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English majors, minors, and graduate students develop skills in analysis, critical thinking, writing, and communication through their study of literature, language, rhetoric, creative writing, and publishing. As they work toward their degrees, students have the opportunity to emphasize in one of these areas and work closely with faculty who specialize in these fields.

Our faculty members are widely recognized in their fields of expertise, collectively publishing more than 20 books in the last five years and winning prestigious awards, including Guggenheim Fellowships, National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships, and National Endowment of the Humanities Grants.

Graduates are equipped with a wide range of marketable skills that prepare them for a variety of careers in education, journalism, publishing, nonprofit administration, and marketing.

Advising and Course Information

Program Directors

Director of Language & Literature

Dr. Jennifer Frangos
Cockefair Hall 120
816-235-2764 x7
frangosj@umkc.edu

Director of Creative Writing

Dr. Hadara Bar-Nadav
Cockefair Hall 119
816-235-2764 x1
barnadavh@umkc.edu

Director of Composition

Dr. Crystal Doss
Cockefair Hall 117
816-235-2764 x5
dosscr@umkc.edu

I.Ph.D. Coordinator

Dr. John Barton
Cockefair Hall 016E
816-235-2764 x2
bartonjc@umkc.edu

Course Information

Our current class schedule is available in Pathway, the university’s online registration system, and our complete list of course offerings are available in the catalog. Review our course description packets to find reading lists, major assignments, and other details to help you select your classes for the upcoming semester:

Advising and Course Information

The College of Arts and Sciences dual advising system of general/professional advisors and department advisors helps students achieve academic success.

English students may meet with any of the advisors listed below for major and minor advising. Appointments are not necessary during walk-in advising hours, though you may schedule an appointment by contacting an advisor. Final degree audits must be signed by the director of undergraduate studies.

Course Information

Our current class schedule is available in Pathway, the university’s online registration system, and our complete list of course offerings are available in the catalog. Review our course description packets to find reading lists, major assignments, and other details to help you select your classes for the upcoming semester:

Advisor Contact Information

Dr. Hadara Bar-Nadav
Director of Creative Writing
816-235-2764 x1
E-mail

Dr. Jenni Frangos
Director of Language and Literature
816-235-2764 x1
E-mail

Dr. Crystal Doss
816-235-2764 x5
E-mail

Ms. Sheila Honig
816-235-2765 x2
E-mail

Dr. Cynthia Jones
816-235-2765 x3
E-mail

CAS Student Services

General UMKC advising and pre-professional program advising is handled by CAS Student Services. Current students should schedule appointments through Connect.

After Graduation

With the ability to think critically and imaginatively, conduct research, and write with accuracy, concision, and clarity, students who have earned degrees in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City are prepared for a variety of career paths.

Graduates from UMKC’s Department of English have had many professional successes and accomplishments in the fields of editing, marketing, education, business, and beyond. Our alumni have received fellowships from the National Endowment from the Arts and the Fulbright program, and have published and produced works of academic scholarship, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, and film.

Our alumni have become:

Writers and editors in journalism, creative writing (novelists, poets, and writers working in television, film, theater, and radio), publishing, science, medicine, and technology

Editorial Director in the Creative Studio, Hallmark
Manager of Copywriting, Sears Holding Corporation
Senior Editor and Communications Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of KC
Technical Editor, Black & Veatch
Editor, New Letters
Director, New Letters on the Air
Editor, BkMk Press
Editorial Director, Children’s International
Editor, Lion Forge
Copywriter, PBA Health
Proofreader/Editor, Ajilon/Skillpath Seminars
Reporter, KCPT/Flatland
Speech writer (government)
Content Specialist (Writer/Editor), A D Banker
Writer for National Rural Health Association
Writer, Actor, Teaching Artist, The KC Repertory Theatre
Writer, Editor, Content Creator, The Cossack Review
Editor, Founder of Rabbit Catastrophe Press
Writer-in-Residence, Charlotte Street Foundation
Freelance Writer in KC/Contributor to KC Star and KCUR
Freelance Writer/Editor/Media Production
Published poets, novelists, screenwriters, and filmmakers

