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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2016-2017

Program Info

Last Updated 2015-06-03

English MA



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

Plan of Study Requirements and Registration Procedures 

Both tracks require at least 33 hours of course work. The Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies concentration requires a three-hour thesis (or one additional 6000-level course). The Technical Communication program requires a three-hour thesis, a nonthesis option that requires a classroom-based research project, or an additional 6000-level course. Degree requirements for all current English MA tracks are available in the graduate catalog: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/programs/program.aspx?id=1210&program=English MA.

In both tracks, at least 50 percent of the course work must be taken at the 6000-level. In exceptional cases, up to six hours of 4000-level coursework may be applied to the MA degree, provided that those same courses were not credited towards an undergraduate degree. Additionally, 4000-level courses may only be used if the student has completed 30 hours of 5000-level or 6000-level coursework, of which 50 percent is 6000-level. Permission to use a 4000-level class in your MA coursework must be granted by the Graduate Studies Director prior to registration. In order for these courses to count towards your degree, you must present a compelling case that they are vital to your individual program goals and that they are not available on the graduate level. Courses taken to “bring you up to speed” or otherwise prepare you for graduate study will not count towards your degree.

Enrollment for graduate courses is managed by the English Department prior to electronic registration. To protect space in the courses for our students, the department marks all graduate courses in the online class schedule as “Closed”: this does not mean that the courses are full. To register, you will need to obtain a permission number from the Program Assistant, either in person, by phone, or via e-mail.

The courses you must take are outlined by the plan of study for your track. In each track, it will help you to take the core (i.e., required) courses as soon as possible.

You should not ordinarily register for thesis hours until all your coursework has been completed. In both tracks, students may take one 6000-level class rather than three credits of thesis. Students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree are generally advised to write a thesis.

Additional Course Requirements

If your undergraduate degree is in a subject other than English, the Graduate Studies Director may require you to take additional courses that will not be part of your plan of study.

If you lack one year of undergraduate study in a foreign language, you will be required to complete that requirement in order to earn your degree. The foreign language requirement may be fulfilled at an accredited institution other than UCF. You can also meet the requirement by taking a CLEP test. Contact the University Testing Center for more information on the test (utc.sdes.ucf.edu/). If you have completed the equivalent of one year of undergraduate study in a language for which there is no CLEP test, contact the Graduate Studies Director for more information about whether your accomplishment satisfies the foreign language requirement.

If you are interested in teaching first-year composition courses, you must take ENC 5705: Theory and Practice in Composition in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. This course is most often offered during the spring term. It is recommended that you take the course during your first eighteen hours of graduate study. Taking the course does not guarantee that you will be awarded a graduate teaching assistantship.

A maximum of three courses may be taken as independent study, for a total of no more than six semester hours. To obtain approval to enroll in an independent study course, students must propose a topic, related readings, and set of assignments to a faculty member. The proposal (with faculty approval) must be submitted to the department’s Graduate Studies Director no later than one week prior to the last day of classes in the term before you will enroll in the independent study. Faculty members are under no obligation to teach independent study courses, but many will do so if the topic supports their own teaching and research responsibilities. If the faculty member agrees to teach the independent study course, contact the Graduate Studies Director to determine whether it will meet the requirements in your plan of study. Independent studies may not duplicate courses in the catalog, whether or not that course is scheduled for a given semester. Independent studies will not count towards a graduate certificate.

Directed Research does not count toward your plan of study, but it can count towards your full-time enrollment. Students who are studying for the comprehensive exams may enroll in three hours of directed research during the semester that the exam will be taken. The chief requirement of the directed research course is that you take the exam that semester. If you enroll in directed research and then do not take the exam, you will receive a “U” for those hours. You may only enroll in this “comprehensive exam research” one time.

Classes in the MFA program (with CRW prefix and some LIT prefixes) are generally available only to those students who have been accepted into the MFA program or who have received instructor permission. If you plan to seek instructor permission to take those courses, be prepared to submit a portfolio of your creative work to that instructor (especially in the case of creative writing workshops).

