Build on your intellectual curiosity and foundational understanding of English Literature to become an expert in your field. Develop an original and focussed area of research and proceed to the dissertation to develop original creative or critical work (or a hybrid of both). The University of Calgary's graduate program in English boasts the longest-running program in Canada with a creative PhD thesis option, attracting national and international acclaim. All students pursuing an English doctoral degree will learn from highly accomplished faculty in several traditional and emerging fields. Our creative writing faculty members include a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing. The program is ideal for students seeking academic careers and advanced training in research, writing and pedagogy. It provides a foundation for a range of careers requiring articulate, thoughtful, creative and innovative thinkers with strong research and communication skills. The creative stream and critical dissertation stream are equally rigorous; all students undertake a range of courses and field of study exams, and defend their thesis work orally.
Literature in English (a Creative Writing option is available within this specialization)
Outcomes and next steps
Academic or post-secondary teaching, research, editing, publishing, archival work, educational software and technology, college, university and government administration and policy; communications, technical and creative writing; digital and online publishing, non-profits and NGOs, freelance writing.
A PhD in English is usually considered a final degree.
Degree at a glance
Six courses meeting historical breadth requirements, and a Graduate Pro-Seminar course
Four years full-time; six years maximum
A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program
Fees and funding
Flat annual fee; guaranteed funding
If you're interested in this program, you might want to explore other UCalgary programs.
Graduate Pro-seminar on critical skills and professional issues in graduate-level literary study.
Pre-twentieth century requirements
At least three courses from medieval, early modern, restoration/eighteenth-century, or romantic/Victorian literature.
Students will be required to submit and defend an original dissertation.
Twentieth century and later
At least two courses in twentieth century and/or twenty-first century literature.
Students will complete a general comprehensive examination, oral and written field of study examinations, and a thesis proposal.
Admission requirements and information
Requirements for the English Program
A minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale at the graduate level.
A completed four-year undergraduate program (or equivalent), and a completed Master’s degree. At least one of the degrees must be in English Literature. In exceptional circumstances, degrees in a closely related discipline may meet admission requirements.
A 5-10 page sample of critical writing; for creative writing applicants, an additional 10-page sample of creative writing.
A statement of intent
English language proficiency
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
TOEFL score of at least 105 (Internet-based). Our institution code is 0813
IELTS score of 7.5 with no section less than 7.0 (Academic version)
All graduate students must pay general fees each year, as well as program fees.
Estimate for full-time students
Canadian and permanent resident
12 months of study
First 12 months of study
For first year of studies
General fees and program fees
General fees are annual and per-term fees. Annual fees are paid once per year, while per-term are paid each term (3 terms per year).
Program fees cover standard academic costs. Textbooks and other course material costs are not included.
What are annual continuing fees?
Domestic Continuing Fees: $1,627 CAD
International Continuing Fees: $3,693 CAD
Continuing fees apply in the first term following completion of candidacy requirements.
Graduate students registered in full-time programs leading to Master's or Doctoral degrees are eligible to apply for all sources of funding through the Department of English.
Fees listed here are estimates only, and have been rounded to the nearest dollar. These amounts should not be considered accurate. All amounts are in Canadian Dollars.
Fees are subject to change.
For more details and the most accurate information go to the Academic Calendar
For more general information, see our Fees and Funding Guide
Have you made your final decision and you’re ready to apply?