• Degrees Offered: Degrees Offered: MA (Creative Writing or Academic), PhD (Creative Writing or Academic), Direct-Entry PhD (Academic)
  • Application Deadline: Open; Jan. 15 (for funding consideration). Late applications can be considered up to June 30, but will not be included in the Arts funding competition.
  • Study Options: Coursework, Thesis, Dissertation
  • Duration: One year (Course-based MA), twenty months (thesis-based MA), four years (PhD), five years (Direct-entry PhD)
  • Entry Term: Fall only

UNB's celebrated English graduate programs offer both creative writing and academic streams of study, helping students reach both their creative and critical potential. Students feel particularly welcome because of our small class sizes. They gain personal support and invaluable feedback from nationally-acclaimed professors and have opportunities to work with them on research and creative projects and on departmental publications, including Canada's longest continuously published literary journal, The Fiddlehead, and on the student-run, national literary journal, QWERTY. Faculty from both UNB Fredericton and UNB Saint John currently supervised around 40 graduate student in the MA and PhD programs on project in a wide range of fields.

Our cozy, quiet campus is the perfect workshopping environment for creative writers wanting to develop a book-length manuscript. Our PhD in Creative Writing is one of very few offered in Canada. In the academic streams, students examine important works of literature, undertake original research, and build their critical vocabularies. Their research is supported by excellent library resources. Graduate students in English acquire strong research, writing, editing and communication skills and develop connections with other academics, writers and publications across Canada. Doctoral students also gain exceptional applied teaching experience through the Teaching Apprenticeship Program.

Our graduates go on to become professional writers, editors, journalists, marketers, teachers, professors and researchers, amongst other things.

Creative genres

  • Poetry, Fiction, & Creative Non-fiction
  • Screenwriting & Playwriting

Research areas

  • Canadian Literature, including Atlantic Canadian
  • American Literature
  • Medieval, Early Modern, Romantic, Victorian & Twentieth-Century British Literature
  • Postcolonial & First Nations Literature
  • Women's Literature, Gender & Transgender studies
  • Cultural Studies, Film Theory & Popular Culture

Current faculty research

Application requirements

  1. All applicants to the MA program should hold an honours Bachelor of Arts degree (or a similar program with intensive specialization) in English with a minimum 3.5 average (upper second-class standing). Applicants holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in a discipline other than English will also be considered in the light of their undergraduate course program and their achievements in their program.
  2. MA applicants are required to submit a complete application, an academic writing sample of at least 8 pages and a statement of interest. Applicants to the Creative Writing stream should also submit a recent creative writing sample of at least 10 pages.
  3. All applicants to the PhD program are required to submit a statement of interest and graduate-level research paper (10-20 pages) or chapter of an MA thesis, preferably in the proposed area of study. Applicants to the Creative Writing stream should also submit a recent creative writing sample of at least 20 pages.  A GPA of at least 3.7 (A-) in an MA English or MFA in Creative Writing is required for admission to the PhD program. Applicants to the Direct-Entry PhD must have a GPA of at least 4.0 in the final two years of the BA Honours English. PhD applicants are required to submit a complete application.
  4. Applicants to both MA and PhD programs are to include 3 references (at least 2 Academic) on the application.
  5. International applicants whose first language is not English must submit language scores that meet or exceed:
    • International English language testing system (Academic IELTS) = Band 7
    • Paper-based TOEFL = 600
    • Internet-based TOEFL = 100
    • TWE = 4.0


MA-level assistantship funding is valued at approximately $15,000 over 12 months. MA students in the 20-month program will have their assistantship renewed for the final eight months of the program. PhD-level assistantship funding is around $20,000/year for four years. Students in the direct-entry PhD are eligible for one year of MA-level funding and four years of PhD-level funding. 

Contact us

For more information on our program, contact Dr. Stephen Schryer, Director of Graduate Studies, or Theresa Keenan, Graduate Program Assistant.

Office: Carleton Hall, Rm. 247

Phone: 1-506-453-4676

Related: English Department

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