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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Program Enquiries

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Meet a UBC representative

Aligning your Graduate Program and Career Goals

Date: Wednesday, 19 August 2020
Time: 11:00 to 12:00

Join Danielle Barkley, Educator and Career & Professional Development Advisor at UBC's Centre for Student Involvement and Careers, and Shane Moore, Marketing and Recruitment Manager. They'll be talking about aligning your graduate program with your career goals. They'll also be providing an overview of the wide range of career and professional development opportunities and support available at UBC. This session will be helpful to those still thinking about which graduate program is right for them, as well as applicants who know their program of study and want to better understand the support and guidance available at UBC.

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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

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.5

Reading

7.0

Writing

7.0

Speaking

7.0

Listening

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.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Document Requirements

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

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
28 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 07 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 07 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 07 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 07 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 07 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 07 January 2021

3) Prepare Application

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.

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.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Citizenship Verification

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.

Research Information

Program Components

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

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].

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
2011 Dr. MacLean examined the representation of Canada in nineteenth-century American literature. She recovered antebellum American texts about cross-border movement between Canada and the US and showed that in these texts, the idea of Canada symbolized the fulfillment of the promise of democracy that the US had failed to achieve.
2011 Dr. Ferreira investigated mediations of value in the Romantic literary marketplace. She focused her study on The Keepsake literary annual and gift-book and the contributed works of five now canonical writers. This research opens interpretive possibilities for rethinking how value was understood and practiced in the era.
2011 Dr. Wittfoth examined theories of language associated with sceptical and rhetorical traditions of thought dating back to ancient Greece. Her research uncovered coincident linguistic insights in sceptical-rhetorical theories of language, linguistic-pragmatics, experimental psychology, and cognitive science.These findings have philosophical implications relevant to all areas of linguistically meditated research.
2010 Dr. Grafton examined the agency of readers of Canadian literature in public programs held in libraries, on the radio, and online. Criticism of these contemporary programs often assumes that participants simply read what, when, and how they are told; however, she found that readers play a vital role in evaluating literature and producing literary canons.
2010 Dr. Calloway studied the interaction between faith and reason during the so-called "Scientific Revolution" in England in the seventeenth century. Considering scientific demonstrations of the Christian religion, she argued that this "modern" trend actually carries on a practice older than Christianity itself, whose central theological problems remain unchanged.
2010 Dr. Ney inserted the texts from an early Anglican mission to Yorubaland into Nigerian literary history. By showing how nineteenth-century evangelistic writings as well as twentieth-century novels and plays participate in some of the same cultural transformations, he helps us to understand how Christianity became part of African history.
2010 Dr. Makmillen uses rhetorical theory to understand texts arising from the contact between Indigenous peoples and settler societies in Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand. She shows how variously situated readers interpret and are persuaded by the language of treaties, legal judgments and other texts, and how this affects Indigenous claims to land and other rights.
2010 Dr. Stumm examines the nature and role of ethical responsibility in witnessing the lives and stories of vulnerable subjects. She reveals how the philosophical ethics of Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur can be brought to bear on one's relational practices with others in the process of narrating their lives.
2010 Dr. Banting investigated the local and not-so-local audiences addressed by fiction and theatre set in Vancouver. Her research demonstrated a new method for studying how novels, short stories, and plays set up relationships between people and places near and far.
2010 Dr. Robinson explored Margaret Cavendish's seventeenth-century vitalist natural philosophy in relation to her theory of discourse. This research contributes to our understanding of natural philosophies that, during the Scientific Revolution, ran counter to the dominant trend towards an increasingly mechanistic world view.

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
28 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
07 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
07 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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