All graduate students in English are invited to compete for annual department prizes for the best essay written for an English department course in three separate areas:
The LeeAnne Smith White Prize, awarded for the best essay on a topic that falls within the broad area of American cultural and literary studies
The Charles Peters Prize, awarded for the best essay on a subject involving Shakespeare or his contemporaries (inclusive dates: 1558-1642)
The John Hicks Prize, awarded for the best essay on a literary subject exclusive of Shakespeare
The Walker Gibson Prize, awarded for the best essay on a subject in writing, composition theory, or the teaching of writing
University Diversity, Initiative, and Opportunity Fellowships
Both the University of Massachusetts and the Department of English and American Literature are committed to sustaining and building its culturally diverse graduate student community. Every year during admissions, the Graduate Studies Committee nominates incoming students with distinguished records and recommendations for Opportunity Fellowships which can carry anywhere from a $4,000 to $10,000 stipend and a full tuition and fee waiver for one year. Students are then put into a University-wide competition. The English Department has a consistently high success rate in helping to secure fellowships for students we admit.