Jun 13, 2024  
2012-2013 Catalog 
2012-2013 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, English Studies, Thesis, MA

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Graduate Faculty

Askari, Kaveh, PhD, film history and theory, cross-media visual culture, global cinema.
Beasley, Bruce, PhD, creative writing (poetry), American literature.
Brown, Nicole, PhD, rhetoric and composition, technical writing, visual rhetoric, service learning and cybercultural studies.
de la Paz, Oliver, MFA, creative writing (poetry), Asian-American literature.
Denham, Kristin, PhD, linguistics, syntax and grammar, dialect, Native American languages and literatures.
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.
Goebel, Bruce, PhD, American literature, postmodern literature, English education.
Guess, Carol, MFA, creative writing (creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry), gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender literature and theory.
Johnson, Nancy J., PhD, children’s literature, English/language arts education.
Kahakauwila, Kristiana, MFA, creative writing (fiction and non-fiction), editing and publishing, Pacific literature
Laffrado, Laura, PhD, American literature, gender studies.
Lobeck, Anne, PhD, linguistics, literary theory, gender studies.
Lundeen, Kathleen, PhD, British literature, critical theory, intermedial art, literature and science, prophetic literature.
Lyne, William, PhD, American literature, African-American literature, cultural studies.
Magee, Kelly, MFA, creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, multi-genre).
Mahoney, Kristin, PhD, Victorian literature and culture, economics and literature.
Metzger, Mary Janell, PhD, early modern literature, critical theory, English education, women’s literature.
Miller, Brenda, PhD, creative writing (fiction and nonfiction), autobiography.
Paola, Suzanne, MFA, creative writing, nonfiction, women’s studies, poetry.
Park, Douglas, PhD, cinema studies, cyberculture, science fiction, 18th century women’s literature.
Purdy, John Lloyd, PhD, contemporary American literature, Native American literatures, Canadian and New Zealand literatures.
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.
Trueblood, Kathryn, MFA, creative writing (fiction), publishing and editing.
Wise, Christopher, PhD, comparative literature and critical theory.
VanderStaay, Steven, PhD, English education, creative writing (nonfiction), and linguistics.
Vulic, Kathryn, PhD, medieval British and Continental literatures and culture, devotional literature.
Yu, Ning, PhD, American literatures, science and literature.

Program Advisor: Graduate Program Office, Humanities 325, 360-650-3232


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.

TA Deadlines: An application for a teaching assistantship should be submitted with the application for admission.

Supporting Materials:

 Normally the department expects a strong analytic score on the GRE, and a verbal score of at least 500 on the GRE (General) exams taken before August 2011, or a verbal score of at least 153 on GRE (“Revised” General) exams taken before August 2011. Candidates must also 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 studies, 7 to 12 pages of written work in literary study.

English Studies, Thesis (45 credits)

  • Core Requirements:

  • ❑ 25 credits in literature, criticism, rhetoric OR

  •        (for Teaching Assistants)
  •       Only five of these 25 credits may be taken in English 500, Independent Study.

  • Electives:

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

  • Thesis:

  •   (5 credits)

Additional Information


Courses are routinely taken at the 500 and 600 levels. With the permission of the graduate advisor, a student may count up to 10 credits of some combination of 400-level courses and independent study courses toward the degree requirements. No more than 5 credits of independent study can be applied toward the degree.

Other Requirements

Students in both concentrations (English Studies and Creative Writing) must demonstrate reading competence in a second language acceptable to the department’s Graduate Studies Committee or take an additional 5-credit 400 or 500-level course focused on the study of language. Normally competence in a second language is demonstrated by successfully completing the final course in a second-year language sequence or by passing a reading competency exam in the language.

Students must also pass a Graduate Exam in their concentration.

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

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