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Canadian Creative Writing PhD

Man typing on keyboard, Creative Writing PhDThere are many Creative Writing PhD programs in Europe, and approximately thirty in the United States, but there are only two in Canada.

Typically, a creative writing PhD involves a creative dissertation and an essay describing the approach taken in the creative work.

People pursue PhD’s in Creative Writing for many reasons. One reason might be teaching opportunities. For example, with an MFA, you can teach creative writing at the university level, but with a Creative Writing PhD, you can  teach other subjects in the humanities, depending on the other courses you take as part of your studies.

Why I considered a Creative PhD

I considered a PhD in Creative Writing because of my interest in both creative and theoretical writing. I like writing stories. But, I also like writing scholarly articles. Ultimately though, I really just wanted to call myself a doctor!

Whatever your reasons for considering a PhD in Creative Writing, in Canada, your choices are limited.


University of New Brunswick Creative Writing PhD

The website for the University of New Brunswick is well written, easy to navigate, and inspiring. If I was choosing my program entirely based on website content, I’d choose UNB. Check out this page, which provides a nice overview of everything the Creative Writing PhD includes. More detailed information about their PhD programs in English can be found here.

A comprehensive outline of the admission process for graduate studies in the department of English can be found here. You’ll need a GPA of at least 3.7 to apply. You should complete and submit the graduate studies application form, transcripts, letters of reference, English proficiency, a one-page statement of interest, an academic writing sample and a creative writing sample.

University of Calgary PhD with Creative Dissertation

The website for the University of Calgary is confusing and many pages end without an obvious next path to follow. Through google searches, I found this section of their website, which describes the admission requirements for graduate students to their department of English.

They require the following supporting documents: Two reference letters, transcripts, a critical and a creative writing sample, English language proficiency, a statement of intend including the primary area you wish to pursue (i.e. creative writing), and your CV.

Why I didn’t apply

I really wanted to attend the UNB program. But, I’m a mature student so leaving my marketing job to move my family to a new province for graduate school wasn’t an option for me. The program is 4 years long and it isn’t available online. This was also limiting.

But, if I could choose any Creative Writing program, the UNB program would have been my top choice.

Are you looking for a low or no residency graduate program in creative writing? Check out these Canadian options.

*This article was published on December 29, 2017.