McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

3. Departmental Information

3.1 Degree Programs

The Department of English offers programs leading to the PhD and MA in English literature. The Department offers the options to obtain the MA with an MA Research Paper (MARP) or a thesis. Details concerning these options appear below.

Over the past ten years, the Department of English has awarded over 200 MAs and 50 PhDs. In 2016-2017, there are 81 students enrolled in the Graduate Program in English -- 50 MAs and 31 PhDs.

3.2 Administration

3.2.1 Program Advising

During registration all new graduate students will meet with an advisor in order to discuss course work and other aspects of the Program. The advisor assigned to new students is not the supervisor of the thesis or MA Research Project. Advisors advise about programs; supervisors oversee research.

Continuing students should also meet with their advisor or supervisor. Any changes in the student's program must be approved by an advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

During advising every effort is made to ensure that each student has satisfied all the requirements for the degree. It is ultimately the student's responsibility to ensure that, at the time she/he applies to graduate, all the requirements have been met.

3.2.2 The Graduate Administration Committee (GAC)

The Graduate Program is administered by a four-member Committee: the Director of Graduate Studies and three other members of the Department. The committee meets on a regular basis in the academic year to consider applications for admission, fellowships, and awards, as well as to approve PhD and MA research proposals.

3.2.3 Graduate Coordinator

The Graduate Coordinator (Maria Vasile), located in Arts 155, keeps all records of graduate students, provides information on the program, courses, fellowships, etc., and assists in the administration of the program.

Students must notify the Graduate Coordinator of changes of address or telephone number.

3.2.4 Supervision

The Department of English does not assign supervisors. This arrangement comes about, rather, through interaction between students and professors during coursework, RA work, personal communication, or other forms of interaction. The student's advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies are available for consultation as the student works to select her/his supervisor. It is recommended that this arrangement be made as soon as possible within the first year of the student's program (or, in the case of 1-year MA programs, as early as possible within the first semester). The Graduate Coordinator (Maria Vasile) in Arts 155 should be informed of the name of the supervisor of the student's PhD dissertation, MA thesis, or MA Research Paper when that has been determined.

3.2.5 Job Placement Officer

The Department provides the services of a Job Placement Officer, a professor in the department who offers advice on the preparation of the dossier and other forms of assistance to graduating students entering the profession.

3.3 English Graduate Students' Association (EGSA)

Graduate students in English are automatically members of the English Graduate Students' Association. EGSA is a self-governing organization whose interests in student life are professional, political, and social. They provide and circulate information to English graduate students through a variety of channels including their webpage, Facebook group, and listserv. EGSA plans several annual parties. EGSA sees as one of its most important functions the welcoming of new graduate students into the program through social events which include returning students as well. Early in the school year, it coordinates a gathering with the faculty so that students can feel at home as quickly as possible. Professional information is available through EGSA's Resource and Professional Development Centre, including national English newsletters (ACCUTE) and the MLA job listing. EGSA's Professional Development Committee also hosts a series of workshops throughout the year, addressing issues varying from writing conference papers to post-graduate job opportunities. EGSA is also part of an interprovincial Graduate Lecture Exchange, through which students can deliver papers at Ontario universities and host speakers from those universities as they come to McGill. Finally, EGSA is a political body. Besides having an elected executive and committee members, EGSA participates in various departmental committees so that graduate students are involved in hiring, curriculum, and general departmental policies and decisions.

Political involvement exists outside the department as well. EGSA is a member of the Post-Graduate Students' Society (PGSS) which addresses the needs of graduate students on campus. PGSS operates from Thomson House, which contains many social rooms, a bar, and a dance floor. Membership in PGSS entitles the student to specific information on housing, sport, recreation, and social life. This information is available in the Graduate Student Handbook, which you can obtain by info.pgss [at] (emailing PGSS) or visiting the PGSS office at David Thomson House, 3650 McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 1X9, Tel: 398-3755.

Of special interest in this handbook is information on medical coverage. All full-time Canadian graduate students and additional session students are automatically entitled to the benefits of the Student Insurance Plan organized through the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). For information, contact the Administrator at PGSS (see above for address), tel: 398-3756, email: info.pgss [at] Non-Canadian students with valid work permits (such as the one available with a teaching assistantship) are eligible for full coverage under the Quebec health plan. Students are responsible for applying for this coverage through the office of the Dean of Students. International students without work permits are obliged to join the International Student Health Insurance Plan. For information and particulars, please visit International Student Services at 3600 McTavish St. Suite 3215, Montreal, QC, H3A 1Y2, tel: 398-4349, or online at

Any other questions, suggestions, or enthusiastic energy should be directed to the Collective Executive of EGSA. You can reach one of the executive members by phoning EGSA at 398-6548, or through the Graduate Coordinator, Arts Building 155B, McGill University.

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