English, MA

Department of English, College of Arts & Sciences

Vision Statement

The Department of English reflects the centrality of language to human endeavors and its effectiveness in achieving awareness of the human complexities that are part of us, our relationships, and our roles in the world.

Program Contact Information

Ramon Guerra, PhD, Graduate Program Chair (GPC) 
189E Arts & Science Hall (ASH) 

Program Website

Fast Track Program

The Department of English has developed a Fast Track program for highly qualified and motivated students providing the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in an accelerated time frame. With Fast Track, students may count up to nine graduate hours toward the completion of their undergraduate program as well as the graduate degree program.

Program Specifics:

  • This program is available for undergraduate students pursuing the BA degree in English desiring to pursue an MA in English

  • Students must have completed no fewer than 60 undergraduate hours

  • Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5

  • Students must complete the Fast Track Approval form and obtain all signatures and submit to the Office of Graduate Studies prior to first enrollment in a graduate course

  • Students will work with their undergraduate advisor to register for the graduate courses

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduate coursework to remain in good academic standing

  • Students remain undergraduates until they meet all the requirements for the undergraduate degree and are eligible for all rights and privileges granted to undergraduate status including financial aid

  • Near the end of the undergraduate program, formal application to the graduate program is required. The application fee will be waived, the applicant will need to contact the Office of Graduate Studies for a fee waiver code
    • Admission to Fast Track does NOT guarantee admission to the graduate program
    • The admit term must be after the completion term of the undergraduate degree
  • Students may enroll in dual-level courses (8xx6 or 8xx5) for Fast Track credit, but not seminars


General Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Program-Specific Requirements

Application Deadlines (Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024)

Applications for this program are accepted on a rolling basis. All materials must be submitted prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student has elected to begin coursework.

Other Requirements

  • To be admitted to graduate study in English, a student should have completed at least 18 credit hours in undergraduate English courses above the freshman level with an average grade of “B” (3.0/4.0) or higher.
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English. Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the United States, OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a predetermined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.

    • Internet-based TOEFL: 80, IELTS: 6.5, PTE: 53, Duolingo: 110
    • If interested in a graduate assistantship ship minimum scores are as follows. Internet-based TOEFL: 100, IELTS: 7.5, PTE: 68, Duolingo: 130 
  • Statement of Purpose: The statement (of about 500-1000 words) should convey the applicant’s previous study in the field of English, any relevant work or life experience, the applicant’s philosophy of learning and reason for pursuing a master’s degree in English, and anything else that might help convey the applicant’s personality, spirit, or intellectual character.

Teaching Assistantship

The application for a graduate assistantship requires the following additional materials, which should all be sent directly to the attention of the Graduate Program Chair, Department of English, ASH 192D, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 Dodge St., Omaha, NE 68182-0175 or by e-mail to englishTAapplications@unomaha.edu 

  • Application coversheet (available online)
  • Statement of Purpose: 500-1000 words detailing the applicant's ambitions in the graduate program and his or her motivation for pursuing an assistantship. In addition, this statement should convey some sense of the applicant's identity and philosophy of learning.
  • Writing Sample or Samples of academic or creative non-fiction prose by the applicant totaling 10-20 pages in length. The sample(s) should reflect the applicant's best writing, demonstrating a cohesive argument and/or sustained thematic focus and excellent control of syntax and style.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation from past teachers or anyone else reasonably able to offer an objective assessment of the applicant's writing, critical reasoning skills, and promise as a teacher. These letters should be sent to the above address directly by the recommenders, along with waiver forms.

Degree Requirements

Option 1: Thesis

(24 hours of coursework; 6 hours of thesis)

  • For this option at least 12 hours of coursework must be seminar-level.
Required Courses for both Thesis and Non-Thesis Options, Select Two6
Select 18 hours for the Thesis Option, 6 hours of which must be seminars. Seminars end in a zero (0) (see below).18
Thesis Requirement
Total Credits30

Option 2: Non-Thesis

(36 hours of coursework)

  • For this option at least 18 hours of coursework must be seminar-level.
Required Courses for both Thesis and Non-Thesis Options, Select Two6
Select 30 hours for the Non-Thesis Option, 12 hours of which must be seminars. Seminars end in a zero (0) (see below).30
Total Credits36

Electives for Both Thesis and Non-Thesis Options

Any ENGL Graduate Course 8000 or above

Coursework Outside English

With the approval of the student’s advisor and the English graduate program committee, a student may include a minor or coursework from another related discipline or disciplines as part of the plan of study. For both the thesis and non-thesis options, a minor is nine hours (3 courses). The maximum amount of coursework that may be applied from another discipline or disciplines is the same as that for a minor in both options (nine hours).

Exit Requirement

Option 1 Thesis:

  • ENGL 8990 Thesis six hours
  • Comprehensive Examination

Option 2 Non-Thesis:

  • Comprehensive Examination