Degree Plans

Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies: You must take six credit hours of required core courses, fifteen credit hours of restricted electives, six credit hours of unrestricted electives, three credit hours of either Thesis or Non-Thesis coursework, and the three credit hour Capstone Course. 

Technical Communication: You must take five core courses, three restricted electives, and two unrestricted electives.  Please note that the comprehensive exam in technical communication is based upon the content of the core courses (exclusive of ENG 5009).

In all tracks, at least 50 percent of the course work must be taken at the 6000-level.

In exceptional cases, up to six hours of 4000-level coursework may be applied to the M.A. degree, provided that those same courses were not credited towards an undergraduate degree. Additionally, 4000-level courses may only be used if the student has completed 30 hours of 5000-level and 6000-level coursework, of which 50% is 6000-level. Permission to use a 4000-level class in your M.A. coursework must be granted by the Graduate Studies Director prior to registration. In order for these courses to count towards your degree, you must present a compelling case that they are vital to your individual program goals and that they are not available on the graduate level. Courses taken to “bring you up to speed” or otherwise prepare you for graduate study will not count towards your degree.

Curriculum


Track Curriculum: Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies

Each student must complete at least 33 credit hours, including three core courses, one of which is in linguistics. Near the end of the degree program, each candidate will complete a Capstone Course and choose either the thesis option or the nonthesis option, which requires 3 additional credit hours of a 6000-level Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies course.

The program teaches research methods in one or more courses and requires a research study and final report focusing on literary criticism in a student’s particular specialization.



Required Courses—9 Credit Hours

Core—6 Credit Hours

  • ENG 5009 Methods of Bibliography and Research (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6078 Contemporary Movements in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Theory (3 credit hours)

Capstone—3 Credit Hours

  • ENG 6950 Capstone Course (3 credit hours)

Students must take a Capstone Course after completing at least 18 credit hours in the program. The Capstone Course is a systematic and comprehensive revision of previous graduate research, with special attention to the use of theory and to professionalization and with the goal of publication and/or conference presentation.

Foreign Language Proficiency

Students must also prove proficiency in a foreign language at the first-year level prior to completing the degree program.

Elective Courses—21 Credit Hours

Restricted—15 Credit Hours

Students must choose four of the following courses.

  • ENG 6074 Historical Movements in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6216 Issues in Literary Study (can be taken four times for credit when course content is different) (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6936 Studies in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Theory (can be taken four times for credit when course content is different) (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6276 Teaching College Literature (3 credit hours)
  • LIN 5137 Linguistics (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6250 Applied Linguistics in ESOL (3 credit hours)

Unrestricted—6 Credit Hours

In consultation with the graduate adviser, students will choose three graduate-level English courses.

Thesis Option—3 Credit Hours

Students will complete a formal thesis on a topic selected in consultation with an advisory committee and will meet both departmental and university requirements for the thesis. 

  • LIT 6971 Thesis (3 credit hours)

Nonthesis Option—3 Credit Hours

Students will complete 3 additional hours of 6000-level Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies courses.

  • Elective (3 credit hours) 

Track Curriculum: Technical Communication

Each student must complete at least 33 credit hours of coursework including 15 credit hours of required courses and 15 credit hours of elective courses. Near the end of the degree program, each candidate will write a comprehensive examination and complete a thesis option, a nonthesis option with a research project approved by the faculty, or a nonthesis option consisting of an additional 6000-level three-credit-hour Technical Communication course taught by the Department of English.

Required Courses—15 Credit Hours

  • ENC 6297 Production and Publication Methods (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 5337 Rhetorical Theory (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6217 Technical Editing (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6261 Technical Writing: Theory and Practice (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 5009 Methods of Bibliography and Research (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—15 Credit Hours

Restricted—9 Credit Hours

  • ENC 6257 Visual Technical Communication (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6306 Persuasive Writing (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6247 Proposal Writing (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6244 Teaching Technical Writing (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6292 Project Management for Technical Writers (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6296 Writing and Designing Online Help Systems (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6338 The Rhetorics of Public Debate (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6425 Hypertext Theory and Design (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6335 Rhetorical Traditions (3 credit hours)
  • LIN 5675 English Grammar and Usage (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6435 Rhetoric of Science (3 credit hours)

Unrestricted—6 Credit Hours

Students in consultation with the graduate adviser will choose two graduate-level English courses or approved courses from outside the department.

