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 M.A. programs at Western must possess a four-year degree from an accredited university. Applicants to the M.A. 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 B.A.are required to upgrade their degree to a four-year Honours degree before applying to our M.A. 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 Leanne Trask, Graduate Assistant:
When emailing, please indicate if you are inquiring about our MA or our PhD program, and be sure to fill in the subject line on your email so that your message is not automatically deleted by our SPAM filters.

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 and on file for consideration in the department by the stated application deadline. These documents become part of Western's files and will not be returned to or copied for the applicant. All application requirements, aside from the application, must be submitted directly to our program. Transcripts and test scores must be official. To apply for admission, a completed application must be submitted, providing Western with the following:

  • Biographical information
  • Contact information
  • Statement of academic intent
  • Academic background
  • Electronic transcripts
  • 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 now 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.

3. Transcripts

To support your application, you must upload one unofficial academic transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. If the transcript and degree certificate are 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 to our School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies hard copy official transcripts 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 $100 (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 substantial Western Graduate Research Scholarships administered by the University. Many external awards, such as Commonwealth Scholarships, may be held at Western in conjunction with a Teaching Assistantship.

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 to their Student Centre account as it 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 application. Credit for previous work completed must be approved by the program and SGPS.