Writers and creatives in advertising, marketing, public relations, production, social media, and web design and content development

Digital Content Editor, H&R Bloch
Director of Communications, Quartermaster Marketing, KC
Director of Communications, Ascend Learning
Marketing Director, Unicorn Theatre
Marketing Associate, McCrite Plaza, KC
Marketing Manager, Summit Custom Homes
Creative Consultant/Marketing Associate, University of Kansas
Marketing Manager, Newmar Corporation in Indiana
Owner, Small State Writing and Digital Marketing
Production Editor, Andrews McMeel Universal
Internet Application Developer, Hayneedle
Project Manager, Epic Systems (Verona, WI)
Experience Designer, FanThreeSixty

Educators in universities, colleges, K-12 schools, English as a second language programs, international educational programs, and tutoring

K-12 Educators
Pembroke Hill School
Arrowhead Middle School
Blue Valley School District
Belton High School
Barstow School
Montgomery County (MD) School District
Raytown High School
Rockhurst High School
Truman High School
George Caleb Bingham Academy of Fine Arts
Sullivan High School
Bonner Springs
Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy
North Kansas City High School
Independence School District
St. James Academy

International Teachers
Global Bilingual Academy (Kuwait)
ELA teacher in Guiyang (China)
US Peace Corps (Thailand)
US Peace Corps (China)

University and College Faculty and Instructors
Professor of English, Arizona Western College
Professor of English, Austin Community College
Associate Professor, Eastern Michigan University
Associate Professor, Point Loma Nazarene University
Associate Professor, Washburn University
Associate Professor, Missouri State University
Associate Professor, Park University
Associate Professor (in Psychology), University of Missouri-Kansas City
Associate Instructor, Maryville University
Assistant Professor, Kean University
Assistant Professor, Barry University
Assistant Professor, Avila University
Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-Saint Louis
Assistant Professor, University of Southern Indiana
Assistant Professor, Western Carolina University
Assistant Professor, Washburn University
Lecturer, Eastfield College
Lecturer, Tarrant County College
Lecturer, Potomac State College of West Virginia University
Lecturer, Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO)
Lecturer, Southeast Community College (Lincoln, NE)
Instructor, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Instructor, Metro Community College
Instructor, Rockhurst University
Instructor, Marshalltown Community College
Instructor, Kansas City Art Institute
Instructor, Park University
Instructor, TESOL Certificate and Composition, Missouri State University
Adjunct Professor of English, Palm Beach State College
Teaching Artist, Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center
Teaching Associate, Literacy KC

Specialists in education-related fields, including libraries, museums, and higher education administration (deans, department chairs, writing center directors, and staff in alumni affairs, student affairs, admissions, and academic advising)

Chief of Binding and Collections Care, Library of Congress
Chief Academic Officer, Johnson County Community College
Director of Accreditation, University of Mississippi Simulation Center
Director, UMKC Academic Support and Mentoring International Center for Supplemental Instruction
Dean of Students Middle School and English Department Chair, Pembroke Hill School
English Department Chair, Blue Mountain Community College
Department Manager of College of Arts & Sciences, University of Kentucky
Director of Writing Studio, Metro Community College
Director of Writing Studio, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Associate Director of Writing Center/WAC Coordinator, Ashland University
Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington
Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, University of Central Florida
Director of Composition, Washburn University
Director and Program Coordinator, The Writer’s Place
Director of the Genealogy Center, The Museum of Danish America (Elk Horn, IA)
Access Specialist, Mid-Continent Public Library
Mission Director, Notre Dame de Sion School (Kansas City)
Founder, Squeezebox, History of KC
Owner & Curator of SqueezeBox Theatre (Kansas City)
Librarian, Kansas City Public Library
Youth Services Provider, St. Louis Public Library
School Librarian, Harrisonville High School
Academic Developer, Anglia Ruskin University (United Kingdom)
Online Resource Coordinator, Baker University
Admissions Representative and Mentor, Grantham University

