At a glance:

Application and document submission deadline

  • Domestic applications: July 1 (for admission in September) *deadline extended from February 1 to July 1 (as of April 11, 2022)
  • International applications: February 1 (for admission in September)

Graduate research fields

  • Experimental Digital Media
  • Genres
  • Literary Theory and Discourse Analysis
  • Rhetoric

Minimum admission requirements

  • Students may be admitted to the PhD program upon completion of an MA program in English. Although candidates normally enter PhD studies from Master's programs, it is possible for outstanding candidates to enter directly from an Honours Bachelor of Arts (BA). Because enrolment in the program is limited, only candidates with an 85% average and up will be considered. Applicants should also complete a Plan of Study detailing plans for their PhD studies and describing their goals once their studies are completed.
  • Three academic references
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if applicable. TOEFL 100 (writing 26, speaking 26), IELTS 7.5 (writing 7.0, speaking 7.0)

Approximate tuition, fees, and living costs

  • To determine the tuition and incidental fees per term for your program, visit the Graduate program tuition page on the Finance website. Once you are on the page:
    • Choose your program type: master’s & diploma programs or doctoral programs
    • Choose your residency status: Canadian/permanent resident or international
    • Choose a term (tuition amounts for future terms are posted approximately two months prior to the start of each term and incidental fees are subject to change)
    • Find your program under the appropriate faculty. Tuition amounts are listed per term, with three terms occurring over the course of a year.
  • Review the study and living costs

Due to funding restrictions, the Faculty of Arts is currently limiting the number of international students we can admit. Please contact the department's Associate Chair, Graduate Studies prior to applying to discuss your interest in this program.


This video by Waterloo English Language and Literature PhD student Jason Lajoie placed 2nd in the 2019 GRADflix competition.