MA Program

Admissions

Applicants are accepted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies, provided that they also satisfy the requirements of the department. Successful candidates for admission have normally completed a BA (Hons.) degree with at least upper second-class standing and with a cumulative average in ten full-year (or the equivalent) English literature courses of at least 80%. Applicants are expected to have taken courses in most major fields of English literature from the medieval period to the present and in literary theory.

Program

Students entering the MA program may follow one of two patterns. Both patterns are designed to be completed within twelve months. Only under exceptional circumstances will students be permitted to follow pattern 2.

Please note that both the course-based MA pattern and the thesis-based MA pattern are approved research-intensive programs fully eligible for CGS Masters Award funding.

Pattern 1

Eight graduate half-courses or the equivalent: In consultation with the Co-ordinator of Graduate Studies, students will select a combination of eight half-courses or the equivalent which will both serve their own special interests and extend their knowledge of particular areas of literature which they may not yet have studied at an advanced level. One of these courses may be taken outside the department. Students are encouraged to take English 800*, the professional skills course, as one of their one-term credit courses, and to take one Spring session course in order to spread out their course load. Spring session courses meet twice per week for six weeks, from the beginning of May to the middle of June.

Pattern 2

Four graduate half-courses or the equivalent and a thesis: In consultation with the Co-ordinator of Graduate Studies, students will select a combination of four one-term courses or the equivalent which will both serve their own special interests and extend their knowledge of particular areas of literature which they may not yet have studied at an advanced level. Students are encouraged to take English 800*, the professional skills course, as one of their one-term credit courses. An MA thesis is about 15 000 words in length and should be finished and defended before a committee within the year.

Language Requirement

All candidates must demonstrate a basic reading knowledge of one language other than English; the language will be selected in consultation with the Co-ordinator of Graduate Studies. This is a disciplinary requirement for advanced literary studies; undergraduate students considering future graduate study in literature are advised to take an introductory course in a second language during their undergraduate degree.

A credit for a full-year course (or the equivalent) at the university level is acceptable. Also, the English Department offers language examinations once a year; these are one-hour examinations which require the candidate to translate, with the aid of a dictionary, a passage of literary criticism or a selection of similar difficulty approximately one page in length.

The Department of English does not offer any graduate programs in Communications, TESL, Translation, Linguistics, Creative Writing, Journalism, or the English Language.