Associates in business, law, and government-related fields, including corporate communications, non-profit administration, politics and speech writing, lobbying, government agencies, human resources, contract law, mediation, sales, and client relations scholars and writers

Senior Analyst, BJC Healthcare (St. Louis)
Support Analyst, Cerner
Economic Development Analyst (Kansas City)
Analyst, VML Marketing
Manager of Philanthropic Communications, Children’s Mercy (Kansas City)
Content Strategist, American Academy of Family Physicians
Executive Director, The Pilgrim Center (Kansas City)
Senior Communications Director, Local Investment Commission (LINC)
Press intern for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for ranking member Claire McCaskill

Scholars pursuing advanced degrees (PhD, MFA, MA, JD, MBA, MPA)

PhD in English, Duke University
PhD in English, Ohio State University
PhD in English, University of Massachusetts Amherst
PhD in Composition/Rhetoric, Syracuse University
PhD in English/Creative Writing, University of Southern California
PhD in English/Creative Writing, University of Houston
PhD in Creative Writing, University of Louisiana, Lafayette
PhD in Creative Writing, Oklahoma State University
PhD in English, Creative Writing, University of Missouri-Columbia
PhD in English/Creative Writing, University of North Texas
PhD in English, University of New Mexico
PhD in English, University of Kentucky
PhD, University of Kansas
PhD, University of Southern Mississippi
PhD, University of Central Florida
PhD, University of Tennessee
PhD, University of Kansas
PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
PhD, University of Connecticut
PhD, Rochester University
PhD, Vanderbilt University
PhD, University of Washington
PhD, University of Miami
PhD in Linguistics, University of Tartu (Estonia)
PhD in Education, University of Missouri-Kansas City
I-PhD, University of Missouri-Kansas City

MFA, Iowa Writers’ Workshop
MFA, Columbia College (Chicago)
MFA, San Jose State
MFA, Emerson College
MFA, West Virginia University
MFA, Mills College
MFA, University of Tennessee
MFA, Catholic University
MFA, The New School
MFA, University of Missouri-Kansas City

JD, Boston University
JD, University of Missouri-Kansas City

You can prepare for any of these career paths while pursuing your English degree at UMKC by:

UMKC Career Services will help you throughout your time at UMKC and beyond. Counselors will help you plan your educational experience so that you will be well-prepared to achieve your career goals. Free software programs and career counselors help students with a vast array of information about career opportunities.

Become a Student

To major in English is to devote yourself to the study of culture, past and present; to books, their readers, writers, and publishers; to critical thinking and the interpretation of ideas in both written and spoken form. An education in English allows for a command of the written and spoken word that otherwise might be unavailable. It is this command that allows those who have pursued an education in English to find success in a variety of arenas through their ability to persuade and interpret, clarify ideas, think independently and creatively, and their overall commitment to the cultural repository that an English education offers.

CAS Dean’s Fall Reception presents Faculty and Staff Awards

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce one staff award and four sets of faculty awards that were presented at the annual CAS Dean’s Fall Reception on September 11.

Faculty Awards are as follows:

Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award (awarded to a tenure-track or tenured faculty member)

Royall Distinguished Professors (honors faculty committed to research excellence, creativity, and interdisciplinarity, as well as pedagogy)

Bernardin Research Development Grant (recipients are granted support to prepare a grant proposal in their chosen area of research)

Haskell Distinguished Research Award (recipients receive an award to support the completion of a scholarly project or creative work)

Staff Award is as follows:

Outstanding Staff Member

(awarded to recognize outstanding contributions made by staff members who are employed by the College of Arts & Sciences with strong characteristics including: respectful, responsible, resourceful, receptive, responsive, and reasonable)

Contact Us

If you have questions about our programs or want to know more about studying English at UMKC, get in touch with us.

