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Prospective Students

On average, 140 students are admitted to the BA English program each year. This relatively small program size means that students get to know each other, their professors, and the administrative staff who support them through the program. It also means that we can do some innovative things in our program, such as offer hands-on "practicum courses" to groups of 25 students, devise some innovative assignments using digital tools, and involve undergraduate students in faculty research.

Explore the ways that literature animates our experience of diverse identities, cultures and time periods. Engage with stories, poems, graphic novels, films, blogs and digital content to develop new perspectives on the complex relationships between the arts and life.

Students in the Bachelor of Arts Honors English degree explore literary and cultural works across a variety of media, genres, cultures, and historical periods. Students develop critical thinking, communication, research and marketable career skills while engaging in the rich, cultural milieu of one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. 

Practicum Courses

A practicum course is a type of course that provides students with hands-on, practical experience in a particular field of study. It is designed to allow students to apply theoretical concepts and knowledge gained from their coursework in a real-world setting. In a practicum course, students work on specific projects or tasks related to their field of study, under the guidance of an instructor or mentor. The aim is to help students develop practical skills, gain experience, and build a portfolio that demonstrates their abilities.

In the English Curriculum, all students participate in a minimum of one practicum course. 

  • ENG 302 Practicum: Writing for Magazines - This course focuses on the principles of writing for print and digital magazines, including research, writing, editing, and publication processes.
  • ENG 304 Practicum: Making Digital Work - This course explores the digital landscape of writing and publishing, including social media, blogging, and web content creation.
  • ENG 306 Practicum: Writing Poetry - This course focuses on the craft of poetry writing, including techniques, styles, and forms.
  • ENG 307 Practicum: Writing Fiction - This course explores the art of fiction writing, including elements such as plot, character development, setting, and dialogue.
  • ENG 308 Practicum: Grammar Principles for Editors - This course provides an in-depth study of grammar and syntax principles, with a focus on how editors can use these principles to improve writing quality.
  • ENG 340 Practicum: Making Little Magazines - This course explores the process of creating and publishing small magazines, including editorial strategies, design, and marketing.
  • ENG 390 Practicum: Open Topics - This course allows students to explore a specific topic in depth, with the guidance of an instructor. The topics can vary each semester, and students can choose a topic that interests them.

Creative Writing

Creative writing is a form of writing that focuses on self-expression and artistic freedom, as opposed to academic or technical writing, which tends to be more structured and formal. Creative writing can encompass a wide range of genres, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama, and screenwriting, among others.

In creative writing, writers use their imagination and creativity to create original works that are characterized by vivid descriptions, rich imagery, compelling characters, and engaging plots. The goal of creative writing is often to evoke emotion and spark the reader's imagination, and the writer may use a variety of literary techniques such as metaphors, similes, and symbolism to achieve this.

Ultimately, the aim of creative writing is to create works that inspire and entertain, and to share those works with others.

The English Department at TMU offers the following Creative Writing courses to students, in addition to practicums; 

  • ENG 230: Creativity, Writing and Everyday Life - This course explores the role of creativity in everyday life, with a focus on how writing can be used as a tool for personal expression, self-discovery, and problem-solving.
  • ENG 406: Visionary Poetics - This course focuses on the exploration of experimental and avant-garde poetry, with an emphasis on unconventional forms, techniques, and styles.
  • ENG 407: Writing Short Stories - This course focuses on the craft of short story writing, including elements such as plot, character development, setting, and dialogue.
  • ENG 517: Techniques and Topics in Creative Writing - This course offers a survey of various creative writing techniques, styles, and genres, with a focus on student writing and workshop feedback.
  • ENG 577: Getting the Word Out: Publishing - This course explores the various aspects of the publishing industry, including the business of publishing, marketing, and distribution strategies.
  • ENG 662: Shiny Writing: The Editing Process - This course focuses on the editing process, including techniques for revising and polishing creative writing, as well as strategies for editing others' work in a workshop setting.

Double Majors

English courses can provide students with a strong foundation in literary analysis, creative writing, and rhetoric, as well as an understanding of literary periods and movements. Students may study works of fiction, poetry, and drama, and learn to analyze and critique literature using various theoretical frameworks. Through creative writing courses, students may also learn to hone their own writing skills, develop a distinctive voice, and explore different genres.

At TMU, we offer two double major options; available for students to declare after their first year of study. 

English & History

An English and History double major is an excellent combination of fields that can provide students with a well-rounded education that develops critical thinking, research, and communication skills. By pursuing a double major in English and History, students can study the written word in its historical and cultural context, while also developing a deeper understanding of how historical events shape the world in which we live.

History courses can provide students with an understanding of the past, including the political, economic, social, and cultural forces that have shaped the world we live in. Students may study various historical periods and events, as well as learn to conduct research, analyze primary sources, and write persuasive arguments based on historical evidence. By studying history, students can gain insights into how societies evolve, how power is wielded, and how ideas and beliefs shape the world.

