Applicants to the M.A. programs should hold an Honors B.A. in English or in English combined with another subject. They should have achieved at least an A minus average in the Honors English courses of their B.A. program.
Students with a general three-year B.A.are required to take enough courses at the undergraduate level in order to upgrade their degree to a four year Honors degree before applying to our M.A. programs. Students needing to do this should contact an Academic Counsellor in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (or the equivalent at their home university) to determine the procedure and requirements necessary.
A candidate for the M.A. in English may select any of three programs: four full courses (or an equivalent combination of full and half courses) and English 9002 (Bibliography and Textual Studies); three courses, an independent research project of approximately 50 pages, and English 9002; or two courses, a thesis of approximately 100 pages, and English 9002. In any case, the program should be completed in three terms (one calendar year) of full-time registration.
In addition to the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (as given in the Calendar on the University's website at http://grad.uwo.ca/), the following rules govern students wishing to take an M.A. in English. These rules will be applied and interpreted by the Department of English through its Committee on Graduate Studies.
The standard for admission to the M.A. program is an Honors B.A. in English, with a minimum of twenty full-year undergraduate courses or their equivalent in semester courses, including at least six full-year Honors English courses or their equivalent in semester courses. Applicants with a Combined Honors or Double Major degree including English will also be considered, provided they have taken a range of courses comparable to those in a single Honors program.
The applicant's six courses at the Honors level must be distributed in such a way as to cover at least five of the following six areas of English Language or Literature:
On entering the graduate program, students will be assigned a Faculty Mentor by the Chair of Graduate Studies. The mentor/student relationship is largely informal and intended to provide students with a designated member of the Graduate Faculty whom they may approach with questions relating to their graduate education and welfare, especially in the first year. Students may consult with their Faculty Mentors as much or as little as need arises. The role of the Faculty Mentor does not replace that of either the Chair of Graduate Studies or the Committee on Graduate Studies. The Mentor will not necessarily serve as the student’s thesis or project supervisor.
All M.A. students are required to take at least one half-course at the graduate level before 1900. With approval from the Chair of Graduate Studies, up to the equivalent of one full course that directly relates to a student's field of interest may be taken from another graduate program (examples of eligible programs include French, Classics, Modern Languages, Comparative Literature, Women's Studies, Theory and Criticism, History, Political Studies, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, and Philosophy). Students holding a teaching assistantship may register for only three full (or equivalent) courses per term in the Fall/Winter session and must take the other full course (or equivalent) in the succeeding Summer session. Permission to take an additional undergraduate course may be given where it is needed to fulfill the language requirement (see Item IX).
Four full (or equivalent) graduate courses and one half-course in bibliographical methods.
Three full (or equivalent) graduate courses, one half-course in bibliographical methods, and an independent research project of approximately 50 pages. A student choosing this program will register in course work and in an independent research project (English 9005). The prospectus for the independent research project (see # IV below) must be approved by the student's supervisor and submitted to the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies no later than the second-last week of September.
During the Winter term, and by the end of Reading Week in February, the supervisor will receive a satisfactory Working Bibliography and a detailed outline of the entire project from the student. The supervisor will notify the Committee on Graduate Studies, through the graduate assistant, that these have been submitted and are satisfactory. In the event that this cannot be completed satisfactorily by the deadline, the student must abandon the IRP and will instead enroll in a Summer Term course.
The student will complete and submit the project by approximately 1 August. The IRP will have a supervisor and an examiner who determines the grade after consultation with the supervisor.The examiner will communicate the grade to the Chair of Graduate Studies via the graduate assistant no later than 24 August. There is no oral defense of the independent research project.
Two full (or equivalent) graduate courses, one half-course in bibliographical methods, and a thesis of approximately 100 pages. The prospectus for the thesis (see # V below) must be approved by the student's supervisor and submitted to the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies via the graduate assistant no later than the second-last week of September.
English 9002 is a compulsory half-course for all students in the M.A. year or in a Ph.D. program. A student who regards his or her previous training in bibliography and textual studies as satisfactory must arrange to see the course instructor, who will assess that previous training and determine whether or not the student must take English 9002. This course will include study of annotation, the history and nature of textual scholarship in English, documents, the history of book production, printing, and editing.
