Master of Arts in English (MA)
The UBC English Graduate Program, one of the most vibrant and wide-ranging in Canada, has been awarding the M.A. degree since 1919. Students may earn the degree in each of two areas: English Literature and English Language. Indeed, the UBC English Department is one of the few departments in North America to offer a language program in addition to its literary programs.
The English Language program includes specializations in history and structure of language, discourse and genre analysis, and history and theory of rhetoric. Faculty members in the Language program teach and supervise research in descriptive linguistics, historical linguistics, cognitive linguistics, functional grammar, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, stylistics, genre studies, and history and theory of rhetoric. Students in the English Literature program can take advantage of Language graduate courses; recent offerings include courses on reported speech and its rhetorical versatility across genres; the uses of classical rhetoric for contemporary critical practice; and cognitive approaches to the language of literature. By the same token, Language students can take advantage of the wide variety of Literature courses our department offers.
The English Literature program includes specializations across the periods, genres, and major figures of British, North American and World Literature in English. Current research initiatives on the part of faculty include such diverse topics as the ecocritical study of Renaissance drama; the triumph of transport in Romantic poetry; the impact of radio and television on modernist poetics; the politics of post-identity in Asian American literature, and the role of war and its traumatic shocks in twentieth-century Canadian, U.S. and British literature. Graduate students can also choose to work across disciplinary fields, taking advantage of UBC's outstanding interdisciplinary programs in Medieval Studies, Canadian and U.S. Studies, Studies in Sexuality, and Science and Technology Studies, among others.
The M.A can be completed with or without thesis, in one or two years, and in full- or part-time programs.
What makes the program unique?
The department is unique in Canada by offering two tiers of programs in English Literature and English Language and Linguistics at the graduate and undergraduate levels. We teach courses in all of the literary historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, Eighteenth Century, Romantic, Victorian, Modernist, Postmodern, and Contemporary), national, transnational, postcolonial, transpacific, and Indigenous literatures in English, as well as language, linguistics, rhetoric, critical theory, media studies, and a range of interdisciplinary topics.
As reflected in their field-leading research and publications, our department members are among the most productive in Canada. Our diverse expertise is well reflected in books published in 2012 and 2013 alone. We also work on collaborative research projects across the world, many funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and other significant funding bodies, on topics such as ecology and literature, English linguistics, rhetoric and science, musical-textual improvisation, and narratives of migration. Many of our faculty are currently engaged in projects devoted to new and digital media and are pioneering their intersection with both established and emerging modes of humanities research.
Contact the program
Meet a Representative
UBC Grad School Info SessionDate: Thursday, 05 August 2021
Time: 17:00 to 18:00
In this session we’ll provide a high-level overview of graduate study, graduate school at UBC, and the application process. This is not a program specific event. The session will cover:
- Why graduate study? – advice on what to consider if you are considering graduate school.
- Differences between undergraduate and graduate study.
- Explanation of the different types of graduate programs at UBC.
- What makes UBC a great place to study at the graduate level.
- How to search UBC’s over 300 different graduate program options.
- Overview of the graduate school application process.
- Next steps on learning more and beginning a grad school application
Who is this webinar for?
This webinar is for anyone who is thinking about studying at the graduate level. It’s for those who’d like to learn more about UBC and gain insight into what it’s like to study at UBC. This webinar is also helpful for anyone who wants to learn more about what is involved in a graduate school application.
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 104
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 7.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2022 Intake
Application Open Date01 October 2021
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Arts in English (MA)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,732.53||$3,043.77|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,052.34 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,126.20 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Arts in English (MA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Justice, Daniel (Aboriginal, First Nations, Metis, Indigenous, Aboriginal literature, Aboriginal cultures, Aboriginal history, Aboriginal Studies, First Nations Studies, badgers, animal studies, cultural studies, GLBT issues, Queer Studies, sexuality, First Nations Studies Program, Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture)
Kesler, Roland Lincoln (First nations)
Kim, Christine (English language; Asian North American literature and theory; Canadian Literature; Cultural Studies; Diaspora Studies)
Lee, Christopher (Asian North American literatures and cultures, Asian diaspora studies, American Studies, race and ethnicity, aesthetic philosophy, critical theory)
Mackie, Gregory (Victorian Literature, drama, and book history)
McNeilly, Kevin (Literary theory, music history)
Moss, Laura (Public poetry, public policy, strategic nationalism)
Mota, Miguel (Post-1945 British literature, print culture)
Nardizzi, Vin (Renaissance literature , ecotheory, queer and disability studies)
Paltin, Judith (English language; Literary or Artistic Work Analysis; Artistic and Literary Theories; Artistic and Literary Movements, Schools and Styles; Cultural Theory; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Literature and Mind; Literature and Music; Modernist Studies)
Pareles, Mo (mutual construction of species; sexual and ethnic difference in medieval English religious literature)
Partridge, Stephen (Middle Ages )
Philip, Kavita (Humanities and the arts; Colonial and Postcolonial Studies; STS; HCI; History of Science and Technology; Cold War Science)
Rouse, Robert (Medieval Literatures; Environment, space and place)
Segal, Judy (Public discourse and personal experience(health and illness))
Severs, Jeffrey (Humanities and the arts; American Literature; Postmodernism)
Stickles, Elise (English language; Mental Representation; grammar; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax; Imagery; Symbolism; Gestural, Verbal Communications; Public Communication; Data mining)
Tomc, Sandra (Nineteenth-century US literature, twentieth- century US entertainment and film, gothic literature and film, screenwriting, affect and psychoanalytic theory, fear and horror, film and image theory)
Troeung, Y-Dang (Transnational Asian literatures; Critical refugee studies; Global south studies; Genealogies of colonialism, war, and militarism in Southeast Asia and its diasporas)
Vessey, Mark (classical/Christian literary culture in late antiquity; European Renaissance; church fathers (i.e. Augustine, Jerome); Erasmus; bible and book history, Biblical and classical traditions, very early Latin middle ages, intellectual history, 16th century English literature, history of books)
Wong, Danielle (Asian American studies; Asian migration studies; Historical and contemporary relationships between race, Empire, and new technologies; Asian North American new media productions and performances)
Woods, Derek (Ecology, technology, and modern narrative in relation to the history of science; Harmful and “symbiotic” technologies; Influence of cybernetics on ecology and Earth system science)
Zeitlin, Michael (American literature, twentieth century and contemporary, Faulkner, Psychoanalysis, Vietnam, the Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan)
Sample Thesis Submissions
English offers two areas: English Language and English Literature
The English Language program includes specializations in history and structure of language, discourse and genre analysis, and history and theory of rhetoric. Faculty members in the Language program teach and supervise research in descriptive linguistics, historical linguistics, cognitive linguistics, functional grammar, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, stylistics, genre studies, and history and theory of rhetoric.
The English Literature program includes specializations across the periods, genres, and major figures of British, North American and World Literature in English. Current research initiatives on the part of faculty include such diverse topics as the ecocritical study of Renaissance drama; the triumph of transport in Romantic poetry; the impact of radio and television on modernist poetics; the politics of post-identity in Asian American literature, and the role of war and its traumatic shocks in twentieth-century Canadian, U.S. and British literature.