How to Apply

Info for graduate applicants

Applications are now closed for the fall 2024 intake for the English MA and PhD programs.

Watch our latest info session, featuring Professor Matthew Hussey and MA students Shauna Irani and Tianne Jensen-DesJardins.

Applications are accepted online through the Graduate Studies online application system. The application fee is $90 CAD (domestic students with Canadian credentials only) or $125 CAD (domestic, as well as international students with international credentials) by credit card (MasterCard or Visa).

If you cannot apply online, please contact the Graduate Program Assistant.

Admission Requirements

University requirements

Please review Simon Fraser University's Graduate Studies admission requirements.

Department Requirements

The Department of English has certain requirements beyond the Graduate Studies regulations:

  • A minimum 3.5 CGPA (cumulative grade point average)
  • For international students, either a degree from an English-speaking post-secondary institution or top scores in any of the acceptable English language test, i.e. TOEFL Paper (650+), TOEFL Computer-Based (280+), TOEFL Internet-Based (95+), or IELTS (8.5-9).

To complete the application, the department requires you to submit the following items:

Contact information for three referees

Email requests will be sent by the system inviting referees to submit letters of reference electronically.

A sample of the applicant's scholarly work

One (1) sample only. A substantial literary essay is expected. This paper may be either a graduate or undergraduate paper, drawn from the last two years of any BA program, or a paper written specifically for the purpose of applying to the MA or PhD program.

A written statement about current interests and prospective research

An applicant’s research background and vision for their graduate studies, in addition to how well their proposed research interests fit with the research interests of the department, are important admission considerations, and this is especially true for doctoral applicants. In the goGrad application platform, please submit one document: a letter of intent; currently the platform requests more than one—a letter of intent and a prospectus—but we only need one, as described below, and please submit it as a “Letter of Intent” in the dropdown menu:

  • PhD applicants should include a letter of intent that describes their academic and research background and interests, as well as their proposed doctoral research topic, questions, approach, and intervention. 1-2 pages single-spaced.
  • MA applicants should include a concise letter of intent that describes their academic and research background and interests, and their intended course of studies. 1 page single-spaced.

An updated C.V. (curriculum vitae)

Added to the C.V. should be a note indicating whether an application for SSHRC (open to Canadian students only) or other external funding has been made.

Digital transcripts from all post-secondary institutions showing course titles and grading scales (e.g. scanned copy, photocopy etc.)

Please note that all transcripts uploaded by applicants are considered unofficial, so you may submit unofficial digital transcripts. Official transcripts are required only after an offer of admission is made and they should be sent directly to Graduate Studies. Official transcripts showing degree completion are required prior to enrolling at SFU. We recommend submitting your transcripts approximately two months prior to your first term.

For more information, see SFU's Graduate Studies admission requirements.

Please Note:  Before applying to the doctoral program, it is highly recommended that you peruse the web pages of the department faculty members and their research interests, and make contact with faculty members who could potentially act as your senior supervisor.

It is not possible to acknowledge receipt of applications; however, you may check the status of your application materials online during the application period, as this information is updated continuously. Incomplete files will not be reviewed.

If you have any questions that are not answered by visiting our website, the graduate program assistant will welcome your emails ( or phone calls (1 778-782-4614). Please note that long distance calls cannot be returned.