Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)

Overview

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.

English Language

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.

English Literature

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.

What makes the program unique?

The Graduate Program of the Department of English is a vibrant community of more than 50 graduate faculty and 100 graduate students. An active graduate caucus, extensive campus resources, and such local resources as departmental research seminars, a graduate reading room, and a dedicated graduate program office, ensure that our students are well-supported in a collegial atmosphere throughout their programs. A pedagogy training program prepares our students to teach both during and after their programs.

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Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

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. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

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.

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:

104
22
21
22
21
7.5
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0

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.

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.

Supervision

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.

This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.

Document Requirements

IELTS = 7.5 overall band score with no component less that 7.0.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Research Information

Program Components

The English program now offers the opportunity to participate in the PhD Co-op program.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
20 July 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 03 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 03 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2021

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
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.

Financial Support

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.

Program Funding Packages

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

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.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

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.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

51 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 47 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (10)
Douglas College (3)
University of Victoria (3)
University of Alberta (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (2)
Simon Fraser University (2)
College of New Caledonia
LIM College
Mount Royal University
Yasar University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Writers House Literary Agency
Yardstick
Wattpad
BC Public Service Agency
Tr'ondek Hwech'in
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
In-house Editor
Poet
Lead Instructional Designer
Author
Analyst
Manager
Editor
Legislation and Policy Manager
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Upon completion of their graduate degrees, students can expect further mentoring and support in the job search process. Former doctoral students of the UBC English program have obtained permanent positions at universities and colleges in Canada and abroad; recent appointments have included the University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Victoria, the University College of the Fraser Valley, Kwantlen University, the University of British Columbia Okanagan, the Université de Moncton, Montana State University, and Whitman College. Our doctoral students have also been very successful in securing post-doctoral fellowships in Canada and the US.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications8669776662
Offers889107
New registrations78896
Total enrolment5652555252

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 71.88% based on 32 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 26 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 8.66 years with an average of 6.20 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

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.

  • Al-Kassim, Dina (Artistic and Literary Theories, Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, Arts and Cultural Traditions, Artistic and Literary Movements, Schools and Styles, Identity and Transnationality, Sexuality, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Gender Relationship, postcolonial, anti-colonial, feminist, queer theory, psychoanalysis, Subjectivity, comparative literature: Arabic, English, French)
  • Anger, Suzy (Victorian Literature, Literature and Philosophy, Victorian Literature and Psychology, Victorian Literature and Science, Hermeneutics)
  • Antwi, Phanuel (critical black studies; settler colonial studies; black Atlantic and diaspora studies; Canadian literature and culture since 1830; critical race, gender, and sexuality studies; and material cultures; )
  • Arnovick, Leslie Katherine (Oral tradition, business and technical writing, history and structure of the English language, linguistics)
  • Badir, Patricia (Early Modern Drama, Shakespeare, Medieval Drama, Early Modern Literature and Religion, Shakespeare in Canada, Canadian Modernism)
  • Briggs, Marlene (war and conflict; cultural transmission and reception of the First World War (1914-1918) in modern and contemporary British literature )
  • Brinton, Laurel (Modern English Grammar, History of the English Language, English Usage, English Dictionaries, Pragmatics of English, Discourse Markers, Language Change, Computers and Language Study, History of English)
  • Burgess, Miranda (Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, British and Irish Romanticism, riparian and oceanic studies, poetics, history of media and mediation, history of feeling (affect, emotion, sensation), history of literary form)
  • Cavell, Richard Anthony (Media and Society, Media Influence on Behavior, Media Types (Radio, Television, Written Press, etc.), media studies, media theory)
  • Chapman, Mary Ann (Arts and Cultural Traditions, Arts and Literary Policies, Arts and Technologies, Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, Social Determinants of Arts and Letters, Artistic and Literary Marginality, Artistic and Cultural Heritage, Artist or Author Social Identity, Artistic and Literary Movements, Schools and Styles, Artistic and Literary Theories, Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Literary or Artistic Work Dissemination or Reception Contexts, Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, Writing and Literary Experimentation, Poetry, Novel and Short Story, Essays, Gender Relationship, Audiences and Mass Media, Media and Democratization, Media and Society, Media Influence on Behavior, Civil and Social Responsibilities of Media, Stereotypes, Electoral System, Printing Art, Persuasion Strategies, Social Movements, Publics, Performance and Theatrical Productions, Social Networks, American Literature, Asian American Literature, Asian Canadian Literature, Suffrage, Public Pedagogy of the Arts, Public Humanities)
  • Dalziel, Pamela (Victorian-literature, Victorian-culture, visual-representation, illustration, gender-studies, religion, interdisciplinary-studies, textual-criticism, scholarly-editing, Thomas-Hardy, Charles-Dickens, George-Eliot )
  • Dancygier, Barbara (Linguistics, grammar)
  • De Villiers, Jessica (Linguistics)
  • Deer, Glenn (discourse studies, the rhetoric of power in narrative fiction, and postmodernism and Canadian Literature)
  • Dick, Alexander (Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Artistic and Literary Theories, Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, British Romanticism, Scottish Enlightenment, Literature and Economics, Literature and the Environment, Literature and Science, Scottish Literature)
  • Dollinger, Stefan (Language Contact and Linguistic Changes, Linguistic Variation and Society, Lexicography and Dictionaries, Language Interactions, Language Rights and Policies, Bilingualism and Multilingualism)
  • Earle, Bo (British Romanticism, Critical Theory, Philosophy and Literature)
  • Echard, Sian (Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Literary or Artistic Work Dissemination or Reception Contexts, Modes and Strategies of Dissemination, Poetry, Media Types (Radio, Television, Written Press, etc.), History of the Book, Medieval literature, Arthurian literature, Anglo-Latin literature, Manuscript studies, John Gower)
  • Frank, Adam (Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, media, and poetics, science and technology studies, theories and histories of affect and feeling, rhetoric of science)
  • Guy-Bray, Stephen (Renaissance poetry)
  • Hill, Ian (rhetoric, persuasion, argumentation, technology, weapons, interrogation, political economy, war rhetoric, conflict rhetoric, dissent, mass movements )
  • Hodgson, Elizabeth (English Renaissance )
  • Hudson, Nicholas James (Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, social class, studies of race, studies of language, literature and history)
  • Hunt, Dallas (Indigenous literatures, Indigenous theory & politics, Canadian Literature, Speculative fiction, settler colonial studies, Environmental justice, urban Indigeneity in the ‘reconciliation era’, histories of settler colonialism on the prairies, small, Indigenous publishing houses, settler replacement narratives and Indigenous futurities, poetry of Anishinaabe writer Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm)
  • 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)

