Culminating Experience

Students select either the Thesis Option or the Comprehensive Examination Option. Successful completion of either option satisfies the graduation writing requirement.

Thesis Option

Students electing the Thesis Option are required to write a thesis in either English composition and rhetoric, literature, linguistics, or applied linguistics and teaching English as a second language. Students develop an acceptable thesis project and prepare a thesis proposal in accordance with program guidelines, consisting of a 1000-word proposal and an annotated bibliography. Those pursuing a dual concentration must devise a thesis project relevant to both concentrations. To develop a thesis proposal and obtain approval of it, students carry out the following steps:

  1. Complete ENG 695 with a grade of CR;
  2. Gain the support of a committee of two or three English Department faculty members (the thesis reading committee);
  3. Submit the Thesis Proposal and annotated bibliography to the full graduate committee (8-10 members) and carry out any revisions requested to achieve its approval.

Students then write the thesis, a culminating independent project that demonstrates mastery of both the subject matter and the written discourse of the discipline. Completed thesis manuscripts must be formatted in accordance with the guidelines established by the Graduate Studies Office and approved by the thesis reading committee and either the graduate coordinator, associate graduate coordinator, or department chair, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Note: To undertake the Thesis Option, a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.7 overall in degree-applicable courses or the permission of the graduate coordinator.

Comprehensive Examination Option

Students electing the Comprehensive Examination Option must take the examination no earlier than in the last quarter of program coursework, and after successful completion (with a grade of CR) of ENG 695.

Students must declare their intent to take the examination at least one quarter in advance and register for ENG 999. The comprehensive examination is offered twice yearly, in fall and spring quarters.

The reading committees for the comprehensive examination in each concentration will be established annually by the graduate program, and will consist of two English Department faculty members and the graduate coordinator or associate coordinator responsible for each concentration.

The comprehensive examination addresses both the program's core curriculum and the student's concentration. The examination will be graded pass/fail. No student will be permitted to take the comprehensive examination more than twice. Candidates who re-take the examination must do so within one calendar year.

For more information please visit our website. Department of English