FAQs - Current Graduate Students - Tempe Campus

Information about the Department of English graduate programs can be obtained online  or you can e-mail enggrad@asu.edu (or call 480-965-7454). In peak times, response to emails and calls may take up to 48 hours to return Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Please look through the FAQs to see if your question can be answered in the meantime.

1. How long will it take to complete the degree?

1. How long will it take to complete the degree?

The time it will take each student to complete a graduate degree program in English will vary depending on several factors (i.e. a student attends classes on a full-time basis, etc.). Generally speaking, the time to degree for the Master of Arts (M.A.) program is about two years. The MTESOL program is designed to be completed in three semesters. The MFA program takes three years. The time to degree for the Ph.D. program is about five years (for students with a master’s degree).

It is a Graduate College policy that master's students must complete their degrees within six years. Ph.D. students have ten years from admission (five years from candidacy).

2. Is there a foreign language requirement?

2. Is there a foreign language requirement?

Yes. A reading knowledge of a language other than English is required for some of our programs (please check your specific program requirements for details). This does not apply to students whose first language is not English. See ways to fulfill this requirement. Students should fulfill their language requirement early in the program so it does not hold up graduation.

If students choose to take the translation exam to satisfy the language requirement, they must be enrolled in at least one graduate-level English course during the semester or summer session in which they take the exam. Language exam results must be posted before the student can schedule a defense. Visit the School of International Letters and Cultures for more information on the exam. The language exam is an exit requirement (not entrance requirement). There is a $100 fee to take the translation test.

3. What is an interactive plan of study (iPOS)?

3. What is an interactive plan of study (iPOS)?

The iPOS becomes the official record of your program plans and is a listing of what you have already taken, are presently taking, and will take to complete your requirements. It is also the official declaration of your committee. Students must have an approved iPOS on file before registering to take the foreign language examination or before the language can be updated. Students will not be allowed to graduate in the same semester that they file an iPOS.

4. When do I file the iPOS?

4. When do I file the iPOS?

The iPOS must be filed before the student has completed 50 percent of the program. For a 30-credit program, that would be before 15 credits. Ph.D. students must file the iPOS before their 42nd credit. Failure to file before this time may result in a hold on the student’s registration. The departmental procedure for filing the iPOS is online.

5. What if I need to change a class on my Plan of Study after it’s approved?

5. What if I need to change a class on my Plan of Study after it’s approved?

You simply submit a course change request to swap out a class.

6. Where do I locate the current class schedule?

6. Where do I locate the current class schedule?

Students can see all courses offered here: https://webapp4.asu.edu/catalog/. Make sure to select the correct campus when searching.

7. How many classes can I take in a semester?

7. How many classes can I take in a semester?

Part time status is taking two courses a semester. Full time status is taking at least three courses a semester. Students are not able to register for more than 18 credits per semester without approval from the advisor.

8. Can I take a semester off if I need to?

8. Can I take a semester off if I need to?

Continuous enrollment is required (fall, spring). The Graduate College states that a student must be registered for a minimum of one graduate credit hour during all phases of their graduation (fall, spring, and summer only if utilizing university resources or applying for graduation). Students can apply for a leave of absence by submitting a Maintain Continuous Enrollment request to the Program Manager. Failure to register or request a leave will result in automatic withdrawal from the program.

Note: W (withdraw) and X (audit) do NOT count as continuous enrollment. A 400-level class does NOT count toward continuous enrollment for graduate students, unless it is listed on the iPOS.

9. How do I register for thesis and dissertation hours, research, reading and conference, or applied project?

9. How do I register for thesis and dissertation hours, research, reading and conference, or applied project?

Download the Independent Study form. Complete the top portion and obtain the required signature. If you are doing thesis, research, dissertation, or applied project you must get your committee chair’s signature on the “instructor” line. If you are doing a reading and conference, you must obtain the signature of the professor with whom you will be working. Return the completed and signed form to the English Department main office RBH 170 or to the Graduate Program Manager in RBH 125 for clearance to register. You will be able to register within 48 hours of returning the form.

This procedure is also used for Continuing Registration. Note: Continuing Registration (595 or 795) CANNOT be used on a graduate plan of study

Note: This procedure is used to grant registration clearance only. Students must still register for this through the online registration system. Make sure to indicate the correct number of credits, as the default is one.

10. Is there a non-thesis option for the in-person master’s program?

10. Is there a non-thesis option for the in-person master’s program?

Yes. The non-thesis option for the master's program concentrations requires 27 hours of coursework and a three-hour applied project. The thesis option consists of 24 hours of coursework and six thesis hours.

11. What sort of grades do graduate students earn?

11. What sort of grades do graduate students earn?

English graduate students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average each semester. In order to graduate from ASU, graduate students must have a 3.0 overall GPA, a 3.0 iPOS GPA, and a 3.0 graduate GPA. If you fall below a 3.0 overall GPA, you will be put on academic probation by the Graduate College.

12. How do I get an advisor?

12. How do I get an advisor?

The Director of Graduate Studies acts as advisor for all new graduate students, however, the directors of specific programs should be consulted for more detailed advice. The program director will act as advisor until a committee chair has been appointed. Once a student has chosen a committee chair, the chair then acts as advisor.

13. How do I schedule and announce my thesis/dissertation defense?

13. How do I schedule and announce my thesis/dissertation defense?

To schedule a room for your defense, contact Sarah Saucedo. Allow ample time, as obtaining a room can sometimes take up to 72 hours. You MUST have a room already confirmed before you schedule your defense with the Graduate College. The online defense scheduling system does NOT book rooms. Defenses must be scheduled through the student’s MyASU (defense tab) at least ten working days before the date of the defense. Contact your advisor or the Graduate Program Manager to confirm that all requirements and milestones have been met.

All oral defenses of theses and dissertations are announced in the English Department via e-mail and posted on the department’s event website. Once you have officially scheduled your defense with the Graduate College, please send an e-mail to Sheila Luna, and include student name, thesis/dissertation title, date and time of defense, room, committee chair, committee members, and a brief abstract. The abstract and above information should be in the body of the e-mail, not as an attachment.

14. How many hours per week should I expect to spend on a 3 credit course?

14. How many hours per week should I expect to spend on a 3 credit course?

Approximately 10 hours per week for a 3 credit hour course. 

15. Where can I go to find out more about how Blackboard works?

15. Where can I go to find out more about how Blackboard works?

Blackboard help can be found here.

16. Where do Ph.D. graduates get jobs?

16. Where do Ph.D. graduates get jobs?

The English department has an excellent placement rate. For information on where our alumni are placed, visit the dissertation titles and placements page.

17. I applied to graduate, but need to postpone graduation to the next semester. What do I do?

17. I applied to graduate, but need to postpone graduation to the next semester. What do I do?

Contact Graduation Office either by phone at 480-965-3256 or by email graduation@asu.edu to request the current application be withdrawn. After they have withdrawn the application, go back to the Graduation Tab on your MyASU page and reapply for graduation for the future semester. You do not need to pay the fee again as your original payment will remain on file for up to five years.