The MA in English
We welcome applications to full-time or part-time MA studies. Students wishing to purse the MA through part-time studies have four years to complete the degree.The MA in English is an intensive study of literature taught by nationally and internationally recognized scholars. In our MA program students can satisfy an interest in literary culture as well as prepare for doctoral level studies in English. Students will also acquire the cultural knowledge and analytical and communication skills valuable in a variety of fields, such as journalism, publishing, library science, law, teaching, business and government - areas in which our graduates have gone on to pursue further qualifications. Our MA is distinctive for its Research Assistant-based funding. RA-funded students work 12 hours per week on individual faculty research projects, on journals, or on digital humanities projects, such as the Orlando Project, Editing Modernism in Canada (EMiC), the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory, and Boyle Learning Centre in Boyle Street Community Services.
MA students can pursue not only literary studies but also interests in film studies and creative writing in either the thesis-based MA or course-based MA.
About half of the people who graduate from the MA go on to PhD programmes in English, both at the University of Alberta and at other universities across the English-speaking world. The other half go on to further degrees in other subjects such as law and library studies, or to employment in a wide range of professions, including government, non-profit-organizations, teaching, and editing.
Applying for the MA
When considering applications for the MA, the graduate committee looks at the total credits completed in English, the GPA in English courses, and coverage ranging from Old and Middle English through contemporary literature and theory, national and post-colonial literatures written in English, as well as indigenous literatures. We also look for an academic standing in English of at least 3.3 on a 4-point scale, which is equivalent to a B+.
While an Honors degree in English or its equivalent in number and range of courses means applicants will have historical depth, some grounding in critical literary and cultural theory, and familiarity with a breadth of literatures in English, we do not limit admissions to the program to students holding that degree. The graduate chair is happy to discuss the suitability of applicants' qualifications and training for our MA program. If you fall short in total courses or in coverage, you may be interested in registering as a Special Student in Arts to make up undergraduate courses before applying for admission.