Feb 25, 2021  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog


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Interim Department Head: Phebe Jensen
Location: Ray B. West 201
Phone: (435) 797-2733
FAX: (435) 797-5545
E-mail: phebe.jensen@usu.edu
WWW: http://english.usu.edu/

Interim Associate Department Head: Brian McCuskey
Location: Ray B. West 313
Phone: (435) 797-0262
FAX: (435) 797-5545
E-mail: brian.mccuskey@usu.edu

Director, Graduate Studies:
Jared Colton, Ray B. West 213, (435) 797-8412, jared.colton@usu.edu

Advisement, Undergraduate Studies:
CHaSS Advising Center, Old Main 106, (435) 797-3883

Chair, American Studies Program:
Kerin Holt, Ray B. West 204E, (435) 797-8946, kerin.holt@usu.edu

Chair, Folklore Program:
Lynne McNeill, Ray B. West 301B, (435) 797-0264, lynne.mcneill@usu.edu

Director, Composition Program:
Beth Buyserie, Ray B. West 301A, (435) 797-3546, beth.buyserie@usu.edu

Director, USU Writing Center:
Star Coulbrooke, Ray B. West 104B, (435) 797-3853, star.coulbrooke@usu.edu

Advisor, Departmental Honors Program:
Kerin Holt, Ray B. West 204E, (435) 797-8946, kerin.holt@usu.edu

Chair, Creative Writing Emphasis:
Jennifer Sinor, Ray B. West 301C, (435) 797-3304, jennifer.sinor@usu.edu

Chair, English Teaching Emphasis:
Joyce Kinkead, Ray B. West 309, (435) 797-1706, joyce.kinkead@usu.edu
Sonia Manuel-Dupont, Ray B. West 413, (435) 797-1340, Sonia.manuel-dupont@usu.edu

Chair, Literature Emphasis:
Brian W. McCuskey, Ray B. West 313, (435) 797-0262, brian.mccuskey@usu.edu

Chair, English Master’s:
Chris Gonazalez, Ray B. West 211, (435) 797-4160, chris.gonzalez@usu.edu

Chair, Creative Writing Master’s Specialization:
Ben Gunsberg, Ray B. West 302C, (435) 797-2731, ben.gunsberg@usu.edu

Chair, Professional and Technical Writing Emphasis:
Rebecca Walton, Ray B. West 204B, (435) 797-0263, rebecca.walton@usu.edu

Chair, Technical Communication and Rhetoric Doctoral Program:
Rebecca Walton, Ray B. West 204B, (435) 797-0263, rebecca.walton@usu.edu

Chair, Technical Writing Master’s Program (online):
Keith Grant-Davie, Ray B. West 310A, (435) 797-3547, keith.grantdavie@usu.edu

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Arts (MA) in English; BS, BA, MS, and MA in American Studies; Master of Technical Communication; Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Technical Communication & Rhetoric

Undergraduate emphases: BS, BA in English — Literature, Professional and Technical Writing, English Teaching, and Creative Writing

Graduate specializations: MS, MA in English — Two specializations: Creative Writing and English; MTC — Master of Technical Communication; MS, MA in Folklore: American Studies — Archiving and Public Programming

Full Details of the learning objectives, assessment plan, student outcomes, and evidence of continuous improvement for these programs of study can be found at english.usu.edu/about/assessment/index.

Undergraduate Programs

General Objectives

The twenty-first century has seen significant shifts in everyday life, ranging from more technology and digital media to greater global dependence and interactions. To borrow a phrase from the novelist Anthony Trollope, “the way we live now” has changed dramatically; however, USU’s English degree is designed exactly for the way we live now. Drawing on the research done by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, USU knows that both educators and employers think that college graduates should have knowledge and skills in:

  1. Inquiry and analysis
  2. Critical and creative thinking
  3. Written and oral communication
  4. Information literacy
  5. Intercultural knowledge and competence
  6. Foundations and skills for lifelong learning

Therefore, USU’s English major prepares students for the way we live now by providing coursework that addresses these six areas of knowledge and skill. The words “explore” and “emphasis” sum up USU’s major. That is, the major has two parts: required exploratory courses and specialized courses within an emphasis area. The required exploratory courses give students experience in all six knowledge areas above—with a special focus on providing students with information literacy, intercultural knowledge, and a foundation for lifelong learning. The required area of emphasis allows students to choose one area to study in depth. The emphasis area also gives students experience in all six areas above—with a special focus on inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, and written and oral communication. Students can take their emphasis coursework in Literature, English Education, Creative Writing, or Professional and Technical Writing.

