School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies


English PhD students



"I have been at Queen’s for both my M.A. & Ph.D, and I can say it’s an outstanding program. The library collections are among the best in the country. The size of the program is ideal; it’s large to allow for courses on a wide range of subjects, but small enough to maintain an intimate seminar atmosphere. And, probably most importantly, the faculty are both accomplished and approachable at the same time.”- Andrew Mckendry, Ph.D (2013)

Program Contact

Lovorka Fabek-Fischer
Graduate Assistant
Department of English
Queen's University
49 Bader Lane. Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.2153


Program Overview

The English Department at Queen’s University is a professionally oriented research department whose faculty members are distinguished by both scholarly prowess and teaching excellence. Students in the MA, MPhil and the PhD programs take courses that involve a wide range of critical methodologies, historical periods, and literary genres; they also take a pedagogical and professional skills course that ranges from academic counselling to grant applications to mentoring undergraduate students. Queen’s English students have superb success rates in national scholarship competitions and in securing tenure-track positions upon graduation.


Throughout the year, a variety of events offer graduate students the opportunity to enrich their experience at Queen’s. Students can participate in conferences, graduate colloquia, and an array of discussion groups. The Graduate English Society organizes a Works in Progress forum for graduate students and faculty, as well as numerous extracurricular social and sporting events. MA students have the option of taking as one of their courses a Literary Internship, which places them in a work environment related to literary studies, and MPhil and PhD students have the option of taking the Publishing Practicum course, in which they develop a graduate-level paper into a potentially publishable journal article while learning about the nuances of academic publishing. Graduate students also participate in the hiring of new faculty and host visiting speakers in the Department. PhD students receive thorough teacher training through Teaching Assistantships and in many cases Teaching Fellowships. Travel opportunities are available for conferences and field research.

Launch of New Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) Degree
We are excited to announce the launch of the Master of Philosophy Degree in English Language and Literature. This two-year program, unique among Ontario Universities, features intensive field-specific study, broad coursework, a Publishing Practicum, and guaranteed entry and advanced standing into the Queen’s English Doctoral Program (for those who successfully complete the MPhil degree requirements). The degree is designed for diverse learners and will be of particular interest to those undergraduate students who are already contemplating doctoral research. MPhil students choosing to move directly into the workforce upon graduation will have attained field-specific expertise, advanced professionalization, and evidence of research and writing skills through the Publishing Practicum. MPhil students choosing to move on into doctoral studies will accelerate their dissertation work by three full terms.

Literary Internship Testimonials
“I found the entire internship experience to be extremely rewarding. I was happy to be conducting research, and grateful to have been assigned a subject I had a real interest in. The environment of my internship was always happy and encouraging… Seeing how the work I did is actually serving McGill-Queen’s University Press in the next stage of developing one of its series is perhaps the most rewarding part of an all-around wonderful experience. I would definitely recommend continuing this program, and am very glad to have been a participant!”
(Elizabeth Heinricks, MA 2015—Literary Internship with McGill-Queen’s University Press)

“The internship was a really amazing experience. It gave me the opportunity to support literacy skills as well as to adapt literature in a new and creative way. I am passionate about creative interaction with literary works and about increasing accessibility to classic texts, so I could not have come up with a placement that would better suit my interests. It served as a good reminder that I want to be doing similar work in the future, and it was encouraging to see that there are markets for my passions.”
(Tara Hilman, MA 2015—Literary Internship with Kingston Literacy and Skills)

Publishing Practicum Testimonial
“The Publishing Practicum course at Queen’s has been completely invaluable to my development as a scholar, not only academically, but (somewhat unexpectedly) socially as well. By the end of my first year of doctoral studies, I not only came away with a paper all but ready for publication, but I was able to benefit from reading and commenting on the work of my peers. The course works to make the process of seeking publication less nebulous by teaching us how to approach journals, how to deal with the revision process, and what ‘academic writing’ itself actually means.”
(Lindsay Young, PhD Student)

"Queen’s Publishing Practicum served as a key learning experience in my ongoing professional transition from graduate student to scholar and researcher. The course’s combination of theoretical and practical components effectively allowed me to familiarize myself with the academic publishing landscape in a fashion tailored to my own research interests… Participating in the practicum demystified the academic publishing process for me and concluded with concrete output that sets me up well for pursuing publication of academic articles going forward."
(Robyn Carruthers, PhD Student)

Career paths – employment opportunities

Queen’s graduates are now teaching at universities across the country and globally. We consider this placement record an exceptional achievement. Other graduates have gone on to careers in writing, editing, publishing, teaching, law, civil service, business, NGO work and information technologies.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.A.: 12 months

M.Phil.: 24 months

Ph.D.: 4 years

Method of Completion

M.A. Option I: Course work.  