Campus Location

The Department of English Language and Literature is located in Cockefair Hall, on the UMKC Volker Campus. You can find our building and parking information on our online campus maps.

The English Department office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Call

816-235-1305

Email

lesterak@umkc.edu (Audrey Lester, administrative assistant)

Visit

106 Cockefair Hall
5121 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Mail

University of Missouri-Kansas City
Department of English Language and Literature
106 Cockefair Hall
5121 Rockhill Rd
Kansas City, MO 64110

Degree Programs

Our degree programs offer students flexibility in their studies and in their careers.

The UMKC Department of English Language and Literature offers programs of study that lead to the B.A., M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees. As a student, you can focus your studies on language and literature; classical, medieval, and early modern literature; language and rhetoric; creative writing; or manuscript, print culture, and editing.

Whichever program you choose, you will learn to analyze texts, express your thoughts, engage in dialogue, and approach problems creatively to discover effective solutions.

Faculty and Staff

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Funding Sources

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The Department of English Language and Literature offers graduate teaching assistantships to M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D. students whose application materials and prior experience demonstrate their ability to create and teach first- and second-year composition courses.

Learn More

Training

First-year graduate teaching assistants undergo a rigorous pre-semester orientation and attend mentoring meetings twice monthly with the composition director and fellow graduate teaching assistants. First-semester graduate teaching assistants are also required to complete successfully ENGLISH 5519: Problems in Teaching English.

Responsibilities

During their first year, graduate teaching assistants are responsible for preparing and teaching one first-year writing class in the fall semester and one second-year writing class in the spring semester. During their second year, graduate teaching assistants teach two classes of first- and second-year writing per semester. Typically, assistantships are offered for the duration of the student’s coursework, but may be offered for a lesser or greater term at the discretion of the graduate committee.

Remuneration

Graduate teaching assistants earn a stipend of $9,000 per academic year and receive tuition remission for 9 credit hours per semester. Students holding an assistantship are expected to take at least six credit hours of classes per semester. Graduate teaching and research assistants are evaluated during the spring semester of each year.

Application

The application deadline is January 15 for positions that start in the fall semester. Submit the following materials with your online application for admission (contact the director of graduate studies if are already enrolled and wish to apply):

  1. 250-500 word statement addressing your interest in and qualifications for teaching
  2. Academic writing sample from an upper-level college course

Durwood Scholarships

The MFA in Creative Writing and Media Arts offers two to three Durwood Scholarships per year, which allow students to pursue their studies without teaching responsibilities. Durwood scholars receive $25,000 over the three-year MFA program and receive tuition remission for 9 credit hours per semester, pending budgetary approval. All admitted students will be considered for the Durwood Scholarships automatically.

Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowships

The Department of English Language and Literature offers the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship for I.Ph.D. students who have extensive teacher training and experience at the college level and who do not hold a major fellowship or assistantship at UMKC. The Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship is awarded on a competitive basis no more than once a year. Students may reapply for the awards, but applicants who have not previously held the fellowship will receive priority consideration.

Learn More

Responsibilities and Remuneration

Fellows teach one class per semester during the one-year appointment period and receive a stipend of $8,000 per academic year.

Fellows select a teaching mentor who will meet with them a few times each semester to help plan courses and discuss pedagogical issues. The mentor will observe the fellow’s class at least once during the year and write a teaching observation letter for the fellow’s file.

Application

The application deadline is April 1 for fellowships that start in the fall semester.

Submit the following materials to the director of graduate studies:

  1. Application (PDF) for the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship
  2. 250-500 word statement explaining what role the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship will play in the applicant’s development as a teacher and scholar and designating a couple of preferred teaching areas. Please also indicate whether you are certified to teach online or have a preference for online, blended, or face-to-face classes.
  3. Sample course syllabus
  4. Teaching observation letter (or a general recommendation letter if a teaching letter is unavailable)
  5. The commitment from a graduate faculty member to serve as a teaching mentor (a copy of an email confirming the mentor’s support is fine)

Graduate

Graduate studies in English prepare you for careers in teaching, research, writing, editing, or further study at the doctoral level.

