Resources for Current Graduate Students


An Independent Study (IS) is a contract between a student and a faculty member to complete coursework on a special project or in a special area of study. The purpose of Independent Study is to allow a student to explore in-depth topics of scholarly interest that are not attainable through UW Oshkosh course work. Students may not do an Independent Study simply to take coursework offered in a regular course (even if that course isn’t currently offered).  The faculty member and the student must make up a syllabus, and this form must be approved/signed by the department’s graduate director and submitted (along with an Independent Study Contract ) to the Office of Graduate Studies during the regular enrollment period (before the last day to add/drop).  Submission of both documents constitutes registration for ENG 796.

The Independent Study syllabus must include the following:

  • Title of the course
  • Goals of the course
  • Reading list
  • Writing/research assignments
  • Meeting schedule
  • Rationale for the course

Please focus on scholarly reasons for the course.  Scheduling difficulties do not justify an Independent Study.

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Graduate assistantships provide you with the opportunity to work closely with professors and professionals; to gain valuable experience in writing instruction, editing, and research; and to help finance your education. Assistantships are work-based financial support awards available to through a competitive application process. Students apply in the spring for employment in the next academic year. Functions for graduate assistants in the English department include research, tutoring, editing, proctoring and other academic-oriented work.

To learn more, please visit the Graduate Assistant website.


Students should complete and submit an Application for Admission to Candidacy the semester before they complete their coursework (other than ENG 795).  Students must submit three signed copies of the candidacy application to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than one semester before they plan to graduate. Please be certain to obtain all the necessary signatures before submitting it.

The Master of Arts in English program requires that candidates planning to write a thesis submit a 3-5 page thesis prospectus approximately six weeks prior to registering for English 795 (English Thesis). This prospectus must include the following:

  • An abstract summarizing the problem, issue, literary characteristic or theoretical approach you plan to discuss, and why;
  • A brief discussion of prior scholarly work done on this topic;
  • Your rationale for choosing this topic and a statement of what you hope to prove through the thesis;
  • A statement on the feasibility of your project and project timetable for completion;
  • A working bibliography.

Working with the thesis advisor and the two other committee members, the student will write and revise a prospectus. Five copies of the final draft of the prospectus, along with five copies of the completed Research Proposal form signed by the student, all members of the thesis committee, and the English graduate program director, is due in the Office of Graduate Studies about six weeks into the semester preceding the semester the student begins work on his/her thesis.