Montana State University

English Department

English Department

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172300
Bozeman, MT 59717-2300

Tel: 406 994-3768
Fax: 406 994-2110
Location: 2-176 Wilson Hall

Department Chair

Gaines, Philip, Department Chair
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Washington
Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Composition


    • Agruss, David, Assistant Professor
    Ph.D., Cornell University
    Victorian Literature and Culture, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Colonial and
    Postcolonial Studies, Queer Theory

    • Bennett, Robert, Associate Professor
    Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
    Cultural Studies, Global Studies, Urban Studies, American Studies

    • Branch, Kirk, Associate Professor
    Ph.D., University of Washington, Composition,
    Rhetorical Theory, Literacy Theory, Pedagogy

    • Downs, Doug, Assistant Professor
    Ph.D., University of Utah
    Writing Studies, Writing in the Disciplines, Research Pedagogy

    • Gaines, Philip, Department Chair
    Ph.D., University of Washington
    Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Composition

    • Karell, Linda K., Associate Professor
    Ph.D., University of Rochester
    Western American Literature, Literary Theory

    • Keeler, Greg, Professor
    D.A., Idaho State University
    Creative Writing, Contemporary Literature

    • Kollin, Susan, Professor
    Ph.D., University of Minnesota
    Western American Literature, Environmental Literature

    • Lansverk, Marvin, Professor
    Ph.D., University of Washington
    Eighteenth-Century British Literature

    • Minton, Gretchen, Associate Professor
    Ph.D., University of British Columbia
    English Renaissance, Shakespeare, Drama, Christian Late Antiquity

    • Morgan, Gwendolyn A., Professor
    Ph.D., University of South Florida
    Medieval Literature, Linguistics

    • Petrone, Robert, Assistant Professor
    Ph.D., Michigan State University
    English Education, Sociocultural Literacy & Learning, (Youth) Cultural Studies

    • Sexson, Michael, Professor
    Ph.D., Syracuse University
    Literature and Religion, Mythology

    • Thomas, Amy M., Associate Professor
    Ph.D., Duke University
    Nineteenth-Century American Literature, History of the Book

Degree Offered

M.A. in English

The Master of Art in English focuses on the interconnectedness of writing, teaching, and literary studies. Students may elect to complete either the Plan A (thesis), or Plan B (professional paper) option. At the heart of the program is a concern for the integrated interests of students and teachers in all branches of the field. Teachers, scholars, and writers in the program gain a better understanding of their own practices by seeing the extent to which each writer is also a literary critic, each teacher is also a writer and reader of literature, and all critics and readers are teachers and writers. The program is designed to extend and deepen the intellectual rigor of customary approaches to literature by examining issues these approaches often leave unaddressed, such as the history and institutionalization of the discipline, the relationship between theory and the practices of writing, teaching, and textual studies; and the process by which knowledge in the field of English has been and is constructed.

Program Requirements

The Master of Arts degree requires the minimum completion of 30 course credits. Students will select one of two options, either the professional paper or the thesis. The first option involves 24 hours of course work and 6 hours of professional paper, the latter 21 hours of course work and 10 hours of thesis. Students are expected to have completed the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree in English. Students with undergraduate degrees other than English are encouraged to apply; however, they may be required to take additional English courses as a condition of their acceptance.

Required Core Courses

ENGL 510 Studies in Critical Theory and Practice 3 credits
ENGL 530 Studies in Writing Theory and Practice 3 credits
ENGL 540 Studies in Theory and Practice of Literary History 3 credits
ENGL 575 Professional Paper Max 6 credits (Plan B Only)
ENGL 590 Master's Thesis 1-10 credits (Plan A Only)


ENGL 550 Focused Research Seminar Max 6 credits
ENGL 570 Individual Problems Max 6 credits
ENGL 576 Internship 1-12 credits
ENGL 580 Special Topics Max 9 credits

Financial Assistance

Teaching assistantships, awarded on a competitive basis, may be available to formally admitted graduate students. See the Graduate Assistantships sections for detailed information on appointment criteria. Assistantships are requested from the student's home department.

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