The program information below was valid for the fall 2016 term (September 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016). This is the archived version; the most up-to-date program information is available through the current Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Length of program 
    • All requirements for the degree should be completed no later than six terms after a full-time graduate student has been admitted as a candidate.
  • Program type 
    • Master's
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • An Honours Bachelor's degree in English, or its equivalent, with an average of at least 78% in English courses, and at least 75% overall.
      • Those applying to the program but holding Honours degrees that combine English and another discipline may be admitted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
    • A Statement of Interest, no more than 500 words, explaining your reasons for applying to the program.
  • Application materials 
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      at least 2 academic

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students must complete the following 4 courses:
      • 2 courses designated as Literature
      • 1 course designated as Rhetoric and Communication Design or Experimental Digital Media
      • 1 elective course from either within or outside the Department
    • Students may include 2 extra-departmental graduate courses in their degree requirements, but these courses must be approved by the Graduate Committee. For a course outside the University of Waterloo, the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) form must be completed. For a course inside the University, the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee must approve. In either case, the Department’s Graduate Office must be supplied with a syllabus in electronic form and the course must be approved before the beginning of the term in which it is scheduled to run.
    • Reading courses may supplement regular offerings in the program, although it is understood that they will be given only in exceptional circumstances. Students are permitted to take only 1 reading course as part of the degree. If students can demonstrate that a reading course is necessary to their overall program, they may petition the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee to allow such an independent course. Directed reading courses must be designed and submitted to the Graduate Committee by the instructor in consultation with the student, and the course outline (with rationale, reading list, assignments and schedule) must be approved by the Graduate Committee in the term prior to the one in which the course is to be run.
    • In order to graduate, candidates must receive an average of at least 75% in their courses. If a student receives one failing grade or two grades lower than 70%, the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee will review their standing in the program and the student may be asked to withdraw from the program.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
  • Master's Language Requirement
    • Each candidate must attain or demonstrate basic competence subject to feasibility of testing by the University of Waterloo in a language other than English, excluding middle English but not Anglo-Saxon.
    • Proof of competence may take four forms:
      • Successful completion of two terms of beginning undergraduate study in the language.
      • Successful sitting of an exam at the appropriate level set by a department of the University.
      • Completion of degree-level study in that language at another university.
      • Evidence of other kinds that is deemed sufficient by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Master’s Thesis
    • Students electing the thesis option will be encouraged to have a thesis proposal approved by the end of the second academic term and the thesis bound and delivered by the end of the third academic term. The thesis will usually run from 80 to 100 pages of typescript. It will be evaluated by the supervisor and one other reader. Three copies of the approved thesis (agreeing in format with the Thesis Regulations and Guide issued by the Graduate Studies Office) will be submitted to the Graduate Office no later than five weeks before Convocation, either in the Spring or in the Fall.

    Master's Research Paper option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students must complete the following 6 courses:
      • 3 courses designated as Literature
      • 1 course designated as Rhetoric and Communication Design or Experimental Digital Media
      • 2 electives
    • Students may include 1 extra-departmental graduate course in their degree requirements, but these courses must be approved by the Graduate Committee. For a course outside the University of Waterloo, the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) form must be completed. For a course inside the University, the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee must approve. In either case, the Department’s Graduate Office must be supplied with a syllabus in electronic form and the course must be approved before the beginning of the term in which it is scheduled to run.
    • Reading courses may supplement regular offerings in the program, although it is understood that they will be given only in exceptional circumstances. Students are permitted to take only 1 reading course as part of the degree. If students can demonstrate that a reading course is necessary to their overall program, they may petition the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee to allow such an independent course. Directed reading courses must be designed and submitted to the Graduate Committee by the instructor in consultation with the student, and the course outline (with rationale, reading list, assignments and schedule) must be approved by the Graduate Committee in the term prior to the one in which the course is to be run.
    • In order to graduate, candidates must receive an average of at least 75% in their courses. If a student receives one failing grade or two grades lower than 70%, the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee will review their standing in the program and the student may be asked to withdraw from the program.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
  • Master's Language Requirement
    • Each candidate must attain or demonstrate basic competence subject to feasibility of testing by the University of Waterloo in a language other than English, excluding middle English but not Anglo-Saxon.
    • Proof of competence may take four forms:
      • Successful completion of two terms of beginning undergraduate study in the language.
      • Successful sitting of an exam at the appropriate level set by a department of the University.
      • Completion of degree-level study in that language at another university.
      • Evidence of other kinds that is deemed sufficient by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Master’s Research Paper
    • The Master’s Research Paper will be 40-50 pages long. It will be an in-depth inquiry into a problem in Literary Studies, and will situate the problem and proposed solutions in relation to selected aspects of the current state of knowledge. It may involve primary document research and will involve assessing the secondary literature on the topic. It will be supervised by a member of the faculty and have a second reader who is also a member of faculty, by who may belong to a different academic unit than English.
    • Students planning to complete their degree through this option should arrange a supervisor and a second reader and prepare a proposal and working bibliography for the approval of the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee before the end of the second academic term.

    Coursework option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students must complete the following 8 courses:
      • 4 courses designated as Literature
      • 1 course designated as Rhetoric and Communication Design or Experimental Digital Media
      • 3 electives
    • Students may include 1 extra-departmental graduate course in their degree requirements, but these courses must be approved by the Graduate Committee. For a course outside the University of Waterloo, the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) form must be completed. For a course inside the University, the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee must approve. In either case, the Department’s Graduate Office must be supplied with a syllabus in electronic form and the course must be approved before the beginning of the term in which it is scheduled to run.
    • Reading courses may supplement regular offerings in the program, although it is understood that they will be given only in exceptional circumstances. Students are permitted to take only 1 reading course as part of the degree. If students can demonstrate that a reading course is necessary to their overall program, they may petition the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee to allow such an independent course. Directed reading courses must be designed and submitted to the Graduate Committee by the instructor in consultation with the student, and the course outline (with rationale, reading list, assignments and schedule) must be approved by the Graduate Committee in the term prior to the one in which the course is to be run.
    • In order to graduate, candidates must receive an average of at least 75% in their courses. If a student receives one failing grade or two grades lower than 70%, the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee will review their standing in the program and the student may be asked to withdraw from the program.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
  • Master's Language Requirement
    • Each candidate must attain or demonstrate basic competence subject to feasibility of testing by the University of Waterloo in a language other than English, excluding middle English but not Anglo-Saxon.
    • Proof of competence may take four forms:
      • Successful completion of two terms of beginning undergraduate study in the language.
      • Successful sitting of an exam at the appropriate level set by a department of the University.
      • Completion of degree-level study in that language at another university.
      • Evidence of other kinds that is deemed sufficient by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee.