Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

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.

 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

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

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

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 thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis 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$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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

From September 2024 all full-time students in UBC-Vancouver PhD programs will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 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 $24,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 23 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research, academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $41,561.
  • 16 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 16 students was $11,126.
  • 10 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 10 students was $6,645.
  • 23 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 23 students was $21,501.
  • 8 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 8 students was $27,112.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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 Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator 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

 20232022202120202019
Applications93841128187
Offers1213988
New Registrations65777
Total Enrolment5555605955

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 67% based on 31 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 20 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 4.78 years and the maximum time is 12.3 years with an average of 7.31 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Tuesday, 16 July 2024 - 9:00am

Bronwyn Malloy
“Hold ourselves together with our arms around the stereo”: Listening for Weak Hope in Contemporary Song Lyrics

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis 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.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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
2015 Dr. Bennett studied the earliest language encounters between the English, the Spanish and the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas. He developed a new methodology for revealing colonial encounters that have been excluded from recorded histories. In doing so, he improved our understanding of the relationship between language study and imperialism.
2014 Dr. Volek examined the uptake of Mikhail Bakhtin's work in contemporary sociolinguistic research, and found that Bakhtin has been cited as the authority for a variety of contradictory positions. Dr. Volek argues that this is a product of the sociality of language and offers insight into the relationship between theory and applied language research.
2014 Dr. McAlister studied the early decades of mass literary culture in the United States. Through explorations of the work of Edgar Allan Poe, George Lippard, Herman Melville, and Louisa May Alcott, Dr. McAlister considered the relationship between formal experimentation and the contingencies of an emerging mass literary marketplace.
2014 Dr. Michalak studied the way sound is used in the literature and culture of the twentieth century. He argues that writing of that period was affected by images and noises of the modern day media systems. Attention to sound requires new ways of making sense of literature, which benefit scholars and readers interested in media.
2014 Dr. Persson studied Old English literature in the Department of English at UBC. His work demonstrates that Biblical commentaries on Job and Ecclesiastes are relevant contexts for interpreting Old English wisdom poetry. It benefits scholars of English and Theology, as well as those interested in how wisdom is handed down within cultures.
2014 Dr. Jaillant studied the Modern Library, a cheap series of reprints created in New York in 1917. This research helps us question the boundaries of the modernist literary canon, since the Modern Library published works by modernist writers such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf but also detective fiction and novels that we now see as "middlebrow."
2014 Dr. MacWilliam researched the ways in which British cookbooks published between 1660 and 1760 shaped conceptions of physical and aesthetic taste. Her work suggests that eighteenth-century aesthetics and cookery were the topics of public conversations that helped shape our current notions of subjectivity, professionalism, and disciplinarity.
2013 Dr. Hiebert studied the political and aesthetic theory underlying the body of work of George Woodcock, the prolific writer who forged relations between Vancouver and the Dalai Lama in the sixties. The intellectual and geographical mobility of Woodcock is shown essential to the role he played in the formation of Canadian literature as a field.
2013 Dr. L'Abbé studied ways in which Ronald Johnson, an American avant-garde poet, used botanical metaphors to represent the human mind and language. She argues that Johnson's poetry revives the horticultural metaphors in words such as cultivation and culture and shows how plant metaphors apply to the study of cognition, perception and poetic vision.
2013 Dr. Sinclair developed a critical methodology to understand Anishinaabeg narratives from past to present. He used principles derived from the Anishinaabeg clan system. His work suggests that Anishinaabeg creative and critical expressions are political and intellectual practices, in which culture and nationhood are defined, initiated, and sustained.

Pages

Further 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

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-HN
 
 
 
Supervisor Search
 

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

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