Program Requirements

Degree structure



Other requirements

M.A. With Project

(research paper)

18 cu including English 801.3

Research paper (25-30 pages)

Registration in ENG 992 each term

Registration in English 990 & GPS 960

Time in Program

All requirements for the thesis- or project-based M.A. must be completed within five years of the date of registration in the first course. However, we expect students to complete their M.A.-Project program in one year.

Residency Requirement

The University of Saskatchewan encourages students to spend time on campus interacting with faculty, researchers and other students and participating in the academic life of the university. The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has no minimum residency requirements. Individual graduate programs, however, are required to establish their own residency guidelines. The minimum residency for M.A. students in the Department of English is one year.

Project Program (12-month)

Students intending to follow the project option should take 18 cu's in the September-April period of their first year, including Eng. 801.3 (Textual Scholarship). The spring/summer term is for completion of the project paper.

By 30 April of their first year (1st September for students who began their studies in January), students in the project-based program will normally choose a seminar paper to be rewritten and expanded to meet the standard of a 25- to 30-page research paper prepared for submission to a reputable refereed journal in the discipline of English (such journals as English Studies in Canada). The paper will be read by two readers.

The project is Pass or Fail and the standard expectations regarding revisions are in place. Students submit one copy of the final text to the department and an electronic copy to CGPS.

Consult the CGPS instructions for Electronic Theses and Dissertations for details.


All incoming students must have their course selections approved by the Graduate Chair before registering online in the July-August period. 

During the regular session (fall and winter terms), graduate seminars meet once a week for two and a half hours. During intersession (spring term), seminars meet several times each week.

The Department has agreed that graduate students and instructors should have a standard expectation for assignments in courses. As well as giving reports, students write two term papers for each full year (six credit) seminar. For a three-credit, single-term course, students give reports and write one term paper. If course instructors do not wish to assign final examinations in graduate courses, they must apply to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for exemption.

All students must maintain an average above 70% in their coursework. A failing grade for an M.A. student is a mark below 60%. Students must take another course to replace a failed course, but the marks in the failed course still count toward the student's average. Students who fail two courses will be required to withdraw from the program.

The Department of English offers the following graduate classes:

ENG 801.3 - An Introduction to Textual Scholarship
ENG 802.6 - Studies in Literary and Cultural History
ENG 803.3 - Topics in Literary and Cultural History
ENG 804.6 - Studies in Individual Authors
ENG 805.3 - Topics in Individual Authors
ENG 810.6 - Studies in National and Regional Literatures
ENG 811.3 - Topics in National and Regional Literatures
ENG 816.6 - Studies in Literary and Cultural Theory
ENG 817.3 - Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory
ENG 818.6 - Studies in Methods and Texts
ENG 819.3 - Topics in Methods and Texts
ENG 842.6 - Studies in Genres and Contexts
ENG 843.3 - Topics in Genres and Contexts

Each year, faculty propose to offer versions of these courses. Thus, "Topics in Individual Authors" might one year be a course on Shakespeare, and the next a course on Emily Dickinson. The Graduate Committee, bearing in mind student interests and needs, assembles a slate of course offerings for the following year. This slate should be in place by the end of December for seminars offered in the following year.

As well, graduate students in English may apply to the Graduate Committee to take one of their courses (a maximum of six credit units per degree program) outside the Department. Such an application must include a letter indicating the particular value and relevance of the course to the student's program, as well as a description (from the instructor of the course or the department in which it is taught) of readings and assignments to be undertaken to fulfil graduate-level requirements. Under the Western Dean's Agreement, a student in the English program at this University may also register in a graduate course (up to an equivalent of six credit units) at another Western Canadian university.

The experience of intellectual debate provided by seminars is vital to graduate study. In graduate degrees in English, coursework is intended to give students an opportunity to study at the graduate level a range of literature and a variety of approaches, and should not focus exclusively on one area of specialization. However, in exceptional cases, where a student's completion of the program would be jeopardized without studies in a particular area—studies that cannot be pursued through the courses offered in the English Department or elsewhere—a student may propose a reading course, arranged between the student and a faculty member. The Graduate Committee will evaluate the need for the proposed course and whether it is comparable to a regular full (6 c.u.) or half (3 c.u.) course, and will decide whether to recommend its approval to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. To protect the viability of our seminar offerings in any given year, reading courses will be recommended for approval only under these exceptional circumstances. Students may take a maximum of six credit units of reading courses. Students wishing to request a reading course should first consult the Chair of the Graduate Committee.

