Winona State University

Posted on April 18, 2013


Another week is flying by and I now have two weeks until finals start! Needless to say I am a little nervous. But on with the research project; Winona State University.

I first started considering Winona when I saw some of literature for their M.A. Program hanging outside of my office. Before that I had been on the M.F.A. Fast Track and had not really considered M.A. Programs. But then I switched up my game and here I am, considering an M.A., and now Winona State is definitely on my radar.

I asked a couple of my professors around Bemidji if they had heard anything about Winona and their English program but the two responses I got were “Nursing School.” and “Lots of female students.” (The MnSCU profile supports what my professors told me; PhD in Nursing and a 60% female population) So not a whole lot on their English program. Here’s some of the things that I have learned about Winona doing my research!

Winona State University is located south of the Twin Cities, right next to the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The student body is roughly 9,000 students, making it not quite as large as St. Cloud or the U of MN, but still larger than Bemidji State. This gives Winona more of a small town feel.

The English Graduate Programs at Winona actually have their own mission statements. The mission statement for the M.A. in Literature and Language is as listed below.

“The MA English-Literature and Language Program cultivates advanced-level critical thinking, reading, research, and writing skills, and an in-depth knowledge of all major areas of literary studies needed for continued graduate study, teaching at the post-secondary level, or work in professional writing.”

Ranking: This article is pretty awesome when it comes to the ranking of their school. According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2013, Winona ranked seventh in public universities in Minnesota and 15th in the Midwest. This does not directly relate to their English program or graduate studies, but that is still positive!

Requirements: The admission requirements for Winona State were not as easy for me to find on other school’s websites but were as explicit as the University of Minnesota’s. The school expects an overall GPA of 3.0, with at least a 3.25 in English. The page for the English department does not state whether or not prospective students need to take the GRE, but on the admission policies of Winona State, under general graduate studies does state that is is required.

Funding: The funding provided by Winona State’s English Department is mainly graduate assistantships. I am starting to sense a pattern. The website states,

“Full-time graduate assistants receive a $10,000 stipend and full tuition reimbursements in return for twenty hours a week of teaching, tutoring, or other related work for the department.  Half-time graduate assistants receive a $5,000 stipend and 6 credits of tuition reimbursement per semester in return for 10 hours a week of teaching, tutoring, or other related work for the department.”

This is the same sort of statement that I have seen from the other Universities. I also found this page on graduate assistantships to be incredibly helpful. I have not touched on this up until this point (shame on me) but just because a graduate student does not get an assistantship through their department doesn’t mean that they cannot get an assistantships through other departments of the school. This helps to keep the funding for graduate school open. Unfortunately I did not find much other information on funding. No mention of scholarships or even loans.

Overall, Winona State seems to have a very underrated English program. Their ranking is impressive. The school sets high standards for their prospective students much like the University of Minnesota. However their site is a little more complex to navigate. It takes some digging to find information. This school leaves me feeling a lot like the University of Minnesota made me feel; impressed and a little intimidated.

Looking forward, I will be posting on Iowa State University. I am also thinking that I should maybe do a review of the first five schools that I have researched; weigh in some pros and cons and maybe even go more in depth with them, talking about the faculty, application process, and fees. I will also be posting a review of Sarah Dalheimer’s fiction blogs tomorrow. Lots to be looking forward to!