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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 and Film Studies 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

Kristen Schiedel (2019)

The English MA program was an exceptional experience. The intimate program size allowed me to develop strong bonds with the other members of my cohort and foster friendships that will last beyond the duration of this degree. The small classes also provided ample opportunity to participate in group discussion and to ask questions regarding course material or my own research. I made use of many of Laurier's resources over the course of my degree such as the Writing Centre and the Career Centre. However, the most beneficial resources were my professors. Every professor in the department was available and willing to offer advice, discuss research and provide feedback. This assistance extended beyond course work to scholarship and grant applications, as well my PhD applications. I felt well supported and at home at Laurier. My MA experience has positioned me well for future academic and career opportunities.

Kristen begins her PhD program in English at Dalhousie University in Fall 2019. Her project explores the female agency and gothic conventions in contemporary women's writings.

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, oftentimes 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.

Testimonials about the Professional Skills Option

Heather Lambert (2019)

Wilfrid Laurier University’s MA in English is an accomplishment that I am proud to have on my résumé and CV. The program was the perfect combination of challenging and supportive, with a strong cohort I could always rely on when I needed advice (or to share my excitement about books and films). Being surrounded by so many deep, inquisitive minds allowed for some fantastic class discussions that I still find myself contemplating beyond their completion. What makes Laurier unique, in my opinion, is their opportunity to partake in a Professional Skills Option placement in lieu of a course. During my placement at The New Quarterly, I gained valuable hands-on communication and administrative skills that have not only improved my résumé, but also my confidence in entering the working world. Armed with these experiences, along with some genuinely supportive friends, Laurier has equipped me to begin this new chapter of my life.

Heather works as the new Academic Services Assistant in FGPS.

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.

Contact Us:

Katherine Bell, Graduate Coordinator

E: kbell@wlu.ca

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