Whether you choose the Master of Arts in English, the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Media Arts, or the Interdisciplinary Doctorate of Philosophy, you will work closely with award-winning faculty to develop your own original research and writing. With courses in British and American literature, creative and expository writing, film, linguistics, composition and rhetoric, literary criticism, the history of books and print culture, and editing, you will complete your program with the ability to place your work in the larger context of literary studies.

Internships

Undergraduate and graduate students can enhance their career prospects with internships while earning credit toward their degrees.

Students can arrange editorial internships on campus through the publications listed below, earning credit through English 449A/5549A or 449B/5549B Publication Practicum:

  • New Letters, a literary magazine featuring the works of new and distinguished writers, and BkMk Press, a literary publisher of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction with over 80 titles in print
  • The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, an academic journal that fosters theoretical and interpretive research on all aspects of Western culture from 1660 to 1830

Additional internship opportunities on campus include New Letters on the Air, a weekly radio program broadcast on a number of NPR stations; American Education History Journal, an academic journal covering the history of education in the United States; the UMKC Women’s Center; and the College of Arts and Sciences office. The city has a variety of newspapers, magazines, publishers, and other writing-intensive industries that offer paid and unpaid internships off campus. Students who apply for and are accepted to internships can earn credit through English 448 External Internship. UMKC students often intern at The Kansas City Star, Hallmark, or Andrews McMeel Publishing.

For more information, contact Dr. Jennifer Frangos, internship coordinator.

I.Ph.D.

Unlike a traditional Ph.D. program, where all of your coursework is completed in one field, coursework in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program is divided between a primary discipline and a co-discipline. After completing coursework, you will take comprehensive examinations in both disciplines and then begin work on a dissertation.

We are a group of engaged faculty who work in a variety of fields of study. Before you apply to the program, review the faculty pages to identify faculty members who conduct research in your area of interest and who may be willing to serve on your dissertation committee. Our department’s particular strengths are:

  • American Studies
  • Manuscript and Print Culture
  • Medieval Studies
  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Transatlantic Studies
  • Women and Gender Studies

Many I.Ph.D. students pair English with one of the following co-disciplines:

  • Art History
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • History
  • Humanities Consortium

The UMKC Catalog outlines the minimum I.Ph.D. academic regulations and the discipline-specific requirements for English. These sections of the catalog provide guidelines for establishing a program of study, forming a supervisory committee, preparing for and completing comprehensive exams, and writing and defending the doctoral dissertation.

Application Requirements and Process

The application process is competitive. We look for applicants who have completed an M.A. in English or the equivalent coursework.

January 15 is the deadline for fall semester admission. Because the university closes over the winter holidays and classes may not resume until after Martin Luther King Day, prospective students should initiate contact with the department’s discipline coordinator and faculty in November. Be sure to allow enough time for all of the materials to arrive by the deadline. When you complete your online application, you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Academic information, including institutions attended, degrees earned, GPA, foreign language experience, honors and awards, and relevant work experience
  2. Writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing abilities in the humanities in up to 15 pages of recent academic prose (upload file)
  3. Statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s academic and professional objectives in an essay of 500-600 words, discussing in detail their interest, research, and writing in their emphasis area (upload file)
  4. Resume/Vita (upload file)
  5. Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s readiness for graduate study written by three professors or others who know the applicant’s abilities and potential well (provide email addresses and recommenders will receive instructions to upload letters)
  6. GRE score of 60 percent or higher on the verbal aptitude section (submit official scores using code 6872)
  7. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended (mail to UMKC Office of Admissions, 5100 Rockhill Road, 120 Administrative Center, 64110)
  8. Graduate Teaching Assistantship application materials, if applying, including a 250-500 word teaching statement addressing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for teaching, and an academic writing sample from an upper-level college course (upload files)

M.A.