Thesis Option—3 Credit Hours

Students complete a formal thesis written in consultation with an advisory committee and will meet both departmental and university requirements for the thesis.

  • ENC 6971 Thesis (3 credit hours)

Nonthesis Options—3 Credit Hours

Students will enroll in directed research and complete a research project approved by an advisory committee. This project will be on a topic in technical communication and in a format other than that of a traditional thesis.

  • ENC 6918 Directed Research (3 credit hours)

Or, students will enroll in an additional 6000-level course in technical communication taught by the Department of English.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is a written exam based on four of the core courses (excluding ENG 5009).


Timeline for Completion

If you take classes full time (nine hours per spring and fall term, six hours in summer term), you should be able to complete your MA within two years, depending on course availability. Many students take longer because of thesis or research projects. Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies students will not take the comprehensive exam, but they must complete the Capstone Course (offered in fall) after having completed 18 hours of coursework. Several possible timelines for completing the MA follow. While these timelines indicate actual paths that real students took to earn their degrees, please note that your own best plan depends on your individual situation. Please consult the Graduate Studies Director for help in figuring out your individual plan of study.

Finish in fewer than two years—Thesis

Year 1 
Fall
  • complete nine hours of course work
Spring
  • complete nine hours of course work
  • form thesis committee by end of semester
  • plan to take comprehensive exam during following fall  semester
Summer
  • complete six hours of course work (full-time = 6 hours)
  • draft a thesis proposal; this draft should be as complete as possible so that revisions will be minimal
  • study for comprehensive exam
Year 2 
Fall
  • complete six hours of course work
  • complete three hours of thesis work; finish thesis proposal early in semester and begin writing thesis
  • take comprehensive exam (TC)
  • finish writing thesis; defend thesis
  • take Capstone Course (LCT)

Finish in fewer than two years—Non-Thesis Option (LCT Only)

Year 1 
Fall
  • complete nine hours of course work
Spring
  • complete nine hours of course work
Summer
  • complete six hours of course work (full-time is six hours)
Year 2 
Fall
  • complete nine hours of course work
  • take Capstone Course

Finish in two years--Thesis

Year 1 
Fall
  • complete nine hours of course work
Spring
  • complete nine hours of course work
  • form thesis committee by end of semester
  • plan to take comprehensive exam during following fall semester
Summer
  • complete three to six hours of course work (full-time is six hours)
  • draft a thesis proposal; this draft should be as complete as possible so that revisions will be minimal
  • study for comprehensive exam
Year 2 
Fall
  • complete six hours of course work
  • complete three hours of thesis work; finish thesis proposal early in semester and begin writing thesis
  • take comprehensive exam (TC)
  • take Capstone Course (LCT)
Spring
  • complete three to nine hours of course work or thesis work (full-time is nine hours)
  • finish writing thesis; defend thesis

Finish in two years—Non-Thesis Option

Year 1 
Fall
  • complete nine hours of course work
Spring
  • complete nine hours of course work
  • plan to take comprehensive exam during following fall semester
Summer
  • complete three hours of course work
Year 2 
Fall
  • complete six hours of course work
  • take Capstone Course
Spring
  • complete six hours of course work 

Finish in three years—Thesis

Year 1 
Fall
  • complete three hours of course work
Spring
  • complete six hours of course work
Summer
  • complete three hours of course work
Year 2 
Fall
  • complete six hours of course work
  • form thesis committee by end of semester 
Spring
  • complete six hours of course work
  • complete one hour of thesis work; write proposal and have it approved by end of semester 
Summer
  • complete one hour of thesis work
Year 3 
Fall
  • Complete six hours of course work
  • Complete one hour of thesis work
  • Study for comprehensive exam (TC)
  • Take Capstone Course (LCT)
Spring
  • Complete one hour thesis work
  • Take comprehensive exam (TC)
Summer
  • Complete one hour thesis work
Year 4 
Fall
  • Finish writing thesis; defend thesis

Examination Requirements

Comprehensive Exam

Overview

Technical Communication students must successfully pass the comprehensive examination to receive the MA in English. Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies students do not have a comprehensive exam requirement. The comprehensive exam allows you to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge, as well as to make critical connections between texts. Such broad interrelation, rather than specialization, lies at the heart of a good MA program.

