Extended Essay

Students have the option of completing a 3-credit extended essay (GRSJ 510) instead of writing a 9-credit thesis. An essay of 40 pages maximum (9500 words), will be written under the supervision of a faculty member or Faculty Associate.  A second reader assesses the final version. The grade is determined by the supervisor and second reader. It is the student’s responsibility to find both a supervisor and second reader for the essay. An oral defense is not required. The work may develop an essay previously completed as part of a graduate seminar or pursue a new topic. The supervisor and second reader should ideally provide advice in identifying suitable publication outlets and a strategy for bringing the essay to publication.

It is expected that the supervisor of the essay and student will meet on at least three occasions during the process:

  • in setting up the topic, reading list and expectations;
  • once a first draft of the essay is complete;
  • on completion of the final draft.

A second reader also reads the final draft. An oral defense is not required. Although the essay need not be accepted for publication (it need only be judged publishable), the supervisor and second reader should ideally provide advice in identifying suitable publication outlets and a strategy for bringing the essay to publication.

The essay will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • research/documentation skills;
  • evidence of critical thought and analysis;
  • appropriate writing skills and format/presentation.

Important: It will take at least two weeks for your two readers to respond after the extended essay is submitted to them. If revisions are required, the committee will typically require an additional two weeks to respond after each submission.

The final version of the essay, approved by both committee members, must be submitted by mid-April for May graduation. Check G+PDS website for specific deadlines:

If you would like your essay to be a part of UBC’s cIRcle repository, send an electronic version to the program assistant and complete the distribution license:

Registration: An essay proposal must be submitted along with the registration form signed by the faculty member who has agreed to supervise your essay and by another faculty member who will be the second reader. Submit the completed form to the graduate program assistant as early as possible. When the graduate program chair has signed the form, you will be registered the in the Extended Essay (GRSJ 510).

Completion: A final version of the essay must be submitted to the graduate program assistant along with the signed extended essay completion form. If your program is complete in all respects at that point, the Faculty of Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies will be notified and your MA program will be formally closed.