Info For Prospective Students

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About this Program
About Tallahassee
Application Information
Teaching Assistantships and Fellowships
Degree Requirements
Contacts

About the Program

  • The FSU Graduate Program in English offers a comprehensive, intellectually stimulating program for those who wish to be literary scholars, poets, fiction or nonfiction writers, and/or scholars/teachers of rhetoric and composition. Its diverse, accomplished faculty are actively involved in mentoring students both during the program itself as well as the job placement process. There are currently 33 MA/MFA students and 143 PhD students enrolled in the program. Graduate classes, though, tend to be small, averaging fewer than 10 students each.
  • All applications should be for SUMMER 2020 (even if you do not plan to start coursework until Fall). Deadline is Jan. 15, 2020.
  • Our department is organized into three programs:
  • Our Graduate Program also offers a Certificate in Publishing and Editing:
    • A 12-hour certificate program that provides academic foundations in histories, theories, and practices of publishing and textual production, as well as practical training in professional writing and editing.
    • The certificate program is an avenue for professional development both for current graduate students and for non-degree-seeking students who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills
    • For more information, visit
      https://english.fsu.edu/programs/graduate-certificate-publishing-and-editing
  • Departmental Publications and Activities
  • Placement
    • The Graduate Program maintains a solid placement record for its PhD graduates, despite the difficult job market (Creative Writing, in fact, has the best placement rate in the country). Our Placement Committee reviews application letters and vitae and stages practice interviews and job talk rehearsals.
    • For more information on where our alumni have been placed, please visit here.

Tallahassee...

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Application Information

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Application window: 8/1/2019 through 01/15/2020 (apply for SUMMER 2020, even if you do not plan to start coursework until Fall).

  • Click here to begin your application.
  • Admissions are NOT rolling. We make our decisions early each spring semester.
  • We only require the GRE General Test. Our school code is 5219.
  • There is no separate application for a teaching assistantship.
  • Students must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language. This requirement can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, including 12 hours at the undergraduate level, but it does NOT have to be completed prior to application and does NOT apply to MFA students.
  • International applicants must also take the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) and should score at least 26+ on the TOEFL iBT Speaking section. Applicants with a score lower than 26+, or who don’t have TOEFL scores, will be required to take the SPEAK test during their first term of enrollment.
  • PLEASE NOTE: the system requires you to click "Submit Application" and pay the application fee BEFORE you can upload any supporting documents. It'll seem like you're submitting an incomplete application, but rest assured: after you submit the basic application, you will be able to upload your required documents, which include ...
    • Statement of Purpose
      • 250-500 words describing the applicant’s academic and professional experience and goals
      • Students applying for the MFA or PhD in Creative Writing should specify intended genre (poetry, fiction, non-fiction) within their statement of purpose
    • Résumé/Curriculum Vita
    • Writing Sample
      • Applicants to the Literature, Media, and Culture program or Rhetoric and Composition program should submit a critical essay
      • Applicants to the Creative Writing program in Poetry should submit up to 10 poems
      • Applicants to the Creative Writing program in Fiction should submit a short story or two and/or a novel excerpt. No strict page limit—but generally, 20-40 pages will suffice; don’t sweat it if you’re a little under or over.
      • Applicants to the Creative Writing program in Nonfiction should submit one or two pieces and or two and/or an excerpt from a book. No strict page limit—but generally, 20-40 pages will suffice; don’t sweat it if you’re a little under or over.
      • Applicants to the Creative Writing program are NOT required to submit a critical writing sample
    • GRE scores (General Test required; Subject Test not required)
    • Unofficial Transcripts
  • At least three letters of recommendation through the electronic application
    • The online recommendation system connected to our application is the preferred method for recommenders to use.
      • If they will not be using this system, applicants should enter their information and select “offline recommender.”
      • Our application software is not designed to accept submissions from Interfolio
  • Submit official transcripts (from every university attended) and GRE scores to:
    • Office of Admissions
      Florida State University
      282 Champions Way
      P.O. Box 3062400
      Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400

