Master of Arts (MA)

Course-based program

Program overview

Creative and curious individuals seeking a one-year course-based graduate degree will find the English Literature program stimulating, challenging and rewarding. The program appeals to students interested in gaining a deeper understanding of topics in English and a rigorous set of research and writing skills ideal for future graduate study. Students learn from distinguished faculty members in a range of fields, including creative writing. Many of our prize-winning graduates have gone on to publish widely; others have gone on to PhDs and other professional programs nationally and internationally, as well as into successful careers in publishing, business, government and creative industries.

Completing this program

  • Core Course: Graduate Pro-seminar on critical skills and professional issues in graduate-level literary study.
  • Capstone project/course: Students propose and complete a final major research project of approximately 50 pages.


  • Literature in English (a Creative Writing option is available within this specialization)


Editing, publishing, law school and PhD studies, archival work, educational software, post-secondary teaching, college, university, government administration and policy, communications, technical writing, creative writing, digital and online publishing, non-profit organizations and NGOs.

A course-based master's degree in English is an excellent way to proceed quickly to a PhD.

Course-based program

Seven courses at the English 600 or 700 level beyond the Honours BA or equivalent.

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

One year full-time; two years maximum


No supervisor is required

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Admission requirements


A minimum admission grade point average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale over the final 60 units (10 full-course equivalents) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A completed four-year undergraduate program, or equivalent, with a Major in English Literature or in a closely related discipline.

Work samples

A 5-10 page sample of critical writing. For creative writing applicants, an additional 10-page sample of creative writing.


A statement of intent.

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

Canadians and permanent residents - apply by Dec. 15 | submit all supporting documents by Jan. 10

International students - apply by Dec. 15 | submit all supporting documents by Jan. 10

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of English

Social Sciences Building Room 1148

2500 University Drive NW

Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website