The PhD in English Literature will deepen your mastery of period- and area-specific archives and develop your skills as a literary scholar. You will investigate the cultural categories of literature and the media in both historical and contemporary contexts. Living and studying in the vibrant, bilingual city of Montreal, you will study literatures in English with a focus on interdisciplinary exchanges and cross-cultural environments. The program is of special interest to doctoral students seeking to work across discourses, media, or literary languages and traditions.
Applicants are assessed by the Department of English's Graduate Committee on the basis of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, research ability, and a letter of intent. The following criteria serve as admission requirements:
Excellence and pertinence of academic background (applicants should have a GPA of 3.5 or above) from a recognized university
Master's in English or equivalent (see *** below)
Promise as a scholar as demonstrated by letter of intent and submitted writing sample
Relevance of proposed research to the program
Feasibility of proposed research in terms of material resources including faculty supervision
Applications will be considered for either full-time or part-time study
*** 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.
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.
Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.
Courses. (19 credits). Doctoral students are required to take 19 credits of coursework to include ENGL 800 - Pro-Seminar I: Theory, ENGL 801 - Pro-Seminar II: Methodology, ENGL 802 - Professional Development Workshops (1 credit) and 12 credits from the selection of Studies courses. A minimum of three of the 12 credits must be pre-20th Century.
Field Examinations. ENGL 891 - The Major Field Examination I and ENGL 892 - The Sub-Field Examination II. Students are required to complete two written Field Examinations during the second year of their program. The supervisor and at least one other faculty member in a relevant field adjudicate each Field Examination. Each exam comprises five questions. Students are required to respond to three questions. Questions are distributed one week in advance of the scheduled examination. Each exam is held on campus for four hours without notes or other additional materials. The exams are assessed by the supervisor on a pass/fail basis in consultation with at least one other faculty member in the Department with related expertise in the area. In the case of a "fail," the student has until the end of the tenth term to obtain a "pass," whether in the initial or another Major Field or configuration of the Sub-Fields exam.
Field Examinations Reading Lists
Restoration and 18th-Century Literature
20th-Century and Contemporary Literature
Thesis proposaland oral presentation. ENGL 890 - Thesis Proposal. Students are admitted to candidacy for the PhD upon acceptance by their advisory committee of the written thesis proposal and its successful oral presentation. Students typically complete one Major Field Examination in an area related to the thesis topic. The oral examination of the written thesis proposal normally takes place in the term following the writing of the second Field Examination. The written proposal is normally 4,500 words in length with an additional five pages for a bibliography.
Thesis. ENGL 895 - Thesis Research. Doctoral students must submit a thesis based on their research and defend it in an oral examination.
Language Requirement. Students are required to demonstrate reading knowledge of a language other than English, a language of demonstrated relevance to their program of research. Language testing occurs once each term, and students are expected to pass the language requirement by the end of their second year in the program.
Statement of Purpose (three pages maximum): Outline your academic background and, as specifically as possible, describe the research project you expect to focus on and the relevance of your proposed research to our program. The English Graduate Program Committee invites members of equity-seeking groups to identify themselves if they wish
A sample of your written work. Fifteen pages maximum
Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
We are committed to providing financial support to all of our students. PhD candidates usually receive three-year funding packages, which include Concordia fellowships and English teaching assistantships. Students are eligible to apply for graduate funding (e.g., conference awards, accelerator funds) throughout the degree. We also assist you in the preparation of applications for external grants from SSHRC and the FQRSC
Our doctoral students will emerge prepared to enrich the social and cultural milieux of Montreal, Québec, Canada, and beyond, embarking upon careers as researchers, educators and writers either inside or outside of the academy.
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.