The UBC English Graduate Program, one of the most vibrant and wide-ranging in Canada, has been awarding the M.A. degree since 1919 and the PhD degree since 1962. Students may earn these degrees in each of two areas: English Language and English Literature. Indeed, the UBC English Department is one of the few departments in North America to offer a language program in addition to its literary programs.
The M.A can be completed with or without thesis, in one or two years, and in full- or part-time programs; the PhD is full-time.
The English Language program includes specializations in history and structure of language, discourse and genre analysis, and history and theory of rhetoric. Faculty members in the Language program teach and supervise research in descriptive linguistics, historical linguistics, cognitive linguistics, functional grammar, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, stylistics, genre studies, and history and theory of rhetoric. Students in the English Literature program can take advantage of Language graduate courses; recent offerings include courses on reported speech and its rhetorical versatility across genres; the uses of classical rhetoric for contemporary critical practice; and cognitive approaches to the language of literature. By the same token, Language students can take advantage of the wide variety of Literature courses our department offers.
The English Literature program includes specializations across the periods, genres, and major figures of British, North American and World Literature in English. Current research initiatives on the part of faculty include such diverse topics as the ecocritical study of Renaissance drama; the triumph of transport in Romantic poetry; the impact of radio and television on modernist poetics; the politics of post-identity in Asian American literature, and the role of war and its traumatic shocks in twentieth-century Canadian, U.S. and British literature. Graduate students can also choose to work across disciplinary fields, taking advantage of UBC’s outstanding interdisciplinary programs in Medieval Studies, Canadian and U.S. Studies, Studies in Sexuality, and Science and Technology Studies, among others.
Graduate Students and Faculty
The English Graduate program as a whole currently includes over a hundred students, both Canadian and international, and nearly fifty faculty members. Prospective students can look over the wide range of faculty and student research interests by going to graduate courses offered, faculty profiles and graduate student dissertation projects. Throughout their programs, graduate students are provided with faculty mentorship not only in research but also in teaching, publication, conference presentation, and job application. Graduate students participate in all areas of department life–from research presentations at regular departmental colloquia to service on faculty appointment committees. The Department has an excellent record of graduate student placement in tenure-track professorial positions.