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Graduate Studies in English

The English Department consists of 35 full time faculty members teaching and researching in both traditional and emerging fields. This distinguished graduate faculty represents a wide array of approaches to the study of literature, including Holocaust and trauma studies; postcolonial literatures; medieval and early modern studies; Canadian literature; and American literature and cultural studies. Our faculty members publish on translation theory, 18th century, graphic novels, performance theory and practice, homoerotic poetry in the Renaissance, experimental poetry, and medieval manuscripts, among many others. In 2014, the department will see the investiture of a new Canadian Research Chair in Creative Writing.

Calgary offers a strong, established and distinctive graduate program. We provide instruction and supervision at the MA and PhD levels in all traditional historical periods of literature; in American, Canadian, post-colonial and diaspora literatures; and in new approaches from feminist theory to eco-criticism. A special strength of our program is creative writing: we are the only program in Canada and one of the few in North America to offer both MA and PhD students the option of presenting a creative thesis, and our endowed Calgary Distinguished Writers Program supports an annual writer residency and frequent visits by writers of international stature. Our students present conference papers all over the world; our creative-writing graduates (and students) are winning prizes in every genre; our graduates are in tenure-track positions across the country; and our MA and PhD students have careers in publishing, business, and government.

We invite you to consider applying to the University of Calgary's graduate program in English. Our graduate program is rigorous, energetic, and lively. Our primary interest is serious scholarship, and students in our program enjoy a dynamic, engaged scholarly community with a widely respected research-driven faculty and internationally known creative-writing faculty.

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Creative Writing Option

The creative writing option allow students admitted to the Creative Writing stream also take courses that lead to publishable manuscripts, while simultaneously undertaking a critical academic program. MA and PhD theses are full-length creative works in a range of genres. Our students participate in Calgary's highly energetic writing community, and students edit fillingStation and Nōd, literary journals with local and national followings.

Funding and Support

We provide strong support for our students through mentoring and competitive funding packages at the MA and PhD levels. A substantial number of local scholarships and awards are available above base-line funding and we provide grants-writing training. As well, the University of Calgary supports student research and conference travel at both the MA and PhD levels. We offer Teaching Assistantships along with pedagogical training.

Departmental Strengths and Advantages

  • The Calgary Distinguished Writers program, which hosts internationally renowned authors and supports emerging Canadian writers
  • Significant editorial scholarship; see Broadview Press for publications by editors from our graduate department.
  • Close ties to the Banff Centre of the Arts
  • ARIEL, one of international literature's foremost journals. Research Assistantships are available for students wishing to work on ARIEL
  • Free Exchange, an international graduate student conference, run entirely by our graduate students
  • Research Groups in various fields (eg: Postcolonial; Medieval and Early Modern Studies; Creative Writing), which welcome graduate student participation.


If you have questions or would like to speak to someone in your area of interest, please email Dr. Aruna Srivastava, Associate Head (Graduate Program) ( or Carole Taylor, Graduate Program Administrator ( For more general information on the University of Calgary Graduate program, see the current Graduate Calendar.