Admission Information

General Information
Deadlines
Supporting Documents
Entrance Requirements

IF YOU INTEND TO APPLY TO OUR MA PROGRAM AND THE SSRHC CANADA GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP – MASTER’S, THE DEADLINE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF YOUR COMPLETE MA APPLICATION, INCLUDING ALL REFERENCE LETTERS, IS ALSO TUESDAY 01 DECEMBER 2020.

Click here for information on the SSHRC application.

General Information

Students seeking admission to graduate studies in English should apply using the online system which may be accessed through the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or by clicking here.

Meeting, or exceeding, the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to UBC or our program, as the number of spaces in both the MA and PhD programs is limited. First-class grades and strong letters of reference are expected of all successful applicants.

Information sessions for prospective students are offered by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Applicants must comply with the regulations outlined below and on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

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Deadlines

The application deadline for both the MA and PhD in English, for study beginning in September 2021, is Thursday 07 January 2021 at 11.59 pm Vancouver time. All supporting documentation, including all letters of reference, must be received by the deadline. If you intend to apply to our MA program and the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s, the deadline for the submission of your complete MA application, including all reference letters, is also Tuesday 01 December 2020.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents intending to apply for federal graduate funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) should note that the deadlines for such funding applications vary depending on your situation.

If you are applying to the MA program:

MA applicants should apply via SSHRC. Information on the SSHRC application is available here.

If you are applying to the PhD program:

If you are currently an MA student at a Canadian university, and intend to apply to our PhD program, you should submit your SSHRC doctoral application via the university at which you are currently enrolled. Universities may set their own, internal SSHRC application deadlines.

If you are not currently an MA student at Canadian university, you should apply directly via SSHRC. SSHRC’s deadline for direct applications can be found here.

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Supporting Documents

All applicants must submit:

a) A complete application form via the online system. Please click here for the current application fee and related exemptions.

b) Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, whether or not you completed the program or degree. If you participated in a university exchange program, you must provide/upload an official transcript from the exchange institution, even if the exchange study is confirmed on the transcript of your home institution. Interim transcripts, i.e. transcripts that include courses in progress, are acceptable and required; unofficial transcripts are not acceptable. Click here for further information on UBC’s transcript requirements.

Current and former UBC students do not need to order or provide/upload official UBC transcripts. However, current and former UBC students must upload official transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions attended, including universities attended while on exchange.

c) Statement of Intent. Please provide/upload a statement that describes the specific nature of the research you propose to conduct during your MA or PhD studies.

If you plan to write an MA thesis, the Statement of Intent should be no more than 500 words in length, single-spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt font. Specify your research question and its context, objectives, methodology, and anticipated contribution to the advancement of knowledge. Identify potential faculty supervisors and indicate if you have already been in touch with them regarding your project.

If you plan to do an MA through coursework, the Statement of Intent should be no more than 500 words in length, single-spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt font. Describe your research interests and objectives and the nature of the studies you hope to pursue.

For both the MA thesis or the MA coursework option, indicate whether there are specific resources, e.g. faculty, library collections, research groups, and other programs, that make UBC a particularly good fit for you and your proposed research. Your research statement provides a basis from which the admissions committee can assess your readiness for graduate study. Should you be admitted, this research statement may also form the groundwork for grant applications to be completed in the fall of the first year of your program. The application project proposal can certainly be hypothetical, describing an area of interest rather than a definite future. Note: students can change their option to do course work or the thesis once they begin the program at UBC.

If you are applying to the PhD program, the Statement of Intent should be no more than 1000 words in length, single-spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt font. Specify your research question and its context, objectives, methodology, and anticipated contribution to the advancement of knowledge. Identify potential faculty supervisors and indicate if you have already been in touch with them regarding your project. Indicate whether there are particular resources, e.g. faculty, library collections, research groups, and other programs, that make UBC a particularly good fit for you and your proposed research. Your research statement provides a basis from which the admissions committee can assess your readiness for independent research. Should you be admitted, this research statement will also form the groundwork for grant applications to be completed in the fall of the first year of your program.

d) A recent academic essay or writing sample, maximum 20 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt font. You may upload more than one essay/writing sample as long as the total number of pages does not exceed 20.

e)Three academic letters of reference. The Department of English Language and Literatures accepts academic references only; professional references cannot be accepted. References may be submitted electronically via the online application system or Interfolio. Paper letters of reference may be mailed directly to the Department (to the attention of the Graduate Program). Click here for more information.

