Department of English

University of Toronto

MA Program

Graduate Programs - MA ProgramRobarts Library

The MA in English at the University of Toronto is a one-year program. Although we do not offer teaching assistantships to students in the MA Program and can only offer limited financial aid to MA students, many of our MA students are supported by prestigious external awards, including Ontario Graduate Scholarships and Canada Graduate Scholarships. The department also offers unrivalled help to MA students applying for fellowships for further graduate study. As you begin your planning, you should be aware that the tuition fee for the 2021-22 academic year was $7979.99 for full-time domestic students and $28,733.99 for full-time international students, as posted on the current SGS tuition fee schedules page (

Current MA students who are planning to apply to PhD programs are strongly encouraged to apply for SSHRC and OGS awards in preparation for first-year doctoral studies. Deadlines for applications to external awards often precede the program application deadline, so your first step should be to consider applying for financial support. For more information, see the sections on Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council: Canada Graduate Scholarships - Masters (SSHRC CGS-M) and Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) in Financial Information. In the past, incoming MA students have been particularly successful at winning SSHRC  CGS-Ms (8 successful students in in 2019-20, 12 in 2020-21, and 15 in 2021-22, worth $17,500 per student over twelve months).

Entry into the MA program requires an appropriate bachelor's degree [i.e. a 4-year undergraduate degree] or its equivalent, (preferably in English) with a minimum GPA of 3.3 (B+average). Students also need a minimum of 7 full (full-year) courses or the equivalent of full-year and half-year courses in English. Evidence of first-class work (A) in some English courses and a course (or a half course) in the following major periods would strengthen the student's application:  Medieval, Renaissance non-dramatic, Renaissance dramatic, 18th-century and Romantic (or Victorian). While historical coverage is especially important, a strong grounding in the major literary genres is also an asset, as is study in the varieties of literary writing in English, across national cultures and ethnic/racialized, gendered, and sexually diverse communities. Admission to the program is highly selective: these are minimum requirements only. In considering applications, the Department favours a broad training in the major genres and periods of English literature.

The MA program usually requires twelve months to complete. Candidates are required to complete the equivalent of 3.0 full courses (6 one-term courses) in English plus Critical Topographies: Theory and Practice of Contemporary Literary Studies in English (note that MA CRW students are not required to take this course). A minimum of a B- must be attained in each course.

With the approval of the MA Associate Director, MA students may take up to 1.0 FCE of coursework (one full-year or two one-term courses) outside of the Graduate Program in English.

Courses that are cross-listed by English from other departments are equivalent to English courses and may be taken without special permission from the Department.

For further information about your application and our program, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

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