The comprehensive examination is given only in the Fall and Spring semesters during regular business hours. The administration date for the exam is announced four to six months before the test is given.

Inform the Graduate Studies Director of your intent to take the exam by the end of the add/drop period of the semester before the semester you want to take it (in other words, if you plan to take the exam in Fall, tell us by the end of the add/drop period for the previous Spring semester. As you must be registered for at least one credit hour during the term of your comprehensive exam, the end of the Add/Drop period of the semester in which you take the exam is the absolute last moment to register for it. It will help you, nonetheless, to register considerably before this deadline. This exam can be taken at any time during your plan of study, but ordinarily it should be taken after you have completed at least eighteen credit hours and should not be scheduled for the same semester in which you are completing your thesis.

Exam Policies

The comprehensive examinations are a significant exit requirement for all students in the Technical Communication track. The exams are designed and graded by faculty members and administered by the Graduate Studies Director.

The examination can be taken at any time during a plan of study but is designed as a capstone, encouraging students to make connections among issues raised by various texts while also demonstrating their broad knowledge of their field.

All Technical Communication students must pass the exam in order to graduate, and students are permitted to take the comprehensive examinations no more than twice. If you sit for the exam, you are deemed to have taken it, whether or not you submit your exam for grading.

Students are normally provided with two official opportunities to discuss the exam:

  • A planning meeting approximately three to five months prior to the exam, at which time the reading list is distributed.
  • A review meeting approximately one to two months before the exam to answer any questions that may have arisen.

Neither meeting is required. However, if you cannot attend these meetings, contact the Graduate Program Assistant to make sure you receive all the information distributed at the meeting.

The Comprehensive Exams are distributed vie email and, likewise, students submit their answers via email as a Microsoft Word document attachment. The exam lasts five hours. Although the number of questions may vary from year to year, normally the student will be able to choose from alternatives. In answering the questions, a student may refer to works taught in graduate courses, works on the predetermined reading list, or from other sources familiar to the student.

Exams are coded, with only the Graduate Program Assistant knowing the identity of the exam takers. The exams, therefore, are graded anonymously. Three Technical Communication graduate faculty graders grade every exam.

Makeup exams are not permitted. If you are unable to take the examination on the announced date, you must wait for the test’s next normal administration time. If you fail your first exam, you may retake the test one time. If you fail the exam twice, you are removed from the Technical Communication program. In such a case, you may apply for re-admission; if re-admitted, you will have a third and final attempt at the exam. If you fail this third attempt, you will be removed from the program again without opportunity for re-admission. 

Exam Content

This exam focuses on a reading list drawn from four core courses.  The core courses covered on the exam are Production and Publication Methods, Modern Rhetorical Theory, Technical Editing, and Technical Writing: Theory and Practice.

The exam consists of several essay questions in each of the core areas and in all of the chosen concentrations.  You must answer four questions. You must satisfactorily respond to three of the four questions to pass the exam.

Exam Grading

Three Technical Communication graduate faculty members will grade each exam. They may either grade the entire exam holistically or they may grade each individual question and then total their grades for the entire exam. Either way, the exam is graded on a pass/fail basis. Graders are not required to comment on individual student responses (though they may occasionally do so). Passing work at the graduate level is the equivalent of a B- or better. In rare cases, faculty may vote to reward an exceptionally good exam with the grade of “Pass With Distinction.”

Your answers will be evaluated in terms of your writing ability (for example, style, grammar, and mechanics), your knowledge of the field, and your ability to construct a meaningful logical argument.

A passing exam exhibits detailed, cohesive writing: not only should each essay be free of grammatical and other errors, but it should consist of well-developed paragraphs with quotations and examples from the literature. The essays should show depth of insight, reflecting a carefully planned response to the issues raised by the questions.

