English Studies

Welcome to the English Studies Department at Nipissing

The primary way human beings communicate is through storytelling. Almost every interaction we have involves exchanging and analyzing stories, ideas, impressions and emotions. Given this fact of human culture, we see English Studies as teaching essential skills for life beyond the university.

In English, we challenge simplistic or superficial modes of thought—or non-thought—by finding out how texts of all sorts work. We learn from the past by reading classic works of literature, such as novels, plays and poetry. We also engage with contemporary culture by considering the texts that shape our current lives, such as movies, television, web-culture, graphic novels, theatre, and other media forms. With analytical reading, research and writing practice, we equip the citizens of the future with the skills of discernment, focus, resilience and adaptability that they will need to build their own careers and communities.

Delivered with an emphasis on dialogue, our courses reflect faculty research interests and the shape of our discipline by being a mix of tradition and innovation. In first year, you can choose from among a number of topics courses. In upper years, you may take courses in British literary history, such as Shakespeare or Victorian literature, as well as choosing from a broader range of subjects such as children’s literature, Canadian and American literature, the graphic novel, postcolonial and indigenous literatures, Harry Potter, fan vids or disaster films.​​​​​

Recently offered courses

First-year Topics

  • Science in Literature
  • Love and Loss
  • Monsters, Madness and Malice
  • Sport in Literature and Film
  • Photography and Literature

Honours Seminar Topics

  • The Art of Sacrifice
  • Early Modern Cross-dressing
  • Cannibalism in Literature
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Canadian Historical Novel
  • The Victorian Fantastic

Feeling Creative?

  • ENGL 2015 Theatre Production
  • ENGL 3126 Writing for Digital Media
  • ENGL 3127 Writing for Mass Culture
  • ENGL 3516/7 Creative Writing: Poetry and Prose
  • ACAD 3006 Mentoring the Writer
  • ENGL 4695 Honours Essay
  • ENGL 4795 Creative and Critical Writing Honours Essay

Creative Writing Courses

Students wishing to enroll in ENGL 3516 and/or ENGL 3517 must prepare the following application package:

  1. A letter of application containing all contact information, including student number, and indicating which course(s) student is applying for entry to
  2. A portfolio of the student’s best work in poetry (5-10 pages, double-spaced) or prose (5-10 pages, double-spaced) or both, as required
  3. Packages should be submitted, in paper copy, to the Chair of English Studies by April 15
  4. Students will be contacted by the Course Instructor

English Studies Honours Seminars

The Seminar is a “capstone” experience for students in their fourth year of the Honours Specialization in English Studies. Learn more...

Academic Support Services

Our goal is to support your academic and personal development. Look for assistance with accessibility services, learning style assessments, writing skills, writing formats, study strategies, time management, note-taking skills, academic resources, group seminars, peer support, career development activities, and more. Learn More...

Financial Support Services

Achieve your goals on time and on budget. We’ll help you fund your education through scholarships, awards, bursaries, government assistance, and work study programs. Learn More...

Scholarships, a​wards and bursaries for students in the English Studies program.

Internationalize your Degree

If you want to experience a year or a semester at one of our partner schools across the globe, we have support services and programs to help you get there. If you want to assist International students with adjusting to life in Canada, we’ll connect you. Check out your options...

Personal Counselling Services

Our registered counsellors offer free, year-round personal counselling services, specialized therapeutic groups, referral services and a host of wellness, educational and awareness events to all full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Learn More...


Our top-rated residences will make you feel right at home. You will make fast friends with your residence community. Our student leaders, Residence Dons, and award winning residence staff give tutorials on everything from the basics of laundry and cooking to making connections within the community. Learn More...

Conspiracy of Three

Creative writers might want to consider getting involved in the “Conspiracy of Three”—a community group of active writers who meet monthly to share their work and to enjoy the work of a featured writer. C3 is a great opportunity to meet creative people in the North Bay community and to share ideas in a relaxed, casual and welcoming setting.

Shakespeare After School

Students in our Shakespeare class regularly present a drama club at the local North Bay Public Library for children age 8-12, which gives kids an opportunity to act in a Shakespeare play. The university student leaders select and adapt a play and take the children actors through a 6-week process of reading, rehearsing and staging a final performance.

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Confucius

Experiential learning is an effective medium that enhances and reinforces classroom learning. In addition, skills and competencies in the areas of communication, teamwork, analysis, work ethic, and problem solving are all learning outcomes that assist with finding the right career path for you.

Third and fourth year Arts and Science Students will be interested in our 3 credit course, UNIV 3006 Experiential Learning for Arts and Science Students. Within this course, academic assignments and at least 60 hours of placement in the community within a field that is related to your course of study is offered.

Experiential Learning Program for Arts & Science Students (ELAS) 

The Experiential Learning for Arts & Science Program (ELAS) is an exclusive project between Student Development & Services, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) and the Faculty of Arts & Science. This project focuses on providing students with hands-on learning experiences directly related to their academic interests. 