The English Department offers a Folklore minor and an interdisciplinary American Studies major and minor. The American Studies Program, situated within the English Department, gives students the opportunity to explore American life and cultures from interdisciplinary perspectives while preparing them for careers in academic or professional fields. Students may pursue either an American Studies major or minor or a folklore minor. The English Department also offers an English Teaching Minor, and an English Minor (Standard Nonteaching).

The English Department also offers specific courses supporting other fields of specialization, courses fulfilling University Studies requirements, and enriching educational experiences through opportunities for creativity and expression enhancing lifetime activities.

Admission and Graduation Requirements

To remain in good standing and to obtain approval for graduation as English majors or minors, students must earn a grade of C or better in all English classes and maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in their major and minor courses. All courses listed as major or minor subject courses must be taken on an A-B-C-D-F basis, and major or minor subject courses passed with less than a C grade must be repeated. Transfer students are required to complete at least 15 semester credits of major subject courses and 10 semester credits of minor subject courses in residence at USU.

Students in the English Teaching major and minor may also apply to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) . See pages for procedures and requirements pertaining to teacher licensure and admission requirements, or go online to: http://www.cehs.usu.edu/

Sample Four-year Plans

Sample semester-by-semester four-year plans for students working toward a bachelor’s degree are available in the USU Catalog.

Students should consult with their advisor to develop a plan of study tailored to their individual needs and interests.

Program Assessment

For information about how the English Department assesses its programs, click on the Assessment link on the departmental home page at: http://english.usu.edu/

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers students in all colleges and majors the unique opportunity to deepen their educational experience with hands-on practical applications of their academic knowledge. The Honors Program admits incoming, transfer, and existing USU students based on application. High achieving students with at least one year remaining are encouraged to apply.  See the University Honors Program catalog entry and website (honors.usu.edu) for more information.

Additional Information and Updates

English programs are constantly being updated. Students should, therefore, confer with the English advisor (contact CHaSS Advising, Old Main 106). 

Financial Support and Scholarships

Scholarships, assistantships, grants-in-aid, and work-study programs are available through the University. In addition, the English Department employs a few students as tutors in The Writing Center and oversees various cooperative education and internship opportunities for students. Departmental scholarships are available on a competitive basis to juniors and seniors, as well as to some sophomores. Applications are accepted in January and February and are available at english.usu.edu. Scholarships through the college are also available at chass.usu.edu.

Graduate Programs

PhD Program


The Technical Communication and Rhetoric (TCR) doctoral program defines the field of technical communication and rhetoric broadly, allowing students to engage diverse topics ranging from social justice to critical theories of technology, from rhetorics of community to online pedagogy, and from crisis communication to computer gaming. In particular, our program is becoming known for addressing issues of social justice, community engagement, diversity, and service learning—issues that can be explored with partners from a variety of fields and backgrounds. For example, a student coming to us from a marketing and public relations background may study professional communication in terms of online fundraising strategies of humanitarian organizations, a student with a degree in biology may focus on the rhetoric of science and ways that dominant narratives obscure and delegitimize the knowledge of disenfranchised groups, and a student coming from rhetoric and philosophy may develop theories for better enacting social justice in professional communication. Our ideal applicants will be exemplars of drive, creativity, intellect, curiosity, motivation, and work ethic.


