The MA in English gives you the opportunity to pursue your degree by choosing between two options: English Literature and Creative Writing. The English Literature option allows you to explore your interest in literary texts of all kinds, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, digital writing, and even video games. With the support of our faculty members, you will be encouraged to go beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. As you explore a variety of media, forms, and genres, you will stay grounded as a scholar thanks to our department’s widely shared commitments to literary historical concerns.
The Creative Writing option allows you to hone your abilities in the company of other writers. You will attend seminars that broaden your understanding of others’ work and write your thesis with a professor whose expertise complements your area of interest. The program gives you the freedom to explore your creative vision and find your voice as a writer in the artistically vibrant city of Montreal. Students have the flexibility to propose a thesis project in traditional or innovative genres and media, including digital media.
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.
Statement of Purpose (two pages maximum): Outline your academic background and, as specifically as possible, describe the area of literary study you’d like to pursue at the graduate level and future goals related to your academic interests. The English Graduate Program Committee invites members of equity-seeking groups to identify themselves if they wish
*January 15 is the deadline for applicants who wish to be considered for funding. Applicants who do not require funding must submit applications by April 1.
Most, if not all, of your application materials should be received on or before the deadline. Consult graduate application FAQs for additional information on deadlines and submissions of the creative writing portfolio.
Coming from a range of academic and professional backgrounds, our students have various funding needs, and the English graduate program is committed to providing our students with as much support as possible over the course of the degree.
Teaching assistantships are available and awarded on a competitive basis. Since 2015, all first-year students applying for TAships in their second year have been successful. Research assistant positions also exist for funded research.
Numerous department awards are available for graduate students, including the Wynne Francis Award for Graduate Study in Poetry and the Amy Menon Graduate Scholarship. All graduate students are also eligible to apply for conference travel funding through the department.
Students entering the program with federal (SSHRC) and provincial (FQRSC) fellowships regularly receive additional funding from Concordia, including a $6,000 top-up award from the School of Graduate Studies. If you are applying for a SSHRC or FQRSC award to undertake graduate study at Concordia, you are encouraged to contact the Graduate Program Director for support in the process.
Other sources of graduate student funding through the Faculty of Arts and Science include:
Concordia Merit Scholarship
Concordia University Graduate Fellowship
Hydro-Quebec Graduate Award
John W. O’Brien Graduate Fellowship
Clara Strozyk Scholarship
Out-of-Province Fee Remission Awards
Conference Travel Awards
Consideration for Entrance Awards is automatically part of the admissions process for all new students.
Our faculty has a broad range of expertise and interests. We provide training in the study of literatures in English from around the globe and across all major historical periods, with particular strengths in:
media and technology
environmental issues and ecocriticism
postcolonialism, decolonization, and critical race studies
poetry and poetics
theory and philosophy
genre and form
gender and sexuality
A large number of past and current faculty-led research initiatives have found great success winning individual and team research grants from SSHRC and FQRSC. These grants provide additional funding for graduate students and enrich our research environment with regular talks and workshops from some of the world’s most innovative scholars.
Our department prides itself on attracting students that are lively and inventive in their approaches to learning and collaboration. Avenues for creative, intellectual, and professional stimulation and growth in Montreal include the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival, the Atwater Poetry Project, Expozine, and the Mile End Poets’ Festival. Members of Concordia’s English department also enjoy a variety of institutionally-supported programs and opportunities such as Writers Read, Headlight Anthology, and the Contemporary Poetry Reading Group.
The Student Association for Graduates in English (SAGE) organizes a plethora of annual events, including a graduate student colloquium, an orientation party and an annual dance party. SAGE also co-ordinates numerous talks and discussions related to issues of student interest, such as questions of equity, representation and curriculum development.
Our graduates have been admitted to many highly competitive, well-funded PhD programs in English, including those at the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, York University, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University. Others have gone on to full-time permanent teaching jobs at CEGEPs around Montreal and Quebec.
Recent alumni have found great success in careers as literary agents, publishers, editors and publicists. A number of graduates also enroll in further academic and professional degree programs, and now work as librarians, lawyers, and business administrators.
While we welcome students with clear future goals, our dynamic environment is also ideal for those just beginning to explore their professional aspirations. In addition to the opportunity for guidance and direction from our widely experienced faculty, students benefit from the extensive support in career- and skills-development provided by GradProSkills.
The subject line should read: Last name, first name - graduate portfolio submission
About the portfolio
It is not necessary to submit all three genres; though you may wish to reflect your strengths in various genres, the focus should be on that in which you propose to complete your thesis. If you write prose, submit 35 to (a maximum of) 45 pages (double-spaced); if poetry, 20 to (a maximum of) 25 pages (single-spaced). If you are applying in drama, you must submit one complete play. In the case of a combined-genre portfolio, the total should not exceed 35 pages (unless drama is included). Submit your strongest work that which you feel accurately represents your abilities and interests. Where possible, complete works are preferable to excerpts.
Students not accepted into the Creative Writing program may enter the Literature Option if they have met admission requirements and have indicated that they are interested in the other option on the portfolio cover page form.
We’re committed to providing students the support they need to focus on their studies. Top students benefit from scholarships and teaching assistantships, and all students are eligible for conference awards and other funding.
An MA in English prepares you for careers that require strength in research, writing, and communication.
You’ll also be qualified to teach in Quebec’s CEGEP system.
Our graduates are well-placed to take on advanced study in a PhD program, in either English or Creative Writing. Others have become icons of the Canadian literary scene. Still others work in such fields as editing (literary, copy), publishing (as employees or as small press publishers themselves), writing for online and print magazines (e.g. Maisonneuve, The Walrus), developing video games, teaching CEGEP, teaching ESL, translating, and technical writing.
Please be advised that Concordia University does not process admissions or fee payments through third parties for our degree programs.
All applicants are advised to ensure that they are communicating directly with the university for admissions and fee payments.