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English Graduate Degrees

What Makes Queen’s Distinctive?

Small, Intensive Learning Spaces

The graduate seminar is the entry point to our program.

Capped at twelve students, the graduate seminars foster focused engagement with literary texts, cultural media, theory, and pressing issues of the humanities.

Peer to Peer Learning

Learning with and from peers is important to the graduate experience, so our courses are:

  • Exclusive to graduate students and designed to encourage participation in an intellectual community.
  • Guided to produce questions as well as answers; they cultivate the importance of contributing to the intellectual development of their classmates as well as pursuing their own set of research questions.

Literary Internship

The Literary Internship in the MA year to explore literary-related careers.

MA students have the opportunity of applying for one of our literary internships with such organizations as Kingston WritersFest, the Strathy Language Unit, or McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Research Forums

Our program provides a unique practical environment to develop professional skills and engage with various scholars through the research forum, which includes:

  • 3 forums per term
  • Scholars visiting from other universities and disciplines
  • A thorough selection process of visiting researchers to pertain to the interests/areas of study of our current graduate student cohorts

Variety of Seminar Options and Disciplines

Though a medium-sized program, we offer a number of dedicated graduate seminars that is on par with larger programs: in a typical year, course offerings cover the range of historical periods, and literary genres from medieval drama to contemporary comics.

Our slate of innovative theme-oriented courses evolves each year, responsive to intellectual developments in the field.

Many of the most exciting contemporary intellectual movements such as:

  • postcolonial studies,
  • gender studies,
  • critical race theory,
  • queer theory,

have emerged from or been significantly shaped by writers from the field of English. Our program offers students to explore all the above areas of study and more!

Publishing Practicum

The Publishing Practicum is a course which bridges the gap between course essays and academic journal articles.

This initiative was designed by the English Department to foster the early professionalization of our MPhil and PhD students and to provide a competitive advantage in the academic job market and national scholarship competitions.

Special Topics Presentation

The PhD program is renowned for its Special Topic Presentation, an event in which second year PhDs present their research to the Department as the culminating part of their qualifying exams.

Teaching and Pedagogical Training

Teaching and Pedagogical training is offered at every level of our program! As graduate students move through the levels of their programs, they acquire a range of pedagogical skills and increased confidence, independence, and pleasure in the classroom.

Alongside our ENGL 800/900 Professional and Pedagogical Skills course, every graduate student participates in teaching assistantships.

Specialized Training for Inclusivity and Diversity in the Classroom

For EDII pedagogical training:

  • workshops from specialists in indigenous, decolonizing, and antiracist pedagogies.

Training to foster inclusivity in the classroom through innovative syllabi, assessments and pedagogical approaches.

Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching assistantships at Queen's are governed by PSAC Local 901 , the union that engages in collective bargaining to work towards ensuring fair working conditions and responsible labour practices for graduate students.

Teaching assistantships are:

  1. A required part of the graduate funding package
  2. An excellent opportunity for employment and experience and
  3. Guaranteed for the entirety of the MA and MPhil programs, and the first 4 years of the PhD program

The teaching assistantships with the Department of English is unique because of our stepped pedagogical experience and every graduate student participates in teaching assistantships.

MA/MPhil/PhD Year 1 to 2

TAs at this level of study employ their skills in essay writing to assist undergraduate students in developing composition technique and in assessment to grade assignments and deliver meaningful feedback to students.

Paid Teaching Opportunity

MA, MPhil, and beginning PhD students participate in Teaching Assistantships that typically range from 76 to 88 hours a term

Balancing Coursework

Far less onerous than the TAships of English programs at other Universities, our TAships foster pedagogical development while allowing for graduate students to immerse themselves in their own coursework and research as they begin their degree.

PhD Years 2 to 4

PhD candidates at this level of study typically organize their own weekly tutorial sections of approximately 25-28 students. Tutorial leaderships offer first-hand teaching experience where graduate students learn how to manage a classroom independently and develop one-on-one relationships with their students.

PhD Years 4 or 5

PhD candidates at this level of study embark on a Teaching Fellowship in which advanced PhD students generate a topic, compose a syllabus and teach their own course, supported by junior classmates as TAs.

Department of English, Queen's University

Watson Hall
49 Bader Lane
Kingston ON K7L 3N6

Telephone (613) 533-2153


Telephone (613) 533-6000 ext. 74446 extension 74446


Telephone (613) 533-6000 ext. 74447 extension 74447

Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.