As part of the work on their degree, students in the TCR doctoral program complete a minimum of 60 approved semester credits beyond their master’s degree. For more information please visit http://techcomm.usu.edu/phd/program_phd

Admission Procedure

Doctoral students must apply for admission to both the School of Graduate Studies and the English Department’s Technical Communication and Rhetoric (TCR) Doctoral program. Refer to the TCR website for detailed information about this process: http://techcomm.usu.edu/phd/application_phd

Financial Assistance

This face-to-face doctoral program prepares students for careers in academia, so all applicants will be considered for a Graduate Instructorship (GI-ship). A GI-ship pays an annual salary of $20,000.00 in addition to a tuition waiver and benefits, in exchange for teaching a 2/2 load (two courses each semester) and performing other responsibilities. USU provides excellent teacher training to PhD students, and our PhD students usually get the opportunity to teach a variety of courses during their program, which builds their curriculum vitae and positions them well for jobs in academia. PhD students will establish residency in their first year. They must remain in residence at least until achieving doctoral candidacy and be engaged as active members of the USU academic community. Please note that students must be Utah residents to maintain their GI-ship. Please refer to the TCR website for more information about GI-ships: http://techcomm.usu.edu/phd/application_phd

Master’s Degree Programs

The Department of English offers courses of study leading to MS and MA degrees in English and in American Studies, as well as an online Master of Technical Communication degree. Applicants seeking the interdisciplinary American Studies degree may draw from a combination of courses dealing with American culture: literature, history, art, government, etc. Folklore is a specialization within American Studies, with courses in all aspects of folklore study, including archiving. 

Master’s Degree Plan Option(s)

Students earning the masters in English (with no specialization or specialization in Creative Writing) and Folklore and American Studies Degree can receive the MS or MA by pursuing one of two options:

  1. In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis, which can be either critical or creative work.
  2. The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Students in the online Master of Technical Communication program complete a professional degree, which does not involve a thesis or a defense meeting and is comprised of coursework only.

For a more complete description of the Department of English graduate programs, see the department’s website at english.usu.edu. For information about the Folklore Program, see folklore.usu.edu. For information about the Master of Technical Communication degree, see http://techcomm.usu.edu/masters/program_masters

Admission Requirements

Admissions Requirements: Please see the Technical Communication & Rhetoric website for information about admission to the online Master of Technical Communication program: http://techcomm.usu.edu/masters/application_masters

For the MA or MS degrees, the English Department does not require the GRE. The department requires applicants to submit a portfolio (5-10 page writing sample, 1-page preface to writing sample, cv, statement of intent, and 3 letters of recommendation). Applicants applying to the English Department MS or MA programs should have a BS or BA degree with an undergraduate major in a subject area relevant to the master’s program they desire to enter.

International applicants from non-English-speaking countries who desire an MS or MA degree in English should have a BS or BA degree in English from an accredited, English-speaking university. Students whose command of written English is not adequate to the demands of writing a graduate thesis in English may be required to take courses in Intensive English or may be counseled to obtain a second bachelor’s degree at USU (30 credits minimum).

For MS or MA degrees, the annual application deadline is January 15 for those who wish to be considered for a graduate instructor position.

Anyone who has not been accepted into a graduate program in the English Department must have permission from the department’s Director of Graduate Studies to enroll in English graduate courses.

General Requirements

All candidates for the MS and MA degrees must meet the School of Graduate Studies requirements . Only grades of B- or better will be accepted for credits in support of the degree programs, and students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 to remain in the program.

All candidates must complete a comprehensive examination covering the material of their graduate program; however, the nature of this examination varies according to the particular specialization and the advice of the candidate’s supervisory committee.

All candidates are required to defend their Plan A thesis or Plan B papers. After successfully defending their Plan A thesis, students must submit a department-approved final draft to the School of Graduate Studies assistant dean (Main 164). After successfully defending their Plan B papers, students must submit a department-approved copy to University Library Special Collections.

All candidates who are first-year graduate instructors are required to take ENGL 6820  (Practicum in Teaching English) during their first semester. The candidate’s supervisory committee will determine whether ENGL 6820  will be accepted as part of the candidate’s graduate program.

Financial Assistance

The Department of English has a limited number of graduate instructor positions and general scholarships available on a competitive basis for both English and American Studies graduate students. Applicants to the Folklore Program are considered for the Folklore Research graduate assistant. All applicants will be considered for a Graduate Instructorship.  

FACULTY - College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

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