Application to the MA Program

The Department of English and Writing Studies considers graduate applications in coordination with the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Please consult their Admission Requirements and guidelines for Applying to Western. In addition, please carefully review our own Department of English Admission Requirements.

Applicants to MA programs at Western must possess a four-year degree from an accredited university. Applicants to the MA in English and Writing Studies must have a major or specialization in English, and have achieved an average of at least A- in this major. Students with a general three-year BA are required to upgrade their degree to a four-year Honors degree before applying to our MA program. Students needing to do this should contact an Academic Counselor in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (or the equivalent at their home university) to determine the procedure and requirements necessary.

Submitting Your Application

In order to apply to graduate studies at Western, it is important that you understand the essential elements of the Western graduate school application. No application will be considered until it is complete. The responsibility rests with the applicant to ensure that all documents (e.g., transcripts, letters of recommendation, test results such as TOEFL scores) are submitted by the program’s deadline for application.

Application Due Date for September admission: 

The deadline for applications is January 15 for admission the following September. Applications will be considered from exceptional candidates after that date only if places are still open. Please carefully read through our website for details of our MA program.

Further information on our graduate programs may be obtained by contacting Ms Leanne Trask, Graduate Coordinator:

The Application

The application process begins with the receipt of the application along with all supporting documents. In order to be considered for admission to our graduate program, the following information must be submitted as part of the online application process for consideration by the stated application deadline. These documents become part of Western's files and will not be returned to or copied for the applicant. A completed online application contains the following:

  • Personal Information
  • Academic History
  • Statement of academic intent
  • Electronic transcripts from each postsecondary institution attended
  • 2 Academic references
  • Application Fee
  • English Proficiency Test Score, if applicable
    (You must have the testing service send your score electronically to Western.)

Online Application

Prospective students are required to submit all applications materials electronically via the online application system.

To begin your online application, click the Apply Now button:

Online application button

Supporting Documents for an MA Applicant:

*Western requires that applicants submit all supporting documentation in a digital format as attachments to the online application.

1. References

Two letters of reference from referees who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. Upon entering referee information into the online application, our electronic reference system will automatically send an email directly to your referees requesting their electronic evaluation. No paper reference letters are required.

2. English Proficiency Test Score

An official English proficiency test score, if English is not your first language, taken within the past 2 years. Minimum test score requirements for the Department of English:
- TOEFL: 630 (paper), 267 (electronic) or 109 (internet) (Western's TOEFL ID is 0984.)
- IELTS: 8.0. - MELAB: 91 overall, with a minimum of 85 on each of the 3 parts, plus the oral/speaking component
- DUOLINGO: 135 overall (NB: we are currently accepting Duolingo for the 2021-22 application cycle only on a trial basis). To have your score sent automatically and directly to Western, please select "Western University - Graduate Studies" from the Institution list.

3. Transcripts

To support your application, you must upload one unofficial academic transcript from each postsecondary institution attended. If the transcript is not in English, a certified translation must also be included. (Non-English transcripts from institutions within Canada do not require a translation.) If you are offered a spot in our program, you will be required to submit hard copy official transcripts to our School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies from each postsecondary institution attended.

4. A Statement of Interest:

A statement of academic interest (approximately 300-500 words in length) will be uploaded as part of the online application. Please be sure your first and last names are part of the file name and are included on the first page of the Statement. This statement is not binding on your subsequent research.

5. Application fee of $120 (CDN) paid through the online application system.

Applications from Outside Canada

The Department of English welcomes applications from excellent international candidates. In the recent past, we have had students from China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and we recognize that cultural diversity among students in the program enhances the possibilities of intellectual and cultural exchange. The fees for international students are offset by Western Graduate Research Scholarships administered by the University. Many external awards, such as Commonwealth Scholarships, may be held at Western.

Admission Decision

Applicants who have been offered admission to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies can accept or decline their offers of admissions online through the Western Student Center. Login into the Student Center with the information provided with your Western Personal Computer Account and locate the Admissions grid. Select "Accept or Decline." Applicants should also be sure to carefully read the Offer of Admission letter posted by SGPS as well as the departmental offer letter posted by the program to their Student Centre account as they may indicate conditions that must be satisfied before they are officially enrolled.


Students who have voluntarily withdrawn or who have been withdrawn and wish to return to complete their program must formally apply for re-admission via our online application. Credit for previous work completed must be approved by the program and SGPS.