M.A. Option II: Course work + thesis

MPhil: Course work, field exams, and a Publishing Practicum.

Ph.D.: Course work, two-part comprehensive examination (Field Examination and Special Topic Presentation), dissertation

Fields of study and Supervisors

We require that M.A. applicants considering Option II contact and secure the participation of a potential supervisor before applying. Pre-dissertation Ph.D. students are assigned an interim faculty mentor upon admission to the program, and choose their own supervisor and second reader prior to the submission of their thesis proposal.

Fields of Study: 

* the list below includes cross-appointed faculty

  • Medieval Literature: Margaret Pappano, Francois Rouget, Scott-Morgan Straker, Jane Tolmie, Ruth Wehlau
  • Renaissance Literature: Gwynn Dujardin, Elizabeth Hanson, Margaret Pappano, Scott-Morgan Straker, Marta Straznicky
  • Restoration & 18-Century Literature: Chris Fanning, Robert Morrison, John Pierce, Leslie Ritchie
  • Romantic Literature: Mark Jones, Shelley King, Robert Morrison, John Pierce, Leslie Ritchie, Tracy Ware
  • Victorian Literature: Maggie Berg, Chris Bongie, S.Brooke Cameron, Shelley King
  • Modernist Literature: S.Brooke Cameron, Gabrielle McIntire, Patricia Rae, Glenn Willmott
  • American Literature: S.Brooke Cameron, Petra Fachinger, Mark Jones, Gabrielle McIntire, Laura Murray, Patricia Rae, Yaël Schlick, Molly Wallace
  • Canadian Literature: Petra Fachinger, Sam McKegney, Leslie Ritchie, Amand Garnet Ruffo, Craig Walker, Tracy Ware, Glenn Willmott
  • Indigenous Studies: Petra Fachinger, Sam McKegney, Laura Murray, Armand Garnet Ruffo
  • Gender Studies: Maggie Berg, Petra Fachinger, Sam McKegney, Marta Straznicky, Jane Tolmie
  • Postcolonial Studies: Chris Bongie, Petra Fachinger, Laura Murray, Asha Varadharajan
  • Literary Theory: Mark Jones, Gabrielle McIntire, Margaret Pappano, Jane Tolmie, Asha Varadharajan, Glenn Willmott
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

Basic Funding Package (teaching assistantship, internal fellowships, bursaries and supervisor support).

Master’s Programs: minimum $12,000 per year (including TA-ships)

Ph.D.: minimum $20,000 per year (including TA-ships)

We encourage all students to apply for conference travel award supplements. As part of our professionalization seminar, all graduate students are coached in grant-writing techniques, and apply for external funding from agencies such as SSHRC and OGS. Entering graduate students who win federal government tri-council awards are automatically provided a $5,000 (Masters) or $10,000 (PhD) top-up award by Queen’s.

Academic Prerequisites

M.A. and M.Phil.:

  • Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with minimum average of B+ (3.3/4.3 GPA)
  • Cumulative minimum average of A- (3.7/4.3 GPA) in 10 full-year English Literature courses (or equivalent).
  • Applicants are expected to have taken courses in most major fields of English literature from the medieval period to the present, and in literary theory.


  • MA degree with minimum average of A- (3.7/4.3 GPA)
  • Favoured applicants will have a well-balanced selection of courses in English literature from the medieval period to the present, and in literary theory.

Other Requirements

  • Statement of Intent
  • Writing sample (MPhil and Ph.D. applicants) to be sent directly to English Department

Test Requirements

If English is not your native language, you will need a total TOEFL score of at least 627 (paper-based), or 109 (Internet-based) as well as a TOEFL Test of Written English section score of 6.0 (paper-based) or 30 (Internet-based) to be permitted to apply to our graduate program.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: 15th January (for all documentation and application.)

Notification of Acceptance: March and April

Learning Outcomes

Grad Maps

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website


Photo of Jennifer HardwickJennifer Hardwick
Story as a Form of Resistance