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

Ramón Guerra, PhD, Graduate Program Chair (GPC) 
192D Arts & Science Hall (ASH) 

Program Website


Application Deadlines (Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021)

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.

Program-Specific Requirements

  • 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.

    • Applicants should score at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL examination, 250 on the computer-based TOEFL, 100 on the internet-based TOEFL, 8 IELTS, or 68 PTE in order to be eligible for unconditional admission.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Applicants with International Transcripts: Any applicant to this program who has completed undergraduate or graduate coursework at an international higher education institution outside of the United States may submit transcripts and degree certificates (with an English translation) in lieu of a course-by-course transcript evaluation from World Education Services (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), or Educational Perspectives.  This graduate program will conduct an in-house credential evaluation of your transcript(s).
    • UNO reserves the right to require a course-by-course evaluation from WES, ECE, or Educational Perspectives if the program is unable to complete an evaluation or should there be any questions or concerns about the documentation that is received. You will be notified by the individual program if an external course-by-course evaluation is required.
    • *Note: If you are admitted, official transcripts and degree certificates (with an English translation)/official course-by-course transcript evaluation, and any applicable official exam scores are required.

Teaching Assistantship

The application for a graduate assistantship requires the following additional materials, which should all be sent directly to Dr. Ramón Guerra, Graduate Program Chair, Department of English, ASH 192D, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 Dodge St., Omaha, NE 68182-0175.

  • 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 (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 9 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 (9 hours).

Exit Requirement

Option 1 Thesis:

  • ENGL 8990 Thesis 6 hours
  • Comprehensive Examination

Option 2 Non-Thesis:

  • Comprehensive Examination