Department of English MA English Studies

The MA in English Studies At Western Washington University 

Our robust MA program offers you a chance to pursue an advanced path in literary or writing studies, providing both experience and training in teaching and research in the humanities. 

Decidedly interdisciplinary and global in its scope, our program strives to meet the goals and needs of a variety of graduate students.

For those whose goals include teaching at the community college level, we offer advanced courses in the theory and practice of composition and rhetoric and the teaching of writing.

For those who eventually want to apply to Ph.D. programs, we provide a solid and critically up-to-date curriculum that encompasses a range of rigorous scholarly methods and theoretical approaches to the study and teaching of literature, cultural studies, and film & media studies.

Click here for current graduate course descriptions.

Program Requirements: 55 credits for a thesis option, OR a non-thesis option

REQUIRED COURSE: (5 credits)
English 501: Literary Theories and Practices

CORE COURSES: (25 credits) in literature, composition/rhetoric, critical theory:
English 513 (Teaching Composition) for Graduate Teaching Assistants
English 510: Seminar: Topics in Rhetoric (repeatable)
English 515: Studies in Literary and Critical Theory (repeatable)
English 540: Studies in Global Literatures (repeatable)
English 550: Studies in American Literatures (repeatable)
English 560: Studies in British Literature (repeatable)
English 565: Studies in Post-Colonial Literatures (repeatable)
English 570: Topics in Cultural Studies (repeatable)
English 575: Studies in Women’s Literature (repeatable)
English 580: Studies in Film (repeatable)
English 520: Studies in Poetry (repeatable)*
English 525: Studies in Fiction (repeatable)*
English 535: Studies in Nonfiction (repeatable)*
*These courses may be taken as either literature or elective credits (depending on the nature of your final project). Only 5 of the 25 total/combined credits can be taken in an ENG 500 Directed Independent Study course.

ELECTIVES: (15- 25 credits) in Literature, Composition/Rhetoric, English language, creative writing, or pedagogy. (25 credits) for the non-thesis option, (15 credits) for the thesis option.
Any of the above courses, plus:
English 502: Seminar in the Writing of Fiction (repeatable)
English 504: Seminar in the Writing of Poetry (repeatable)
English 505: Seminar in the Writing of Nonfiction (repeatable)
English 506: Seminar in Creative Writing: Multigenre (repeatable)
English 509: Internship in Writing, Editing and Production (repeatable)
English 594: Practicum in Teaching (repeatable)
English 598: Research in the Teaching of English (repeatable)

THESIS (for thesis option): 2-10 (5 credits)
English 690 Thesis Writing*
*Thesis credits count as elective credits. If a student elects not to write a thesis, 3 additional credits
are required as electives.

Note: A student may, with permission, take up to 10 credits in 400-level courses. You may have only 10 credits TOTAL of 400-level and/or 500 (Independent Study) credits.


  1. Successful completion of the English Studies Graduate Exam.
  2. (optional) Successful Thesis, with a critical preface, approved by the student's Thesis Committee and the Graduate School.

Our English Studies Graduate Faculty:

Nicole R. Brown
Visual Rhetoric, Sustainability Studies, Technical Writing

Jeremy Cushman
Public Rhetorics, New Media, Writing Pedagogy

Kristin Denham
Native American Languages, Dialect Studies, Linguistic & Education

Marc Geisler
British Renaissance Literature, Critical Theory

Allison Giffen
Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature, Women’s Studies

Bruce Goebel
Pedagogy, American Literature, Humor

Nancy Johnson
Children's and Young Adult Literature, Reader Response, English/Language Arts Education

Laura Laffrado
Early American Literatures, Autobiographical Writing, Women Writing

Christopher Loar
18th Century Studies, Political Theory, Literature & History of Science

Anne Lobeck
English Language & Linguistics, Language & Education

Kathleen Lundeen
British Romanticism, Literature and Science, Intermedia Theory and Art

Andrew Lucchesi

Basic Writing, curriculum design, pedagogical theory, and advanced technical and professional writing

Bill Lyne
African American Literature & Culture

Mary J. Metzger
Early Modern Literature, Theory, Pedagogy

Donna Qualley
Writing & Literacy Studies, Writing & Reading Pedagogies, Writing & Learning Transfer, Ethnographic
Methods, Young Adult Literature

Lysa Rivera
Chicano/a Literature, African American Literature, American Cultural Studies

Brian Twenter
Native and Indigenous Literatures and Cultures

Steven Vanderstaay
English Education, Teaching English

Kathryn Vulić
Medieval Literature, Middle English Poets, Manuscript Studies

Theresa Warburton

Feminist theory, Women’s Literature, Native Literature, Transnational and Multiethnic Literature, Memoir, and Anarchist studies.

Christopher Wise
Comparative Literature, Critical Theory, African Studies

Greg Youmans
Film and Media Studies (film courses for both MFA & MA)

Ning Yu
Nineteenth Century American Literature, Nature Writing, Ecocriticism