The deadline for applications to be received in the Department of English, complete with all supporting documentation, is:
Late applications will not be considered.
Students are required to submit the following:
NEW POLICY Applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the address below.
Faculty of Graduate Studies
500 University Centre
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Tel: 204-474-9377 Fax: 204-474-7553
Applications are considered by the Graduate Selection Board on an individual basis.
The PhD program is designed to enable completion in four years. In the first year of full-time PhD study, a student normally will complete 18 credit hours of course work, as follows:
1) a minimum of 12 credit hours at the 7000-level in English, with (if possible) at least one course in the student's area of specialization; and
2) six ancillary credit hours that may be taken from the 7000-level offerings in the English Department or, if appropriate to the student’s program, courses offered by another department (excluding 1000 or 2000 level courses). The 3 credit hour course ENGL7600 Bibliography must be taken as part of these six ancillary credit hours unless the student holds equivalent credit on a transcript.
Depending on the student's progress and demonstrated knowledge and ability in the first year of PhD study, a total of 18 credit hours may be deemed sufficient, or a further course or courses may be required as the Graduate Committee directs.
Graduate students are required to have some knowledge of a language other than English. For a PhD degree, a grade of C+ or better in 6 credit hours of language course(s) (second year or higher) satisfies the requirement. Such courses may be taken at the University of Manitoba or at other universities. Students who have a reading knowledge of a second language but who have not taken a university-level course in it may satisfy the requirement by demonstrating competence in that language, which, in most cases, will be done by taking a reading test. These tests are administered and marked by the members of the department in which that language is taught. While some programs of research may require reading knowledge of a particular language, in most cases students may choose, subject to the approval of their advisors, the language best suited to their interests. Students who enter the program with English as a second language will have their language requirement waived unless they are carrying out research that requires reading knowledge of a third language. If there is any question about which language would be appropriate in a given program of study or about the level of competence demanded, students must discuss the matter with their advisors, who will advise them in consultation with the Graduate Chair (on the advice of the Graduate Committee) and, when necessary, the Head of the appropriate language department. All language courses/reading tests will be classified as AX (Auxiliary) and the grade will not be included in the student’s G.P.A.
Normally one week before classes begin, the Chair and at least two other members of the Graduate Committee will meet with the student for an Exploratory Conference. The student is advised to contact the Department of English Graduate Program Assistant during the first week of August for the date and time of the appointment. In cases where a student has completed graduate courses beyond the MA degree before entering the PhD program, credit may be transferred towards a PhD degree only after the student has undertaken the Exploratory Conference and only if the course or courses fits into an approved program of study. The regulations governing this Conference are as follows:
1. The student should begin the interview with a statement of his/her knowledge by reference to prior study, assessing both his/her strengths and weaknesses, and should be prepared to make a brief statement about the findings of the Master's thesis or previous graduate work.
2. The student should, in preparation for the interview, review some aspects of literary history or theory important to his/her prior or prospective study, and should come prepared to initiate discussion of this area with the Exploratory Committee.
3. The Committee, in turn, will be prepared to discuss widely the student's interests and concerns, and those areas in which it feels the student would benefit from additional course work required for completion of the doctoral degree.
4. The Committee will write an assessment of the interview incorporating its requirements for the first year of study and its recommendations to the Chair of Graduate English Studies for the areas of further study.
Subject to the approval of the Chair of Graduate English Studies, the Exploratory Committee, after consultation with the student, will establish a long-term course program, including language requirements, and will advise the student until he/she has declared an advisor. It is in the student's best interest to select an advisor promptly to ensure efficient programming (normally, by the end of April of the first year). Midway through a student’s first year, the Chair of Graduate English Studies will meet with the instructors of graduate classes and the student’s Exploratory Committee members to discuss the performance of each first-year student, referring also to the Exploratory Conference. Students whose performance at the end of first term is found to be unsatisfactory will be so advised by the Chair of Graduate English Studies, in detail, and will be warned that lack of improvement by the end of second term may result in their being required to withdraw from the PhD program. After being so warned, a student who fails to reach minimum departmental standards by the end of the second term of the first year will be informed in writing of recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies that he/she be required to withdraw and, where found appropriate, be advised of the conditions for readmission. Students whose performance in the first year has been found satisfactory will be advised in writing that they have qualified to continue in the PhD program. Students who under special circumstances enter in January will receive evaluations in both April and the following January, with the final evaluation taking place in April, sixteen months after their initial registration.