Together, the English and History double major can provide students with a strong foundation in critical thinking, research, and writing skills. Graduates may go on to careers in fields such as education, journalism, law, marketing, or public service, or pursue graduate studies in English, History, or related fields. The combination of skills developed through the English and History double major can also be valuable in any career that requires a strong ability to communicate, analyze information, and think creatively.

English & Philosophy

An English and Philosophy double major can provide students with a unique combination of skills and knowledge that can be applied to a variety of careers and fields. By combining the study of literature and language with the study of philosophy and critical thinking, students can develop a well-rounded understanding of the human experience and the world we live in.

Philosophy courses can provide students with an understanding of the fundamental questions and ideas that have shaped human thought throughout history. Students may study topics such as ethics, logic, metaphysics, and epistemology, and learn to analyze and evaluate arguments using critical thinking skills. Through philosophical inquiry, students can gain a deeper understanding of the human experience and the nature of reality.

Together, the English and Philosophy double major can provide students with a strong foundation in critical thinking, analysis, and communication skills. Graduates may go on to careers in fields such as law, publishing, journalism, education, or public service, or pursue graduate studies in English, Philosophy, or related fields. The combination of skills developed through the English and Philosophy double major can also be valuable in any career that requires a strong ability to communicate, think critically, and analyze complex information.

Co-op Program

The English BA (Honours) program has the option for students to join the Faculty of Arts Co-operative Education program. This competitive opportunity allows students who pass the admission process to complete three mandatory career-relevant paid employment experiences in various terms throughout their program for academic credit, and an optional fourth work term. Students must also complete an academic course prior to their first work term, which will provide a foundational understanding of the labour market context while also facilitating the development of skills related to job searches and successful employment. Students apply in the summer between first and second year to join the co-op option in their second year of study. 

Centre for Digital Humanities

The Centre for Digital Humanities at Toronto Metropolitan University engages in collaborative transdisciplinary scholarship, research, and creativity at the intersection of the material and the digital, focusing on areas such as digital editing, digital preservation, community-inclusive knowledge production, digital life writing, digital humanities pedagogy, and experimenting with digital technologies for creative praxis. The CDH is committed to diversity, inclusion, and social engagement, and provides resources for faculty and student projects and grant applications. They also hold various workshops, talks, drop-in sessions, and lecture series. 

Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre

The MLC Research Centre is a place for students and scholars to research and explore the literary and cultural production of the modernist era (1880-1940), to preserve and advance modernist women's heritage, and to promote modern Canadian heritage within an international context through digital culture innovations. It also offers opportunities for students and scholars to build their careers and experience arts research in action.

Student Perspective

“When I accepted my offer to the English BA program at TMU, I did not anticipate the breadth of opportunities that I would find. One such opportunity is that in my final year of study I have been working as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Digital Humanities. In my role as R.A. my professor, Dr. Janzen Kooistra, has guided me through a new branch of learning (specifically the digital humanities), which complements my coursework beautifully. I have been able to learn how to digitize printed works, write accessible text to accompany digital images, and become comfortable with coding in the HTML language. I am also able to attend the Digital Humanities Summer Institute in Victoria, B.C., this June as a result of my new learning, and with the help of a grant provided by TMU. All of these opportunities at TMU will benefit me greatly as I head to law school in the fall. Working among peers in the BA program, students in the Literatures of Modernity MA program, and with dedicated professors, I have gained invaluable research experiences in my time here.”

- Victoria Maxwell-Turanski, 4th year English student 

The BA in English consists of 20 English courses (8 required courses and 12 English electives) and 20 other electives (Professionally-Related and Liberal Studies) over four years in the program. In the first year, students gain a broad, interdisciplinary base of knowledge, skills, and methodologies while establishing the basis for study in the English discipline by sharing a common first year with other programs in the Faculty of Arts.

Double major options available after first year: English and History, or English and Philosophy.

Students also have the opportunity to study abroad in the Winter Term of their third year. 

Semester One (Fall)

Semester Two (Winter)

Academic Writing and Research - SSH 205  Critical Thinking I - SSH 105 
Literatures Across Borders - ENG 110  Introduction to Non-Fiction - ENG 208 
In addition to that you must choose 6 Electives (3 each semester) for your first year. 

Enrich the cultural landscape and advance the art of communication in various forms and industries: writing, editing and publishing; public relations, advertising or media; business, cultural advocacy, government or teaching. Pursue graduate studies in English or in culture, the arts, print and media, library science, gender and global issues or law. 

Career Paths include:

  • Editor
  • Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Journalist
  • Publisher
  • Communications Specialist
  • Advertising & Marketing Specialist
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Media Specialist
  • Lawyer
  • Teacher
  • and more... 


Academic Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with a minimum of six Grade 12 U or M courses including the following program specific requirements.

Typically, a minimum overall average of 70% establishes eligibility for admission consideration; subject to competition individual programs may require higher pre-requisite grades and/or higher overall averages:

  • a minimum grade of 70% or higher will be required in Grade 12 U English/Anglais (ENG4U/EAE4U preferred).

English welcomes applications from prospective students of all nationalities and gender identities, regardless of age, disability, race, religion, or sexual orientation.