Our 31-credit hour M.A. in English provides students with a background in British and American literature. Students have the option to add an emphasis in:

  • Language and Rhetoric
  • Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing

The UMKC Catalog outlines specific learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and programs of study for the M.A. in English and each emphasis area.

At the end of your M.A. program, you will work with a faculty mentor on a culminating experience, creating a polished paper of about 20 to 30 pages that could be the basis for a conference paper or a publishable article.

Application Requirements and Process

The application process is competitive. We look for applicants with a:

  • B.A. in English (or a B.A. with at least 30 credit hours of English courses)
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.0 GPA in English coursework

January 15 is the deadline for fall semester admission and September 15 is the deadline for spring semester admission. Be sure to allow enough time for all of the materials to arrive by the deadline. When you complete your online application, you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Academic information, including institutions attended, degrees earned, GPA, foreign language experience, honors and awards, and relevant work experience
  2. Writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing abilities in the humanities in up to 15 pages of recent academic prose (upload file)
  3. Statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s academic and professional objectives in an essay of 500-600 words, discussing in detail their interest, research, and writing in their emphasis area (upload file)
  4. Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s readiness for graduate study written by three professors or others who know the applicant’s abilities and potential well (provide email addresses and recommenders will receive instructions to upload letters)
  5. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended (mail to UMKC Office of Admissions, 5100 Rockhill Road, 120 Administrative Center, 64110)
  6. Graduate Teaching Assistantship application materials, if applying, including a 250-500 word teaching statement addressing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for teaching, and an academic writing sample from an upper-level college course (upload files)

Majors

As an English Major, you will develop your ability to read and analyze texts written in the English language by studying British and American literature of the past and present and learning to view texts through a variety of interpretive lenses. You will also develop your flexibility and effectiveness as a writer capable of working in a variety of genres, including creative and expository writing.

Within the 36-credit hour Major in English, you will take a core of 18 hours, including survey courses on the history of British and American literature; a course devoted to Shakespeare; and a linguistics or rhetoric course. Beyond this core, you may choose to study literature, language and rhetoric, or creative writing. In your final year, you will one of two capstone options. The UMKC Course Catalog has a complete list of requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in English.

The UMKC Catalog outlines the full details of the program requirements for each emphasis area:

Capstone

The capstone experience is the culmination of your studies as an English Major. You will designate a 400-level English course as your capstone, or you will enroll in English 499 Senior Tutorial (with a professor’s permission).

The capstone packet outlines the requirements, contract, and assessment rubric for completing this course.

Preparing for Graduate School

If you are considering the pursuit of graduate studies in English, be sure to fully educate yourself on the process of selecting and applying to graduate schools, the nature of advanced study in the field, and the job prospects for individuals with higher degrees in English. Consider meeting with one of our professors to discuss your interests and your plans.

In general, we advise students who are interested in graduate school to develop a broad base of knowledge about the traditions of British and American literature during their undergraduate studies. It’s also a good idea to take a course on critical theory and to take English 499 Senior Thesis, which gives you the opportunity to develop longer essays with deeper analysis. Many universities require at least two semesters of a foreign language for graduate admission.

Meet Our Students

While attending UMKC, our students publish creative and scholarly work; present at regional, national, and international conferences; hold internships at magazines and publishing houses; organize semiannual student conferences; and conduct their own research with a faculty mentor.

Meet one of our students, Alexa Sproles, who earned her B.A. in English with a Minor in Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Literature at UMKC and is now pursuing her M.A. in English at UMKC.

English & Philosophy student Alexa standing in the CAS quad

Why did you choose to major in English?