Satisfactory progress by a full-time PhD student in the Graduate Studies program in English is defined as the completion of 18 credit hours of course work by the end of the first year of study, completed candidacy examinations by the end of the second/third year of study, and a successfully defended thesis by the end of the fourth year of study. Exceptions to this timetable must be approved, in writing, by the advisor, the Chair of Graduate English Studies, and the Head of the Department of English. In addition, a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.00 with no grade below “C+” must be maintained for continuance.
The PhD Candidacy Examinations
The candidacy examinations are designed to test the student's knowledge and ability at the completion of the required course work. They consist of two parts—a four-hour written examination on a historical period and a four-hour written examination on the student's Special Area, each of which is followed by a one-hour oral examination scheduled during the week following the written examination. It is the responsibility of the student's Period Committee/Special Area Committee (as established by the student's advisor and the Graduate Chair) to approve the Period examination/Special Area examination. The dates for the Period and Special Area examinations are early November and April. The order in which the examinations are written is decided by the student and his/her advisor and approved by the Graduate Chair representing the Department Head. (Reading Lists for the Second Comprehensive Examinations must be circulated to the examining committee within three months of writing the First Comprehensive Examination.)
As early as possible, students should consult their advisors regarding selection of a Period and determination of a Special Area.
I. PERIOD EXAMINATION: At least six months before taking the Period examination, the student’s advisor will advise the Graduate Chair on the appointment of a Period Committee. In cases where the period chosen is the:
– 20th century, the Period Committee should also meet with the candidate as soon as possible after being formed to draw up a list which should consist of between fifty and sixty works by between twenty and thirty authors, at least fifteen of whom should be chosen from the core list.
–18th or 19th century, the Period Committee should also meet with the candidate as soon as possible after being formed to draw up a list which should consist of between fifty and sixty works by between twenty and thirty authors, at least twenty of whom should be chosen from the core list.
A "work" consists of a novel or a collection of poetry, drama or fictional or non-fictional prose by a given author or a substantial selection of thematically linked poetry or prose. Each student will develop the list in consultation with his or her advisor; it must then be approved by the examining committee (two other members of the department with expertise in the area) and the Graduate Chair or designate (if the Graduate Chair is a member of the examining committee). The committee and Graduate Chair are responsible for ensuring that the list includes some balance in genres and a chronological range across the period. This list should be drawn up and approved by or as soon as possible after the end of course work in the April of the student's first year in the doctoral program, and the exams should be written in mid November of the following academic term.
The Period examination will deal with one of the following periods:
A list of authors for each period is available from the English Graduate Program Office. Students may also obtain copies of previous examination questions. Where more than one student is to write on a given period, the sitting will be on the same day, though the shape and composition of 18th -, 19th -, and 20th -century examinations are likely to vary with the differing Elective Lists and possibly distinct committees for each student.
Candidacy Examination Reading Lists:
II. SPECIAL AREA EXAMINATION: The Special Area exam is intended to provide the student with the historical or contextual background necessary for writing the doctoral thesis. The lists should consist of between fifty and sixty works by between twenty and thirty authors. A "work" consists of a novel or a collection of poetry, drama or fictional or non-fictional prose by a given author or a substantial selection of thematically linked poetry or prose. Topics should be formulated to ensure that they are manageable within these limits. Each student will develop the list and a brief (one- to two-page) rationale in consultation with his or her advisor; it must then be approved by the examining committee (two other members of the department with expertise in the area) and the Graduate Chair or designate (if the Graduate Chair is a member of the examining committee). The range of chronological coverage will be left to the discretion of the supervisor and committee, but in no case is there to be more than a fifteen to twenty percent overlap with authors covered in the period exam. This list should be drawn up and approved by or as soon as possible after the completion of the period exams in November, and the Special Area exams should be written by the end of the following May.
