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English BA: Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to get into the English program at Ryerson?

  • OSSD (or equivalent) with a minimum 70% average in your best six Grade 12 U/M courses
  • Minimum of 70% in Grade 12U English (no other specific course requirements)
  • Acceptance into the program is based strictly on academic record; since space is limited, applicants may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.

Do you have any entrance scholarships?

  • Yes! Canadian high school students with final averages of 80% and higher who meet the terms and conditions for scholarship are eligible for a renewable entrance scholarship.

What will my first year of study look like?

  • You will take 2 required English courses (one each term) that introduce you to the analytical study of fictional and non-fictional narrative forms and conventions.
  • Like all students in the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson, you will be part of a Common First Year with 2 required "skills" courses: Academic Writing and Research; and Critical Thinking.
  • You will also take 2 humanities electives (you can choose from courses in Contemporary Studies, History, French or other languages, and Philosophy) and 2 social science electives (you can choose courses in Criminology, Economics, Environmental and Urban Sustainability, Psychology, Politics, and Sociology), as well as 2 other electives, at least one of which will be outside the Faculty of Arts  (for example, you can choose from courses in Accounting, Business, Child and Youth Studies, Disability Studies, Film, Information Technology Management, Journalism, Marketing, Professional Communication, Law, Marketing, Occupational Health, and Science, and more!).
  • One advantage of the Common First Year is that, if you decide to change your major for second year, all your first-year credits can transfer into another program in the Faculty of Arts.  

How is your program different from English programs at other Universities?

  • The Common First Year within the Faculty of Arts establishes a strong foundation of interdisciplinary knowledge and develops the academic skills of critical reading, writing, analysis, and research, while maximizing your options of study after the first year.
  • Our English BA cultivates curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and effective communication, recognizing that these are the practices most needed in our changing global environments.
  • Our English BA offers many opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning within Toronto's vibrant urban community through the "practicum courses" that are the backbone of our program. Every English student chooses a practicum course in 2nd year from a range of exciting electives in creative writing; Making digital work; writing in the arts; or open topics. There is also a Senior Project elective available in 4th year.
  • Our English courses examine verbal and visual texts from the 16th century to the present, and reflect the diversity of our local and global communities. Our program encourages students to study literary history and cultural texts from transnational and transmedia perspectives
  • Student life is enriched by events hosted by both faculty and students, and our active English Student Union aims to build a welcoming and inclusive community for all. Students also have free access to a wide range of services and resources that are specifically for Faculty of Arts students, including a Career Counselor. 

Can I take a complementary minor or a double major?

  • You are able to take a Minor in a wide variety of practical and academic fields that will enhance your career-readiness. Double majors are available in English-History and English-Philosophy (and History-Philosophy).

What are the English program requirements?

  • Ryerson's English program offers a 20-course English major, with 8 required courses and 12 elective courses.
  • Program requirements include two foundational courses in narrative fiction and nonfiction in 1st year; a course in Advanced English Research Methods in 2nd year plus a specialized practicum course; a course in Critical Theory in 3rd year; and an English Capstone Seminar in 4th year.
  • Program electives are selected from variety of thematic groups. 
  • You can select your other 20 (non-English) courses in the BA from a wide range of subjects, depending on your interests and career objectives; this is where you can really tailor your degree. Among other possibilities, you can choose to take courses in Creative Industries; Graphic Communications; Theatre; Child and Youth Studies; Film; Journalism; Professional Communication; Business; Geography; History; Philosophy; French; Music; Psychology; Sociology; Politics; and Law.

Are there internships, placements, co-op programs?

While we do not offer internships, placements, or co-op opportunities, we have designed our practicum courses and practical assignments to offer students a variety of real world contacts and experiences with expert guidance. Many extra-curricular experiential learning opportunities are available: for example, providing research assistance in faculty projects; contributing to the annual production of The White Wall Review, Ryerson's Journal of Literature and Art; and participating in activities at the Centre for Digital Humanities and our Children's Literature Archive. International exchange opportunities are available in 3rd year. Ryerson's English BA is also unique in that it has a Program Advisory Council of working professionals who can advise about career opportunities in diverse fields, including publishing, digital media, libraries and archives, films, and event planning.

Is your English BA an honours degree?

Yes. The four-year 20-course English major results in an Hon. BA. degree in English.

Will I be eligible to apply to Teachers' College after I graduate from this program?

Yes. After you achieve your BA English, you're eligible to apply to a Faculty of Education. Our Academic Advisor and Career Counselor can help you ensure you have the required English courses as well as the necessary credits (6) for a second teachable subject.  For more information please visit the Ontario College of Teachers website.

What can I do with an English BA?

  • An English degree gives you the skills you need in today's knowledge economy: employers are looking for creative, analytical thinkers with effective communication and research skills and wide-ranging cultural knowledge.
  • Career opportunities include writing, editing, and publishing; business; public relations; advertising; cultural advocacy; government; media; creative industries; and teaching.
  • You are also equipped to pursue post-graduate studies in English, as well as other fields, including culture, education, gender and global issues, law, library science, and print and media.

For further questions about the BA program: contact Dr. Dale Smith, Undergraduate Program Director.