The department offers the following degrees:
Master of Arts (MA) in English literature or language, with or without thesis, full-time or part-time
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in English literature or language, full-time only
The department provides opportunities for research and study in all areas of literature in English, as well as in English language. The department offers more than 15 graduate seminars per year. Students should remember, however, that faculty commitments and/or study leaves may make it impossible to cover every area in every year. Entering students should ensure that the areas in which they are interested are currently covered by the faculty.
For a list of current graduate faculty by area of specialization, click here. For a list of current graduate course offerings, click here. Prospective students may also wish to consult the course archive here, since our offerings change frequently, according to the current research interests of our faculty.
Students concentrating in literature in English may take courses in English language, and vice versa. Students may also combine their departmental studies with some work in other departments (in recent years, these have included Geography, Philosophy, and Film Studies); however, students wishing to specialize in a related field should apply instead to the appropriate department.
Our department does not support or supervise creative or artistic projects. Graduate students enrolled in courses or writing theses and dissertations must submit their work in the form of traditional scholarly argument, method, and evidence. Students wishing to work in creative or artistic fields should apply to departments that are appropriate to these pursuits.
UBC Libraries hold more than 5.6 million volumes, more than 284,000 e-books, more than 63,000 serial titles, and a huge (and growing) collection of non-book resources. The Library is the second-largest research library in Canada and a high-ranking member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Rare Books and Special Collections includes such resources as the Chung Collection (more than 25,000 items on the exploration of the Pacific Northwest, the Chinese experience in North America and particularly in British Columbia, the history of British Columbia, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company story); the Malcolm Lowry collection; the Victorian-Edwardian Colbeck, Penkill, and Angeli-Dennis collections; and many others. UBC has a particularly fine collection of historical maps (emphasizing British Columbia and the Pacific Rim), and the Woodward Biomedical Library’s collections include early printed books relating to the history of science and medicine, as well as letters associated with such figures as Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale. The Libraries also hold extensive collections relating to Robert Burns, Lewis Carroll, early lexicography, nineteenth-century Canadian school texts, and children’s literature of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. UBC’s collection of Canadiana, from the nineteenth century to the present, is one of the finest in the country.
For a complete list of financial support opportunities, see the Awards and Financial Section of UBC’s Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Study. Support for students in English is provided through a combination of internal and government awards (eligibility for the latter varies), teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. The doctoral program is fully funded; that is, an offer of acceptance is always accompanied by a guarantee of some funding. At the moment, we can also offer some support, primarily through teaching assistantships, for the fifth year.
Living costs in Vancouver are relatively high, with housing accounting for the bulk of the expense. Incoming students should plan to allow sufficient time to secure acceptable housing. On-campus housing includes several residential, interdisciplinary graduate residences, such as St John’s College and Green College. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies offers an overview of on-campus options, with links, here. All students, including those with fellowships and teaching assistantships, should ensure that they have sufficient supplemental funds to see them through the year. As of 2016-2017, the estimate of annual fees, housing and other living expenses was approximately $25,000 CDN. See the Living Cost Calculator for an estimate on current living costs.
UBC welcomes applications from outstanding graduate students from all countries. Vancouver is a vibrant, multicultural city, and UBC has many resources to aid international students. Click here to visit the website for UBC’s International House for an overview of resources.
Our graduate program requires near-native English fluency of its students. It is a program in the study of literature, literary criticism and theory, rhetoric, discourse, and linguistics; it is not a program designed to improve the spoken and/or written English of non-native speakers of English. International students applying for admission to either the MA or the PhD program whose first language is not English are required to write the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test or International English Language Testing Service (IELTS); consult the Admissions section for more information, including required minimum test scores.
Note: If English is not your first language but your previous degree was undertaken at an institution where English is the language of instruction, a language test may not be required. Program coursework taken in English is not sufficient, English must be the university’s official language of instruction to waive the language test requirement for applicants whose first language is not English.
Students from most English-language universities may apply directly to the PhD program after completing an MA in their own country. There are some exceptions; for further information on credit and degree equivalences, consult section on Entrance Requirements.
International students accepted at UBC must obtain a student visa from Citizenship and Immigration Canada before entering Canada. Under current immigration policies, an international student cannot enter as a Permanent Resident. International students may seek employment outside the university, with a valid work permit, and their spouses may also do so, see “Working Temporarily in Canada.”
All full-time international students are eligible for the International Tuition Award of up to $3,200.00 per year. Click here for more information from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
In addition to funding sources mentioned elsewhere, international students may be eligible for funding from their home countries.
- Students from China: see http://en.csc.edu.cn/laihua/noticeen.html
- Students from Germany: see https://www.daad.de/de/
- Students from the US: see http://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/us/
The graduate program is administered by a committee of graduate faculty. The Chair and MA Advisor serve as general advisors for PhD and MA students respectively. Three graduate students, elected by their peers, also serve as representatives on the Graduate Committee.
2019-2020 Graduate Committee
(1 July to 30 June)
Judy Segal (Term 2 only)
Graduate Student Representatives
Craig Stensrud (PhD)
Sarah-Nelle Jackson (PhD)
Jesse Hannawalt (Masters)