You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.


Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.A.


Professors Emeriti

L. K. Arnovick, L. J. Brinton, J. Giltrow, N. J. Hudson, E. M. Kröller, I. B. Nadel, J. Segal, M. L. Weir.


P. Badir, R. C. Cavell, M. Chapman, B. Dancygier, S. Dollinger, S. Echard, A. Frank, S. Guy-Bray, E. Hodgson, D. Justice, L. Moss, K. Philip, A. Te Punga Somerville, S. Tomc, M. Vessey, M. Zeitlin.

Associate Professors

D. Al-Kassim, S. Anger, P. Antwi, D. Britton, M. Burgess, P. Dalziel, J. de Villiers, G. Deer, A. Dick, N. Frelick, D. Gaertner, I. Hill, J. Ho, C. Kim, C. Lee, G. Mackie, R. Mallipeddi, K. McNeilly, M. Mota, V. Nardizzi, J. Paltin, J. Rosenberg, R. Rouse, J. Severs.

Assistant Professors

K. Bain, M. Briggs, B. Earle, A. Guerin, D. Hunt, M. Pareles, S. B. Partridge, J. L. Smilges, E. Stickles, J. Stratton, D. Wong.

Program Overview

The Department of English Language and Literatures has awarded the M.A. degree since 1919 and the Ph.D. degree since 1962. In 2022/23, approximately 130 students from Canada, the United States, and other countries were enrolled in graduate studies in English at UBC.

The program offers the following degrees:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.): English literature or language, thesis or course-based, full-time or part-time
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): English literature or language, full-time only

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

The program limits Ph.D. admissions to students with at least first class standing in the M.A. degree, and also advises that entry to the program is very competitive: first class standing at the M.A. level is not enough in itself to guarantee admission. Transfer from the M.A. to the Ph.D. program is permitted under regulations set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

Students undertaking Ph.D. studies in English, with either a language or literature emphasis, will normally complete 15 credits of coursework in their first year of study (five graduate seminars), prepare for and write their Qualifying Examinations in Year 2, write their dissertation prospectus for approval at the beginning of Year 3, and research into their dissertations in Years 3 and 4. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Students consult with the Ph.D. Chair and their Qualifying Supervisor in planning their coursework. Coursework enables students to prepare for research, as well as to broaden their knowledge of the discipline and fulfill the breadth expectations. Students of contemporary areas of English will be reminded of the value of advanced study of historical periods and topics in professional preparation. Serious study in a range of areas prepares students for their own projects, and for the job market.

Students will normally select courses from the rich variety of graduate seminars offered by the program each year.

Co-operative Education Option

English Ph.D. students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for the Ph.D. Co-operative Education option, normally in their second year. Applications are submitted in October for the work period that begins in May of the following calendar year. Students are admitted with the approval of the Arts Co-op Director and the department’s Graduate Chair. Students receive training and assistance in applying for tailored work-terms with outside employers. Students are paid for their work according to industry standards, which vary depending on the employment sector. Students will complete non-credit career-building assignments during each work term, and completion of the option is noted on transcripts.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

M.A. applicants must normally hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum of high second-class standing (76% or better), an upper-second, or a grade point average of at least 3.33 on a four-point scale based on all academic courses taken during the two senior undergraduate years. While upper-year English grades are the most important feature of a record, applicants should note that a first class record overall is preferred.

While applicants who have minimum requirements and grade-point averages are eligible to be considered for admission, spaces in the M.A. program are very limited and lower grade averages are usually not competitive.

For detailed information on M.A. admission and program requirements, please see the Graduate Program.

Program Requirements

All M.A. programs require ENGL_V 500 and an additional 27 credits.

Thesis Option: The M.A. in Literature or Language requires completion of 21 credits of coursework with a minimum of 15 credits of coursework at the 500-level or above, plus a 9-credit thesis and oral examination. Coursework is selected in consultation with the program advisor.

Course-based Option: For the course-based option, the M.A. in Literature or Language requires completion of 30 credits of coursework, including a minimum of 24 credits of coursework at the 500-level or above. Coursework is selected in consultation with the program advisor.

Emphasis in Science and Technology Studies for Doctoral and Masters Students

Both the Ph.D. and M.A. in English offer students an opportunity to focus a portion of their studies towards an emphasis in Science and Technology Studies (STS). The STS emphasis offers opportunities for advanced research and study of scientific work and thought from a variety of perspectives associated with the humanities and social sciences. Students in the STS emphasis are required to take STS_V 501 (3), STS_V 502 (3), and STS_V 597 (M.A.) or STS_V 598 (Ph.D).

For more information on the STS emphasis, please see the STS webpage.

Contact Information

Christie MacLeod, Graduate Programs
Department of English Language and Literatures
397-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604.822.3855

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