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Prospective Students

Thank you for considering the University of Calgary for graduate studies. The Department of English offers two Master of Arts degrees and a Doctoral degree with the specialization Literature in English. Browse our faculty member profiles and department research interests for further information about areas of study. All degrees have creative writing options.

The Department of English will begin accepting applications in mid-September for admission in the following Fall term (September). Read Tips for Applying to Graduate School. Deadlines: December 15 for the online application & January 10 for supporting documents.

For general information, see the Future Students website. The Faculty of Graduate Studies offers awards to new student through the annual Entrance Awards Competition and a wide variety of awards for all graduate students, funded from various sources. See also Funding Opportunities.

Read the information below. Applications are submitted through the Faculty of Graduate Studies online system.

Online application due by December 15

  • We recommend that you have all your pertinent information on hand before starting the application to ensure your entries are accurate.  You can cut/paste your Statement of Intent from a word document. Once you submit your application, you will receive instructions on how to upload your supporting documents.
  • Statement of Intent. Provide your statement (for PhD applicants, no more than 600 words; for MA applicants, no more than 400 words) detailing your academic experience and your plans for graduate study in this department, and focusing especially on your research interests. Please be very specific about what area(s) you wish to study:  e.g. Canadian, Medieval, Early Modern, Restoration and 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, American, Postcolonial, Critical Theory, Genre, Gender Studies, Creative Writing, etc. Choose a primary area that best fits your research plans. Be sure to read the “Tips” document mentioned above.

Supporting Documents due by January 10

  • Unofficial transcripts. Upload clean, legible copies of all official transcripts (include the grade scale).The documents you upload will be consulted during the admissions process therefore, it is important that what you upload is a copy of an official transcript (not a summary of grades). 
  • References. Provide two references from referees prepared to attest in detail to your academic ability and suitability for our program. Contact your referees ahead of time. It is customary to give them at least one month’s notice. Once you have submitted your online application, an automatic notice will be emailed to your referees with their link to the required documents and with instructions on how to upload their completed reference directly to your file.    
  • Official Transcripts. Provide one set of official transcripts and any related documents from ALL post-secondary institutions attended, regardless of the number of courses taken, or whether the degree was completed at that institution. Include any short-term enrolment, courses for upgrading, transfer credit, exchange, and any previous attendance at the University of Calgary. The university considers it a very serious matter if you do not list ALL your academic history in your application.  Degree certificates are needed from institutions that do not indicate the awarding of degrees on the transcript. Transcripts and degree certificates issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by certified, word-for-word English translations. To be considered official, all academic records must be received in envelopes that have been sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution. (For work done at the University of Calgary, our program can access the online student record of enrollment). Arrange to have all your official transcripts and any other supporting document delivered to the Department of English Graduate Program Office at the address below.
  • Writing Sample. Upload a sample of your critical writing (5 -10 pages) and, if you hope to do a creative writing thesis, also include a sample of your creative writing (5-10 pages). Note: If you are applying to the creative writing stream, both a critical and creative writing sample must be submitted.  Upload your writing sample(s) as one file (combine the two).  The system will overwrite the first sample with the second sample if they are uploaded separately. 
  • English Language Proficiency. For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English (usually those whose primary language is not English) test reports are needed, showing a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based), 105 (Internet-based test), MELAB score of 86, an IELTS score of 7.5 (with no band less than 7.0), or a PTE score of 75. The tests must have been taken within the last two years. Students are advised that near-native fluency is required for success in our program. 
  • PhD applicants only: upload your up-to-date C.V.
  • PhD applicants only: if you have submitted an application to SSHRC, upload the research proposal and bibliography portion of your application.


Mailing Address: 

Carole Taylor, Graduate Program Administrator
Department of English, SS 1148
University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW
Calgary AB Canada T2N 1N4
Tel 403-220-5484