Note: Admissions to Option B has been suspended.
The Master of Arts program, with the exception of the Creative Writing option, requires an Honours degree or its equivalent in English with a minimum of a B+ (3.30 GPA) average. The Creative Writing option requires a major in English Literature or its equivalent with a minimum of a B+ (3.30 GPA) average. Information regarding the portfolio submission can be found at the English Department website. Applicants who lack one or two courses (12 credits or less) towards equivalency of an Honours degree, but who are otherwise well qualified, may be admitted with the provision that they take additional undergraduate courses as part of their master's program. Applicants requiring three or more courses (more than 12 credits) to complete the Honours equivalent will be required to take a qualifying program of prescribed undergraduate courses, and reapply to the master's program after successful completion of this course work. Applicants should feel free to consult with all members of the English Department about the program. Specific matters should be addressed to the Graduate Program Director or to the Graduate Program Assistant.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Requirements for the Degree
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.
- Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
- Residence. All options have a minimum residence requirement of three terms of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
- Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.
- Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts — English Literature with Research Essay (Option A)
This option gives the student the opportunity to study English literature in a range of periods and subjects. Emphasis rests on course work, the seminar format of which encourages discussion, debate and collaboration. A fully qualified candidate takes a minimum of twenty-one 600-level course credits. In these courses the student is trained in academic research methods, gains knowledge to interpret literary texts and assess scholarship in particular fields, and applies these skills in graduate research papers. A fully qualified candidate is required to take a minimum of six credits from any courses designated by the Graduate Committee as fulfilling the "Period" requirement, and a minimum of three credits from any courses designated as fulfilling the "Theory" requirement. This option requires the preparation of an annotated bibliography of approximately three thousand words (ENGL 693) preliminary to a research essay of approximately ten thousand words (ENGL 694). The bibliography requires the approval of the Graduate Committee before a student is permitted to proceed with the research essay. Both are supervised by a member of the department. The bibliography must be submitted to the Graduate Committee by 15 September of the second year. The research essay is submitted by 1 February for spring graduation and 15 June for fall graduation. The research essay is assessed by the supervisor and one other member of the department.
This option involves course work and intensive research on an original topic, approved by the Graduate Committee. In this option, a fully qualified candidate is required to take a minimum of 21 credits at the 600-level including a minimum of six credits from any courses designated by the Graduate Committee as fulfilling the "Period" requirement, and a minimum of three credits from any courses designated as fulfilling the "Theory" requirement. A candidate electing the thesis option must satisfy the Graduate Committee of the viability of the topic and secure a member of the department to supervise the thesis. The English Department cannot guarantee the availability of a supervisor on every possible topic. The candidate will make an oral defence of the thesis. Theses must be submitted to the department by May 15 for Fall graduation and by February 1 for Spring graduation. For specific information concerning thesis proposals a student should consult the departmental guidelines. University regulations regarding the thesis may be found in the thesis section of this calendar. For purposes of registration, this work will be designated as ENGL 690 - Thesis.
To elect this option a candidate must have applied specifically for the Creative Writing option. A fully qualified candidate will take a minimum of 12 600-level credits from the regular academic course offerings, and 12 course credits in creative writing drawn from courses numbered ENGL 670-674 (ENGL 670 and ENGL 671 are Creative Writing courses). Only six credits of creative writing workshop (from ENGL 672, 673 or 674) may be elected in any year. A creative writing thesis of book length, the proposal of which requires approval by the Graduate Committee, must be submitted to the department by May 15 for Fall graduation and by February 1 for Spring graduation. For purposes of registration, this work will be designated as ENGL 692 - Creative Writing Thesis.
Creative Writing Option students may NOT substitute creative writing courses for any of the required 12 course credits of academic credits.
Note: In addition to the regulations governing the examination of master’s theses outlined in this calendar, the Department of English has specific procedures for thesis examinations. Students should consult the Graduate Program Director for details.
