Graduate Handbook

Introduction

Part of a historic institution, the oldest bilingual university in Canada, the Department of English at the University of Ottawa is also a fresh and vibrant department at the forefront of English studies. What sets our graduate program apart is its combination of top-notch academic training and unrivalled collegiality. Our faculty are internationally renowned, producing leading research in their fields. Seminars are small, and students develop close working relationships with faculty mentors. The seminars and thesis work foster rigorous study of literary history from a variety of critical perspectives, and the program includes training in professional skills such as grant-writing, presenting at conferences, publishing articles, and planning for academic and non-academic career paths. We are also committed to helping students become excellent teachers: our professional development workshops include training in pedagogy and course design, and doctoral candidates have the opportunity to design and teach their own courses by the end of their degree.

The Department has a strong sense of community: our floor of the Arts building is a lively place where students and faculty meet regularly and easily. There is also a vibrant, supportive community among the students themselves, centred in the English Graduate Students’ Association, which helps new MA students make a successful transition to graduate studies and keeps doctoral students connected and engaged throughout the length of their degree. The Department hosts a variety of events each year including conferences, talks by visiting scholars, poetry readings, and colloquia where faculty and graduate students present their work and learn about the current projects of other department members. Our graduate students pursue research in fields across the discipline, from medieval to contemporary; scholarly editing to book history to interdisciplinary studies; and including Canadian, American, British, and other literatures in English.

We offer a competitive funding package: all incoming graduate students are guaranteed an Admission Scholarship that covers tuition and comes with a TAship worth an additional $9500 per year, provided they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and maintain a GPA of at least 8.0 (A-). We also offer extensive help with external scholarship applications, and our students have an excellent track record in OGS and SSHRC competitions; 40% of our doctoral students have funding from OGS or SSHRC.

Ottawa is an excellent city in which to do research. The proximity of the National Library and Archives, which contains the largest collection of books and manuscripts in Canada, offers rich resources for researchers. Students also have access to the outstanding holdings in medieval studies at St. Paul’s University. The National Gallery and other museums offer additional opportunities to study Canada’s rich cultural heritage. In addition, all the resources of Montreal and Toronto are within easy reach by car or train. 

Ottawa is also an interesting city in which to live and study. It offers a rich cultural life, with a lively local music scene, a number of annual music festivals, and music, dance and theatre of international calibre at the National Arts Centre and other Ottawa theatres. Though best known for its world famous Rideau Canal Skateway, the National Capital region also offers many other venues for outdoor activities such as biking, skating, and skiing. A cosmopolitan city, its atmosphere enriched by its status as Canada’s capital, Ottawa retains the beauty, comfort, and safety that many other large cities have lost. Its large Franco-Ontarian population and its proximity to Quebec make Ottawa an ideal environment for developing bilingual proficiency.

 

Academic Information

The Department of English offers the degrees of Master of Arts (with or without thesis) and Doctor of Philosophy. Each year, we offer courses in each major period of English literature, and in Canadian literature, American literature, literary theory, and book history. These courses, which vary in specific content from year to year, expose students to a range of topics and critical approaches in the discipline, and enable them to develop the critical and professional skills required to pursue independent research and writing.

The M.A. program enables high-achieving graduates of undergraduate English programs to pursue advanced studies in British, Canadian, or American literature informed by a broad knowledge of English literary history and by recent developments in literary criticism and theory. Whether they choose the one-year coursework or the two-year thesis option, students develop the critical and scholarly skills and the intellectual independence required for doctoral studies and for leadership roles in other professional fields. Graduates of our MA program go on to thrive in PhD programs across the continent, or pursue careers in government, education, editing, law, or other professional fields.

The Ph.D. program prepares first-class graduates of M.A. programs for a professional career in university or college teaching and research. By the time of graduation, candidates will have acquired autonomy in conducting research and preparing grant applications, conference papers, and scholarly publications. They should also be able to teach at all levels of university instruction. These skills are acquired through seminar work, professional development workshops, two comprehensive examinations, a language requirement, and independent research resulting in an original contribution to knowledge—the doctoral thesis. Our comprehensive exam structure helps students develop expertise both in their literary-historical field and in a particular area of critical, theoretical, or methodological inquiry, laying a strong foundation on which to build the specific research projects they will define in the thesis proposal and carry out in the thesis itself.

Unless otherwise indicated, all graduate courses in the Department carry three credits. General regulations governing the program, as well as detailed guides for writers of MA and PhD theses, may be found on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FGPS) website. Please note that any course fulfilling a graduate degree requirement in English must be completed with a mark of “B” or higher. A student whose record shows grades lower than “B” in any two courses will automatically be asked to withdraw from the program.

 

Admission Procedures

Applications to the English graduate program should include:

a) The online application form.

b) $100.00 application fee payable on-line to OUAC.

c) Official transcript(s) sent directly from the granting institution, or purchased on-line through OUAC. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

d) Two letters of recommendation and the OUAC form. The letters should be written by professors of English literature who can comment in detail on the applicant’s ability to do advanced work in literary studies.

e)     i) For MA applicants: a 500-word letter of intent describing what interests and goals the applicant hopes to pursue in the MA program and explaining how his/her previous studies have prepared him/her for graduate-level work in English literary studies.

        ii) For PhD applicants: a 500-word letter of intent describing the proposed area of thesis work and explaining how the proposed thesis project will build on and contribute to existing scholarship the applicant’s field of interest.

f) For applications to the MA with Thesis or PhD: Writing sample (clean copy of an essay written for an English literature course, 12-20 double-spaced pages in length). The writing sample should demonstrate the applicant’s ability to construct complex, original arguments that engage with current debates in literary studies.

