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Programs | Application Procedures and Deadlines

English

Location

  • Department of English
  • Arts Building
  • 853 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal, QC H3A 0G5
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-6564
  • Fax: 514-398-8146
  • Email: gradstudies [dot] englishlit [at] mcgill [dot] ca
  • Website: www.mcgill.ca/english

About English

The English Department has three broad areas of expertise: literature; drama and theatre; and cultural studies. The Department houses the Burney Centre, the Shakespeare Team, the Interacting with Print research group, McGill Medievalists, and members of the bilingual Novelists on the Novel research group. Research is conducted on all areas of English literature, including diverse national literatures and genres. Cultural studies involves cinema, visual culture, and aesthetics.

The English Department offers both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

The M.A. program admits 22–25 students each year from around the world. Unlike many other M.A. programs in English, the McGill M.A. requires a major piece of research, whether a thesis or a research paper, which is carried out under the supervision of a faculty member. Approximately half of McGill M.A. graduates go on to a Ph.D. program, either at McGill or elsewhere. Other graduates have found employment with foundations, university development offices, publishing houses, consulting firms, and CEGEPs.

The Ph.D. program admits approximately six students each year from around the world. For their theses, doctoral students specialize in any area of English studies.

All students who apply will be considered for support, which normally takes the form of a Teaching or Research Assistantship.

Students with a B.A. in English, either Honours or major, can apply for the M.A. Typically, applicants will have solid coverage in all areas of English studies, whether in theatre, cultural studies, or literature. The Department offers two options toward the M.A. degree, one with a thesis and the other without thesis. Both options consist of 48 credits and are designed to be completed in four terms (of 12 credits each). It is rare for any student pursuing the thesis option to complete the degree in less than two years.

Master of Arts (M.A.); English (Thesis) (48 credits)
In the thesis option, students must successfully take Bibliography (ENGL 694) and five seminars. They write a thesis of 80–100 pages that adheres to the guidelines spelled out under the thesis regulations of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students submit a proposal for the thesis to the Graduate Administration Committee in the Department; the proposal must be approved before students begin to work on the thesis.
Master of Arts (M.A.); English (Non-Thesis) (48 credits)
In the non-thesis option, students must successfully take Bibliography (ENGL 694) and seven seminars. They write a research paper of 40 pages. Students submit a proposal for the research paper to the Graduate Administration Committee in the Department; the proposal must be approved before students begin to write the research paper. The finished paper is evaluated by the supervisor and a second member of the Department. The non-thesis M.A. is designed to be completed in two years, although it is very common for students to finish the program in one calendar year (Fall, Winter, Summer terms) or sixteen months (Fall, Winter, Summer, Fall terms).
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); English
Students with an M.A. in English or a closely related discipline may apply to the Ph.D. program. Doctoral students are expected to complete in their first year (Ph.D. 2) the two halves of the compulsory proseminar ENGL 787 (taken in the Fall term) and ENGL 788 (taken in the Winter term), along with four seminars. The proseminars expose students to current academic issues, theoretical propositions, and professional questions. Students may substitute for the two second-term courses one extended supervised optional research project. Courses must be chosen in order to make possible the identification of a major and a minor area of concentration. In Ph.D. 3, candidates complete a compulsory research project in the area of the dissertation and submit the dissertation proposal. This project, a unique feature of the McGill Ph.D., replaces comprehensive exams and allows students to work on a publishable piece of research. The language requirement must be fulfilled before the dissertation proposal is approved. The Department urges candidates to complete the Ph.D. program within six years. A candidate intending to submit the thesis to meet the deadline for Spring Convocation must give notice of this intention before January 1. A candidate intending to meet the deadline for Fall Convocation must give such notice before May 1. The majority of students who complete the Ph.D. proceed to postdoctoral fellowships and teaching positions, either at CEGEP or university.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 19, 2013).

English Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

M.A. Degree

Admission to the M.A. program requires an Honours degree in English or its equivalent. Outstanding applicants from related disciplines may be invited to take a Qualifying year.

Ph.D. Degree

Admission to the doctoral program is highly competitive. Outstanding students with the master's degree in hand are accepted into Ph.D. 2. In rare circumstances, outstanding graduates of B.A. programs will be considered for “fast-tracking” into the doctoral program, entering at Ph.D. 1. They follow the M.A. program (Thesis option) and, if their work is evaluated successfully at the end of the first year, they go on to complete the remaining requirements of the Ph.D. program.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:
  • Writing Sample
  • Personal Statement (750–800 words)

Application Deadlines

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15
Winter: N/A Winter: N/A Winter: N/A
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 19, 2013).

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