MA Program in English

Our MA degree is a one year program that emphasizes the close, critical study of literature and culture and the development of research, writing and analytical skills.

Applicants to the MA programs should hold a four-year Honors BA in English or in English combined with another subject. They should have achieved at least an A minus average (80-84%) in the Honors English courses of their BA program.

Students with a general three-year BA are required to take enough courses at the undergraduate level in order to upgrade their degree to a four year Honors degree before applying to our MA program. Students needing to do this should contact an Academic Counsellor in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (or the equivalent at their home university) to determine the procedure and requirements necessary.

Domestic MA students in the Department of English and Writing Studies have the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants or may be paired with faculty as research assistants. All MA candidates can select from among diverse graduate courses offered within and outside the department; they have access to an excellent research library; and can expect close contact with their professors and fellow students. Our graduates have gone on to further study in PhD programs at Western and beyond, to professional programs in law, education, and other specializations, and to careers in publishing, journalism, government, consulting, the arts, and more.

MA Program Overview

Our MA program takes twelve months to complete. Students in this program can select from among three options:

  • Course work: This involves the completion of 4.0 (four full-year or equivalent) courses.
  • Course work and Independent Research Project (IRP): This involves the completion of 3.0 (three full-year or equivalent) courses and the submission of a 50-page IRP, researched and developed in close consultation with a faculty supervisor.
  • Course work and Thesis: This involves the completion of 2.0 (two full-year or equivalent) courses and the submission and oral defence of a 100-page thesis, researched and developed in close consultation with a faculty supervisory committee (supervisor and second reader).

Please see Financial Information for details on the financial support packages available for domestic and international MA students in our program.