ArtSci introduces Masters of Philosophy in English Literature program

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AAC Academic Grievance Centre

MPhil only program of its kind in Ontario

Journal file photo

As of fall 2018, the University will offer a new two-year Masters of Philosophy in English Literature program. It will provide students with guaranteed entry into a PhD in the same field.

According to Marketing and Communications Coordinator in the Faculty of Arts and Science Debbie Rogers, the Masters of Philosophy in English Literature (MPhil) program takes one year off of a student’s PhD. It’s the only graduate program of its kind in Ontario right now, as it offers acceleration into a doctorate program and unique experiential learning opportunities.

Rogers also said the MPhil program will be targeted towards students who are already interested in pursuing a PhD in Philosophy of Literature. In an email to The Journal, Associate Professor in the Department of English Sam McKegney explained “the degree is specifically designed for those students whose passion for literary studies is leading them to contemplate […] the kinds of doctoral project upon which they hope one day to embark.”

McKegney also noted the MPhil was developed through consultation with graduate students, faculty and alumni across a variety of departments. 

“The Department of English has recognized increasing diversity among the passions, life experiences, and career and research aspirations of our graduate students over the past decade,” McKegney wrote. “We need diverse pathways to success for our graduate students and flexibility among those pathways to respond to students’ development.” 

According to McKegney, the MPhil was designed to complement the existing one-year MA and four-year PhD programs available in the Department of English. 

McKegney believes this masters is unique because of the incorporation of a publishing practicum course in the curriculum. This will take students through every stage of the publishing process.

“Not only do students learn about the complexities of academic and non-academic publishing, but they are taken step-by-step through the process while working on a paper in their specific fields of study such that at the end of their MPhil they will have submitted at least one piece for publication,” he wrote. 

Not only will the publishing practicum provide students with valuable experience and skills, but McKegney believes it also gives them the opportunity to publish a paper they can use towards grant or job applications. Moreover, the program allows students to pursue diverse and flexible pathways.

“Students who excel in the MA program are able to apply to transfer into the MPhil and gain the advantages of an extra year of funded graduate work and the acceleration of dissertation work within the PhD, to which they will thereby gain guaranteed entry,” McKegney wrote. “Students who determine after their first two terms that they do not wish to continue on into the second year of the MPhil can transfer to the MA, take one final spring course, and graduate with an MA within 12 months.”

“The MPhil is a unique opportunity — unique like the students it will prepare for a variety of careers and for doctoral study,” McKegney wrote.

According to Rogers, applications for the MPhil program are already open. The Faculty will be hosting a series of webinars in the coming weeks to help students learn more about it.

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