Pages

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2020 Dr. Gaudet explored how health awareness discourse under capitalism shapes understandings of health and what it means to be healthy. Her findings show that while health awareness has been long analyzed in terms of individual public health campaigns, the rhetoric of "health awareness" is often taken up by commercial marketing campaigns.
2019 Dr. Hunt studied the intersections of Indigenous studies, Everyday Life Theory, and Kinship studies to explore everyday relational obligations in Treaty Eight territory. He investigated the potential of establishing more equitable relations by examining the knowledge systems we produce, the relations we cultivate, and the communities we inhabit.
2018 Dr. Lockyer examined the meanings and functions of emotional talk in English and Polish digital communication and literary dialogue. Her findings provided insight into the role of evaluative affixes in conveying various emotional connotations of interjections.
2018 Dr. Brown examined appeals to personal responsibility in public health campaigns. Personal responsibility is essential to public health, but its encouragement also has serious consequences, some of which this research documents. Four case studies illuminate the need for contexts supportive of personal responsibility, to ensure the health of all.
2018 Dr. Hunter studied Vancouver poetry of the 1960s and 1970s, with a focus on two important magazines published in the city at that time, "Tish" and "blew ointment." This research contributes to an emerging scholarly engagement of the importance of literature from Vancouver, especially in its earlier formations.
2018 Dr. Green examined the literary features of texts produced in medieval England dealing with the reckoning of the calendar and the nature of time, which have usually been regarded as 'scientific'. His research provides evidence that these often-neglected works exerted more influence than previously recognized on medieval English literary production.
2018 Dr. Preus developed a poetics of early modern theatrical form and argued that Shakespeare's characters consistently evoke the anxieties of being recognized and of belonging to given worlds. Her work demonstrates how these anxieties are articulated vis-a-vis a process of admission, both theatrical and metaphysical, and equally illusory.
2018 Drawing on various constructivist critical modalities, such as integral ecology, embodied philosophy, and affect theory, Dr. Rubel noted the continuing marginalization of the etho-ecological metaphysics of British Romantic poetry, circa 1790 to 1822.
2018 Dr. Fahey's research took an interdisciplinary approach to studying media in order to examine different perspectives from which we remember the First World War in Canada.
2018 Dr. Owen produced an original theoretical framework for understanding how neuroscience and theories of consciousness have influenced contemporary Anglo-American fiction. His analyses establish the genre of neurofiction as a literary response to some of the most significant philosophical and cultural questions of our time.

Pages

Further Program Information

Specialization

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.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-HN
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
20 July 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
01 January 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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