What is PRO?


English Professional Research option binders

Professional Research Option (PRO)

This option for second-year graduate students is a three-credit independent study in which students identify one or a cluster of jobs or professions in which an advanced degree in literature is of benefit. In the course of the semester, students will research the career options of interest, identifying one or two fields as the focus of their work.

They must generate a research paper that explores the history and future prospects of the field of interest, as well as current information about the requirements of the work, geographical information about centers of activity for the profession, and desirable employers. This research should include at least two meetings with professionals who work in the field. The paper must also analyze how advanced study of literature serves to enhance the students' desirability in the profession in question.

As part of their final project, students must develop a cover letter outlining the ways their particular training makes them suitable to work in this field. Students make their research available to other students in the program by adding a bound volume of the project to the PRO library.

Recent PRO Projects Include

  • Blogging for Hire: Exploring the Career Potential of Writing on the Web
  • Writing for the Web, a Research Project on Content Writing and Editing on the Internet
  • Professional Book Editing
  • Copywriting for Graduate Students in English Literature
  • Academic Librarianship, The Role of Instruction in the Academic Library
  • The Past, Present, and Future of Book Editing
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for Adults at U.S. Colleges for Academic Purposes
  • Public Relations
  • Development: Exploring the Career Potential of Fundraising for Not-for-Profits
  • Innovations and Opportunities in the eBook Industry
  • Exploring the Role and Responsibilities of Today’s English Educator
  • Jobs in Social Media
  • Public Radio 

Abstracts of these projects can be found on our Graduate Program blog, the YAWP. Final copies of the projects are in the PRO library in the Graduate Lounge of the English Department.


Current students interested in the Professional Research Option should contact Dr. Evan Radcliffe to discuss their potential research.

Department of English
St. Augustine Center
Room 402

Dr. Evan Radcliffe
Graduate Program Director

Mike Malloy
Graduate Program Coordinator


March 1: For admission with funding consideration

August 1: For admission without funding for the fall

December 1: For admission without funding for the spring

If you have missed a deadline, please contact Dr. Radcliffe to discuss your options.

Begin your application.


Hannah Kahn and Caitlin Salomon, grad students at a conference

Graduate English Students Present at Christianity & Literature Conference

English MA students Hannah Kahn and Caitlin Salomon recently presented at The Conference on Christianity and Literature’s (CCL) 2022 Western Regional conference, “Literary Geographies – Space, Place, and Environments.” READ MORE