Teaching Assistantship & Fellowships

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  • Assistantships
    • The majority of students in the Graduate English Program receive support in the form of a teaching assistantship. Teaching assistants are provided with a stipend, a tuition waiver, and a health-insurance subsidy. Experienced TAs are often invited to teach during the summer term for an additional stipend. Typically, MA students are offered a two-year assistantship, MFA students are offered a three-year assistantship, and PhD students are offered a four-year assistantship and are eligible to apply for a fifth year contingent on satisfactory progress through the degree program and availability of funds.
      • TAs may teach as part of the College Composition Program or courses in the undergraduate English major.
    • A separate application for assistantships is not required.
    • Opportunities for non-teaching assistantships may include:
      • An appointment to be assistant to the Program Directors, College Composition Director, Director of Graduate Studies, or Director of Undergraduate Studies
      • An appointment in the Reading Writing Center or Digital Studio
      • Computer Writing Classroom coordinator
      • First Year Composition Mentor
  • Fellowships
    • The English Department gives out several awards and scholarships, the most significant of which are...
      • The $10,000 Kingsbury Writing Award (given to currently enrolled students).
    • The FSU Graduate School offers several fellowships and awards:
      • Legacy Fellowships provide support for up to five years for newly admitted PhD students, 3 for newly admitted MFAs. The Fellowship is a $10,000 supplement to a 0.5 FTE assistantship (required) per academic year and provides an annual health-insurance subsidy. There is no application process for this highly selective felllowship; admitted students are automatically considered.
      • Wilson-Auzenne Assistantships for Minorities are available to new or currently enrolled minority graduate students. Nomination is through the department but competition is university-wise. Awards are a minimum of $5,000 per year plus tuition waivers and health-insurance subsidy.
      • PhD students at the dissertation stage are eligible to apply for a limited number of University Dissertation Fellowships, currently funded at $10,000 plus tuition waivers for three terms.
      • A number of African-American students in the program have also held McKnight Doctoral Fellowships, which provide up to five years of support to PhD students, with a stipend of $12,000 plus tuition waivers and health-insurance subsidy. These fellowships are administered by a state-wide foundation.
      • McNair Scholars Fellowships, a federally funded program that prepares first-generation for members underrepresented populations for doctoral studies. Fellowships are $16,000-$20,000 per calendar year (plus tuition waiver and health-insurance subsidy) for up to 5 years for PhD students and 3 for MFAs. Applicants MUST have been McNair Scholars at their previous institution.
      • Henderson Family Fellowships support Florida public school teachers pursuing an MA or MFA, covering the cost of tuition and fees in both the spring and fall semesters.
      • Eligible minority students may qualify for the FAMU Feeder Fellowship. This program, for students who graduated from Florida A&M University and completed the FAMU Feeder program. Awards of $7,250/semester plus health-insurance subsidy will be given for a maximum of four years for doctoral degree-seeking students, and two years for MA/MFA students.
    • Post-Graduate Teaching Appointments
      • Upon receiving the PhD in English, as part of their professional development and in tandem with the job search, graduates may teach composition in the department for up to two years through the Next Generation Visiting Assistant Professor Award program and/or the Visiting Teaching Faculty Program. Both are salaried appointments with benefits, albeit with different sets of eligibility requirements and teaching responsibilities.
    • Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards
      • The Graduate School is the proprietary body for each graduate department, including English. Please check the link to their website for additional admission information as well as scholarship and fellowship information for incoming graduate students, particularly the Legacy, McKnight, and Wilson-Auzenne Fellowships: http://gradschool.fsu.edu/

Degree Requirements

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  • MA in Literature, Media, and Culture or or Rhetoric and Composition
    • Admissions Requirements
      • Degree and Grades: Students are required to have an undergraduate degree (ideally in English or another relevant field) with an upper-division GPA of 3.0 or higher.
      • GRE Scores: All applicants are required to submit GRE scores. Verbal scores above the 80th percentile are typical among successful candidates, though such scores provide no guarantee of acceptance. We accept the old as well as revised versions of the GRE test.
      • International applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and must score at least 550 on the paper-based exam or 80 on the internet-based exam. International students seeking a teaching assistantship in the English department are required to receive a score of 28 or higher on the speaking section of the Internet-based TOEFL test.
      • A completed application (See “Application Information” above)
    • Degree Requirements
      • Earn 33 credit hours with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better in approved courses as described below for each emphasis
      • Satisfy a foreign language requirement
      • Satisfactorily complete a final requirement as described below for each emphasis
    • Literature Program Requirements
      • General Literature Requirements:
        • Gateway Theory Course ENG 5079 (Issues in Literary and Cultural Studies)
        • One course pre-1660
        • One additional course pre-1800
        • One additional course 1660-1900
      • Nine hours in an Area of Concentration selected from the following list:
        • Medieval and Early Modern British Literary and Cultural Studies (through 1600)
        • British and Irish Literary and Cultural Studies: 1660-1990
        • Post-1900 Literary and Cultural Studies (American, British, Irish)
        • American Literary and Cultural Studies to 1900
        • African-American Literary and Cultural Studies
        • History of Text Technologies
        • Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
        • Colonial, Postcolonial, and Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies
      • One literature course whose chief organizing principle is alterity (i.e.., a course that focuses on race, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity). In this one instance the course fulfilling this requirement may, as well, fulfill another.
      • As a final requirement, students pursuing an MA in Literature must complete the Capstone Course in Professional Research and Writing (ENG 5835). See the Graduate Handbook for description.
    • Rhetoric and Composition Requirements:
      • 33 semester hours of coursework, to include:
        • 3 core courses: Rhetorical Theory and Practice, Theories of Composition, Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition.
        • Teaching English in College
        • Issues in Literary and Cultural Studies
        • 12 additional hours of coursework in English
        • 6 hours of thesis credit or 3 hour of ePortfolio
      • As a final requirement, students may complete and defend a thesis or develop and defend an ePortfolio.
  • MFA in Creative Writing
    • Admissions Requirements: same as MA above
    • Degree Requirements:
      • 45 credit hours with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better in approved courses as described below
      • There is no foreign language requirement for the MFA
      • Satisfactorily complete a final requirement as described below
    • Program Requirements:
      • 21-24 hours of work in writing, of which:
        • 12-15 will be taken in any combination of the following courses, provided at least two of the courses are taken: Fiction Workshop, Poetry Workshop, Drama Workshop, Article and Essay Workshop (the four workshops in writing may be repeated for credit), or Writing Seminar
        • 9-12 hours will be devoted to writing a creative thesis
      • 21-24 hours in literature and related courses, including ENG 5079 (Issues in Literary and Cultural Studies)
  • PhD in Literature, Media, and Culture; Rhetoric and Composition; or Creative Writing
    • Admission Requirements
      • Degree and Grades: Students are required to have a master’s degree, ideally in English or another relevant field.
      • GRE scores: All applicants are required to submit GRE scores (general test only; subject test not required). Verbal scores in the 86th percentile range are typical among successful candidates, though such scores provide no guarantee of acceptance. We accept the old as well as revised versions of the GRE test.
      • International applicants must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and must score at least 550.
      • A completed online application (See Application Information above)
    • Course requirements
      • Completion of 27 semesters of course work and 24 dissertation hours
      • Satisfaction of the MA General Literature and foreign language requirements (even if student is directly admitted into the PhD after completely only a B.A. degree)
      • A total of 18 credit hours (nine for those delivering a creative dissertation) in an Area of Concentration chosen from the approved list of eligible concentrations or another area approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee, in preparation for a PhD Preliminary exam in the major field. Students can apply a maximum of nine hours from the Masters level toward the PhD concentration requirement.