You will receive your results approximately three weeks after the exam.

Thesis Requirements

To receive a Master of Arts in English degree, you must either complete a thesis or a final project, after your coursework has been completed, or you may elect to take one extra 6000-level course in lieu of a thesis/project. A major project such as a thesis cannot be proposed, researched, written, revised, and defended in a single semester; therefore, you must plan carefully and work in concert with your thesis director. Preparations for a thesis or project are usually begun at least one calendar year before completing this final requirement.

All MA students engaging in thesis research must be continuously enrolled every term, including summer, until they finish their thesis.

University Thesis Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for thesis formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by thesis students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final thesis document by final submission deadline

Students must format their thesis according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Thesis Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the thesis process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu.

Choosing a Topic Area

When writing your thesis or special project, the topic you choose should represent an area of sustainable interest for you. It is also essential that you choose a topic for which your coursework has prepared you, and a topic in which a member of the UCF English faculty has expertise. When you have identified the general area you would like to pursue, you should start the process of choosing a thesis director. Your thesis director will help you narrow your area of interest into a workable topic. Your thesis director will also help you figure out whether your topic is best pursued in a thesis or (for the Technical Communication Track) an alternate research project.

Choosing a Thesis Director

Make an appointment with a UCF English faculty member whose area of expertise complements your area of interest. Ideally, you should meet with such a faculty member to begin the process of selecting a topic at least a calendar year before you intend to graduate. A list of faculty appears in the UCF Graduate Catalog (www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/gradfaculty); faculty research interests are listed on the department homepage (www.english.cah.ucf.edu). Be prepared to explain how your interest developed and how it relates to your previous coursework and your professional goals. Together, you and your thesis director will narrow your area of interest into a workable topic. You will also work together to choose the rest of your thesis committee.

Choosing a Committee

Your thesis director and you will agree upon two other readers with expertise in your topic to compose the required three-person thesis committee. One of these two readers must be a UCF English faculty member; the second reader may be a faculty member from another department. If you plan to have two professors co-direct your thesis, both must be UCF English faculty members.

If no faculty member in the Department of English agrees to direct your project or if you are unable to identify two other experts to form your committee, you must select a different topic.

Your thesis committee must be approved before you can enroll in thesis hours. You may obtain a Thesis Committee Approval Form from the department’s Graduate Program Assistant.

Writing and Submitting a Proposal

During your first semester of thesis hours, you will write a proposal and obtain formal approval of that proposal from your committee. A copy of this proposal, along with the signed approval form, is filed with the Graduate Studies Director. If an approved proposal is not filed with the Graduate Studies director before the end of your first semester of thesis hours, you will ordinarily receive a “U” for those hours.

Proposals in all tracks, whether for a thesis or an alternate project, are at least four to six pages long and must contain these elements:

  • a working title that clearly states the proposed idea, hypothesis, or central questions that guide the project
  • a statement of purpose and scope that provides context for the project
  • an outline of the proposed chapters (or methodology for special research project)
  • a preliminary bibliography
  • a committee section (described below)
  • a timeline for completing the project

Individual tracks and individual committees may require additional elements. For example, a proposal for research involving human participants should include an Institutional Review Board application. Other track-specific information is available below.

The committee section of the proposal outlines the role of each member of the committee, including how each member’s specialty helps to form a coherent committee, and for which particular concerns or sections of the thesis each committee member will be consulted. The section also outlines the involvement of the readers in the thesis, addressing such questions as when the readers will see drafts of chapters. (e.g., Will the two readers on the committee read chapters at the same time as the director of the committee? Or will they read each chapter only after the director has reviewed each chapter?)

No more than two weeks after you have submitted your proposal, your committee will either approve or disapprove it. However, your proposal may go through a series of revisions until both you and the director find it acceptable. Be sure to plan carefully and communicate effectively with your committee so that you have time to complete an approved proposal before the end of your first semester of thesis hours. Do not begin writing your thesis until your proposal has been approved by all three committee members and the Graduate Studies Director.

