Studying English at Glendon is different in numerous ways from studying it at many other places. The small class sizes and individualized attention of faculty to each student may characterize a typical North American “liberal arts college” experience, but our students get an added advantage: Glendon is part of York, a major research university. Practically, this means that our students get the best of both worlds: the intimate small-class liberal arts college experience on a gorgeous campus in the middle of Toronto, and access to all the resources of one of the best research universities in the country.

Our program stands as a hub in the middle of the liberal arts studied at Glendon. It is a pathway to and an intersection with a variety of other programs and disciplines, and its flexibility is designed to accommodate your evolving interests. Our program is an important contributor to the group of “General Education” courses required from any BA at Glendon and York, and its faculty’s specialization in the many aspects of English studies define us as a site of interdisciplinary scholarship and learning.

  • Whether you join us to learn about the long history of literature in English from its medieval origins to its evolution into a modern global phenomenon or are drawn to study in depth a historical period, or Canada’s own rich literary tradition, our program will match your interest and your needs.
  • Are you more interested in drama? Our program provides courses covering the history of Western drama from its classical roots in ancient Greece to the present, as well as courses in post-colonial theatre from across the English-speaking world, opening up possibilities for an additional major or minor in Drama Studies.
  • Are you more interested in a teaching career and want English as a “teachable”? Whether English is your major or a minor, the program is designed specifically to meet the requirements for entrance into a teaching program. For those interested in teaching English globally, the Certificate of the Discipline of Teaching English as an International Language Certificate (Cert D-TEIL) offered by the Department can be easily “bundled” into your major without increasing the number of courses you would take normally, and increase your chances for employment after graduation.
  • Or, are you coming to us to improve your writing and editing skills, or develop your creative writing? A variety of courses offered by our program open up pathways to possible double majors with Communications or Linguistics, or to a minor in creative writing.

Whatever your interests may be, and at whatever time in the course of your studies you may develop your desire for a greater focus—on a historical period, a national literature, a certificate in teaching, or an additional major or minor—our program is flexible enough to meet your needs. By majoring in English at Glendon you will acquire crucial transferable skills in critical thinking, effective communication, data-mining, data-synthesis and presentation, that will open up productive career paths into a variety of professions ranging from teaching and editorial work, through marketing and advertising, to journalism, the law, and government service.

Graduating from high school and interested in applying? Click here!

Transferring from another university or college? Click here!

  • The Discipline of Teaching English as an International Language Certificate (DTEIL) has a practicum component where students travel to Cuba for 2 to 3 weeks to gain hands-on experience teaching English to international language learners.
  • Creative Writing at Glendon consists of courses as well as frequent visits from writers. 
  • The English department regularly invites creative writers to the college to give a reading and to lead an animated discussion with our students. Over the last 5 years, we have welcomed exciting playwrights such as Hannah Moscovich, Jordan Tannahill, Andrew Moodie,  Kate Hennig, Drew Hayden Taylor, and others!
  • The Michael Ondaatje Reading Series: For over two decades the English department at Glendon has hosted the prestigious Michael Ondaatje Reading Series. Among the authors and poets who have recently appeared in the series are such luminaries as novelist Michael Redhill, winner of the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize, novelist Barbara Gowdy, Guggenheim recipient and member of the Order of Canada, poet Dionne Brand, winner of the Griffin Prize for poetry in 2011 and member of the Order of Canada, novelist Greg Hollingshead, member of the Order of Canada and winner of the 2008 Governor General’s Award, poet Don McKay, two-time recipient of the Governer General’s Award and winner of the Griffin Prize in 2007, as well as novelist Jane Urquhart, winner of the French Prix du meilleur livre étranger and the Governor General’s Award.

The overall objective of the ESL program is to prepare learners of English for successful participation in the bilingual liberal arts program of study and plurilingual social environment at Glendon. The ESL program seeks to maximize the opportunities for students to integrate successfully into English medium subject courses. Language teaching and learning is organized around academic content and the language skills needed to complete a variety of academic tasks at the university level. The ESL program has three levels of courses, many of which integrate experiential learning components as well as insights into the culture, media, and literature of English-speaking Canadians. In addition to the ESL program, Glendon also offers support through the ESL Open Learning Centre, which provides a weekly, on-site tutorial service for students.

The ESL OPEN LEARNING CENTRE —GLENDON offers support to students learning English.

Program Highlights


Jasmin transferred to Glendon from the UK in her second year. Since then, she has thrown herself into her love of literature, and started building her writing career.

Follow Jasmin as she continues to pursue her passion of learning about the inner workings of language ››

Emily became an English major after reading Willa Cather’s My Àntonia in her first year at Glendon. She hopes to share her interest in literature as an English professor.

Follow Emily’s academic journey››

Ready to apply?

Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) Codes
iBA Bilingual: YGG
iBA Trilingual: YGH (Upper-year entry)

Graduating from high school and interested in applying? Click here!

Transferring from another university or college? Click here!



In the News

Fourth year English Studies student Emily Leahy receives prestigious Killam Fellowship

The Killam Fellowship, awarded by Fulbright Canada, will fund Emily’s semester-long exchange to Arizona State University. Read more here »

D-TEIL program celebrates 12 years of international teaching practicum in Cuba

Since 2006, students from Glendon’s Teaching English as an International Language class have visited the E.J. Varona University of Pedagogical Sciences in Havana, Cuba, for an International Teaching Practicum. Learn more»

Open Your Mind: A Q&A with professor Igor Djordjevic

Professor Djordjevic is among York University professors who champion fresh ways of thinking in their research and teaching practice. Read the full interview »

The Visiting Playwrights Series

The visiting Playwrights Series welcomes actors, playwrights, directors and dramaturges to share their experiences with the students. This year we have two visiting playwrights: Drew Hayden Taylor and Andrew Moodie.

You can read about recent appearances: for 2016-2017 Jordan Tannahill, Pamela Sinha , Jordi Mand and from previous years Visiting Playwrights Series -Glendon Theatre.

The Michael Ondaatje Reading Series

The Michael Ondaatje Reading Series welcomes poets, novelists and playwrights to speak at Glendon. Previous presenters include National Post columnist Christie Blatchford, poet Susan Musgrave, and authors Barbara Gowdy and Nino Ricci. For 2015 we received Greg Hollingshead, David Bezmozgis and Susan Swan .

The Janet Warner and Eric Rump Travel Award

The purpose of the award is to aid a Glendon student who wishes to travel somewhere outside of Toronto with an academic aim in mind. Apply now »

The bp nichol Reading Series

A Glendon tradition, the bp nichol Reading Series invites Canadian authors to present their work. The event is named after the distinguished and much-loved poet who taught in Glendon’s English department in the 1980s. After his death in 1988, his colleagues named the readings series in his honour. You can read about a recent appearance by playwright and actor Andrew Moodie here.