English 990: Professional Development Seminar

The professional development requirement has three aspects:

  1. All graduate students are required to attend the series of workshops entitled "Conversations on Graduate Studies in English" in their first year of graduate work. Several workshops will be offered each term on topics such as English Department and College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations and deadlines; preparing SSHRCC applications; writing the thesis/dissertation proposal; choosing a paper for the project-based M.A.; the graduate student-supervisor relationship; the thesis defence; electronic research in the humanities; looking for an academic job; preparing a c.v.; preparing the conference abstract, writing the paper, and presenting it.
  2. All Ph.D. students are required to give a 30-45 minute Works-in-Progress presentation in anticipation of their dissertation defence. The presentation might be either a detailed synopsis of the project or a conference-style paper. The scheduling of the seminar will be arranged by the Graduate Chair in consultation with the student and supervisor. In practice, this presentation would take place when the student's dissertation is well advanced.
  3. All graduate students are required to attend the Ph.D. Works-in-Progress seminars as well as the two colloquia hosted each year by the Department's Research Committee. NOTE:
    1. Eng. 990 will appear on graduate student transcripts;
    2. Conversations, the Ph.D. Works-in-Progress presentations, and the colloquia will normally be scheduled for Wednesday afternoons.

The M.A. Project Paper

Choosing a Topic and Project Supervisor

Students in the project-based program will normally choose a seminar paper to be rewritten and expanded to meet the standard of a 25- to 30- page research paper prepared for submission to a reputable refereed journal in the discipline of English (such as English Studies in Canada) or a related discipline. A project paper may also be developed out of a research project related to work as a Research Assistant for a faculty member or out of a student’s own research, such as that funded by SSHRC. By 30th April of their first year (1st September for students who began their studies in January), students will decide on a topic and supervisor (often the instructor in which the seminar paper was written) and submit a Statement of Intent to the Graduate Chair.

Submission and Evaluation of the Project Paper

Students need to be aware of CGPS deadlines to apply to graduate.

The project paper will be read by two readers, normally the project supervisor and another Department reader. The project will be marked Pass or Fail and each examiner will submit a signed report to the Graduate Chair in the form of an e-mail memo. These reports will be forwarded to the student and the supervisor. If any revisions are required, the readers must specify their requirements in their written reports. The project supervisor is responsible for seeing that the candidate carries out the changes, but the reader or readers have the right to ask to approve them.

The completed project must conform to the requirements of the current Chicago Manual of Style or MLA Handbook. The paper must be formatted as required by CGPS, including an abstract and a permission to use statement.

English Project-based students must submit an electronic version of your approved final project paper to the ETD (Electronics Thesis and Dissertation) site.

Guidelines for Writer and Supervisor of the M.A. Project Paper

The principal role of the supervisor is to help students achieve their scholarly potential. In doing so, the supervisor is a committed, accessible, stimulating, respectful guide but also a consistent and rigorous judge. After all, the student's work must meet the standards of the university and the discipline. It is unusual, though not impossible, for a student to change supervisors part way through a project. Should a situation arise which may require a change in supervision, either the student, the supervisor or both should consult the Chair of the Graduate Committee.

What can a student expect of a project supervisor?

  • to advise students about relevant scholarly materials;
  • to help set and stick to a schedule of work;
  • to be available for consultation with the student; and
  • to respond expeditiously, thoroughly, and constructively to the student's drafts.

What can a supervisor expect of a student?

  • to show commitment in learning what is needed to design and carry out the project;
  • to develop a plan for completion of all stages of the project, and to stick to that plan;
  • to consider seriously and respond to advice and criticism;
  • to meet the requirements of the University, College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and program;
  • to recognize that the supervisor has other teaching, research, and administrative obligations which may take precedence over consultation on the project; and
  • to be scrupulous in acknowledging sources of assistance or information.