Priority will be given to candidates whose complete applications are submitted by February 1st. International applicants should apply by January 1st. Applications received after these dates will be considered for any remaining spaces left in the program. Students are encouraged to apply well before these dates for financial and administrative reasons.

For more information about application requirements and procedures, consult the Program-Specific Requirements for English on the FGPS website and/or write to gradenglish@uottawa.ca.

 

Send your admission package to:

     Office of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts

     c/o Graduate Programs – English

     55 Laurier Ave. East, Room 8159

     Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

     K1N 6N5

 

Master's Degree

1. Admission

The M.A. program is intended to refine the critical and scholarly skills of students who have successfully completed an Honours B.A. or Major in English literature. An overall average of at least B+, and ideally A- or higher, is normally required. Since admission to our M.A. program requires a broad knowledge of the history of English literature and the discipline of literary studies in English, students who have graduated from a university where English is a second language cannot normally be considered for admission unless they have already attained from such a university an M.A. (First Class) in English Literature with thesis or extensive research paper.

2. Program

2.1. Course Work Option

A full-time student is normally expected to finish the required 24 credits (or 8 half-year courses) within the one year funded period.

Course of Study

Fall term: 3 half-year credit courses

Winter term: 3 half-year credit courses + language requirement

Spring/summer term: 2 half-year credit courses

Students are strongly encouraged to take ENG6302/6303, Research Methods and Professionalization, in addition to the academic seminars.

Students cannot normally take more than 2 courses in the Spring/Summer. If, for any reason, students complete fewer than 3 courses in the Fall and/or Winter term, they will probably not be able to complete the M.A. in one year, and will have to complete their coursework the following Fall, when tuition fees will apply. To register your degree and request your diploma: http://www.registraire.uottawa.ca/Portals/43/Registrar/Regi3163.pdf

2.2. Thesis Option

A full-time student is normally expected to finish the required 12 credits (4 half-year courses) and a thesis of about 90 pages within the two-year funded period. (See “The Thesis,” p. 23.)

Course of Study

Year One

Fall term: 2 half-year credit courses + Language Requirement (ENG6900)

Winter term: 1 half-year credit course + Thesis Proposal (ENG7997)

Spring/summer term: 1 half-year credit course + Thesis (ENG7999)

(Depending on the courses offered, students may wish to take 2 seminars in Winter and 6 credits of ENG7997 (Thesis Proposal) in Spring/Summer.)

Students are strongly encouraged to take ENG6302/6303, Research Methods and Professionalization, in addition to the academic seminars.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the progress report promptly, as the registration system will not permit them to register for the following session until it is submitted. For more information on progress reports, go to http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=4141.

Year Two

Thesis and Defence

A detailed guide for MA thesis writers can be found on the FGPS website (be sure to read both the online overview and the longer pdf guide): http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1374

ENG 6900: Language Requirement

In keeping with the bilingual character of the University, candidates must pass the departmental French test, or FLS1000, or a test administered by the Institute of Official Languages and Bilingualism, or have already passed 6 credits of second-year undergraduate French. French language testing is normally administered by the Department in September, January, and April of each year. The departmental language tests are one-hour examinations that require the candidate to translate, with the aid of a dictionary, a passage of literary criticism or another appropriate selection of similar difficulty approximately one page in length. The minimum passing mark for MA students is 50% to achieve an S (Satisfactory) on the transcript.

A student may enter the M.A. program on a part-time basis but must complete all degree requirements within four years.

Students admitted to the M.A. on a full-time basis must be registered full-time for at least three sessions.

 

3. Collaborative M.A. Program in Women's Studies

The Department of English participates in a collaborative M.A. program in English Literature and Women's Studies. To be accepted into this program, students must first be admitted to the Master's program in English.

The requirements of the program are as follows:

  • 3 courses from the Department of English;
  • 2 interdisciplinary courses in Women's Studies, FEM 5300 (Feminist Theories) + FEM 5103 (Feminist Methodologies);
  • the successful completion of a thesis on a topic related to Women's Studies, supervised by a professor in the Department of English and approved by professors in both academic units.

Course of Study

Year One

Fall term: 1 half-year credit course in ENG + FEM5300 (Feminist Theories) + Language Requirement (ENG6900)

Winter term: 1 half-year credit course in ENG + FEM5301 (Feminist Methodologies) + Thesis Proposal (ENG7997)

Spring/summer term: 1 half-year credit course + Thesis (ENG7999)

(Depending on the courses offered, students may wish to take 2 seminars in Winter and 6 credits of ENG7997 (Thesis Proposal) in Spring/Summer.)

Students are strongly encouraged to take ENG6302/6303, Research Methods and Professionalization, in addition to the academic seminars.

“Registration of thesis topic and/or appointment of research supervisor” form due at the end of March: http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=O%2baildeW2B0%3 d&tabid=1338

“Annual research progress report” form due at the end of June: http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Portals/29/forms/ESUP5189%28mod%29.pdf

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the progress report promptly, as the registration system will not permit them to register for the following session until it is submitted. For more information on progress reports, go to http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=4141.

Year Two

Thesis and Defence

A detailed guide for MA thesis writers can be found on the FGPS website (be sure to read both the online overview and the longer pdf guide): http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1374.

 

4. Collaborative M.A. Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Course of Study

Year One

Fall term: 1 half-year credit course in ENG + 1 half year credit course MDV5100 (or its French equivalent MDV5500) + ENG 6900 + Language Requirement (ENG6900)

Winter term: 1 half-year credit course in ENG + 1 half year credit course MDV5900+ Thesis Proposal (ENG7997)

Spring/summer term: 1 half-year credit course + Thesis (ENG7999)

(Depending on the courses offered, students may wish to take 2 seminars in Winter and 6 credits of ENG7997 (Thesis Proposal) in Spring/Summer.)

