Open Letter to Prospective Graduate Students

Subject: Open Letter to Prospective Graduate Students
From: Roland Végső
Date: 30 Mar 2015

Dear Prospective Graduate Student,

We appreciate your interest in the graduate program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln! You will find our English Department a vibrant, diverse, and intellectually stimulating place to do your graduate work. We currently have approximately 120 graduate students in our MA and PhD programs in Literary and Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, and Composition and Rhetoric. We offer graduate coursework in all these areas. There are also opportunities for students to obtain Area of Specialization Certificates in affiliated interdisciplinary programs or Graduate Certificates such as the Certificate in the Teaching of Writing. Students with a BA may apply for the MA or for direct admission into the PhD. Please note that students who apply with a BA for direct admission to the PhD will compete with PhD applicants who have an MA; we only enroll students with excellent academic records and stated commitments to PhD work for direct admission to the PhD program. Students with an MA or MFA may apply for the PhD. If you are considering applying to our MA or PhD programs I recommend you download and browse through our MA Handbook and PhD Handbook.
The English Department has won a university-wide Teaching Award and half of our faculty have won individual teaching awards, including the highest awards the University offers. In addition, the department houses a number of prestigious journals and projects, including Prairie Schooner, one of the most respected literary journals in the nation; the Walt Whitman Archive; the Cather Project; the Nebraska Writing Project; the Nebraska Literacy Project; the Corvey Collection of 19th Century British Literature; the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric monograph series, and the Quarterly Review of Film and Video. Graduate students regularly enrich their academic experience through work on major department projects like these and others. The department is also closely associated with the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities -- an internationally renowned research group in Digital Humanities.
Graduate students are integrated into the life of the department, with opportunities to participate in departmental governance and attend department meetings. The English Graduate Student Association is active. Faculty and students participate in reading and discussion groups in Critical Theory, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Eco-Criticism, Composition Theory, Cather, Minority Literatures, Teaching Literature, and Creative Nonfiction. Graduate students read their creative work at the No-Name Reading series, which many students and faculty attend regularly. We also bring in a diverse series of visiting writers. Recent visitors have included: Susan Fromberg Schaffer, Eleanor Wilner, Richard Russo, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Stuart Dybek, Baron Wormser, Robin Becker, Chrystos, Toi Derricotte, Leslie Feinberg, Ann Finger, and Charles Fort. Joyce Carol Oates was the keynote speaker in the fall of 2001 at the Prairie Schooner 75th Anniversary Conference. Additionally, we hold an annual Robert Knoll Lecture in Literary Studies and organize Humanities on the Edge, a cross-disciplinary lecture series focusing on broadly theoretical questions. In recent years the Robert Knoll Lecture has been given by Houston A. Baker, Marjorie Perloff, Jerome McGann, and Michael Bérubé; among recent Humanities on the Edge lecturers were Michael Hardt, Ernesto Laclau, Jeffrey T. Nealon, and Steven Shaviro.
Our financial aid packages are attractive. Reading Assistantships provide tuition and a stipend for six MA students each year. These assistantships give students the opportunity to work with faculty on their research, plan conferences, work on special projects, or work for Prairie Schooner. PhD students are eligible for Teaching Assistantships which provide tuition and a stipend. In addition, many of our graduate students have obtained assistantships in other campus offices, including Women’s and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, the Great Plains Quarterly, and the Arts & Sciences Advising Office.
We are very proud of our students’ achievements. Many have obtained tenure track jobs in colleges and universities, while others have found excellent jobs in publishing or other areas, such as with the MLA. A number of our recent graduates have already published books, both academic and creative. We take job preparation very seriously; our Placement Advisor works closely with students, and all our faculty assist students with their job searches.
We invite you to browse our website and get to know our program better. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Roland Végső
Graduate Chair
[email protected]