I initially chose it because I love to write; however, my passion shifted to studying the actual process of writing and how it differs for individuals. Now I’m working toward my doctorate. I’ve also signed up for the Peace Corps and hope to go to Africa to teach French or English.

How have your professors helped you?

My professors have provided information on internships, job openings, extracurricular activities and advice on life in general. They are equally encouraging and helpful. Their blunt honesty has kept me humble, but they never cease to give me a high-five when needed.

What do you write about?

One of my favorite hobbies is writing for my blog [how early 2000s of me, I know]. My first year in college I was really sad and I missed my three sisters. I realized I needed to be less focused on being happy and more focused on being full of joy, so I started writing about how not to be affected by the sad things in life. A lot of freshmen have identified with my story and started reading my blog. It’s great to know other people are getting something out of it.

M.F.A.

In our M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Media Arts program, you will discover and master the art of creative writing through intensive workshops and literature and craft classes. With award-winning faculty, nationally recognized visiting writers, and partnerships with literary magazines and community organizations, our program promotes lifelong learning and community engagement.

The UMKC Catalog outlines specific learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and programs of study for the M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Media Arts. You will select one of the following core genres and you will complete coursework in at least one additional genre:

Under the guidance of a faculty member, you will complete a thesis that is a publishable manuscript of poetry, short stories, a novel, creative non-fiction essays, one-act plays, a full-length play, a feature-length screenplay, or a series bible with two one-hour episodes, or a full-length cross-genre work.

You will also have the opportunity to intern at New Letters magazine, Fiction/Non/Fiction Podcast at Lit Hub, or Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Application Requirements and Process

The application process is competitive. We look for applicants with a:

  • B.A. in English (or a B.A. with at least 30 credit hours of English courses)
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.0 GPA in English coursework

January 15 is the deadline for fall semester admission. Be sure to allow enough time for all of the materials to arrive by the deadline. When you complete your online application, you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Academic information, including institutions attended, degrees earned, GPA, foreign language experience, honors and awards, and relevant work experience
  2. Writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing abilities. A sample in a single emphasis area (no more than 10 pages for poetry; no more than 20 pages for all other disciplines: fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting or screenwriting) is required (poems [6-10] or stories, essays, novel chapters, or dramatic-work excerpts)
  3. Statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s academic and professional objectives. In an essay of 500 to 600 words, applicants should discuss in detail their interest in their emphasis area (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting or screenwriting), and their experience and goals in the area
  4. Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s readiness for graduate study written by three professors or others who know the applicant’s abilities and potential well (provide email addresses and recommenders will receive instructions to upload letters)
  5. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended (mail to UMKC Office of Admissions, 5100 Rockhill Road, 120 Administrative Center, 64110)
  6. Graduate Teaching Assistantship application materials, if applying, including a 250-500 word teaching statement addressing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for teaching, and an academic writing sample from an upper-level college course (upload files)

Minors

You may complement your degree with a minor in English Language and Literature; Creative Writing; Writing; or Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing. Through the study of literature and writing, you will develop critical thinking and communication skills that will benefit you in any course of study or career.

The UMKC Catalog outlines the full details and requirements of each minor:

Student Opportunities

Located in a major metropolitan area, the department and the university offer opportunities for students to enhance their experience through community engagement, student organizations, and internships.

Kansas City is home to theaters that produce classical and modern works, art museums with exceptional permanent collections and visiting exhibitions, archives and research libraries, and a vast network of writers and scholars. Students draw on these resources in their academic work and personal and professional development.

UMKC regularly hosts nationally recognized writers and scholars who share their work with students and other members of the academic community. Recent visitors include Angela Davis, Edward P. Jones, Eleanor Wilner, C.D. Wright, and U.S. poets laureate Billy Collins and Tracy K. Smith.

To broaden their experiences even further, students majoring in English often study abroad at Kingston University in London, the University of Stirling in Scotland, or other universities in Europe and across the globe.

