English | Graduate Studies | UNB

English

  • Degrees Offered: MA in English (streams for Creative Writing, Academic, Gender and Sexuality in Literature), PhD in English (streams for Creative Writing, Academic, Gender and Sexuality in Literature), Direct-Entry PhD
  • 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. The academic MA and PhD programs now also include the opportunity to earn a degree in Gender and Sexuality in Literature. 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
  • Early Modern, Eighteenth-Century, Romantic, and Nineteenth-Century British Literature
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Indigenous Literatures of Turtle Island
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Cultural Studies, Film and Popular Culture
  • Ecoliterature

Current faculty research

Current graduate courses

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

Equity Statement

The Department of English is committed to fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion within our community. With graduate admissions, curriculum, and hiring, we strive to develop a learning environment that reflects and affirms the complexity of the broader community that we serve.

We recognize the settler-colonial roots of our institution and are committed to an ongoing process of addressing the embedded colonial power structures in our classrooms and infrastructure.

We welcome and encourage applications from diverse and equity-deserving groups, including (but not limited to) those who have been historically disadvantaged because of race, religion, sexual identity, gender identity and expression, age, disability, and/or socio-economic condition. As a department, we recognize that many people face barriers in post-secondary education that may negatively impact opportunities to succeed. We are committed to thoughtfully considering the full context of an applicant’s life experiences and evaluating their application equitably.

Application requirements

MA

All applicants to the MA program (Creative, Academic, GSL) should hold an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English (or a similar program with intensive specialization) with a minimum 3.5 average. Applicants to the Gender and Sexuality in Literature stream should have a BA in English with introductory coursework in Gender/Sexuality/Women’s Studies. 

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. 

MA applicants are required to submit the following: 

  • A complete application 
  • A two-part statement of interest.
    • in part one (one-page, single-spaced), outline the academic or creative writing project that you wish to undertake for the thesis
      • Applicants to the creative writing stream should describe the project, its genre, topic, and approach; you should also address the research you would undertake to complete the project.
      • Applicants to the academic or GSL stream should describe the literary texts the project will focus on, the approach, and its contribution to the field.
    • in part two (up to one page, single-spaced), explain how your academic or non-academic background and experiences have prepared you to undertake this project and to thrive in the graduate program. How have your life circumstances shaped your academic or creative accomplishments? Is there anything else you want us to know about you? 
  • An academic writing sample, ideally a research essay (of at least 8 pages double-spaced) from an upper-level undergraduate English literature course. The writing sample should be a clean (unmarked) essay, involving literary analysis and research, to demonstrate that you have the ability to excel in an academic seminar.
  • Creative Writing Stream only: a recent creative writing sample of at least 10 pages (double-spaced for prose, poetry may be single-spaced). The creative writing sample should be in the genre in which you wish to work for your thesis.  You may submit work in other genres, if you have strengths in multiple forms.
  • Three references, at least two academic references.
  • 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

PhD

All applicants (except for the Direct-entry PhD) should have a GPA of at least 3.7 at the Master’s level.

Academic stream: MA in English is required for admission.

Creative Writing stream: MA in English or MFA in Creative Writing is required. Students with an MFA should have taken a broad range of English courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level. 

Gender and Sexuality in Literature stream: MA in English or MA Gender/Women’s Studies is required. Students with an MA in English should have taken some Gender/Sexuality/Women’s Studies courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level; students with an MA in Gender/Women’s Studies should have taken a broad range of English courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level. 

Direct-entry PhD: A GPA of at least 4.0 in the final two years of the BA Honours English.

All applicants to the PhD program are required to submit the following:

  • A complete application
  • A two-part statement of interest.
    • in the first part (one-page, single-spaced), outline the academic or creative writing project that you wish to undertake for the dissertation.
      • Applicants to the creative writing stream should describe the project, its genre, topic, and approach; you should also address the research you would undertake to complete the project.
      • Applicants to the academic stream should describe the literary texts the project will focus on, the approach, and its contribution to the field.
    • in the second part (up to one page, single-spaced), explain how your academic or non-academic background and experiences have prepared you to undertake this project and to thrive in the graduate program. Is there anything else you want us to know about you?
  • An academic writing sample, ideally a graduate-level research paper (10-20 pages) or chapter of an MA thesis. The academic writing sample should be a clean (unmarked) essay, involving literary analysis and research, to demonstrate that you have the ability to excel in an academic seminar and in the academic components of the degree.
  • Creative Writing Stream only: a recent creative writing sample of at least 20 pages (double-spaced for prose, poetry may be single-spaced).  The creative writing sample should be in the genre in which you wish to work for your thesis. You may submit work in other genres, if you have strengths in multiple forms.
  • Three academic references.
  • 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

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. 

Applicants are not required to find a supervisor before applying, although PhD applicants may reach out to potential supervisors if they wish.

Funding

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

Contact us

For more information on our program, contact 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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