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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Advising & Graduation

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All incoming students are assigned a faculty advisor upon admittance. This advisor will assist you in registering for courses in your first year. If you entered in Fall 2014, you must follow the curriculum map discussed below when registering for classes.

When you decide on your capstone project, usually by the end of the first year, you will switch advisors to the faculty member directing your capstone.

It is the advisee's responsibility to get in touch with the advisor every semester as questions arise and to update the advisor on how things are going generally, to discuss any specific issues or problems that are arising with a course or with the workload overall, and to begin to think ahead to the next term.

Curriculum Planning

All incoming students must follow a curriculum map in order to ensure that students complete their coursework in two years. The map includes courses they must take each semester and suggestions for other courses.

For example, all in-coming students must take ENG 651, Bibliography and Research, in their first fall semester. The course is only offered in the fall semester. If you enter in the spring semester, you must take ENG 651 the next fall.

MA Courses

A typical schedule for an MA graduate student is 3 courses (9-10 credits) per semester.

Graduate students take both 500- and 600-level English courses. The 500-level courses are shared with undergraduates who register for the course at the 400-level. Graduate students in these courses are graded at a higher level and are expected to complete additional assignments. Most of the courses a graduate student takes are the graduate student only 600-level. These are typically seminars involving explorations of special topics, specific authors, or distinct time periods. Students are expected to produce a longer critical paper (typically 20 pages) at the end of a 600-level course.

The Capstone

If you entered prior to Fall 2014, visit English Studies Capstones.

The Capstone for the new MA Literature and English Studies degree is designated in the course schedule as an APP (Alternate Plan Paper). Students are advised to use a paper or a topic from one of their prior graduate courses as a foundation for their capstone. Capstones are typically 35-40 pages. Students can choose to complete one of the following:

  1. Expanded Seminar Paper
    Students excited about a paper completed in a previous seminar course can revisit this paper: conduct a more intensive review of the scholarship, re-examine their analytical argument, and expand the paper.
  2. Secondary Research Paper
    Students write a research question that can be answered by looking at existing scholarship in the field. Students can re-visit a topic or assignment from a previous graduate course. A typical format includes:
    - An introduction that states the project's overall topic and its research question, and describes the structure of the project
    - An in-depth study of existing scholarship on the research question and how that scholarship answers the research question
    - A conclusion that suggests what might be missing from that scholarship and discusses directions for further study
  3. Teaching Portfolio
    This portfolio is a compilation of original work and secondary research. A typical length is 35-40 pages, though that varies depending on the teaching materials. A typical portfolio includes:
    - Introduction:
    States the writer’s teaching philosophy and pedagogical influences, challenges, and goals; explains how the material collected in the portfolio informs the writer’s pedagogy
    - Bibliographic Essay:
    Reviews existing scholarship connected to the writer’s pedagogy, including a discussion of theories/practices the writer has tried in the classroom
    - Collection of Teaching Materials:
    Includes syllabi, assignments, assessment, grading information and reflection


All graduation procedures will be reviewed in ENG 651: Bibliography and Research. For a complete list of graduation and other forms, visit English Department – Forms. Also consult Student Resources on the University’s College of Graduate Studies and Research website.