The Special Area is intended as a formal antithesis to the Period in as much as it requires historical breadth of knowledge, as well as specialized knowledge of a literary genre (e.g. the long poem), or mode (e.g. parody), or theme (e.g. quest narratives), or theory (e.g. mimesis). Its scope should not be restricted to the literature or literary practice of any nation or culture, but should be broadly comparative in its reading of both literary history and theory. The Special Area list should not overlap by more than 25 % with the Period list. While the two lists will normally be related, they represent two distinct areas and differing types of literary knowledge.
Students are encouraged to discuss these examinations with the Graduate Chair well in advance of writing them.
Students will be allowed to attempt the candidacy examinations no more than twice. Failure twice of either component (the Period or the Special Area) will result in the separation of the student from the program.
PhD Thesis Proposal
After successful completion of the candidacy examinations, the PhD candidate, with the advisor's approval, prepares a thesis proposal which the Graduate Chair circulates among the Graduate Committee. The proposal will typically be 8 - 10 pages in length, double-spaced (excluding bibliography). A breakdown of methodology by chapters is also expected.
After receiving written evaluations from the Graduate Committee, the Graduate Chair writes to the advisor, conveying the Committee's views as well as his/her own. Any matters of concern thus conveyed must be resolved before the student is allowed to proceed with the thesis.
PhD Thesis and Oral Defense
The nature of the PhD thesis should be fully explored in conferences with the advisor and other members of the student's committee. Technical standards are high, and the finished thesis should represent a substantial contribution to scholarship, a condition which lends emphasis to the need for consultation between the student and the committee. In brief, it is important that the candidate be assured, from the start, of the concurrence of the advisor in the suitability of the subject chosen and the mode of research.
The actual research on the thesis is done by the student in consultation with the advisor and any other faculty members to whom the student may be referred. The acquisition of rare research materials, travel for purposes of research, and other unusual situations relating to the project will be matters for discussion with the advisor. In every case, the candidate should remain in continuing contact with the advisor to avoid the possibility of fruitless labour.
Generally, the thesis is completed through the first draft in consultation with the advisor, after which other members of the committee will be requested to read and offer comments to the thesis advisor on the draft. Every thesis must be read, and approved, by one person who is considered to be a professional authority in the subject and who is not a member of the faculty of the University of Manitoba . This outside reader is considered an official member of the candidate's examining committee and is normally selected by the advisor with the approval of the Head.
(The Faculty of Graduate Studies may request justification for department's selection of the outside reader.)
Upon tentative approval of the thesis by the candidate's committee, and following the completion of all required changes to its satisfaction, an oral defense of the thesis will be scheduled. Notice of this defense is published by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and it is open to any member of the academic community. Specific details of the University requirements in this respect are available from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Departmental deadline dates for circulation of PhD thesis (NOTE: distribution of thesis is done through the Faculty of Graduate Studies office only):
May convocation - January 2nd
October convocation - June 1st
February convocation - October 1st
After a successful defense and corrections to the thesis are complete, the candidate must submit two unbound copies of the thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and two bound copies to the Department of English (instructions on binding format to be obtained from the Department of English Graduate Program Assistant). Thesis/Practicum Information and Guidelines can be obtained from the Faculty of Graduate Studies website:
Students choosing to submit their thesis electronically to the Faculty of Graduate Studies can log onto the website below for further information.
Every candidate for a degree must make a formal application at the beginning of the session in which the student expects to complete graduation requirements. Application for graduation is to be made through the telephone or web registration system (refer to the current University of Manitoba Registration Guide for further details). Students convocating in October do not need to reregister; all others must register in GRAD 8000 PhD Thesis in September for any later convocation after the first year of PhD Thesis registration .
The maximum time allowed for the completion of the PhD requirements is seven years.
More information regarding Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba can be found at the Faculty of Graduate Studies web site.
E-mail inquiries regarding graduate studies in English may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.