WCU's English graduate programs serve aspiring scholars who wish to become college instructors, professionals who need to develop their skills as writers and editors, and teachers who wish to expand their portfolios. Classes are offered at both the main campus in Cullowhee and in Asheville at WCU's Biltmore Park facility. The English Department offers the following graduate degrees:
Guiding the way are our experienced, dedicated faculty [leave link], many of whom have followed this same path and made their mark as successful professionals and award-winning authors and scholars. Our graduate classes are taught by full-time professors with terminal degrees. They are acclaimed experts—not adjuncts.
An ideal writing sample should be eight double-spaced pages or more in length; it should employ MLA or APA documentation and use appropriate secondary sources; and it should demonstrate the applicant’s ability to analyze a subject and construct a clear argument. It will be evaluated on the basis of content, rigor, depth, and style. This type of essay is typically produced in senior-level English classes. Other writing samples will be considered.
The Graduate School at WCU accepts student applications throughout the year. It is recommended that applicants submit a completed application and all supporting materials at least four weeks prior to the start of first term. Nevertheless, it is best to apply early because limited seats are available each semester. Learn more about Graduate School Admission requirements.
The Graduate Assistantships
The Department offers support to many of our graduate students in the form of assistantships. For best consideration, submit materials by early February for the following fall term; assistantships may be available at other times.
For students holding graduate assistantships in English, our program often serves as a professional apprenticeship in teaching at the college level. However, graduate assistants can also work as research assistants with English faculty, as professional writers in a variety of university offices like the Coulter Faculty Commons or the Graduate School, or in other capacities. For those who want the teaching training, the typical path is to work as tutors in the Writing and Learning Commons (WaLC) during the first year, as well as observing a writing class each semester and taking ENGL 514 Teaching Writing, which is designed to provide both a theoretical base and practical pedagogical training. Usually in the second year, after completing eighteen hours of graduate English coursework, students gain classroom experience by teaching their own writing class under the mentorship of an experienced instructor.
Graduate Assistants are required to take nine hours per semester (except for their final semester, in which they take six). The assistantship is a 20-hour/week commitment.
For more information on scholarships, tuition waivers, grants, fellowships, and awards, see the Graduate School's "Tuition and Funding."
Information for Current Students: