English was one of the first Arts subjects taught at Ryerson. Despite the fact that Ryerson was a technical institute until 1992, the English Department always offered more than mere training for writing letters or technical reports. Rather, from its very beginning, the English Department challenged students to explore the integral role that literature plays in shaping the world around them.
The department expanded in 2003 when English assumed a prominent place in Ryerson’s first undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Arts, the Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Studies. By 2007, students could take an English Option or Minor in English. The MA degree in the Literatures of Modernity opened its doors to our first graduate students in 2008, and the department welcomed its first undergraduate students to the BA in English in 2011.
Today, the department delivers an innovative BA program that emphasizes critical thinking and writing, embraces Ryerson’s commitment to developing students’ marketable skills, and builds on our location in a vibrant, urban centre. We consider the city to be our classroom and our courses often integrate Toronto’s cultural and intellectual activities into coursework. Our suite of practicum courses provides unique opportunities for students to put theoretical knowledge into action and develop career-ready skills. Our scholarly approach to literature means that we “read” across a variety of media, and challenge students to explore a wide array of literatures, genres, and historical periods from global perspectives. We invite you to explore English at Ryerson and discover why literature lives here – at the heart of the city.