With a strong emphasis on learning competencies, the ELAS immerses students with enriched learning opportunities that focus on the development of professional skills resulting in confident, successful and highly employable graduates ready for the workforce. 

The ELAS program provides support for Arts & Science students to participate in activities such as: 

  • Conferences and speakers 
  • Site visits and field trips 
  • Work placements 

When it comes to experiential learning at Nipissing University, you have lots of choices. Let us help you navigate your options, so you can find the best fit for your personal and professional goals, as well as your schedule.  

Visit nipissingu.ca/academics/ELAS for more information.

Leadership and Community Engagement

If you are eager to get involved beyond the classroom, take part in the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, which gives you the opportunity to present your work to peers, professors, and family members. You may also have opportunity to work as a Research Assistant to help a professor conduct research and gain valuable experience at the same time.

Record of Student Development

Your experience at Nipissing University is more than just the time spent learning great things in lectures, labs, and seminars. It’s also about the activities you are involved in outside of the classroom, the causes you champion to make change on campus, the clubs you organize, the awards you receive, the workshops you participate in, the volunteering you do, and all the learning that occurs outside of the classroom. 

The Record of Student Development (RSD) is Nipissing University's way of recognizing that learning is happening everywhere on campus. It is a formal record, otherwise known as a co-curricular transcript, where you can include workshops, volunteer experiences, awards, activities, and on campus employment experiences that you participate in throughout your degree. 

Each RSD Approved activity in our database is linked to competency areas employers are looking for such as:    

  • Critical Thinking 
  • Leadership  
  • Digital Literacy  
  • Equity and Diversity 
  • Emotional and Interpersonal Intelligence 
  • & more!  

To see the full list of competencies and get started building your Record of Student Development go to: rsd.nipissingu.ca

Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU)

Students attending Nipissing University in North Bay and long distance students are members of the Nipissing University Student Union. Our organization strives to represent students democratically, provide a communication framework, and lobby for legislative change on issues that affect students.


Exercise and healthy competition always help to clear the mind.


Nipissing’s Athletics Department offers a wide range of intramural activities to keep you on your game


Club sports are available to all Nipissing students and are both recreational and competitive.


Go Lakers! Our varsity athletes always bring their “A” game. Get your friends together and come out to cheer on your favourite teams.


Whether you are a gym enthusiast or a weekend warrior, Nipissing has just what you need.


Program Representative

Full-time Faculty

Part-time Faculty

I chose Nipissing because of its great reputation for teacher education. When I got here, the university showed me what it means to love being a teacher and a student! The study of literature is a study of both its authors and their worlds. Combining history, psychology, sociology, anthropology and sometimes a little bit of science and business, English Studies is a great way to learn about people!

Mary White

Being a part of the English Department has provided me with the focus and support I needed in order to succeed. I know Nipissing is the right choice for me because of the opportunity to study abroad, the small class sizes, program diversity and the enthusiastic environment. My program at Nipissing is going to get me to where I want to be - teaching English on an international level.

Meggan Gould

I chose to come to Nipissing because of the one-on-one interaction you can have with the faculty. Professors here not only know you by name, but they know you as a person. They'll ask you if your dog is feeling better, if you enjoyed the hockey game last night, if you watched the latest episode of Downton Abbey. Professors at Nipissing aren't some enigmatic figures who stand at the front of the hall and then disappear until next week. Professors at Nipissing care; they have time for each of their students. Committing to a degree in English Studies offers you one of the most sought after, résumé-worthy skills: the ability to communicate effectively. Along with your degree, you will become the proud owner of a decent vocabulary that can take you anywhere. There is nothing more persuasive, more significant, or more influential than well-chosen words.

Jenna Demers

I think the greatest asset of the Nipissing English program is the faculty. Thanks to my English professors, my time at Nipissing has fuelled my passion for learning and provided me with tools I will use for the rest of my life. They take the time to get to know the students and want to see them succeed. They are passionate about their jobs and put in the extra effort to support and encourage the students in whatever capacity they can.

Stevie Lyons

English Studies at Nipissing is an ideal place to prepare yourself for the job market of the future. In this fast paced world, professionals need the capacity to communicate, to be able to read and analyze texts and people and to be able to identify problems and offer creative solutions. English Studies prepares you by helping you find the independence of thought, resilience and adaptability that will lead you through a range of interesting, satisfying and lucrative careers.

An English degree opens up a diverse range of career paths by giving you a broad base of key skills. Graduates come away with expertise in written and oral communication, critical thinking, research, and analysis.

With those skills, you may pursue careers in areas like journalism, editing, copywriting, translation, or marketing and public relations. Many students choose to continue on to Master and graduate level studies, or to professional schools like law and teaching. With such a great foundation, you will have many possibilities in front of you!

Career and Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies
  • Professional School (Education, Law, Library Science, MBA)
  • Careers in journalism, public service, public relations, marketing, professional writing, and creative writing