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Grace Nixon FAQ

In the 1980s, Grace Nixon left the University of Idaho a substantial endowment, with the specification that it go toward the education of teachers in Idaho. It is a committed chunk of annual funds, to which some strings are attached (some academic-year TA funding, etc.).

April 1st is the priority deadline for funding, but we accept them at any time.

No, the MA program has no formal policy for admitting applicants who don't hold a BA in English. As long as an applicant has a bachelor's with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (and a TOEFL/IELTS score of 83/6.5 or more), they will be considered.

There is no limit, technically, but credits that are older than 8 years are considered “overaged.” You may graduate with a maximum of 12 overaged credits.

No. You are strongly encouraged to take the (much preferable) non-thesis option. A “non-thesis” is essentially built by beginning with a seminar paper (~20 pages) from one of your Nixon MA classes and then revising it during your final semester, working with one professor of your choosing (typically the professor for whom you wrote it in the first place).

No. You may conduct all non-thesis (ENGL 599) work remotely. You can even do it all during the academic year (before the summer), if that is something your schedule allows. Consult with the MA-ENGL Director to develop a non-thesis plan.

There are degree credits and professional-development credits. The latter are cheaper, but professional-development credits are no longer convertible to degree credits. Thus, there are now two clear streams: degree-credit students and professional-development students.

The MA is a 33-credit degree. If you follow the non-thesis track, you need 30 credits of coursework (500-level English courses, though up to 6 credits may be at the 400 level) and 3 credits of non-thesis work.

Yes, and you may certainly take more than 6 credits during the fall and/or spring. However, Nixon funding for non-summer coursework can be tricky; at the very least, the English Dept will need a lot of heads-up if you plan to do this.

Not currently, though this may be an option in the coming years, via either online class options or Zoom teleconferencing.

A 200-word abstract; an annotated bibliography; your fully revised essay; and a 3-5-page reflective essay about what you revised and how the process went.

Nixon students can take ENGL 599 (non-thesis masters research) during the school year and be funded, since major professors often don’t work during the summer. But generally, all other coursework must occur during the summer Nixon program.

The MA degree consists of 30 credits of 500-level English coursework (plus 3 credits of non-thesis writing). That said, you are permitted to count up to 6 credits at the 400-level towards that total.

Any such course should have a clear adjacency to MA English coursework. To qualify to take a course from another department, you must first submit a sub/waiver form to the manager of Graduate Student Services at COGS. An MA student may take up to 9 credits of non-ENGL coursework as a graduate student. Consult with the MA-ENGL Director if you are interested in pursuing these options.

Because practica are intended to be apprenticeship-like advanced studies, not pre-existing professional activities, dual-credit teaching does not qualify as material for a practicum.

If you are a graduate student pursuing a second master’s degree, you are allowed to transfer 6 credits from your first master’s degree to fulfill the requirements of your current master’s degree. The credits must be from an accredited institution and must be graduate level courses listed on a graduate level transcript. Contact the MA-ENGL Director to discuss transfer credits; to see if your pre-existing credits qualify, contact the Graduate Student Support Coordinator in COGS (

Not typically but contact the MA-ENGL Director if you’d like to take a specific course.

English Department

Physical Address:
200 Brink Hall

Mailing Address:
English Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1102
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1102

Phone: 208-885-6156


Web: English