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I am thinking about applying to English MA programs this fall, but I'm pretty overwhelmed. I'd like to apply to "Top 50" programs with funding for MA students. My concentration will be 18th/19th century British literature, queer and post-colonial theory.

I was checking out Brown, which seems like a great fit for me, but they're funding info was not so appealing (they 'require' you to pay $40,000). Yet what I gather from the forums is that people do get fully funded offers from Brown's PhD program? Do they tend to offer fellowships to MA students?

Any suggestions? I'm also open to schools in Canada. Guh, I've only just started looking at programs and I'm already freaking out and overeating. Fudge.

Thanks everyone!

Edited by evsnow
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The usual drivel from asleepawake. While it may be helpful vis-à-vis funding to study for an MA at a school with no PhD, it is almost always more advisable to study at a school with a PhD otherwise. M

Canadian schools whose English departments rank in the global top 50 include the University of Toronto (#7), McGill (#12) and UBC (#13). The University of Alberta is also a great school overall, and a

I've never heard this before, and this also hasn't been my experience by any means. I got my MA from a program that also offers a PhD, and the majority of the professors I had were very much involved

The Ivys and top 20 schools who have MA programs generally do not fund their MA students or only very partially fund them. Their Ph.D. candidates are fully funded, usually very generously. Others will be able to speak to this more, but check out schools who offer full funding for the MA (or at least mostly full) where you also get to teach. This will be a big advantage for you when/if you decide to go on for a Ph.D. Schools like U of Oregon don't fund you for the first year, but you can get funding through teaching for the second year. U of Utah has some funding for the MA level and Kathryn Stockton is there. It sounds like she would be perfect for your work. Syracuse and Villanova offer funded MAs as well. Anyway, don't focus so much on the rankings, especially for the MA. The brand of your Ph.D. will matter, but that of your MA won't as much. It serves to get you into a Ph.D. program, but you will be well served by any place that prepares you well, gives you an opportunity to teach, lets you develop your writing and research interests, and provides you chances to begin to conference and perhaps publish. Be aware that some schools either don't take students who have an MA in hand or take very few of them. U of Wisconsin-Madison is switching to not take people with MAs. A lot of the Ivys and top 10 schools tend to prefer straight from undergrad applicants. Stanford, for example, has less than 25% of their cohorts who have an MA already, so I'd recommend researching all this pretty thoroughly and then applying to a variety of Ph.D. and MA programs so you have choices. Good luck!

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Thank you! Very helpful. The thing is...not sure if I want to pursue my PhD yet, if ever. I am going to apply to Princeton's PhD program because that is my ultimate dream program (Claudia Johnson, the English department chair and foremost Jane Austen scholar, featured prominently in my undergrad thesis). I think I might have a good chance there, because my thesis is strong and I know my recommendations will be amazing (not because I'm the best or anything, hah, but because I went to a small college for undergrad and had the opportunity to work closely with my profs). I think I still have to figure out what the hell I want to do with myself, haha.

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This list is a little old but probably still helpful:

http://wgi-lounge-2009.livejournal.com/10017.html

From personal experience, I can confirm:

Boston College - first year tuition waiver and half-tuition second year and around $8K stipend for TAing

Penn State - full-tuition waiver and stipend (around $20K) for teaching, but this is really supposed to be a feeder program for the PhD program

Also, if you just apply to PhD programs and decide it's not for you, you can leave with an MA after the first two years.

As a sidebar, one of my undergrad advisors went to Princeton for her PhD and said that people who held external MAs had to "start over" -- that is, lost two years -- so you might want to check if that is still the case.

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Here are a few I know of that have funded MA programs:

Purdue

Delaware

Villanova

U of Connecticut

U of Maryland

U of Maine

U of Vermont

Illinois at Urbana Champaign

U of Washington

When I was applying to MA programs a few years back, I know these are some places that offered funding at the MA level, but things can change from one year to another, so definitely double-check. Good luck!

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Excellent suggestions posted so far.

We currently have MA funding and tons of teaching experience (from your very first term, if you're fully funded, or in the second year if you don't get full funding) at U Cincinnati, but that may change because our governor is a douche.