If your committee rejects your proposal despite all your revisions, you must select a different topic and/or a different committee.

Defending Your Thesis

You will defend your thesis at a public meeting lasting at least one hour. Your committee members will attend along with any other interested members of the general public, including faculty members, graduate students, and your friends and family.

This defense must be scheduled at least six weeks ahead of time, and a public announcement of the defense must be posted at least two weeks ahead of time. At the defense, faculty members will ask questions that call on you to discuss the theoretical, methodological, and substantive aspects of your research.

To schedule your defense, establish a mutually convenient date and time for you and your committee. After conferring with the committee members, you will need to contact the Program Assistant in order to schedule a room. Notify your committee and the Graduate Studies Director of the place, date and time. If you are doing a project, notify the Graduate Studies Director at least two weeks in advance of the date and place of your defense.

While you may schedule a defense in the summer, many faculty members are not available for extensive thesis work from April 1 to September 1. Faculty who do not teach in the summer and therefore are not under contract during the summer may not direct a summer defense.

Please plan carefully and consult frequently with your thesis or project director about schedules and deadlines.

No later than three weeks before your defense (or earlier, if called for in your thesis proposal), submit four copies of the final draft of your thesis: one for your director, one for each committee member, and one for the Graduate Studies Director. These copies will be shared with other faculty members who may wish to attend the defense.

In addition to copies of your thesis, you’ll need to prepare two documents:

  • A thesis announcement, which is emailed to the Graduate Program Assistant for distribution. Contact the Graduate Program Assistant for examples.
  • Refer to the College of Graduate Studies Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation page for instructions on submitting your release option information and printing your Thesis Approval Form.

(These documents may not be required for non-thesis projects. If you are working on a non-thesis project, contact the Graduate Studies Director to determine which documents are needed.) Follow all requirements specified by UCF Graduate Studies (www.graduate.ucf.edu). The Thesis Approval form will be signed by your thesis committee at the end of the defense, assuming that your thesis was successfully defended. You are responsible for securing all other program and College of Arts and Humanities representative signatures and submitting all required documents, electronic and paper, to the College of Graduate Studies office.

Your thesis must be submitted by your thesis director to iThenticate.com. Before a student can submit a final version of the thesis to the University, the thesis chair must indicate that the Review for Original Work through iThenticate was performed by signing the Thesis Approval Form.

Your director can and should refrain from signing the final forms until all revisions called for by the committee have been accomplished.

When you submit your final e-document to the university for graduation, you must also submit a copy to the department Graduate Program Assistant.

Additional Thesis Information—Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies

A formal proposal for a Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies thesis should be between eight to ten typed pages. In addition to the elements listed in “Writing and Submitting a Proposal” section above, a thesis proposal in Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies must provide:

  • a brief discussion of the place of the particular writer(s), text(s), or topic within literary or cultural history
  • a brief review of the pertinent scholarship, framing crucial theories or critical disagreements
  • a tentative outline of the plan or organization
  • a brief (two-page) working annotated bibliography

A more extensive list of Works Cited and Works Consulted (neither annotated) will become part of your final completed thesis.

To fulfill the thesis requirement in the Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies program, you may complete a thesis with defense, or take one additional 6000-level course.

The Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies thesis can take a variety of forms, though generally a thesis is a scholarly treatment of a theme or issue in the literary works in one or more writers in a particular period. The thesis, which involves the use of both primary and secondary sources, should be 60 pages or more in length. Final drafts of your thesis must be available to all committee members no less than three weeks before the defense.

Additional Thesis Information—Technical Communication 

a)  Thesis

The thesis is an in-depth study of an issue in technical communication. The thesis should be 50–75 pages in length.

b)  Special Project

This project is an in-depth study of a topic in technical communication presented in a format other than that of a traditional thesis. The topic is not limited to, but may focus on, emerging technologies and their significance and application for technical communicators.

A special project may encompass a demonstration of the use of technology to present and manipulate information electronically. The project is grounded in the same in-depth research as a traditional thesis, but may include the development of software, tutorials, and other electronic means of disseminating information. The special project option also requires a three-member committee.

