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Department of English & Cultural Studies Graduate Application Instructions

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 15th
Please read these instructions carefully before starting your application process.

Required Documentation:
The following materials are required to be uploaded before your online application will be considered complete. *Please make sure to include all required documents, when the application asks for the Statement of Interest and the CV. 

English MA Applicants:

Coursework Option and Thesis Option

Please note that you must choose to apply to either the Coursework Option or the Thesis Option for the English Master’s program.

  • A 500-word (2 pages, double spaced) Statement of Interest. The point of the statement of interest is for students to demonstrate their theoretical interests and particular fields of emerging expertise. Students should outline one or two theoretical or conceptual approaches that they have employed in undergraduate projects &/or their areas of particular interest.
  • A 300-word (1 page, double spaced) plan of study for applicants to the Thesis Option only: this thesis proposal should describe the student’s proposed topic.
  • Writing Sample for applicants to the Thesis Option only: a sample of your work (no more than 15 pages) is required.
  • Scholarships & Awards: if applicable, applicants are to include a list of scholarships, awards, and bursaries received during their academic studies. Please include the following: title of the award, duration, a brief description of significance, and the value of the scholarship received.
  • Additional Information: if appropriate, list on a separate sheet any research, teaching, or work experience related to your proposed area of specialization. You may also include your C.V. as part of the uploaded documents. If applicable, please provide a list of courses you are currently taking.
  • One original transcript (scanned copy) for each university and post-secondary institution attended and each program in which you have studied, including both undergraduate and graduate degrees and course work: official transcripts must be scanned and uploaded directly to the online application system. If your application is accepted for admission to the program, you will be required to submit original, paper transcripts to the Department of English & Cultural Studies, c/o the Graduate Administrator to the address below:

Chester New Hall 321
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON
Canada, L8S 4L9

  • Two confidential letters of recommendation from instructors most familiar with your academic work: McMaster University uses the Electronic Referencing System. By entering the email address of your referee through the online application, the system will automatically send an e-Reference request on your behalf. Please note that the system will only recognize email addresses of academic institutions. If for some reason you/or your referee are unable to use the Electronic Referencing System, you can download the Reference form using this link: Confidential Report Form
  • International Students: applicants whose native language is not English will be required to provide an official record of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. A TOEFL score of 92 (iBT), 580 on the regular test and a score of 237 on the computerized test are required. If you are submitting the IELTS test, a score of 7 is required.
  • Application Fee: To finalize the application, applicants must agree to the online terms and conditions, and pay the required $100 (CND) application fee. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid in Canadian dollars by means of a debit or credit card payment.  Your application will not be considered for admission until your application fee has been received.  Please see the Student Accounts & Cashiers website for information on the acceptable methods of payment.

Start the online application process.

Important Ontario Graduate Scholarship Information for Master’s Applicants: To be considered for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship awards at McMaster, MA applicants must apply for a Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master’s award and select McMaster as one of their intended Universities on the CGS-M application. CGS-M applications are used to determine Ontario Graduate Scholarships as well as CGS-M awards. The CGS-M application process takes some time; start it early, and complete your application well before the deadline of December 1st.

More information for scholarships and awards for graduate students can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.