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Winter 2020 Graduate Calendar


English (MA)


Master of Arts Degree

Programs of Study
The English department offers two fields within the MA. Program in English: Literature and Language and, Literature and Creative Writing. Within the Literature and Language field, there are two options: the Thesis Option and the Course Work Option. The Literature and Creative Writing field allows students to combine graduate-level study of literature with advanced work on creative writing in a two-term workshop and by developing a significant independent writing project. Within the Literature and Language field, the Course Work Option offers exposure to a wide variety of topics in literature, composition and rhetoric, and theory. The Thesis Option allows students to investigate a single topic in depth through independent, extended research with faculty supervision.

The specific requirements for each field are:


Four graduate seminar courses
ENGL-8910. Creative Writing Seminar A
ENGL-8920. Creative Writing Seminar B
ENGL-8940. Creative Writing Project (a novel, a play, a collection of poems or short stories)


Five graduate seminar courses
ENGL-8970. Thesis/Project (of at least 20,000 words)

Eight graduate seminar courses.

For both fields, students must include ENGL-8000, Scholarship and the Profession (or equivalent) in their program in addition to their regular course load.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements under section titled, Application Procedures and under section titled, The Master's Degree - Admission Requirements, for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and to programs leading to the Master's degree, applicants for admission to the Candidate year in the programs leading to the Master of Arts degree in English should have the following undergraduate preparation:

1) Some courses, normally four, in the pre- and early-modern periods, that is, from Old English through the Eighteenth Century;

2) Some courses, normally four, in the modern period, that is, the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, including Canadian and American;

3) Some courses, normally two, from the areas of Critical History, Theory and Approaches, Scholarship and Bibliography, and Language and Linguistics;

4) Additional courses from any of the above areas to make up the total number of courses required for a four-year English B.A.

Students who do not have a four-year B.A. or its equivalent may be admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a qualifying (M1) program. In such a program, the student is expected to register in appropriate undergraduate courses in order to satisfy the requirements above. Alternatively, students who are deficient in any of the stated requirements for admission may be invited or may request to write a qualifying examination (see below, "Qualifying or Placement Examination").

Students who are admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in the M.A. program will be expected to select courses in their first year to complete the requirements specified above.

In addition to the documents required, applicants must submit a "Proposal of Studies" (about 500 words) with their applications indicating the program and option to which they are applying and discussing such issues as their areas of academic or creative interest, their undergraduate training, and their academic or career goals. Students applying to the field in Creative Writing must submit, with their application, a portfolio of representative creative work (20-25 pages). Students with a four-year B.A. in English may apply to either of the fields and to any of the options. Students with interdisciplinary interests, with honours degrees combining English with another discipline, or with abilities or backgrounds that do not correspond to the particular requirements for admission listed above, but who have an overall average of 80%, apply to either field but may be required to take additional courses.

Qualifying or Placement Examination: An applicant for admission to the Candidate year for the Master's degree who is deficient in any of the stated requirements for admission to this level of graduate study may be invited, or may request, to write a qualifying examination. A similar examination is available as a placement test, on the basis of which students in the two-year M.A. program may be granted advanced standing.

Students from other universities may arrange to take these examinations in other centres provided the program coordinator is notified well in advance.

Counselling: Students admitted to one of the fields of the M.A. program in English will be assigned a faculty advisor who will be available to counsel them on all aspects of their work. The program coordinator (or a delegate) must approve a student's program of study before registration.

Grades: After admission to candidacy, graduate students in the M.A. program in English must maintain at least a 70% average, but graduate credit is given only at the 80% and 70% level. A student whose grade in a graduate course is less than 70% may be allowed to repeat the course or to substitute another for it, at the discretion of the Dean of Graduate Studies and the program coordinator. The student may not repeat more than one course.