You must complete your project no later than one calendar year after your proposal is submitted and approved.

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research and Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see their website: www.research.ucf.edu  > Compliance.

UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu  > Policies > General Graduate Policies.

Financial Support

Fellowships and Assistantships

Overview

Financial support is offered only to full-time degree-seeking students. If you are a non-Florida resident and would like to switch to a Florida Resident for tuition purposes, please contact the College of Graduate Studies Residency Department at gradresidency@ucf.edu.

You ordinarily do not need to complete a special application for assistantships or fellowships. However, you are required to let us know of your interest by January 15, of every year, and to submit a current curriculum vitae to be considered for an assistantship.

MA students are eligible for three kinds of support:

Need-based assistance: The university provides need-based scholarships funded by the federal government. These are based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA form and are awarded in the middle of April. We encourage all students to complete a FAFSA application form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Fellowships

These competitive, merit-based awards are usually reserved for newly admitted students. These awards pay a stipend and/or provide a tuition waiver. Fellows are nominated by the Department in the first week of March. To be eligible, students must have their entire application on file by January 15.

Assistantships

These merit-based awards may be applied for at any point in your degree program. Different assistantships have different eligibility criteria. For example, graduate teaching assistantships may only be awarded to students who have completed eighteen hours of graduate coursework in English, who have successfully completed ENC 5705: Theory and Practice in Composition, and who have completed all mandatory university training.

Different assistantships also have different requirements. Some of these requirements include in-depth professional development activities. Consult with the Graduate Studies Director for more information on which assistantships are available and what they require. Additionally, if you work in another department on campus you may be ineligible for an assistantship and must contact notify the Department of English before applying for an assistantship.

Students who have earned 36 semester hours or more are no longer eligible for assistantships (though this rule may be waived based on exceptional department need).

Assistantship Opportunities

Some of the assistantship opportunities are as follows:

a) Writing Consultant Assistantships

Incoming and returning students can qualify for Writing Consultant Assistantships. Recipients work as writing consultants in the University Writing Center (UWC), which offers a peer review service for UCF students. Writing consultants spend twenty hours/week in the UWC working one-on-one with writers (or groups of writers) on an appointment or walk-in basis. Consultants may give presentations about the UWC, lead special topic workshops, work with small group projects, develop pedagogical or publicity materials, and consult with writers via telephone or the Internet. All consultants are also expected to perform office duties such as filing, answering phones and data entry.

Good communication skills are essential for this job, and all writing consultants must be interested in learning more about writing. Candidates must be able to think critically, ask good questions, and demonstrate a sincere interest in the writing of other students. Because the UWC is not a remedial service, consultants must be able to work with students at all levels in all disciplines.

Every consultant is required to attend initial training when first hired and weekly seminars throughout the semester. Participation in an online discussion and professional development projects are also required. Currently the training sessions involve two Saturday meetings from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and weekly Friday seminars from 3:15–4:15 p.m.

The Writing Consultant Assistantships are renewable and pay a stipend of approximately $4000/semester per twenty hours/week (not including the required professional development activities). They may also include a tuition waiver. More information is available on the UWC website at uwc.cah.ucf.edu . To be considered, indicate your interest in your application letter, briefly explaining why you would like to work in the UWC. Applicants may also be asked to submit an additional application form, interview, and writing sample.

b) Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) are awarded for a full academic year. The assistantships are renewable, pay a stipend of approximately $2000 per semester per course taught, and include a partial tuition waiver. You must have completed eighteen graduate credit hours, including ENC 5705 Theory and Practice of Composition, in order to apply for a graduate teaching assistantship. Because GTAs ordinarily teach Composition I and II, ENC 5705 is crucial as it covers the theoretical issues and pragmatic applications of college composition. If you are awarded a Teaching Assistantship, you’ll also be required to complete online and face-to-face training with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. While teaching, you must also be a full-time graduate student, taking at least nine credit hours each semester. You also will be expected to participate in ongoing meetings and workshops for the composition program.