Students are strongly encouraged to take ENG6302/6303, Research Methods and Professionalization, in addition to the academic seminars.

“Registration of thesis topic and/or appointment of research supervisor” form due at the end of March: http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=O%2baildeW2B0%3 d&tabid=1338

“Annual research progress report” form due at the end of June: http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Portals/29/forms/ESUP5189%28mod%29.pdf

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the progress report promptly, as the registration system will not permit them to register for the following session until it is submitted. For more information on progress reports, go to http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=4141.

Year Two

Thesis and Defence

A detailed guide for MA thesis writers can be found on the FGPS website (be sure to read both the online overview and the longer pdf guide): http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1374

For further information, contact the Graduate Academic Assistant at gradenglish@uottawa.ca or (613) 562-5800 ext. 1136 or 3687.

 

5. Time Limit for the Completion the Master's Degree

Under General Regulation F.1 of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, "a candidate for the Master's degree must complete all degree requirements within four years from the date of initial registration in the Master's program, unless a shorter time limit has been specified by the department concerned.

 

Doctoral Degree

The Ph.D. is a rigorous professional degree that prepares candidates for a career in university or college teaching and research.

1. Admission

Entrance to our Ph.D. program normally requires an M.A. in English Literature from an English language university. Applicants should have achieved first class standing in their MA program (a GPA of at least A- in their MA courses).

2. Program

The student must successfully complete 4 half-year seminars (12 credits) plus ENG 6302 (Research Methods: 1.5 credits), ENG 6303 (Professional Development: 1.5 credits), and ENG6304 (Doctoral Research Methods: 3 credits); ENG 7900 (Language Requirement); ENG 9998 (Comprehensive Examinations); ENG 9997 (Directed Research: Thesis Proposal); and a Dissertation or doctoral thesis (ENG 9999).

3. Course of Study

The basic program of a full-time student is normally as follows:

Year One

4 half-year seminar courses (12 credits), plus ENG 6302 and ENG 6303, ENG6304, progress toward the language requirement (ENG7900), and registration of the dissertation topic by the end of June.

Students who have not yet chosen a supervisor will have the Director of Graduate Studies as their interim supervisor. They must then submit a new topic/supervisor form once they have found a thesis supervisor.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the progress report promptly each year, as the registration system will not permit them to register for the following term until it is submitted. For more information on progress reports, go to www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=4141.

Year Two

Completion of Comprehensive examinations and language requirement. These must both be successfully completed before proceeding to the thesis proposal.

Year Three

Submission of thesis proposal (ENG 9997), followed by research and writing of the dissertation.

Year Four

Completion of the dissertation and its defence. The thesis must be submitted within six years of the date of initial registration. A detailed guide for PhD thesis writers can be found on the FGPS website (be sure to consult both the online overview and the longer pdf guide): http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1373 To register your degree and request your diploma: http://www.registraire.uottawa.ca/Portals/43/Registrar/Regi3163.pdf

 

4. Mentors

In the first term, an academic mentor will be assigned to each PhD student. This will be a professor in the department, who may or may not be in the student’s primary field of interest. The role of a mentor is to provide academic support and advice to students during their first two years of study, typically before a relationship has been established with a supervisor or thesis committee. The professor will make initial contact with the student to set up an appointment to answer questions about fields of study, conference papers, or academia generally. For advice on registration or any other questions concerning graduate program forms and procedures, see the Graduate Academic Assistant. The Director of Graduate Studies is also available to meet with individual students for academic advice.

 

5. Comprehensive Examinations

The comprehensive examinations have the following general goals:

  • to assess the student’s knowledge and competency in the selected literary-historical field or national literature and in the selected area of critical, methodological, or theoretical inquiry;
  • to evaluate the student’s critical thinking;
  • to assess the student’s ability to communicate and reply in writing and orally to questions related to the literary-historical field and the selected critical, methodological, or theoretical area.

The comprehensive examinations have two parts. In the First Qualifying Examination the student must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the historical period or national literature they have chosen as their area of specialization. Students must demonstrate both breadth and depth.

The First Qualifying Examination is an eight-hour written examination to be completed in two four-hour sittings on consecutive days, followed by an oral examination a few days later. Normally the student is expected to answer two questions on each day of the written exam, but the student should confirm the format with the individual examiner. The student will choose a historical period or national literature from the current list: Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century, Nineteenth-Century British, Twentieth-Century British, Canadian, or American. In special circumstances, when a student’s area of research does not neatly fit into one of the existing categories, he or she may request permission to combine elements of two existing lists (e.g. British literature 1600-1750).

Basic reading lists for each period are supplied by the Department and candidates may supplement the material on the lists with primary and secondary materials of their own choosing. Supplemental materials will naturally vary and reflect the interests of individual candidates; however, the exam is designed to test the students’ breadth and depth of knowledge in the selected field in relation to the core reading list.

Normal progress through the PhD program would entail sitting the First Qualifying Examination near the end of the fall term of the second year, typically during the first week of the December exam period. In the event of a failure, the student would write at the next sitting of the First Qualifying Examination, in April. In extraordinary circumstances the student may petition the Graduate Committee for a special sitting.

In the Second Qualifying Examination, the student must demonstrate a basic expertise in critical thinking related to a literary genre, an area of literary theory, or a current area of critical study. The student will choose a critical, methodological, or theoretical area. For example, possible areas might include book history, history and theory of the novel, eco-criticism, or nationalism/ trans-nationalism. The area is to be chosen and defined by the student, but must be approved by the Graduate Committee.

