UMass Boston

Student Resources

University Policies & Regulations

Familiarize yourself with University Policies and Regulations and the Code of Student Conduct.

Research Links

Career Resources

What kind of career can you look forward to as an English major?

Graduate Student Assembly (GSA)

The Graduate Student Assembly is comprised of representatives from each graduate college. In addition to funding graduate professional organizations, the GSA offers several different types of grants to assist graduate students' professional development and research. They host a graduate research conference as well as plan social activities to bring graduate students from different programs together.

Graduate Writing Center

Academic Support Programs
CC-1-1300, 617.287.6550

Statistics Support

Jie Chen, University Statistician
H-5-0001, 617.287.5241

Special Opportunities for English Majors

The English Department is a vibrant community and we can’t limit our excitement for literature to the classroom! We offer many opportunities for students to get involved in reading, writing, and literary exploration outside of our courses. We sponsor clubs, contests, prizes, conferences, and more, including a literary journal. Contact the English Department for questions about any of these opportunities.

Clubs, Groups, and Conferences

Literary Theory Reading Group
Led by our literature faculty, the Literary Theory Reading Group is a roundtable discussion group that meets monthly and encourages students to explore wider theoretical debates and issues within literary studies.  Recent topics include “The Now” and “Whither the Human?”

Medieval Reading Group
For the medievally-inclined or the medievally-curious!  Led by our medievalist faculty, this student group meets on a monthly basis to talk about medieval literature and culture.  Recent topics include “The Heart of Beowulf” and “Speaking Animals.”Writer’s Community
This student-led group organizes weekly meetings held in the English Department Commons.  Students come together to discuss all forms of writing and to support each other as they improve their creative and analytical writing.   

Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference
Every year, students who are inspired by the works of Shakespeare (and by the engaging teaching in our Shakespeare courses!) prepare their academic writing to be presented at the Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference, typically held in the spring. UMass Boston students’ work is always successful and has won the conference’s “Best Paper” prize.

Intercollegiate Undergraduate Literature Conference
Our English Department has recently joined into a regional Undergraduate Literature Conference that allows our students to show off their critical and creative writing.  UMass Boston students connect and share ideas with students from Stonehill College and Bridgewater State.

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference
Every spring, UMass Amherst hosts the Undergraduate Research Conference for Massachusetts students.  Students present conference papers and posters.  English majors attend every year, presenting Honors theses and capstone papers. 

Writing Center Services and Jobs

Many English majors and minors learn about writing center tutoring and pedagogy by working in the Writing Center. English majors and minors also strengthen their writing by using the Writing Center's services. Visit the Writing Center website to learn more about our services and working with us.

Prizes, Scholarships, and Contests

English Department Book Prizes
The Department of English awards Book Prizes to graduating seniors whose performance in a variety of courses in the English major has been consistently outstanding.

Alfred R. Ferguson Prize
The Alfred R. Ferguson Prize is awarded to the junior or senior English major for outstanding work in American literature. Nominations are made by English faculty, and include a summary of the student's course work in this field together with one (or more) papers of at least 10 pages.

James William Fay Prize 
The James William Fay Prize is awarded for the best capstone essay in English and Anglophone literature. Nominations are made by English faculty. Nominated essays should demonstrate an integration of intellectual engagement and scholarly research mobilized around a deepened understanding of the creative spirit. 

Frances Russell Hart Prize 
The Francis Russell Hart Prize is awarded to a graduating English major who has combined outstanding work in English studies with a record of mentoring other students. Nominating letters by at least two members of the English faculty are required.

Marcia Keach Prize for Poetry
The Marcia Keach Prize recognizes excellence in poetry writing. Students, typically graduating seniors in Creative Writing, are nominated by the creative writing faculty.

Chet Frederick Prize for Fiction
The Chet Frederick Prize recognizes excellence in fiction writing. Students, typically graduating seniors in creative writing, are nominated by the creative writing faculty.

Academy of American Poets Prize
The Academy of American Poets Prize is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. Students submit up to three typed pages of poems for consideration.  The submission deadline is typically in March. Please contact the director of creative writing for more information. For the current announcement and submission guidelines, please click here: 2020 Academy of American Poets Prize.

Peter Brooks Butler Memorial Scholarship (Study Abroad)
Through the generosity of Mrs. E. Mauran Beals and Mrs. Jane B. Butler, the English Department at UMass Boston offers the Peter Brooks Butler Memorial Scholarship. Awarded every second year, the scholarship provides funds for one student to attend summer school at Oxford University. Sophomore or junior English Majors can apply to the scholarship, submitting a transcript, personal statement, writing sample, and letters of recommendation. The scholarship recipient must be a full-time student at UMass Boston who shows promising talent in creative writing and/or Renaissance literature.

Mary Doyle Curran Scholarship (Creative Writing)
The Mary Doyle Curran Scholarship is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half time who are interested in creative writing and are in need of financial assistance. The submission deadline is typically in December. Please contact the Director of Creative Writing for more information. For the current announcement and submission guidelines, click here: 2021 Scholarship Checklist.

Brian Rattigan Scholarship (Creative Writing)
The Brian Rattigan Scholarship is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half time who have demonstrated creative achievement. The submission deadline is typically in December. Please contact the Director of Creative Writing for more information. For the current announcement and submission guidelines, click here:  2021 Scholarship Checklist.

Six-Word Story Contest
Each fall, the English Department’s Creative Writing Program sponsors a Six-Word Story Contest, inspired by a story attributed to Ernest Hemingway, “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”  The contest is open to all UMass Boston undergraduates. Winning entries are recognized at a celebration and receive prizes.

Literary Journal: The Watermark

The Watermark has been publishing the literary and art work of students at the UMass Boston for 12 years. Before its current incarnation as The Watermark it was a journal called Howth Castle. The Watermark is entirely student run and funded primarily through student fees. We publish the highest quality student work in fiction, poetry, non-fiction and art every year. Our goal is to provide a venue for the work of the student body, so that it can be shared with the university community and the greater Boston literary and arts community as well.

For more information: