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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


The Master of Arts and Beyond

Our department not only takes great pride in its students’ accomplishments while they are in our program, but also in the productive, successful and fulfilling careers they build after they have graduated from our program.

Indeed, those of our graduates who wish to pursue a career in academia are very successful in winning external awards and scholarships, as well as securing a place as doctoral candidates in the leading PhD programs across the country. Those who pursue careers beyond the academy prove how versatile and highly valued the Master of Arts (MA) in English continues to be in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive global job market.

Our graduate students have launched successful careers in the publishing industry, education and government, the media and entertainment industry, the information technology sector, law, journalism, the business sector and much more.

Testimonials about the Program

Rachel Schryver (2018)

The English MA program was unquestionably the most important and enjoyable year in my post-secondary education. It transformed my experience of university in ways that I couldn’t have anticipated. The faculty were good-humoured and seem to delight in the opportunity to work with graduate students through intricate discussions of course material. The course material itself tackles some really interesting topics and facilitated the most rewarding research I’ve done in university. The writing skills I had developed in my undergraduate program reached a level of sophistication I hadn’t expected to achieve so rapidly as the course work continued to challenge us. My cohort of graduate students became one of the best parts of the program because we were a close group that spent a lot of time together outside of class, becoming a source of stress-relief and social catharsis. This was an invaluable support system in such a fast-paced learning environment. I also quickly developed essential time-management skills that I had otherwise been lacking in my undergraduate years. I particularly appreciated the opportunity to TA undergraduate courses because approaching the material from the perspective of an instructor was academically-stimulating and teaching was generally such a fun, unique experience.

Rachel now works as a web content coordinator at the Web Team in Laurier's Department of Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing (CPAM). 

Amanda Spallacci (2016)

The Department of English and Film Studies is the ideal program to obtain a master's degree. Upon entering the MA program, I was immediately embraced by the PhD students. They were incredibly helpful, willing to discuss classes and research, and assist with my move to Waterloo. A master's degree is incredibly rigorous, and on account of the demanding workload, often times students tend to isolate themselves. Yet, in this department, the PhD students created a sense of community for the MA students; they planned social events, and maintained a constant outlet for kind and compassionate communication. I received astounding support and genuine care from the students in the department, and formed friendships that I know are long lasting. The Department of English and Film Studies is not only able to offer a graduate degree, but also a community of scholars who are willing to help and guide new students along the path of success.

The Department of English and Film Studies offers a variety of interdisciplinary courses that cater to students from a variety of backgrounds. My peers and I were excited to attend classes and to discuss the material together afterwards. Each course was personally enjoyable and academically helpful.

Even with their demanding schedules, faculty assisted me with developing my own research, determining my future plans, and even offering personal guidance. These professors are truly exemplary and display genuine empathy and care for the graduate school experience. Graduation is bittersweet; I am excited to complete my degree, but am sad to leave such a warm environment.

Ariel Kroon (2014)

In 2014, I undertook a one-year master's program in English and Film Studies, with a Major Research Paper component in the summer, and it was both highly educational and extremely enjoyable. The faculty are outstanding academics, many of whom made time to mentor me on my course work, as well as for the purposes of PhD and scholarship applications. I was familiarized with new fields and ideas as well as encouraged in my own research and development as a scholar. I found the community fostered by my fellow graduate students at Laurier to be tight-knit and supportive, and the relationships among myself, my peers, and department faculty continue even now that I have moved on to pursue further studies.

Testimonials about the Professional Skills Option

Catherine Brunskill (2017)

Laurier's master's in English program gave me the flexibility I craved to pursue a variety of literary interests while developing marketable skills and gaining a competitive degree. The interdisciplinary nature of the program and its course-based approach allowed me to explore different areas of research, resulting in a truly fulfilling and challenging experience. I honed my presentation skills, enhanced my research skills, challenged my critical thinking skills, and finely tuned my communication skills. In effect, my MA was the perfect blend of what are commonly called "soft" and "hard" skills.

In addition, I participated in the professional placement option offered at Laurier. This opportunity enabled me to apply the skills I learned in the classroom in a real-work setting, learning how an English degree can translate into the workplace. My placement at The New Quarterly (TNQ) gave me a taste of working in literary publishing and expanded my non-profit publicity acumen. I also picked up a suite of new skills which made me more marketable to employers upon graduation. I am ecstatic to relay that since my placement ended, I have been able to continue my involvement with TNQ in the role of Publicity Director.

Catherine works as Marketing, Recruitment and Outreach Officer at Renison University College, affiliated with the University of Waterloo, and volunteers as Publicity Director for The New Quarterly, one of Canada's leading literature magazines.

Alida Allemano (2015)

My time spent working at The New Quarterly has been valuable to my career development and academic learning. Getting the opportunity to learn and try out different forms of writing such as blogging helped me feel more versatile in my writing and communication skills outside of the academic sphere. The administrative and computer skills I developed during this position have helped me feel confident when applying to office and communications jobs and have given me a good glimpse into how small publishing companies operate. It was interesting to learn about the business and marketing side of small, non-profit magazines like The New Quarterly. I think the Professional Skills placement is an important option to offer future MA students at Laurier. I really enjoyed expanding my skills outside of academia and gaining important training that will aid me in my job search. It was valuable getting to talk to professionals in this field and how they acquired their current positions.

Laura Hagglund (2015)

My time with Laurier's Department of Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing (CPAM) has taught me a great deal about communications writing, correct grammar and style, media relations, social media, graphic design, website content, and digital marketing. I was so thrilled when the placement option became available, and my experience absolutely exceeded my expectations. I hope the placement will continue to be an option for future MA students, as it has given me the wonderful opportunity to take the skills and knowledge that I learned in school and utilize them in a workplace setting. I am also pleased to say that CPAM has offered me a position for the duration of the summer.

 

Contact Us:

Jing Jing Chang, Graduate Coordinator

E: jchang@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x3151

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