The Graduate Director, in consultation with the student, will arrange for an examination committee consisting of two professors. The reading list for each student’s examination will normally consist of some 40 texts, chosen by the student in discussion with the two examiners, who will draw up examination questions for the student to respond to in a take-home examination. This examining committee will review the student’s list, which must be submitted to them for final approval no later than two months following the completion of the First Qualifying Examination. However, students should not wait until after the first exam to start thinking about the second. Instead they should aim to have their Second Qualifying Exam area and examiners confirmed in the fall of their second year, and should begin drafting a tentative reading list for the second exam while preparing for the first. This will ensure that they have adequate time to read and prepare for the Second Qualifying Exam.

Students will be given the exam questionnaire on the Monday morning of the examination and will submit their responses the following Monday morning. The student will choose two questions to answer and produce typewritten responses of 10-12 double-spaced pages for each question. A one-hour oral examination will follow a few days later.

Normal progress through the PhD program would entail writing the Second Qualifying Examination in mid-April of the second year. In the event of a failure, the student would be invited to revise the examination and resubmit it to the examiners within two months.

Students who wish to write the First Qualifying Examination in the fall must obtain approval from the Director of Graduate Studies by May 1st. Students who wish to write the Second Qualifying Examination in April must obtain approval by December 15th (although the critical area and examining committee should ideally be confirmed earlier in the fall).

 

6. Language Requirement (ENG 7900)

The language requirement is normally French. Where knowledge of another language is necessary for the major field (e.g. Latin for Medieval or Renaissance studies), the student may request an alternative choice. Students may satisfy the requirement by passing the departmental French test, or FLS1000, or a test administered by the Institute of Official Languages and Bilingualism, or by having already passed six credits of second-year undergraduate French. The departmental French test is held in September, January, and April each year. It is a one-hour examination that requires candidates to translate, with the aid of a dictionary, a passage of literary criticism or another appropriate selection of similar difficulty approximately one page in length. PhD students must achieve a mark of 66% to receive a grade of S (Satisfactory) on the transcript.

The language requirement must be satisfied before the student proceeds to the thesis proposal.

 

7. Time Limit for the Completion for the PH.D.

General Regulation F.2 of the School of Graduate Studies states that all degree requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed within six years from the date of initial registration in the doctoral program.

The Department encourages candidates to complete their studies as quickly as is possible while maintaining a high standard of scholarship, since doctoral funding is guaranteed for four years only, and because the time to completion of the degree can affect success in the job market.

 

8. Collaborative PH.D. Program in Canadian Studies

The Department of English participates in a Collaborative Ph.D. program in Canadian Studies. To be admitted to this program and have the designation “Specialization in Canadian Studies” added to their diploma, students must be admitted to the Ph.D. program in English Literature and be registered in or have successfully completed at least one graduate course in Canadian Literature. They must also complete CDN6910, an interdisciplinary seminar in Canadian Studies, as part of their course work, and must successfully defend a thesis on Canadian Literature.

As the Canadian Studies seminars are bilingual, participants are expected to have an adequate command of both official languages.

For more information, see the website of the Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies and/or contact the Director of the Institute at 613-562-5111.

 

Postdoctoral Research

Appointments of postdoctoral fellows are made by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FGPS) upon the recommendation of the Department. The University defines a postdoctoral appointee as one who meets all of the following criteria:

  • has recently (within the last five years) been awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent;
  • whose appointment will be temporary;
  • whose appointment involves full-time research or scholarship;
  • whose appointment is viewed as preparatory to a full-time academic and/or research career;
  • who will work under the supervision of a faculty mentor in the Department.
  • who is expected to publish the results of his research or scholarship during the period of the appointment.

Further details may be found at http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=2272

 

Registration

All students are responsible for ensuring that they register each session for the courses or other program requirements outlined in the plan of study for their degree program. Any anomalies must be approved in advance by the academic unit.

Regulations governing the classification of students

These regulations can also be found on the FGPS website: http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1807

In the event of a discrepancy between this Handbook and the FPGS website, the website will be considered authoritative.

1. Full-Time Graduate Students

In order to be eligible for University of Ottawa financial assistance, a full-time student must meet the following requirements:

a) A student's primary occupation must be course work, research or the writing of a thesis at the University.

b) The student must reside within commuting distance of the University and visit the campus regularly.

c) The student must not, unless in exceptional circumstances, be regularly employed outside the University. The student must be registered for at least six credits. (Research activities such as ENG 9998, ENG 9999 and ENG 7999 are considered to be equivalent to two three-credit courses.)

2. Part-Time Graduate Students

A part-time student cannot be registered for more than two courses per session. PhD students must register for full-time study, but may switch to part-time later in their degree if they are no longer receiving scholarships. For more information on the rules governing part-time status, please consult with the Graduate Academic Assistant at gradenglish@uottawa.ca.

3. Special Students

Students who take certain graduate courses without intending to complete a graduate degree and without being subject to the requirements of a particular graduate program are classified as "special students." Special student status is conferred in exceptional circumstances only, at the discretion of the Graduate Committee and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Those who wish to register in a graduate course as a special student should submit a request to the Director of Graduate Studies along with a current transcript. If special students later apply for admission to a graduate degree program, they may request and (if the request is approved) may receive credits for a maximum of two graduate courses, provided they meet the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies admission requirements.

4. Auditor (AUD)

Students who wish to register as auditors must obtain the approval of the instructor and their supervisor or the Director of Graduate Studies.

