Queen's University

School of

Graduate Studies

School of

Graduate Studies

site header




"I have been at Queen’s for both my M.A. & Ph.D, and I can say it’s an outstanding program. The library collections are among the best in the country. The size of the program is ideal; it’s large to allow for courses on a wide range of subjects, but small enough to maintain an intimate seminar atmosphere. And, probably most importantly, the faculty are both accomplished and approachable at the same time.”- Andrew Mckendry, Ph.D (2013)

Program Contact

Lovorka Fabek-Fischer
Graduate Assistant
Department of English
Queen's University
49 Bader Lane. Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.2153
E-mail: lf34@queensu.ca
Website: www.queensu.ca/english


Program Overview

The English Department at Queen’s University is a professionally-oriented research department whose faculty members are distinguished by both their scholarly pursuits course work, students take courses on pedagogical and professional skills ranging from academic counselling to grant applications. Queen’s English students have superb success rates in national scholarship competitions and in securing tenure-track positions upon graduation.


Throughout the year, a variety of events offer graduate students the opportunity to enrich their experience at Queen’s. Students can participate in conferences, graduate colloquia, and an array of discussion groups. The Graduate English Society organizes a Works in Progress forum for graduate students and faculty, as well as numerous extracurricular social and sporting events. Graduate students also participate in the hiring of new faculty and host visiting speakers in the Department. Ph.D. students receive thorough teacher training through Teaching Assistantships and in many cases Teaching Fellowships. Travel opportunities are available for conferences and field research.

Career paths – employment opportunities

Queen’s graduates are now teaching at universities across the country and globally. We consider this placement record an exceptional achievement. Other graduates have gone on to careers in writing, publishing, law, civil service and information services.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.A.: 12 months

Ph.D.: 4 years

Method of Completion

M.A. Pattern I: Course work. The Pattern I (course work) M.A. is the recommended standard for an M.A. in English, and is welcomed by doctoral programs in Canada and abroad for the breadth of study it encourages.

M.A. Pattern II: Course work + thesis

Ph.D.: Course work, two-part comprehensive examination (Field Examination and Special Topic Presentation), dissertation

Fields of study and Supervisors

We require that M.A. applicants considering Pattern II contact and secure the participation of a potential supervisor before applying. Pre-dissertation Ph.D. students are assigned an interim faculty mentor upon admission to the program, and choose their own supervisor and second reader prior to the submission of their thesis proposal.

Fields of Study: British Literature to 1800 and British Literature from 1800

* the list below includes cross-appointed faculty

  • Medieval Literature: Margaret Pappano, Francois Rouget, Scott-Morgan Straker, Jane Tolmie, Ruth Wehlau
  • Renaissance Literature: Gwynn Dujardin, Elizabeth Hanson, Margaret Pappano, Scott-Morgan Straker, Marta Straznicky
  • Restoration & 18-Century Literature: Chris Fanning, John Pierce, Leslie Ritchie
  • Romantic Literature: Mark Jones, Shelley King, Robert Morrison, John Pierce, Leslie Ritchie, Tracy Ware
  • Victorian Literature: Maggie Berg, Chris Bongie, Shelley King
  • Modernist Literature: Gabrielle McIntire, Patricia Rae, Glenn Willmott
  • American Literature: Mark Jones, Gabrielle McIntire, Laura Murray, Patricia Rae, Molly Wallace
  • Canadian Literature: Petra Fachinger, Sam McKegney, Leslie Ritchie, Amand Ruffo, Craig Walker, Tracy Ware, Glenn Willmott
  • Indigenous Studies: Petra Fachinger, Sam McKegney, Laura Murray, Armand Ruffo
  • Gender Studies: Maggie Berg, Marta Straznicky, Jane Tolmie
  • Postcolonial Studies: Chris Bongie, Petra Fachinger, Laura Murray, Asha Varadharajan,
  • Literary Theory: Mark Jones, Gabrielle McIntire, Margaret Pappano, Asha Varadharajan, Glenn Willmott
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

Basic Funding Package (teaching assistantship, internal fellowships, bursaries and supervisor support).

Master’s Programs: minimum $12,000 per year (including TA ships)

Ph.D.: minimum $20000 per year (including TAships)

We encourage all students to apply for conference travel award supplements. As part of our professionalization seminar, all graduate students are coached in grant-writing techniques, and apply for external funding from agencies such as SSHRC and OGS. Entering graduate students who win federal government tri-council awards are automatically provided a $5,000 (Masters) or $7,500 (PhD) top-up award by Queen’s.

Academic Prerequisites


  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree with minimum upper second-class standing.
  • Cumulative minimum average of 80% in 10 full-year English Literature courses (or equivalent).
  • 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. Applicants are advised that a full-year introductory-level university course in a second language is highly desirable. For those already proficient in a second language, this degree requirement can be met by taking a language exam in the fall of the M.A. year.


  • First-class M.A. degree or equivalent
  • Favoured applicants will have a well-balanced selection of courses in English literature from the medieval period to the present, and in literary theory. Applicants are advised that a full-year introductory-level university course in a second language is highly desirable

Other Requirements

  • Statement of Intent
  • Writing sample (Ph.D. applicants only) to be sent directly to English Department

Test Requirements

If English is not your native language, you will need a total TOEFL score of at least 627 (paper-based), or 109 (Internet-based) as well as a TOEFL Test of Written English section score of 6.0 (paper-based) or 30 (Internet-based) to be permitted to apply to our graduate program.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: 15th January (for all documentation and application.)

Notification of Acceptance: March and April

Learning Outcomes