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Graduate --> Prospective Students

The online application for FALL 2018 admission closed on December 15.  

We will begin accepting applications for Fall 2019 in September 2018.

Thank you for considering the University of Calgary for graduate study in English. We offer two MA degrees and a PhD degree with the specialization Literature in English. All degrees have creative writing options. Please browse our faculty member profiles and department research interests, as well as information about our MA and PhD programs (see Program Information). For general information about graduate studies at the University of Calgary, please check the Faculty of Graduate Studies site.  International students (visa students), please see specific information at

For help with the application process, consult Dr. Suzette Mayr, Associate Head (Graduate Studies) ( or Carole Taylor, Graduate Program Administrator (

How To Apply

Prospective students must apply to our program through the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application system at

The Faculty of Graduate Studies offers awards to new student through the annual Entrance Competition (see Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship) and a wide variety of awards for all graduate students, funded from a variety of sources. 

The application link will be active in early September for admission in September of the following year.   The application deadline is December 15. Writing sample(s), English proficiency reports (if applicable) and other supporting documents are due by January 10.

Reference letters, uploaded to our online system by referees, along with official transcripts, are due no later than January 10.  Allow at least 15 business days for mailing your transcripts and any other supporting documents.

Read Tips for applying to graduate school for important advice on applications, statements of intent, letters of references and CVs.

Supporting Documents

  • Two letters of reference. Two references from referees prepared to attest in detail to your academic ability and suitability for our program.  Your referees will be asked to provide their reference via an online system, directly to your application. Once you have submitted your application for admission, an automatic notice will be emailed to your referees with instructions on how to upload their completed reference to your file. Due date is January 10.   
  • Transcripts. Two official sets of transcripts (and degree certificates from those institutions that do not indicate the awarding of degrees on the transcript) from all post-secondary institutions attended, regardless of the number of courses taken or the amount of time spent there. This includes any short-term enrolment, courses taken for upgrading, transfer credit, 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.  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 will be able to access the online student record) Due date is January 10.   
  • Writing Sample. Upload a sample of your critical writing (5 -10 pages) and, if, you hope to do a creative writing thesis, also submit a sample of your creative writing (5-10 pages).  Please note: If you are applying to the creative writing stream, both a critical and creative writing sample must be submitted.  Please upload your two writing samples as one file (combine the two).  The system will overwrite the first sample with the second sample if they are uploaded separately.  Due date is January 10. 
  • 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. Please consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies minimum English language proficiency for graduate students.  Due date for ELP results is January 10. 
  • Statement of Intent. Please provide a statement of intent (no more than 600 words if applying to a PhD program and, no more than 400 words if applying to an MA program), detailing your academic experience and your plans for graduate study in this department, and focussing especially on your research interests. Please be very specific about what area(s) you wish to pursue your studies in: 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. This should be part of your Statement of Intent. Due date for your Statement of Intent is December 15
  • CV. PhD applicants only: please include an up-to-date CV.  Due date for your CV is January 10.

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee is charged for each application to a graduate degree program. This fee is required whether or not you are admitted to the University of Calgary. Applications will only be processed once the fee has been paid in full by December 15th.

Note: Do not send cash. You can pay by Visa, American Express, or MasterCard. You may also pay through online banking, certified cheque, money order or wire transfer made payable to the University of Calgary.The application fee is CDN $125 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and CDN $145 for international students who would be attending on a Study Permit.


Students who cannot attend in the year for which they have been accepted may request a deferral for one year; otherwise, should they wish to enter our graduate program in subsequent sessions, they must re-apply.


Future students may review the regulations governing graduate work set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and related best practices on the "Managing my Program" website.  On matters affecting courses and academic work, incoming students should consult Dr. Suzette Mayr, Associate Head (Graduate Program). On matters affecting their duties as Graduate Assistants, they should consult Dr. Jacqueline Jenkins, Head of the Department. The Graduate Executive Committee is responsible for advising the Head on all aspects of the graduate program and student progress.

Mailing Address

All application materials must be sent to:

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