Transfers from Other Universities

Students who transfer from other universities may apply to receive credit for work already done, but are normally expected to complete the major part of the requirements for the degree at the University of Ottawa.

Registration Requirements

The responsibility to register and to re-register prior to the published closing dates rests with the student.

a) Students admitted as candidates for a master's or doctoral degree must register for each of the sessions in which they take courses or pursue research in order to obtain credit. No retroactive registration will be accepted. Students may not be absent from their studies for more than two sessions. Consequently, all students who remain unregistered for three or more consecutive sessions without having secured approval for the interruption of their program by means of a Request for Leave of Absence will be presumed to have withdrawn and their files will be closed without further notice.

b) Students should note that a Leave of Absence is counted as part of the time allowed for completion of degree requirements. A leave will normally be granted for a maximum of three consecutive sessions (one year). During this time, inactive students may not use library facilities, attend courses or expect advice from their supervisor.

(There is an exception for parental leave; see C.1.6.b. Inactive: www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1807&monControl=Inscription)

c) Once they have begun work towards the preparation of the comprehensive examinations or the thesis, students are required to maintain their registration in these activities for the three sessions of each year until completion of all requirements related to these activities. Students preparing a thesis must be registered when they submit their thesis to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Thus, if they have not submitted their thesis before the last date for registration of a new session, they must renew their registration for that session.

d) Students who fail to maintain their registration as required lose their status as degree candidates. They will be considered to have withdrawn and their files will be closed.

e) Students whose file has been closed as a result of failure to observe registration requirements must apply for readmission if they wish to continue their studies. If readmitted, they must pay a reinstatement fee as well as the current minimum tuition fee for each session in which they failed to register.

Out-of-Program Courses (HP)

A student in the English MA or PhD program may register for a course that is not part of his or her program. The status of the student is similar to that of a special student. Registration must be approved by both the Department of English and the academic unit offering the course. Additional fees apply.

Additional Course in Program (ADD)

A student may register for a course that would help in his or her field of research or reinforce knowledge in the program. Such a course is added to the minimum requirements of the program and cannot be credited towards another program. A failure in such a course will count as a failure in the program.

Inter-University Co-Operation in Graduate Instruction

An agreement between the University of Ottawa and Carleton University allows a graduate student registered at the University of Ottawa to take certain courses at Carleton University if approved by the student's department. Departmental information and course listings are available at the following web sites: www.carleton.ca/english and http://www.gs.carleton.ca/graduate_calendar/index.html Registration for courses taken in the context of joint programs with Carleton University is done, through parallel codes, at the university where the student has been admitted and is pursuing his/her studies. Please see the Graduate Academic Assistant for the required form and further details.

Payment of Fees

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is responsible for answering all questions relating to the interpretation of the applicable fees schedules. Students are encouraged to pay their fees online. Students who have been awarded a Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Scholarship normally have their fees deducted directly from the scholarship.

Promissory Notes: Graduate students who have been awarded departmental assistantships may pay their tuition fees through payroll deduction, interest-free. Those wishing to take advantage of this arrangement should go to the FGPS office (at Hagen Hall) after registration, and bring all current, duly completed contracts.

Withdrawl from Courses and From  the Program

A student who wishes to withdraw from a course after the drop date must consult with the Director of Graduate Studies. A student whose record shows grades lower than B in any two courses will automatically be asked to withdraw from the program.

 

Submission of Assignments in Graduate English Courses

Students are expected to complete all assignments no later than the last day of the term in which the course ends. No extensions will be granted unless the circumstances are exceptional (such as health problems, a death in the family, etc.). A medical certificate from a physician or Health Services must accompany the Request for a Deferred Mark form.

Where an extension is granted to a student, the professor concerned submits a mark of "DFR." Under a regulation of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, however, all deferred grades (DFR) awarded to students at the end of a term must be replaced by a final grade within forty days. If this is not done, the "DFR" becomes an "EIN" (incomplete—a failure) at the end of the forty day period. All extensions beyond forty days (maximum: one session) must be approved by the Executive Committee of the School of Graduate Studies and will be granted only for reasons clearly beyond the student's control. The symbol ABS (absent, no work submitted) is used when students have not attended a course and have failed to inform the University in writing of their withdrawal within the time limits specified in the University calendar. This symbol is equivalent to a failing grade.

 

Office Space and Mailboxes

All doctoral students are assigned shared office space, and attempts are made to accommodate other graduate students working as teaching assistants. All doctoral students and teaching assistants are assigned a mailbox. Graduate students are urged to activate and use their uOttawa email address. All correspondence sent and received via uottawa.ca will be considered official. Teaching assistants should be aware that they will be assigned a separate employee email address, in addition to their student email address, for correspondence related to their TA employment.

 

The Thesis

1. Thesis Topic

FGPS Regulation G.2 stipulates that M.A. students must register their thesis topic by the end of their second semester, and Ph.D. students must register their thesis topic by the end of the third semester.

2. Thesis Proposal

a) Upon arriving at the Department of English, the new student has an informal discussion with the Director of Graduate Studies about a proposed thesis area and a possible thesis topic.

b) The Director of Graduate Studies refers the student to professors in the appropriate fields for informal consultation leading to the selection of a thesis supervisor. The student may also have a co-supervisor and/or a supervisory committee. In consultation with the supervisor(s) or supervisory committee, the student develops the proposal.

c) The thesis proposal should give an overview of the scope of the thesis, indicating the argument, the methodological and theoretical framework, and an outline of the chapters. The MA thesis proposal should be between 8 and 12 pages plus bibliography; the PhD thesis proposal should be between 12 and 15 pages plus bibliography.

d) M.A. students may submit their proposal any time before but no later than the first of May.

e) Ph.D. students may submit their proposals at any time during the year, but should submit the proposal within two semesters following successful completion of the comprehensive exams.

f) Once the proposal is ready, the supervisor submits the Supervisor’s Approval Form (available from the Graduate Academic Assistant) and the student submits the thesis proposal to the Director of Graduate Studies, who brings it before the Graduate Committee for approval. At the PhD level, the proposal is evaluated by two area specialists in addition to members of the Graduate Committee.

g) Once the thesis proposal has been approved by the Graduate Committee, a passing grade is entered on the transcript.

h) Should the proposal be sent back for revision, the student should submit within two months for re-evaluation.