Descriptions of all Department of English graduate courses can be found at the Department of English website. English graduate courses are offered in the following topic areas:
ENGL 600-604 Special Topics in English Literature
ENGL 605-609 Studies in Early English Literature and Medieval Literature
ENGL 610-614 Studies in Renaissance Literature
ENGL 615-619 Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature
ENGL 620-624 Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature
ENGL 625-629 Studies in Twentieth Century Literature
ENGL 630-634 Studies in Poetry
ENGL 635-639 Studies in Drama
ENGL 640-644 Studies in Fiction
ENGL 645-649 Studies in the History of Ideas
ENGL 650-654 Studies in Shakespeare
ENGL 655-659 Studies in American Literature
ENGL 660-664 Studies in Canadian Literature
ENGL 665-667 Studies in Post-Colonial Literature
ENGL 668-669 Studies in Literary Criticism
ENGL 670-674 Seminars in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, Poetry and Drama
ENGL 678-679 Studies in Selected Areas
ENGL 685-689 Studies in Selected Areas
Please note that in courses where a Special Subject is listed, this Special Subject is a subtitle, and may change from year to year. Consequently, when students repeat a course number in subsequent years, but with a different subtitle, they are in fact engaged in a course with completely different content. The credit value attached to a course number may likewise change from year to year.
Note: Courses in Creative Writing are normally available only to students admitted into the Creative Writing option. Occasional exceptions in special circumstances are made for entry by students in the academic options. Such entrants require the prior approval of the Graduate Program Director.
Independent (non-degree) students require the permission of the Graduate Program Director to take a course and they must possess the same kind and quality of academic background and preparation as required of students admitted to the MA program.
Studies in Selected Areas
ENGL 678 Selected Area I
Creative Writing Tutorial (one-term, 3-credit course).
ENGL 679 Selected Area II
Creative Writing Tutorial (two-term, 6-credit course). The Creative Writing tutorials may be elected only by students in Option C. They are designed to accommodate candidates whose genre (e.g., poetry or drama) is not offered during a given academic year. Candidates wishing to enrol in ENGL 678 or 679 must submit a request to the Graduate Committee. Approval will in part depend upon the availability of resources and whether the Graduate Committee deems it beneficial for the student to undertake a tutorial course rather than a regularly scheduled course. Tutorial courses will be considered only exceptionally and for very able students.
ENGL 685 Selected Area III
ENGL 687 Selected Area IV
Bibliography and Research Methods in English. An introduction to scholarly research in English (one-term, 3-credit course).
ENGL 688 Selected Area V
Reading Course (one-term, 3-credit course).
ENGL 689 Selected Area VI
Reading Course (two-term, 6-credit course). After completing at least a third of the course credits (transfer credits excluded), a student may submit a request to the Graduate Committee for permission to take up to 6 credits in a reading course to be provided through a tutorial arrangement. A reading course will be permitted only when the proposed general subject area has not been available during the span of the student’s program and where the Graduate Committee is satisfied that it is beneficial for the student to take a reading course rather than a regularly scheduled graduate course. Reading courses are approved only exceptionally and only students who have demonstrated a capacity for independent work and a very high calibre of academic performance will be considered. This applies to both ENGL 688 and ENGL 689.
Thesis, Bibliography and Research Essay
ENGL 690 Thesis (24 credits)
ENGL 692 Creative Writing Thesis (21 credits)
ENGL 693 Bibliography (6 credits)
The annotated bibliography constitutes a preliminary phase of the research essay. A student must successfully complete the annotated bibliography before producing the research essay. The approximate length of the annotated bibliography is 3,000 words and is supervised by the supervisor of the research essay. The bibliography is assessed on a pass/fail basis.
ENGL 694 Research Essay (18 credits)
Prerequisite: ENGL 693.
A research essay of approximately 10,000 words is supervised by a member of the department and assessed by another faculty member acting as reader. The essay is assessed on a pass/fail basis.