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Entrance Requirements

This section sets out entrance requirements for both the MA and the PhD programs. Students should note that these include both the University’s general requirements and standards as well as the specific requirements and standards for the programs in the Department of English.

Credit Equivalents

One sessional course (that is, a course meeting three hours per week from September to April), is normally considered equivalent to two semester courses, or to three quarter courses.

1 sessional course = 6 UBC credits
1 semester course = 3 UBC credits
1 quarter course = 2 UBC credits

Transfer Credits from Other Universities

When applying for admission into the MA or PhD program, a student may apply for the transfer of up to 12 credits of UBC equivalent graduate-level work from another university, provided that the courses have not been credited towards any other degree, and are applicable to our graduate program requirements. Request for transfer credits should come at the time of application.

International Students

UBC welcomes applications for admission from outstanding students from all countries. Students from most English-language universities may apply directly to the PhD program after completing an MA in their own country. However, because of differences in language and university instruction, it is UBC policy that students from some universities will be considered only for MA studies at UBC after completing an honours BA and MA in their own country, both with first-class standing. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website includes a calculator which displays minimum requirements and credentials by country; click here to visit that page.

Applicants to either the MA or the PhD programs from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of the application. This requirement is in place in order to provide evidence of English abilities to the Admission Committee and in order to be competitive in our program. Near-native fluency is required for admittance to our program.

Acceptable Tests

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – The graduate program in English requires a minimum test score of 104 (web-based).
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) – The graduate program in English requires applicants achieve a minimum score of 7.5 with no component less than 7.0 for consideration.
    Please see the English Proficiency Requirements page for further information on tests and scores.

Admission Standards (MA & PhD)

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies sets out minimum grade requirements for admission to graduate programs at UBC. These requirements may be consulted here. Students should note, however, that these are minimum standards only. The competitive requirements for the MA and PhD in English are higher, and are set out below by degree program.

Entrance Requirements for MA Students

LITERATURE STREAM

Applicants to the MA program in LITERATURE will normally hold a Bachelor’s or Honours degree in English or a related discipline with a minimum average of A- (80%), or 3.5 on a four-point scale, based upon all academic courses taken during the last two senior undergraduate years. Typically most accepted applicants maintain upper-year averages above 83%. Most students accepted into our program are in the top 15% of their undergraduate cohort.

LANGUAGE STREAM

Applicants to the MA program in LANGUAGE will normally have at least 24 credits of senior undergraduate courses in English language distributed as follows: one course from area 1, one course from area 2, and at least one course from two of areas 3 to 7:

1. History of the English Language (e.g. ENGL 320 at UBC)
2. The Linguistic Structure of Modern English (e.g. ENGL 330/331)
3. The History or and Theory of Rhetoric (e.g. ENGL 310/311)
4. Old or Middle English (e.g. ENGL 340/341, 344, 346)
5. Linguistic Variation (Dialectology, Sociolinguistics, World Englishes) (e.g. ENGL 323)
6. Stylistics (ENGL 322), Discourse Studies (e.g. ENGL 312), or Writing Studies
7. Cognitive Linguistics (e.g. ENGL 328)

In addition, applicants to the MA program in Language must have taken at least six (6) credits of English literature. Students in the Language program who have not taken the required courses as part of their undergraduate degree must rectify the deficiency by taking an appropriate graduate seminar or senior undergraduate course (up to a maximum of six (6) credits), as part of their MA program.

 Entrance Requirements for PhD Students

UBC’s general requirements for admission to the PhD are laid out on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website; click here to consult these requirements.

The Department of English expects applicants for the PhD program to hold a first-class MA degree in English language or literature. Advanced degrees in closely-related disciplines (for example, other literatures) may, particularly when combined with an undergraduate English degree, constitute sufficient preparation for the PhD; students are urged to seek advising as to the suitability of their backgrounds and project for the PhD in English.

While there are no formal area requirements for the PhD, students should expect either to demonstrate or, in the course of their PhD coursework, to develop, broad experience of literatures in English, and/or English language, appropriate to support both their research projects and their future careers as researchers and teachers.

In exceptional cases, students accepted into the MA program with a first-class Honours BA may apply to transfer into the PhD program at the end of the first year, provided that they have completed at least 18 credits of the MA program with a first-class average and can supply two letters of support giving evidence of research ability. The Graduate Committee will determine the additional number of credits to be completed.

In extraordinary cases, students may be allowed to enter the PhD program following a first-class Honours BA. The Graduate Committee will determine if extra course work is to be required, on a case by case basis.

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