        Subdivisions within the general Areas of Concentration, listed below, will be detailed by individual caucuses comprised of faculty specializing in the Area:

        • Medieval and Early Modern British Literary and Cultural Studies (through 1660) - Requirements
        • British and Irish Literary and Cultural Studies: 1660-1900 — Requirements
        • Post-1900 Literary and Cultural Studies (American, British, Irish) — Requirements
        • American Literary and Cultural Studies to 1900 — Requirements
        • African-American Literary and Cultural Studies — Requirements
        • History of Text Technologies — Requirements
        • Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies — Requirements
        • Colonial, Postcolonial, and Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies — Requirements<
        • A Literary Genre
        • Rhetoric and Composition — Requirements
      • Take one literature course whose chief organizing principle is alterity (i.e., a course that focuses on race, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity). In this one instance the course fulfilling this requirement may, as well, fulfill another.
      • Passing of a major and minor exam based on reading lists drawn from the Areas of Concentration above.
      • Individual Areas of Concentration may involve additional requirements. These requirements will be set by the caucus comprised of faculty in the Area of Concentration. A student’s supervisory committee may also determine that additional work in a relevant foreign language is necessary for a student’s graduate program and scholarly interests.
      • University Scholarly Engagement Requirement: In order to receive the degree, the PhD student must satisfy the university’s Scholarly Engagement requirement, which ensures that doctoral students are active participants in the scholarly community. Students can fulfill this requirement in a number of ways, including serving as a Teaching Assistant, working for the Southeast Review, serving on the Graduate Student English Organization (GESO), taking part in reading groups, and regularly attending departmental events, among other form of scholarly engagement. See the Graduate Handbook for a complete list.
      • Preliminary Examination: To be formally admitted to candidacy for the PhD, the student must pass the preliminary examination at least six months before the degree is to be granted. The examination consists of a 12-hour written test given over 3 days (8 hours on the major area, 4 hours on the minor area), and a 1 to 2 hour oral examination by the supervisory committee, normally held within two weeks after the written test.
      • Dissertation: After filing a prospectus, the candidate will write the dissertation in close consultation with the major professor and the committee. The dissertation may be an extended essay, three or more essays related by subject, or an extended original work in fiction, poetry, or drama. The candidate will defend a draft of the dissertation in a 2-hour oral examination by the supervisory committee.
        • Time Limitation: All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within five years from the time the student passes the preliminary examination

Contacts

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  • Can’t find an answer here to your question(s)? Let us help.
    • For questions about the graduate program in general or broad questions about admissions...
    • For questions about the Creative Writing Program:
    • For questions about the Literature, Media, and Culture Program:
    • For questions about the Rhetoric and Composition Program:
    • For prospective students with questions about submitting official documents that must be sent from institution to institution or other technical issues with the admissions process:
    • For admitted or current students with questions about forms, paperwork, etc.”
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