Graduate Studies in English
Connect Literature and Pedagogy
Theory and Practice
The department offers three graduate programs:
- MA in English
- PhD in English and the Teaching of English
- Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL)
Both the MA and the PhD programs emphasize English and American literature as well as practical and theoretical training in teaching English at the college level. The TESOL Certificate may be completed as part of the MA or PhD or as a stand-alone credential.
The Department of English and Philosophy has an established tradition of graduate training, having offered the MA in English since 1960 and doctorates since 1971. Our programs stand out from others in the region and nation for their distinctive combination of broad literary training with pedagogical theory and practice.
The English Department is a lively intellectual community, where students work closely with faculty. In addition to normal coursework, we have many on-going departmental activities, including the faculty works-in-progress series, doctoral colloquia, and the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) meetings and graduate conference, as well as periodic brown bag luncheons and workshops concerning teaching and professional preparation. Combined with a solid education in literature and the teaching of English, participation in these activities has contributed to the success of our MA and doctoral graduates in finding jobs in teaching at two- and four-year institutions, in editing and grant writing, and in other fields of employment.
The MA is a two-year program that provides intensive training for students who want further background in English, including those who aim to teach at the secondary level or want to prepare for a doctoral program. The degree focuses on literature and students are encouraged as well to take related seminar offerings in the teaching of English, including Teaching Writing, Teaching Literature, Teaching Business and Professional Writing, and TESOL (Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages). Financial aid is available to students in the form of Teaching Assistantships (TAs). A highlight of our MA program is our mentoring for MA TAs. We offer unparalleled training for new college-level teachers. In the first semester, students complete a seminar in the theory and practice of composition studies and shadow a graduate faculty member in a composition course. From the second semester on, TAs teach their own classes with routine supervision and feedback from graduate faculty.
The PhD in English and the Teaching of English is an innovative and distinctive program that integrates research in literature with practical and theoretical training in the teaching of English. The aim of the program is to prepare students for teaching careers in English at two- and four-year colleges and universities.
The department has an established record of doctoral training, having offered doctoral degrees in English since 1971. The PhD in English and the Teaching of English is the only PhD program in English in Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming. The program attracts applicants from around the region, nation, and the world, and is especially well-suited for those whose primary career goal is a tenure-track position at a community college.
The department also offers a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), which may be completed as part of the coursework for the MA or PhD or as a stand-alone credential. Please note: students applying to or enrolled in the MA or PhD need to submit a separate application. For more information, please see the TESOL Certificate Program web page.
Graduate Application Guidelines and Deadlines
For more information about the MA, PhD, and TESOL application and admission process, please see the Graduate Application Information Page.
Graduate Program Costs and Financial Aid
Idaho State University is one of the least expensive schools in the United States and, compared with other areas in the country, Pocatello’s cost of living is also relatively low (about 15% less than the national average). For more information about costs, please see "How Much Does It Cost to Attend ISU?"
The department has some financial support available in the form of PhD Fellowships and PhD and MA TAships. We encourage all students who wish to be considered for these to submit the TA/Fellowship Application Form along with their applications.
Students may be eligible for other forms of aid. MA and PhD students who do not receive a TAship or Fellowship and who are residents of the states of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming, or of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), may qualify for in-state fees under the regional graduate studies program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). In addition, we recommend that all U.S. citizens file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will entitle them to apply for other aid, such as federally subsidized loans and work study.
For additional information on financial aid, please see the information below, or contact the Director of Graduate Studies and the ISU Office of Financial Aid.
PhD fellowships are for full-time students and provide a substantial stipend and a tuition and fee scholarship that includes health insurance. These fellowships require no teaching, except for the two teaching internships that are part of the degree program.
MA and PhD Teaching Assistantships
Teaching Assistantships are available for full-time MA and PhD students and provide a stipend and a tuition and fee scholarship that includes health insurance. MA Teaching Assistants participate in the Teaching Assistant Mentoring Program, which involves studying the theory and practice of composition teaching for one full semester and leading a class in the second semester. PhD TAs begin teaching immediately.
Graduate Studies Contact Information
Inquiries regarding the graduate programs in English should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies. For information about graduate courses in Philosophy, please contact the Director of Philosophy (see contact information below).
Director of Graduate Studies in English
Director of Philosophy
Department of English & Philosophy
Idaho State University
921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8056
Pocatello, ID 83209-8056