Why pursue a Master's in English with a Literature option?
Texts of all kinds--poetry, drama, fiction, non-fiction, digital writing, sound recordings, and video games--are all in the purview of a literature student today. You’ll have the freedom to develop and pursue your own interests, with the support of faculty members whose research crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries. As you explore a variety of media, forms, and genres, you’ll stay grounded as a scholar thanks to our faculty’s widely shared commitments to literary historical concerns.
Since our program also includes a Creative Writing option, you’ll be in the company of students keenly interested in the craft of writing, encouraging a rewarding interchange between textual analysis and creative activity. It’s a learning environment ripe for generating new approaches and insights.
Option A: Literature ***
Option C: Creative Writing
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, 6 credits) preliminary to a research essay of approximately ten thousand words (ENGL 694, 18 credits). 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.
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.
*** In exceptional circumstances, outstanding students who have completed 18 credits of course work in English Literature at the master's level may be admitted into the PhD program before satisfying the remaining master's requirements.
Admission Requirements. 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, together with a portfolio (five copies) of the applicant’s literary work. The portfolio will be evaluated. Details about the composition of the portfolio may be obtained from the Graduate Program Director. Portfolios will not be returned to applicants but may be picked up. 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.
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
For international students, a sample of your written work, such as a course paper. Fifteen pages maximum
Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
*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.
Priority will be given to those who apply within the official deadlines listed above. Some programs may continue to accept applications after these deadlines. For more information, please contact the department.
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.