English | Graduate Studies | UNB


  • Degrees Offered: MA (Creative Writing or Academic), PhD (Creative Writing or Academic), Direct-Entry PhD (Academic)
  • Application Deadline: Dec. 1 (for PhD); Jan. 8 (for MA). Late applications cannot be considered for the PhD. MA applications can be considered until May 30 but cannot be considered for funding. International applicants should apply by the relevant deadline in order to have the best chance of meeting immigration requirements.
  • Study Options: Thesis, Dissertation
  • Duration: 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

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

Current graduate courses

For a complete listing of our graduate course offerings please review our extensive list.

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. The same level of degree with at least B average (North American System) or upper class standing (British System) is normally required for graduates of other universities. 
  2. MA applicants are required to submit the following: 
      • complete application
      • A statement of interest, at least one page long, outlining their preferred area of study.
      • An academic writing sample, ideally a research essay (of at least 8 pages) from an upper-level undergraduate English literature course. The writing sample should be a clean (unmarked) essay, involving literary analysis and research. Applicants to the Creative Writing stream should also submit a recent and representative creative writing sample of at least 10 pages. 
  3. A GPA of at least 3.7 (A-) in an MA in 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.
  4. All applicants to the PhD program are required to submit the following:
      • A complete application
      • A statement of interest, at least one page long, outlining their preferred area of study
      • A graduate-level research paper (10-20 pages) or chapter of an MA thesis, preferably in the proposed area of study. The writing sample should be a clean (unmarked) essay, involving literary analysis and research. Applicants to the Creative Writing stream should also submit a recent creative writing sample of at least 20 pages.
  5. Applicants to both MA and PhD programs are to include 3 references (at least 2 Academic) on the application.
  6. 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
    • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)= 85
    • Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTest)= 4.5
  7. Admission to the English Graduate Program is limited and very competitive. Because it is based on human and physical resources available to deliver the program of study, admission to the MA or PhD is not guaranteed for those who meet the minimum academic requirements. 
  8. Applicants are not required to find a supervisor before applying, although they may if they wish. 


For information regarding funding opportunities please review the Financial Aid section on our departmental website. 

Contact us

For more information on our program, contact Dr. Edith Snook, Director of Graduate Studies, or Lydia Noble, Graduate Program Assistant.

Office: Carleton Hall, Rm. 247

Phone: 1-506-453-4676

Related: Current graduate courses

English Department

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