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English (MA)

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.

Program Details

Admission Requirements

  • The MA 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.
  • Portfolio submission, as outlined on the English Department website.
  • 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 English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.

Please see the English Courses page for course descriptions.

English MA (45 credits)


credits chosen from:

English Literature MA with Thesis (Option A)

English Literature MA with Thesis (Option B)

Creative Writing MA with Thesis (Option C)

English Literature MA with Thesis (Option A)

21credits of 600-level Courses with a minimum of 6 credits of courses designated by the Graduate Committee as fulfilling the "Period" requirement and a minimum of 3 credits of courses designated as fulfilling the "Theory" requirement.


  ENGL 693 Bibliography (6.00)
  ENGL 694 Research Thesis (18.00)

English Literature MA with Thesis (Option B) (45 credits)


Admission to this option has been suspended

21credits, with a minimum of 6 credits of courses designated by the Graduate Committee as fulfilling the "Period" requirement and a minimum of 3 credits of courses designated as fulfilling the "Theory" requirement.


  ENGL 690 Thesis (24.00)

Creative Writing with Thesis (Option C)

12credits of 600-level Courses chosen from the regular academic course offerings

credits of Creative Writing Courses:

  ENGL 670 Seminar in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, Poetry and Drama (3.00)
  ENGL 671 Seminar in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, Poetry and Drama (3.00)
  ENGL 672 Seminar in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, Poetry and Drama (6.00)
  ENGL 673 Seminar in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, Poetry and Drama (3.00)
  ENGL 674 Seminar in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, Poetry and Drama (3.00)

Note: ENGL 670 and ENGL 671 are Creative Writing courses. Only six credits of creative writing workshops (from ENGL 672 , ENGL 673 , ENGL 674 ) may be elected in any year.



  ENGL 692 Creative Writing Thesis (21.00)

Degree options

You may choose one of two options.

Option A: Literature
Option C: Creative Writing

Your completed application will include:

  • Application form and Fee
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Three Letters of Reference and assessment form
  • Statement of purpose (two pages maximum): Outline your academic background and, as specifically as possible, describe a program of research and/or creation (for creative writing applicants) you will pursue during the degree. Describe your future goals related to your proposed graduate work. The English Graduate Program Committee invites members of equity-seeking groups to identify themselves if they wish.
  • A sample of your written work, such as a course paper. Fifteen pages maximum
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (if applicable)
  • Applicants whose primary language is not English, are required to submit official language test scores, unless exempted.

Please apply online. Read the how-to guide for application procedures. 

English MA Jan. 15 n/a n/a

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.  

Consult the graduate calendar for a complete list of courses and read about upcoming, current and past course offerings

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.

Please also consult Concordia’s graduate funding page and Scholarships & Funding.

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.


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