English 9002 is marked on a pass-fail basis; the passing grade is 60%. Any student receiving less than this grade is entitled either to write the examination again the next time it is given or to take the course again. Whichever option is chosen, the student must pass the course at the second attempt and will be asked to leave the program if he or she fails to do so.
The standard for progression in the M.A. program is 78% based on the final marks in the Fall and Winter terms. A student who does not achieve this average (and see also the regulation below on Term Work) may be required to take additional courses or to withdraw from the program, at the discretion of the Committee on Graduate Studies.
Summer support for students writing M.A. theses or independent research projects will be contingent upon submission of a substantial and acceptable portion (for example, a twenty-five page chapter) by the end of the Winter term (April 30). Thesis/project advisors will report to the Graduate Chair whether this condition has been met.
The Graduate Faculty in English has set the following deadlines for the completion of term work in graduate courses:
Any instructor is entitled to set a deadline prior to those established by the Graduate Faculty in English, and it will have the same force and carry the same penalty as the Department deadline.
Any student who has not submitted all required work by the deadline will receive an F in the course, and his or her registration in subsequent graduate courses (i.e., progression in the program) will be subject to review by the Committee on Graduate Studies. Exceptions to this rule will be made only on medical or compassionate grounds that are established to the satisfaction of the Committee on Graduate Studies. Those intending to ask for extensions on such grounds should do so at least a week before the deadline.
If a student is dissatisfied with judgments rendered by the instructor, the student should try to resolve the differences with the instructor. The student must consult with the instructor in this way before he or she launches a formal appeal.
If, after such discussions, the student is still not satisfied, he or she can appeal part or all of the course. The student can inform the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies at any time during the course, or up to six weeks after the final marks are submitted, that he or she intends to appeal one or more assignments, but normally the Committee will wait until the course is over and the instructor has submitted all marks before acting on the appeal, and it will consider the appeal in the context of the entire course.
The Chair can, at the student's request, act on the appeal before the end of the course, but the student should understand that normally the instructor will be notified at that time of the appeal.
The proceedings of the appeal hearing are confidential.
Specific circumstances pertaining to individual courses may make it necessary for these procedures to be modified at the discretion of the Committee on Graduate Studies or its Chair.
By the time they complete the MA program, students must provide evidence that they have a reading knowledge of at least one language other than English.
Languages acceptable to the Department come into the following categories:
The requirement can normally be satisfied in one of the following ways.
Responsibility for finding a means of satisfying the requirement in the chosen language rests with the student. In practice, unless the student already has competence in the chosen language, it will be advisable to select languages that are supported by staffing and instruction at the University of Western Ontario.
In exceptional cases, satisfaction of the above requirements notwithstanding, the Committee on Graduate Studies may rule that further study of a language is required because of the specific demands of the chosen area of research for the Thesis or Independent Research Project.
A reading course is one in which the student will meet an instructor regularly (a minimum of twenty-five hours is required for a full course and thirteen hours for a half-course) to discuss his or her progress in following a prescribed reading list. A candidate may be allowed to take up to one full course as a reading course as one of the graduate courses prescribed for the M.A. if he or she is able to find an instructor willing to direct such a course and if the Committee on Graduate Studies approves. The approval and commencement of reading courses (which in all other respects conform to departmental specifications) is contingent upon a student's being in good standing in other graduate courses (i.e., assignments are handed in on time and are satisfactory). Course content, assignments and student-teacher consultation are expected to be equivalent in weight to regularly offered courses. A reading course must be approved by the Committee on Graduate Studies prior to the commencement of the course. An outline (description) of the proposed course, briefly explaining its purpose, listing the texts to be studied, and including the evaluation scheme should be submitted to the Chair of Graduate Studies at least four weeks before the term in which the course is to be taken. The instructor should have indicated approval of this proposal by adding a signature to it.
Each graduate course instructor will decide whether or not the course has a final examination.
Detailed procedures and regulations concerning theses are available at http://www.uwo.ca/english/graduate/thesisreg.html. An MA thesis must normally not exceed 25,000 words, including bibliography and other apparatus.
Please see submission deadlines on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website at http://grad.uwo.ca/current_students/thesis_regulations/section_5.htm.
It is emphasized that the responsibility for following the rules printed here, the regulations of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies printed in the Calendar (available on their website at http://grad.uwo.ca/calendar.htm), and the rules of the University Library regarding format of the thesis rests on the candidate.