College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Language Requirements

All candidates for graduate degrees in English are required to provide evidence of substantial preparation in language studies. Both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs have specific language requirements. Exemptions from the requirement are normally granted to students whose native language is not English and to students who completed a foreign language major at the undergraduate level.

Language Requirements for M.A. Programs

M.A. candidates in the Department of English are normally expected to demonstrate substantial competence in at least one language other than English. Typically, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Latin, or ancient Greek may be offered in fulfillment of the requirement. Other languages may be substituted with the approval of the student's advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. The criterion for judging the acceptability of a language will be its suitability for the student's course of study and plan of research. Students should discuss their choice of language with their advisors and with the Director of Graduate Studies early in their programs. They should also feel free to consult with members of the Foreign Language Proficiency subcommittee.

M.A. students may satisfy the requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Passing the Graduate Foreign Language Translation Exam offered by the Foreign Language Department. (For details about this exam, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.)
  • Completing a WSU foreign language class at the 306 level or above (e.g. French 306, 320, 322, etc.), with a grade of "B" or higher. (Spanish 600, an intensive introduction to reading in Spanish, satisfies the requirement and is typically offered during Fall Semester.) With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, a student may also substitute a 300-level reading or literature course in an appropriate foreign language which the student took at a university other than WSU. (Note: "literature in translation" courses do not count as a means of satisfying this requirement.)
  • Completing six hours of graduate-level study of modern linguistics, both synchronic and diachronic (this option is available only to M.A. students in Rhetoric and Composition.

Language Requirements for the Ph.D. Program

Candidates in the doctoral program must confer with their advisors and with the Director of Graduate Studies to choose a language or languages (typically French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Latin, or ancient Greek) appropriate to a scholarly career of research and teaching. Other languages may be substituted with the approval of the student's advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. The criterion for judging the acceptability of a language will be its suitability for the student's course of study and plan of research. The choice of language must be made no later than the third semester of doctoral study, and students normally should fulfill the requirement before taking their qualifying examinations.

Ph.D. students may satisfy the requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Passing the Graduate Foreign Language Translation Exam offered by the Foreign Language Department. (For details about this exam, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.)
  • Completing a WSU foreign language class at the 400 level or higher (e.g., Spanish 450, 452, 520, 524, etc.), with a grade of "B" or above. (Spanish 600, an intensive introduction to reading in Spanish, satisfies the requirement and is typically offered during Fall Semester.) With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, a student may also substitute a 400-level reading or literature course in an appropriate foreign language which the student took at a university other than WSU. (Note: "literature in translation" courses do not count as a means of satisfying this requirement.)
  • Demonstrating competence in two languages through completion of coursework in both at the 306-level or higher (with grades of "B" or above.) Doctoral students in Rhetoric and Composition may also consider taking six hours of linguistics and then completing a foreign language course at the 306-level or higher.

The programs of M.A. students may contain up to three hours of non-graduate credit, 300- or 400-level courses in supporting work outside the major department. The programs of Ph.D. students may contain up to six hours of non-graduate credit, 400-level courses outside the major department and listed in the WSU Graduate Bulletin. Foreign language courses, therefore, may fulfill part of the credit-hour requirement for the degree.

MA Requirements

PhD Requirements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department of English, PO Box 645020, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5020, 509-335-2581, Contact Us