When I did my first round of apps I think I remember some MA funding at Baltimore(??). I could very well be wrong on this, though.

UNC Chapel Hill also had a funded "feeder" MA program (really just a formality designed to move you into the PhD program) when I did my round of apps in 2009, but I think that's changing because of budget issues? May want to check on that.

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I was accepted to Utah's MA program and told there was no guaranteed funding. I suppose it is possible that some people get offered it and I didn't, but I was told that the funding has to go to PHD students first and that they wish they could do more for their MA students. I am aware it says that some MAs get funded on Utah's website, but from my experience this does not seem to be the case.

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I was accepted to Utah's MA program and told there was no guaranteed funding. I suppose it is possible that some people get offered it and I didn't, but I was told that the funding has to go to PHD students first and that they wish they could do more for their MA students. I am aware it says that some MAs get funded on Utah's website, but from my experience this does not seem to be the case.

Thanks for the info, all!

I did some research yesterday and the University of Alberta looks AMAZING. Two Jane Austen scholars there and research assistantships instead of teaching (two students were able to contribute to the recent Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen). Pretty cool! Only...so far away!

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Just as a head's up: for the MA it doesn't really matter if you do the degree in another country you plan to teach in, but for the Ph.D., it is usually recommended to do the Ph.D. in the country you want to teach in, especially if that is the US. To find more awesome Austen scholars, read the relevant journals (or do a search on JSTOR or MLA), find contemporary scholars, read their work, and then look where they teach. That can be a good way of approaching the creation of your schools to apply to list.

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OSU is having funding problems like the rest of the country (especially in Ohio with the new governor) so they have downsized. I've been kicking myself for not applying the year before when they still had the MA program, which admitted about 30 funded students! It definitely is no more though.

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  • 5 weeks later...

UMass Boston, if you apply separately (and get) the teaching assistantship.

Also, Brandeis isn't funded, but offers partial funding for many admits and doesn't charge tuition the second year, just "continuation" fees around $1000.

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I am thinking about applying to English MA programs this fall, but I'm pretty overwhelmed. I'd like to apply to "Top 50" programs with funding for MA students. My concentration will be 18th/19th century British literature, queer and post-colonial theory.

I was checking out Brown, which seems like a great fit for me, but they're funding info was not so appealing (they 'require' you to pay $40,000). Yet what I gather from the forums is that people do get fully funded offers from Brown's PhD program? Do they tend to offer fellowships to MA students?

Any suggestions? I'm also open to schools in Canada. Guh, I've only just started looking at programs and I'm already freaking out and overeating. Fudge.

Thanks everyone!

I'm not sure if the schools listed by MA in my sig are "top 50," but I believe they offer funding for their MA students. Funding is a key issue for me as well, though my chances of getting into a top 50 school are slim.

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  • 9 months later...

Here's an old list I found elsewhere that might offer a few more options.

Washington State

University of Florida

UW-Milwaukee

University of Alabama

Michigan State University

University of Oregon

University of Kansas

Texas A&M

University of Utah

Binghamton University

Miami University (Ohio)

Purdue University

University of Connecticut

University of Delaware

University of Georgia

University of Kentucky

University of Missouri

University of Nebraska

University of Oklahoma

University of Tennessee

Arizona State University

University of New Mexico

Villanova University

Bowling Green State University

I don't know how accurate it still is now though. I have a sneaking suspicion the funded MA is a vanishing animal.

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Add Villanova to the list. They offer Tuition Fellowships and Grad Assistantships with stipends. Great Ph.D placements the last few years.

Also, we need to bump this thread close to next app season. Wish I had seen it last August.

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This is definitely a very useful thread. I'm applying to both PhD programs and MA programs next app season but I'm worried about the MAs because there is no way that I can attend an unfunded program. It's very discouraging actually. :( It definitely seems to be the rare case to find a funded MA.

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I didn't apply to any schools that don't fund their MAs. South Carolina funds kind of crapily the first year (I have a fellowship offer, but that's just eh...), Nebraska and Kansas both offer awesome funding. I don't know what your speciality is, but Kansas is kind of a dream for me because of their 19th-Century American people. :)

Edited by CarolineSC
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