How to apply for graduate studies

Start your path to your next degree in English with these steps.

Getting ready

Follow these steps before you apply for grad studies. Admissions to graduate programs are highly competitive, as there are a limited number of spaces. There is no general right of admission, so it's best to be as prepared as possible.

Before you start

Ensure you meet admission requirements for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and your program.


Plan 2 to 6 months to prepare required documents. International students may need longer.


Your online application and all application components must be received by Dec. 15 to be considered for funding for September admission.

Writing a Statement of Purpose / Letter of Intent / Statement of Intent

These letters are your opportunity to tell the graduate program:

  • Your specific area of academic interest (research topic you want to work on)
  • How your past education and other experiences have prepared you to be successful in the graduate program
  • What you hope to achieve in the graduate program
  • Why this particular program is the best place for you to pursue your interests

Generally, these statements are in the form of a short essay. Make sure to carefully read the specific instructions given by the English graduate program and ensure you provide us with all the materials asked for.

Other tips for a strong Statement of Interest

  • State any work you have done in this area already (mention specific skills/techniques you have picked up)
  • Connect your area of interest to work being done in the program (mention
  • specific faculty members and projects)
  • Refer to academic publications that have informed your interest (use correct
  • citation as footnote)
  • Mention any publications, presentations or conferences you have been a part of

Reference letters

Tips for your reference letters

Your letters of reference must address your suitability for academic study in literature in our department. They should be detailed, addressing gaps, strengths, how you are unique, your grades, your research proposal, and any significant achievements.

If you are interested in our creative writing stream, your referees should also be aware that our degree programs emphasize and require in-depth literary study and a background in literature in English as well, and should address your research plans, your critical writing and your creative writing abilities and potential.

View useful tips for your referees

For information about graduate studies at the university, visit UCalgary's Future Graduate website

Ready to apply?

Have you made your final decision and you're ready to apply?

What you'll need

The Faculty of Graduate Studies has detailed instructions about the application process.

Read admission steps and requirements

Do you have everything?

You are responsible for ensuring your application is complete and all documents are received by the deadline. 

Graduate supervisor

The Department of English does not require you to confirm a supervisor prior to admission.

Begin your application

First create an eID. You must have one to access the online application.

Once you begin, remember to click 'Save & Continue' often to ensure your application is saved.

Online application

Graduate program contacts

Contact us for any questions you may have about the programs we offer in the Department of English.

Graduate Program Advisor

Ask me about graduate program advising

Lori Somner

Associate Head (Graduate Program)

Ask me about graduate degree requirements

Morgan Vanek

Creative Writing Coordinator

Ask me about the Creative Writing Program

Clara A.B. Joseph