade of B or better in each course. The department reserves the right to approve a course of study.


Enrollment is limited to program capacity.

Application Information

Deadlines: Applications for the following academic year must be complete — all materials on file — by January 15 for priority consideration. Applications completed after that date may be considered on a space-available basis. Applications completed after June 1 will not be considered. Admission into the program is for fall quarter.

Teacher Assistantship Deadlines: Same as above.

The materials submitted for admission must include:

  • A statement of purpose: this statement should explain intellectual and/or creative interests, and professional goals. If you are interested in being considered for a funded Teaching Assistantship, please include relevant experience and information that will aid the department in making funding decisions.
  • Candidates must provide a 750-word personal statement of background and intention and a writing sample: for admission to creative writing, 10 to 15 pages of prose or 10 to 15 pages of poetry; for admission to English, 7 to 12 pages of written work in literary study.
  • Appropriate admissions forms.

English, Non-Thesis (55 credits)

  • Core requirements:

  •   Credits: 5
  • ❑  25 credits in literature, composition/rhetoric, or critical theory

  • ❑ Among their core credits, Teaching Assistants are required to take   Credits: 5
  •      Only five of these 25 credits may be taken in ENG 500 Directed Independent Study.

  • Electives:

  •  25 credits in literature, criticism, creative writing, rhetoric, pedagogy and English language. Occasionally electives in other departments may be chosen in consultation and with permission of the English Department graduate program advisor.

  • Credits:

    With the permission of the graduate advisor, a student may take up to 10 credits of some combination of 400-level courses, ENG 500, ENG 509, and ENG 594. No more than 5 credits of ENG 500 may be applied toward the degree.

Other Requirements

A written exam in their concentration.

Additional information about these requirements, the non-thesis option and program procedures, is available from the English graduate program office.