PhD Program | College of Arts

PhD Program

The PhD program in Literary Studies/Theatre Studies provides an opportunity for doctoral study that is unique in Canada and builds on the expertise of nearly thirty faculty members, who provide graduate students with an impressive range of scholarship, approaches, and research achievements.

The program aims to give intellectual and practical academic training to a small number of students who demonstrate exceptional scholarly potential and who show keen interest in one or more of the PhD program's fields of specialization:

  • Studies in Canadian Literatures
  • Colonial, Postcolonial and Diasporic Studies
  • Early Modern Studies
  • Studies in the History and Politices of Performance and Theatre
  • Sexuality and Gender Studies
  • Transnational Nineteenth-Century Studies
  • Critical Studies in Improvisation

Although students might choose to focus on either literary studies or theatre studies, the special opportunity provided by the PhD program is its contribution to the evolution of interdisciplinary work in the humanities. The collaboration allows for opportunities not available in more traditional doctoral programs, especially in inter-discursive and theoretical work across the boundaries of literary and theatre studies. The program aims to foster in students a flexibility and creativity in defining their areas and methods of research that will serve them well in an academic job market that now seldom looks for narrow specialization or coverage of a single field.

For program information and enquiries, e-mail the Guelph directorship at englthea@uoguelph.ca,

Admission Requirements

The normal requirement for admission to the PhD program is an MA degree in English or Drama/Theatre Studies from a recognized post-secondary institution, with at least a high second-class standing (78%) in the work of the last four semesters or the last two undergraduate years. Students with degrees in other disciplines may also be considered. In very exceptional circumstances, an applicant may lack the required honours BA degree, but may be assessed as qualified to undertake graduate studies on the basis of other experience and practice and may apply for admission under alternate admissions criteria.

Application Deadline

The deadline for the receipt of your complete application package for admission in the Fall semester is January 15th. There is only one entry point for thePhD Program (September). Consideration of your application cannot begin until all of the supporting documentation has been submitted, and applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and to make certain that the entire application package (with all supporting materials) is uploaded prior to the due date. At its discretion, the School may consider applications received after the due date, but there is no guarantee that space or financial assistance will be available. Decisions on admissions are normally finalized within 6-8 weeks of the January 15th deadline.

Application Procedures

You must apply on-line, using the University of Guelph’s on-line application form which can be accessed at the following URL:  https://www.ouac.on.ca/apply/guelphgrad/en_CA/user/login. The on-line application site also offers the convenience of submitting your application fee in one of three ways: direct debit, credit card, or cheque.

Once you have submitted your application on-line, the rest of the application package is self-administered: you must assemble all of the following components and upload them to the WebAdvisor portal:

  • official transcripts (these must be certified copies of each previous undergraduate and graduate degree. Official transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by a certified literal translation
  • three letters of reference (you will be prompted for your referees contact information and a secure link will be sent directly to them).
  • resume
  • a 400-600 word statement about your research interests, your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies at Guelph, and, if possible, a statement about specific fields of study you are interested in exploring
  • one writing sample, preferably an essay from your MA studies (complete with grades and instructors’ comments, if possible) that can serve as samples of your scholarly performance
  • certification of English language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB test scores) for applicants whose first language is not English

International Applicants:

Applications from international students are warmly encouraged, though the application procedures are somewhat more complex. If the applicant’s first degree was completed in a country where English is not the first language, certification of English-language proficiency must be documented at the time of application. Examples of acceptable assessment of proficiency include official scores or results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of the Educational Testing Service, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB), and the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) assessment. The minimum acceptable score is 550 for the paper-based TOEFL, an overall score of 89 with no individual component below 21 for the Internet Based TOEFL, 6.5 for IELTS, 85 for MELAB, and 60 for CAEL. However, the Admissions Committee will also assess the essays submitted as part of the application to determine whether the applicant is likely to be able to work adequately at the graduate level. Graduate courses at the University of Guelph are completed in approximately 12 weeks, and students must therefore be proficient in the use of English, both written and oral, when they begin their studies at Guelph. There is no provision for upgrading English language skills during the course of the PhD Program.

In addition, international applicants should be realistic in their estimation of the cost of studying and living in Canada, which are currently between $18,000 and $25,000 Can. per year. Financial assistance is normally guaranteed for all entering students, but at best, such funding would only cover a portion of the total cost of a year’s study. International applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the University’s Centre for International Programs website for additional information, and also the International Graduate Student Funding Guidelines on the University’s website. In addition to special tuition fees for international graduate students, there are also some other non-academic fees, and all international students and their dependants must enroll in the University Health Insurance Plan as soon as they arrive in Ontario.

Fees

Please consult the University’s website for the current schedule of fees for graduate students.

Graduate course outlines for the current academic year can be found here.