Student Organizations

Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society

Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society. A member of the Association of College Honor Societies, it was founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University. Sigma Tau Delta’s central purpose is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies.

English Graduate Student Association

The English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) fosters support and professionalization among graduate students in English. In the fall semester, EGSA presents the English Colloquium with faculty-led panels about succeeding in the field of English and submitting literary pieces to conferences and publications. In the spring semester, EGSA collaborates with Sigma Tau Delta to present the English Symposium, where students present on panels showcasing their creative and scholarly work to fellow students, faculty, and distinguished guests. Throughout the year, EGSA hosts casual events for graduate students to associate with one another and with faculty members, facilitating a positive community atmosphere and professional networking.

Number One Magazine

Number One Magazine strives to showcase the creative talents of UMKC students from various schools and disciplines. Submissions are accepted from any UMKC graduate or undergraduate student between April 1 and December 1 and include, but are not limited to, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, one-act plays, screenplays, visual art, and photography. Submissions can be e-mailed to numberonemagazine@gmail.com.

Sosland Journal

The Sosland Journal is an annual publication, edited by English graduate students and funded by Rheta Sosland-Hurwitt, that features essays by student winners of the Ilus W. Davis Writing Competition. The journal exhibits exemplary writing from both composition courses and university-wide writing intensive courses to be published and distributed to a larger audience, including UMKC students who use the journal as a textbook in select writing courses and the Kansas City community at large.

Visit The Sosland Journal Online for current and past issues, submission guidelines, and deadlines for the Ilus W. Davis Writing Competition.

UMKC Students Present at Sigma Tau Delta International Convention

Members from Sigma Tau Delta, Sigma Kappa Delta, and National English Honors Society gathered from around the world to present their original academic and creative writing pieces at the 2019 Sigma Tau Delta International Convention held March 27-30, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. The international convention served as a networking and educational event for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and alumni. In addition to attending academic and creative writing panels, convention-goers had several opportunities to attend career development panels such as “From Surviving to Thriving,” “Day Jobs for English Majors” and “Humanities Skills in the Workplace.” The keynote speakers for this year’s convention were authors Nnedi Okora for and Tess Taylor. Among the 700 presenters in attendance, three UMKC students presented their original work at this year’s annual convention.

Representing UMKC’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta were secretary and junior Kara Walters, president and senior Rhiannon Minster, vice president and M.A. student Brynn Fitzsimmons, and member and M.F.A. student Chris Arnone.

Rhiannon, Brynn and Chris participated in a round table discussion called “Building a Better Genre Story.” Brynn presented her piece “Used-to Musician” on the panel “Creative Non-Fiction: Becoming Who We Are.” Chris Arnone presented two pieces: “On Both Sides” on the panel “Fiction: The Americans,” and “August 2018” on the panel “Poetic Responses to the Common Reader.” The 2019 Sigma Tau Delta Common Reader was Work & Days by Tess Taylor.

Next year’s Sigma Tau Delta International Convention will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 25-28, 2020, and will feature author Terry Tempest Williams as the keynote speaker.

This article was contributed by English major Kara Walters.

Undergraduate

As an undergraduate student, you may choose a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, or a Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Literature; Creative Writing; or Language and Rhetoric. You may complement your major with a minor in Creative Writing; Language and Literature; Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing; or Writing.

Why This Program?

Kansas City has a vibrant community of writers and publishers, and our department encourages real-world experiences for our students through internal and external internships. Our students gain experience in writing and editing that prepares them for the job market.

We offer programs of study for students with a wide range of interests with courses in many fields of literature (American, British, Latin American, etc.) as well as in creative writing (fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and creative non-fiction), linguistics, rhetoric, and editing and publishing. You will be able to focus your studies in any of these areas for your undergraduate (major and/or minor) and graduate (M.A., M.F.A., or iPh.D.) degrees.

Our faculty has a broad range of professional expertise in the study of literature, language, and writing. Our professors have won awards as prestigious as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts.