Building IvyAbout our Graduate Department

The Graduate English Department, with more than 70 full-time faculty members and approximately 150 graduate students, was formed under the direction of A.S.P. Woodhouse in 1947 (although the first graduate degree was awarded in 1910). The success of its faculty and graduates alike contributes to its prestigious reputation as one of the strongest and most diverse graduate programs in North America. The distinguished graduate faculty represents a wide array of approaches to the study of literature that includes both rigorous historical scholarship and the innovations of new theoretical, cultural, and interdisciplinary methods. The research of recently hired faculty in African Literature, Queer Theory, Indigenous Literature, Asian North American Literature, and Gender Studies frequently intersects with the interests of faculty who work in historical periods, producing new clusters of expertise and fresh conjunctions of inquiry. 

This rich variety is exemplified in the thirty or more graduate courses that are offered every year in the Department on such topics as The Medieval Vernacular Book; Renaissance Tragedy; The Meditative Tradition in Western Literature and Art; Henry Fielding; Romanticism and Empire; Popular American Lyric; Theorizing Asian North American Studies: Globalization and Nation; Literary History and Identity Politics; and Poetry of Decolonization and Diaspora. These offerings are supplemented by the many courses offered in other affiliated departments and Specializations such as Collaborative Specializations in Book History and Print Culture, Diaspora and Transnational Studies, Environmental Studies, Jewish Studies, Sexual Diversity Studies, South Asian Studies, Women & Gender Studies, and Women's Health. Robarts Library, one of the best university libraries in North America, provides a superb resource for scholarships. It is augmented by a number of specialized libraries, including the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

The Department offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts (MA), the Master of Arts (MA) in the Field of Creative Writing, and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. The programs aim to provide graduate students with a broad background in Canadian, British, American, and Global Literatures in English as well as a foundational knowledge of literary and critical theory. Critical Topographies, for incoming MA students, is a required course that provides students with a set of maps with which to understand the discipline and its research methods (note that MA CRW students are not required to take this course). The Essential Skills Workshop Series is mandatory for the incoming cohort of doctoral students, introducing the essential skills they will need in order to succeed in the PhD Program in English and beyond. Another mandatory course for doctoral students in pedagogical theory and practice, Teaching Literature, prepares them to be effective teachers, and our Placement Officer offers workshops and other more targeted and individual forms of support that equip advanced students for the job market and teach the professional skills they will need throughout the academic career.The Department has an excellent record of placing its graduates in tenure-track positions in Canada, the United States, and abroad.

Follow the links below for more information about the Graduate Department.