Sample thesis proposals are available from the Graduate Academic Assistant.

3. Thesis Supervisor

a) Students may choose to work with one supervisor or to work with more than one professor as part of a committee system. In the case of the latter, normally one professor will be chosen as the primary member of the committee and will be considered the main supervisor. The extent to which the thesis committee participates in reading drafts of the thesis is up to the parties involved (student, main supervisor, committee members). Normally, the association between a supervisor, thesis committee, and student is formed as a result of mutual selection. Students are encouraged to be flexible in constructing their thesis proposal to ensure that the area of their work coincides with areas of specialization of Department members. (See thesis research fields, p. 26.)

b) Before the end of the second session of registration for M.A. students, and by the end of the third trimester for Ph.D. students, the supervisor’s name will be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. If the student has not yet chosen a supervisor by that point, the Director of Graduate Studies will be the interim supervisor. The student must submit a new “Registration of thesis topic and/or appointment of research supervisor” form once the thesis supervisor is chosen. In the unlikely event that the student changes supervisors, a new form must be submitted to document the appointment of the new supervisor.

c) The supervisor, who must be a member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, will be responsible within the Department for the approval of all subsequent registrations of the student.

d) Regular consultations between student and supervisor and, where appropriate, members of the thesis committee, should be arranged by a mutually agreed-upon schedule and should be initiated by the student.

e) Supervisors expecting to be absent from the University for an extended period of time (two months or more) are responsible either for making suitable arrangements with the student and the Department for the continued supervision of the student, or for requesting the Department to appoint another supervisor. Such arrangements should be communicated to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies before the supervisor leaves the University.

For more information on the thesis writing process, please see the detailed guides on the FGPS website. Be sure to consult both the online overview/timeline and the much longer pdf guide.

 

Thesis Research Fields

The main periods and national fields in which the Department will supervise graduate theses are as follows:

  • Medieval Literature
  • Renaissance Literature
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
  • Nineteenth-Century British Literature
  • Modern British Literature
  • Canadian Literature
  • American Literature
  • Book History

In addition, some members of the Department work in areas of Comparative Literature. The Department also participates in a Collaborative M.A. Program in Women's Studies, a Collaborative MA Program in Medieval Studies, and a Collaborative Ph.D. Program in Canadian Studies (see pp. 11, 12, and 17). Thus, interested students can also write theses in these areas.

 

Faculty in Each Field

The asterisk (*) denotes a member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For information on faculty publications and current research projects, see the faculty profiles.

Field Professors

 Medieval Literature

D. Carlson (*)

G. Rector (*)

D. Staines (*)

A. Taylor (*) 

Renaissance Literature

V. Burke (*)

D. Carlson (*)

I. Makaryk (*)

J. Panek (*)

N. von Maltzahn (*)

Restoration Literature and 18th-Century Literature

F. De Bruyn (*)

I. Ferris (*)

S. Landreth (*)

A. London (*)

N. Von Maltzahn (*)

19th-Century British Literature

M. Arseneau (*)

J. Brooke-Smith

I. Dennis (*)

I. Ferris (*)

L. Gillingham (*)

A. London (*)

K. Wilson (*)

Modern British Literature

D. Childs (*)

D. Manganiello (*)

K. Wilson (*)

C. Gordon (*)

Canadian Literature

J. Blair (*)

J. Fiamengo (*)

G. Lynch (*)

S. Mayne (*)

R. Stacey (*)

D. Staines (*)

C. Sugars (*)

American Literature

T. Allen (*)

D. Jarraway (*)

B. Radloff (*)

A. Raine (*)

D. Rampton (*)

Book History

 J. Brooke-Smith

V. Burke (*)

D. Carlson (*)

I. Ferris (*)

A. Taylor (*)

N. von Maltzahn (*)

Comparative Literature

F. De Bruyn (*)

I. Dennis (*)

I. Makaryk (*)

D. Manganiello (*)

D. Rampton (*)

Eco-criticism

   A. Raine (*)

Literary Theory

I. Ferris (*)

C. Gordon (*)

D. Jarraway (*)

B. Radloff (*)

C. Sugars (*)

Queer Studies

J. Blair (*)

D. Jarraway (*)

Postcolonial Studies

J. Blair (*)

C. Sugars (*)

Science Studies

J. Brooke-Smith

C. Gordon (*)

S. Landreth (*)

A. Raine (*)

 

Awards, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

Funding Information

Financial aid is available to full-time students. For up-to-date information on the Admission Scholarship and Dean’s Scholarship available to MA and PhD students, please see the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Admission Scholarship

Students new to the program with an outstanding academic record, and who have not been awarded external scholarships, are recommended by the Department for an Admission Scholarship. For full details see: http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1458

Excellence Scholarship

Excellence scholarships equivalent to tuition fees are awarded by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to recipients of major external awards (OGS, SSHRC) for each year that the award is held. In the event that a student wins an external award, the Admission Scholarship is replaced by the Excellence Scholarship. The Excellence Scholarship includes guaranteed funding from the Department for one TAship per year. Once the external scholarship expires, the Excellence Scholarship reverts to an Admission Scholarship for the remaining year(s) of the student’s period of funding as stipulated in the original scholarship offer. If a doctoral student wins three years of external funding, the university pays the student’s tuition for a fifth year, if required.

