English & Writing StudiesWestern Arts and Humanities

PhD Program

Candidates for the PhD must have a strong first-class MA degree or its equivalent. Competition for entry into the PhD program is keen; successful applicants typically have excellent records. The PhD program usually consists of three full graduate courses (or an equivalent combination of full and half courses), qualifying examinations, field study, and a dissertation.

During the fall and winter terms of their first year in the PhD program, students are expected to complete their course work. They then begin in the summer term their preparation for the qualifying examinations (held in September and January of their second year). A Field Study (approximately 3500-5000 words in length) is completed by May 1st of year 2 and then the prospectus for the doctoral dissertation is submitted by May 31st, putting students in an excellent position to complete the research and writing of the dissertation by the end of their fourth year in the program. The schedule has recently been accelerated to enable students to achieve this goal.

Doctoral students and recent graduates from the Department of English and Writing Studies have been successful in winning postdoctoral fellowships, and many have exemplary publishing records. A number of graduates in recent years have had their revised dissertations published by prestigious academic presses.  Graduates of the Ph.D. program have been hired in tenure-track positions at such universities as Alberta, Bishop's, Brock, Carleton, Guelph, McMaster, Memorial, New Brunswick, Ottawa, Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier and Windsor. See our Graduate Placement Web Site for more information. To view the PhD Regulations in full, please click here.

PhD Program Overview

The PhD program consists of six basic elements: