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Faculty of Arts
UNB Fredericton

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PhD in English (Creative Writing)

The critical skills to teach literature and writing

Application deadline: Dec. 1

The department boasts talented practitioners and instructors in all major genres of creative writing--fiction, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting--as well as expertise in non-fiction and travel writing.

The PhD is designed to give students the critical skills to teach literature and writing at the college or university levels and includes both academic and creative courses, a teaching mentorship program, comprehensive exams, and a dissertation of creative work that includes a 30 to 50-page critical introduction to the creative work.

Related: UNB English PhD students release new books

The culmination of the degree is the book-length thesis, which may be fiction (short fiction or a novel), poetry, a play, a screenplay or a work of creative non-fiction.

Our teaching apprenticeship program (English 6999) affords students a unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor on all aspects of pedagogy, developing skills in lecturing, classroom discussion, marking and course and assignment design while teaching a first year course.

We have a full-year writer-in-residence, an extensive reading series, teaching assistantships and other ways to work directly on editing, including for The Fiddlehead, UNB's international journal of creative writing and Qwerty, a nationally distributed graduate student journal.

The department also offers workshops on grant and scholarship applications. Students work very closely with faculty members.


Students will normally undertake:

  • Two creative writing workshops in two different genres (6 ch)
  • Three academic one-term courses (9 ch)
  • English 6100: Research Methods (6 ch)
  • English 6999: Teaching apprenticeship course
  • Two comprehensive exams
  • Dissertation

The program is designed to be completed in four years.

Apply now