Doctor of Philosophy

Exploring English further

The Department of English at Simon Fraser University has a selective PhD program. Students interested in applying should have a well-conceived project that can be supported by the department's areas of specialization. The department is open to cross-disciplinary proposals and innovative studies.

The program is designed for completion in nine to 12 semesters, though the university allows an outside limit of eight years (24 semesters). Part-time students are permitted in this program.

Program of study

The first two years of the program are designed to provide a necessary grounding for students before they pursue their particular thesis project; in the third year, students will engage in the research and writing of their thesis. Upon admission, the student will be assigned an advisor until a supervisor and supervisory committee can be selected.

The doctoral program has three stages:

  1. Courses: By the end of the third semester, students must complete five courses, plus English 880 & Engl. 881: Graduate Professional Development I & II.
  2. Field exams and approval of thesis prospectus: Students must write their Field Exams by the end of the sixth semester, and students must defend their thesis prospectus by the end of the seventh semester. As field examinations are intended, in part, to encourage breadth of coverage, neither should replicate the fields enjoined by the thesis.
  3. The thesis: Students complete their research and proceed with the writing of their thesis. Normally, students submit their thesis for defence by the end of the 12th semester of study.