David Clever Memorial Award

The David Clever Memorial Award has been established in memory of David Clever to promote graduate studies in Canadian Literature. The primary purpose of the fund is to bestow an award for an outstanding dissertation in the field of Canadian or Canadian-related literary studies, completed within the preceding twelve month period, in the Department of English at the University of Ottawa. A secondary purpose is to encourage entry of dedicated students into the Graduate Program of the Department. To this end, the Selection Committee may offer entrance scholarships to students who intend to specialize in Canadian literature at the graduate level. The award is presented annually. 

The Glenn Clever Scholarship Fund

This fund was established by Dr. Glenn Clever to give financial assistance to students entering or studying in honours or graduate programs in the Department of English at the University of Ottawa. Applicants must be registered on a full-time basis, be an Ontario resident and demonstrate financial need as determined by the Financial Aid and Awards Service of the University of Ottawa. The number and value of the awards are variable, to be determined by the Selection Committee. 

The John Spencer Hill Graduate English Scholarship

This fund was established in memory of John Spencer Hill, Professor and former Chair of English, to provide financial assistance to graduate students in the Department of English whose education would otherwise be compromised. Applicants must be registered on a full-time basis, be an Ontario resident, have a minimum CGPA of 8.0, and demonstrate financial need as determined by the Financial Aid and Awards Service of the University of Ottawa. The value of the award is approximately $1,000.

The David Staines Graduate Scholarship

This annual scholarship was established by Avie Bennett, President and Chairman of McClelland and Stewart Inc., and by the Government of Ontario, in honour of David Staines, former Chair of the Department of English. The fund was designed to provide financial assistance to graduate students studying Medieval or Canadian Literature in the Department of English at the University of Ottawa. The value and number of awards are variable. Applicants must have completed the comprehensive examinations, be Ontario residents, and demonstrate financial need as determined by the Financial Aid and Awards Service of the University of Ottawa. Application must be made to the Director of Financial Aid and Awards Service, and should include:

  1. An OSOTF application form, available at the Financial Aid and Awards Office.
  2. A copy of the applicant’s academic transcript.
  3. Proof that the candidate has completed the comprehensive examinations.
Departmental Financial Assistance - Master's Degree

In the Department of English the full-time M.A. with course work is a one-year program and, while a student may take more than one year to complete it, no financial assistance is guaranteed after the first year. The full-time M.A. with thesis is funded for two years. Within the one- or two-year period of eligibility, funding is provided by means of graduate scholarships and departmental teaching, research, and marking assistantships, which involve a maximum of ten hours of work per week. After they have accepted the offer of admission, students will be asked to submit an application for a teaching/research/marking assistantship to the Departmental Administrator. The student will then be assigned to a professor in the Department (usually in late August or early September). The student then contacts the professor to arrange a meeting to discuss their duties. For more information about teaching/research/marking assistantships, contact the Departmental Administrator at engadmin@uottawa.ca.

Departmental Financial Assistance - PH.D.

There are usually three types of departmental assistantships available to doctoral candidates, each involving a maximum of ten hours of work per week:

i) Graduate Teaching Assistantship - The student assists the professor in the preparation and the delivery of courses.

ii) Part-time Teaching - The graduate student has full responsibility for teaching his/her own section of an undergraduate course.

iii) Research Assistantship - The student assists a professor in the preparation of a research project. This may involve clerical as well as research activities.

A doctoral student with an Admission Scholarship can expect to maintain a departmental assistantship of at least $9,000 per year for the duration of the scholarship (four years). Doctoral students in their fifth or sixth year can still apply for assistantships, but there is no guarantee that any positions will be available for them, since priority must be given to MA and PhD students who still have Admission Scholarships. After they have accepted the offer of admission, students will be asked to submit an application for a teaching/research/marking assistantship to the Departmental Administrator. The student will then be assigned to a professor in the Department (usually in late August or early September). The student then contacts the professor to arrange a meeting to discuss their duties. For more information about teaching/resaerch/marking assistantships, contact the Departmental Administrator at engadmin@uottawa.ca.

Financial Assistance, International Students

International student funding is extremely limited, available on a competitive basis. For more information, see the FGPS website for international student assistance.

 

Other Awards, Bursaries, and Grants

The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) annually offers an award of $500 to approximately 60 students. To be eligible an applicant must be a full-time student of the University of Ottawa; must continue full-time studies at the University of Ottawa in the term following the application; and must demonstrate financial need and academic merit. Application forms are available at the APUO office (Room 348, University Centre) in September of each year, and the deadline is usually in November. http://www.apuo.ca/member-services/awards/student/

The Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO) annually offers seven Student Awards in the amount of $500 each, to students who can demonstrate financial need and academic merit. To be eligible for the award, an applicant must be a full-time student who is not a part-time professor and does not fall under the jurisdiction of the APTPUO. The student must have completed one year of university studies or the equivalent, and must continue full-time studies at the University of Ottawa in the term following the application.

