Jason McEntee, Department Head
Sharon Smith, Assistant Professor/Graduate Coordinator
Department of English
Pugsley Continuing Education Center 301, Box 2218
SDSU’s English department offers the M.A. degree in English. There are two emphases available to students:
- Studies in Literature
- Studies in Language and Rhetoric
Within these two areas of study, the department offers two options for completing the degree:
- Option A requires twenty-four credit hours of coursework, six credit hours of thesis, a thesis project, and an oral examination. Within this option, the student may write a thesis reflecting traditional scholarship in literature, rhetoric, or linguistics or a thesis with a creative component.
- Option C requires thirty-six credit hours of coursework, a comprehensive written examination, and an oral examination.
Either option will support a variety of educational or professional goals including doctoral study, teaching, technical writing, editing, and publishing. Students generally complete the program in two to three years.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the English graduate program at South Dakota State University will demonstrate:
- In-depth knowledge of, intellectual curiosity about, and aesthetic appreciation for a wide variety of literary texts and authors representing a diversity of historical, artistic, philosophical, social, and cultural perspectives.
- An understanding of the standard practices, research methodologies, and critical theories that define the discipline of English studies.
- The ability to use these practices, methodologies, and theories to produce sophisticated and original scholarly and/or creative work.
- The ability to synthesize knowledge of literature, history, culture, theory, and criticism to produce insightful and engaging textual analysis and interpretation, both spoken and written.
- Superior critical, analytical, research, and communication skills, as well as an understanding of how to apply these skills within a wide variety of professional, social, and personal contexts.
- A knowledge of and adherence to the professional and ethical standards that define the discipline.
- Excellence in the teaching of writing to undergraduate students (graduate teaching assistants only).
- Continuing professional or educational goals and a plan for achieving them post-degree.
Course Delivery Format
Graduate courses are delivered face-to-face in small, seminar settings.
Student Support and Engagement Opportunities
The department offers a number of graduate teaching assistantships for the nine-month academic year. Graduate teaching assistants teach two sections of composition per semester. During some semesters, graduate teaching assistants may have the opportunity to tutor in the writing center in lieu of teaching one section of composition. Graduate teaching assistants receive a stipend, office space, faculty library status, and a two-thirds tuition waiver. Applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship should indicate their interest in the cover letter submitted to the Graduate School as part of their online application.
Note: Graduate teaching assistants begin their duties in the fall semester of the academic year; therefore, students who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship must submit their applications on or before April 15. Students applying to begin during the spring semester will not be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship until the following fall semester.