Applying For GradUate School
Information for Students APplying to Graduate Studies
Students interested in applying to graduate programs should get started in the process of applying for grants as early in the year as possible. Early in the Fall Term, the English Department holds information sessions on choosing graduate programs and applying for grants. But the time-frame thereafter is short, so the following information is intended to help you prepare beforehand. In particular, students should being working well before this on their plans of study and on securing letters of reference.
Within the English Department, the main resource people for the application process are:
Lovorka Fabek-Fischer, Graduate Assistant
Prof. Scott-Morgan Straker, Chair of Undergraduate Studies
Office: Watson 436
Leslie Ritchie, Graduate Coordinator
Office: 427 Watson
Ask the professors who know you and your work best for letters of reference, and feel free to consult them for advice on writing statements of interest and plans of study.
How, Why, & Where to Apply
Queen's Graduate English web pages: APPLYING TO QUEEN'S (AND ELSEWHERE)
General Advice: The following resources are strongly recommended to all students considering graduate study in English. They will be of particular interest to students pursuing graduate study in the US, but much of what they say is universally valid.
- Preparing for Graduate School in English (University of Washington)
- Graduate School (Career Center, University of California, Berkeley)
- Collected Wisdom and Shared Knowledge (Association of English Graduate Students, Marquette University)
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE): The GRE must be written by all applicants to American graduate programs.
Funding: OGS & CGS
Undergraduates who have an average of 80 or better on their best ten credits for years 2 and 3 can apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGSs); to apply for the Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGSs), which are awarded by SSHRC, they must have an average of 80 or better on all credits for each of two most recent years in university. But in practice, to be competitive for either award, one's average should be somewhat higher than this (low to high 80s, depending on the competition in any particular year). The deadline for the OGS is earlier, but it makes sense to order transcripts and request letters of reference for both awards at the same time. In any case it is important to leave your referees enough time to do their job.
You can still apply to some graduate programs in English if your average is below 80, and some programs offer internal funding to successful applicants. For details, check the websites of the relevant programs.
How to apply:
Detailed instructions and application forms (available as fillable PDFs) can be found on following web sites:
Both OGS and CGS applications must be filed at the Queen’s English Department office rather than sent to the institution to which you are applying. Even if you fill out your applications online, you will need to print out paper copies to deliver to Lovorka Fabek-Fischer (411 Watson).
Before contacting possible referees, be sure to print out, fill out, and sign the Reference Letter Request Form so you can present copies to your possible referees with other relevant materials. Professors writing letters are required to have this signed form, and they have the right to refuse to complete a letter of reference without it. It is your responsibility, not theirs, to make sure that this form is completed and signed.
Try to finish your Program of Study (for the CGS) or Statement of Interest (for the OGS) well ahead of the submissions deadline so that you have time to run it by an advisor (one or more of the contacts listed above) and to revise it if need be. After the final submission date, Lovorka Fabek-Fischer will check through your applications for completeness, but it will be too late for changes.
|ASAP||Send for transcripts; contact potential referees to ask if they are willing to write a strong letter of support (do not forget to fill out the REFERENCE LETTER REQUEST FORM (PDF 205KB). Ask potential referees if they will be willing to read a draft of your “Plan of Study” or “Statement of Interest.” Draft these.|
|September||Attend workshop on applying for grad schools.|
|First week of October||Complete the information section of the Letter of Appraisal form (SSHRCC) and Reports 1 and 2 (OGS) in type, and send paper copies to your referees. Let your referees know what your area of interest is and send a draft of your plan/statement; let them know you'll send a final copy of the latter as soon as it is done, if desired. Reference letters from professors who have read your program of study tend to be stronger and more persuasive than from those who have not. It is essential, therefore, to aim to have your plan of study written as early as possible so that your referees can make use of it in their letter.|
|Mid October||Have at least one of your referees or the grad chair read through a fully developed draft before settling on the final version. The final draft of the program of study should be completed by this date at the latest (send as an email text/attachment, again giving as much time as possible for referees to write their letters).|
|Monday, 17 October||Type/print your application forms and check them for accuracy.|
|Wednesday, 19 October||OGS final submission deadline. Give your complete OGS file to Lovorka Fabek-Fischer (Watson 411).|
|Late October (precise date TBA)||CGS final submission deadline. Give your complete CGS file to Lovorka Fabek-Fischer (Watson 411).|
Note: Please have your letters of reference and transcripts (one copy per application for each university you have attended) sent directly to Lovorka Fabek-Fischer, Dept. of English, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6. Please feel free to check with her concerning the status of your application—i.e., whether all your transcripts and references have arrived.
Page last updated June 23, 2011