Application forms for the Student Award Program are available from the Awards Office (Room 123, University Centre). Applications for this award will only be accepted from students who have already filed an application for financial aid with the Financial Aid Office or the International Students Office. http://www.aptpuo.ca/en/ 

The Academic and Professional Development Fund was created by the Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa and the University of Ottawa to promote research and participation in scholarly activities on the part of part-time academic staff. The fund provides two types of grants, for which Ph.D. students who teach are eligible: travel grants for participation in conferences, and research and publication grants, which provide funding for the duplication of a thesis. Application forms for these grants are available from the APTPUO Office (Room 124, University Centre). http://www.aptpuo.ca/en/ 

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has a Travel Grant Program which aims to give students the opportunity to exchange ideas with recognized researchers in their field. Full-time graduate students registered in a master's with thesis or doctoral program at the University of Ottawa are eligible. Applications for conference travel grants and research travel grants must be submitted before the conference or the research stay takes place. No retroactive awards will be made. Application forms are available online: http://www.grad.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1471.

The University of Ottawa Graduate Students' Association (GSAED) offers travel grants to graduate students under its Academic Projects Fund. The primary purpose of this fund is to provide monies for graduate students who are most in need of financial support to attend or to present papers at conferences. All successful candidates will receive reimbursement of funds after they have attended or presented at the conference. The secondary purpose of this fund is to provide, on a competitive basis, limited funds for the support of departmentally sponsored academic projects. To be eligible for a grant from this fund, a student must have first applied to the FGPS for a travel grant.

The Financial Aid and Awards Service has a special fund for students experiencing financial difficulty. Students must meet with a counsellor to determine eligibility. Contact Financial Aid, Room 102, University Centre (613- 562-5734).

The Ways and Means Fund, which is described in Article 10.12 of the Collective Agreement, provides for short-term loans and awards to part-time professors in need, based on compassionate and humanitarian considerations. Contact the APTPUO at info@aptpuo.ca or (613) 562-5800 (extension 4374/5) for details.

Tuition Fee Credits are available to part-time students and dependents of full-time students. These are described in Article 10.13 of the Collective Agreement. Credits are earned on the basis of 6% of the remuneration paid for bargaining unit work carried out by members of the Association.

Student Insurance is provided by the Graduate Students Association of the University of Ottawa. Enrolment is automatic and compulsory for full-time students. Part-time students may obtain coverage by applying at the GSA office before October 1st and paying the appropriate fee. If a student is fully covered under another plan, proof is required for cancellation of the fee. This insurance covers 80% of the cost of prescription drugs and provides various other benefits, including a small life-insurance policy. Full details can be obtained from the Graduate Students Association http://gsaed.ca/insurance/

 

English Graduate Students' Association

The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) of the Department of English represents the English graduate students at the University of Ottawa. The purpose of the English GSA is to foster a sense of community among graduate students, to liaise with faculty and staff on issues relevant to graduate students, and to represent our department at the campus-wide Graduate Students’ Association (GSAÉD). The English GSA is proud to assist graduate students in all aspects of their involvement in the department of English. The English GSA holds monthly work-in-progress sessions for graduate students to share their work with colleagues, friends, and faculty. It also hosts a weekly coffee hour and organizes other special events throughout the year.

 

Housing Services

The University of Ottawa provides a variety of high-quality student accommodation on campus in the fashionable Sandy Hill area of downtown Ottawa. In addition to proximity to classrooms, food services, libraries and sports facilities, on-campus accommodation guarantees other advantages such as an opportunity to become fully involved in student life, develop lasting friendships, dine with colleagues, and take advantage of the many cultural, social and sports attractions of the nation's capital as well as of the extensive array of services offered by Student Affairs. For more information, contact Housing Services:

     100 Thomas More

     PO Box 450, Station A Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5

     (613) 562-5885

http://www.uottawa.ca/housing/

 

Graduate Courses

Every year the Department usually offers at least one half-year seminar in each of the following areas: Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration and Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth-Century British, Modern British, American, Canadian, Literary Theory, and Book History. Course descriptions are available here: http://arts.uottawa.ca/english/graduate/course-descriptions.

Readings and Research

In addition to the course codes for particular seminars, students should note the following course codes for registration purposes. Each is equivalent to 3 (or 6) credits, though only a Pass/Fail is registered on the student’s transcript.

Course CodeTitleCredits
ENG 7997/9997 Directed Research (Thesis Proposal)3 cr.
ENG 6302 (Fall) Research Methodology 1.5 cr.
ENG 6303 (Winter) Professional Development1.5 cr.
ENG 6304 (Winter) Doctoral Research Methods 3 cr.
ENG 6111Directed Readings I 3 cr.
ENG 6112 Directed Readings II3 cr.
ENG 6900 French Language Requirement (MA)
ENG 7999 M.A. Thesis Research 6 cr.
ENG 7900French Language Requirement (Ph.D.)
ENG 9998  Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations6 cr.
ENG 9999 Ph.D. Thesis Research6 cr.

 

ENG 6302/6303 Research Methodology and Professional Development

This course is designed to prepare students for the professional study of English and/or for careers in other professional fields through the development of discipline-specific and transferable skills in three main areas. The first is the rapidly expanding number of electronic and print research tools and methods. The second is the preparation of grant applications, the thesis proposal, and the comprehensive examinations. The third area is professional skills such as presenting conference papers, publishing articles, and planning for careers both inside and outside the university.

ENG 6304 Doctoral Research Methods

This course offers an overview of of theoretical, methodological, and critical approaches to literary studies to enable students to situate their own research within the discipline.

ENG 6111/12 Policy Regarding Directed Readings

Only in exceptional circumstances, subject to Graduate Committee approval, will a Directed Reading be permitted. A Directed Reading will only be granted if the proposed topic is clearly not covered in courses currently offered by the Department, and if the student can find a supervisor willing to direct the reading. The student must find a supervisor and submit a proposal to the Graduate Committee by the end of the fourth week of the term preceding the term in which enrollment in ENG 6111/2 is anticipated.

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