c) Other Assistantships

Other graduate assistantships (GTAs and GRAs) are usually reserved for students who have not yet completed eighteen hours of graduate work. GTAs and GRAs may be assigned a variety of non-teaching duties such as: grader for a faculty member; researcher for a faculty member; assistant editor on The Faulkner Journal or The Florida Review

Teaching Assistantship Resources

If you received a graduate teaching assistantship the following information will be useful in fulfilling your teaching duties:

a)  Instructor Training and Development

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. To that end, it offers several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

b) GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)

This two-day workshop provides information and resources for students who will be instructors. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

c) Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program

This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

For more information about GTA Training, see www.fctl.ucf.edu  > Events > GTA Programs

Graduate Student Associations

Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The Graduate Student Association (GSA)is UCF’s graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students’ personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor. 

Professional Development

Career Services and Experiential Learning

Graduate career development issues are unique and include evaluating academic and nonacademic career choices, discussing graduate school effect on career choices, as well as learning, evaluating, and refining networking and interviewing skills. Whatever your needs, the offices of Career Services and Experiential Learning offer services and resources to aid in the career exploration and job search of Master and Doctoral students in every academic discipline. (See www.career.ucf.edu)

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers the following free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/  

Internships/Teaching Opportunities

In the MA in English curriculum, you will have the opportunity to take courses that will prepare you to teach both at the university level and in the community, and to work in the publishing field as an editor. We recommend that you take advantage of these opportunities.

Travel Support for Conference Presentation

While conference presentations are not required for the MA degree, such presentations are professionally important, and graduate students are encouraged to pursue them. Your faculty members will likely mention conference opportunities in your classes, and you will receive email announcements of them as well. Not all of these conferences require travel; some are held at UCF. For more information about how to pursue these opportunities, consult with a faculty member, a member of your thesis committee, or the Graduate Studies Director.

Funding is available to pay some expenses for graduate students who are delivering a research paper or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting. Contact the Student Government Association (www.ucfsga.com) at 407-823-5648 for more information.

The College of Graduate Studies offers a Graduate Presentation Fellowship that provides funding for master's, specialist, and doctoral students to deliver a research paper or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting or conference. More information can be found on the Graduate Studies website at funding.graduate.ucf.edu/presentation/.

The English Department is sometimes able to make limited funding available to graduate students who have also applied to SGA and Graduate Studies. Contact the Graduate Program Assistant for more information.

All graduate students who will travel to professional workshops and conferences should obtain an approved Travel Authorization Request (TAR) from the department, particularly if the travel occurs during the same semester as a GA/GRA/GTA contract.

Scholarly Publications

Scholarly publications are not required for the MA degree, but such publications are professionally important and graduate students are encouraged to pursue them. Publications need not be full-length journal articles or book chapters. Book reviews, notes, and professional newsletter publications are valuable for students at the MA level. For more information about how to pursue these opportunities, consult with a faculty member, a member of your thesis committee, or the Graduate Studies Director. 

Awards

The university provides various graduate student achievement awards including:

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:  

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant - This award is intended for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (This award is not intended for students who are instructor of record.)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching - This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the students teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis - This award recognizes graduate students for excellence in the Master’s thesis. The focus is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the Master’s thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as (but not limited to): publications in refereed or peer-reviewed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. The university award will be forwarded to a national-level competition sponsored by the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) when the thesis discipline corresponds to the annual submission request.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies administrative website: www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards/.

For more information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, please see their website: www.csgs.org > Awards.

The Conference on College Composition and Communication sponsors Scholars for the Dream Travel Awards to encourage scholarship by historically underrepresented groups. For more information, see their website: www.ncte.org/cccc/awards.

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.

For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor.

Forms

  • College of Graduate Studies Forms
    A listing of general forms and files for graduate students including student services and records and graduation forms
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student.
  • Thesis Advisory Committee Form
    Thesis committees must be in place and approved by the Graduate Studies Director, the Department Chair, and the College of Arts and Humanities Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies prior to student enrollment into thesis hours.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    To request to take advantage of special resources available on another campus but not available on the home campus such as course offerings and research opportunities.

Useful Links