The Department offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts (.), the Master of Arts (.) in the Field of Creative Writing, and Doctor of Philosophy (.) degrees. The programs aim to provide graduate students with a broad background in English, Canadian, American, and World Literature in English, and to give them a foundational knowledge of literary and cultural theory. Critical Topographies , for incoming MA students, is a required course that provides students with a set of maps with which to understand the discipline and its research methods (note that MA CRW students are not required to take this course). Texts, Theories, and Archives is a mandatory course for incoming doctoral students which introduces them to research methods and editorial practice. Another mandatory course for doctoral students in pedagogical theory and practice, Professing Literature, prepares them to be effective teachers, and Professional Development, typically taken in the 4th year, equips them not only for the job market, but also teaches the professional skills that they will need for the rest of their academic careers. The Department’s Job Placement Coordinator assists in preparing students for the job market, and the Department has an excellent record of placing its graduates in tenure-track positions in Canada, the United States, and abroad.
Don Ihde called the hypothesis being 'hyped' and referred to clear evidence about the use of optical tools by, ., Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci and others. As well the 1929 Encyclopædia Britannica  contains an extensive article on the camera obscura and cites Leon Battista Alberti as the first documented user of the device as early as 1437.  Ihde states abundant evidence for widespread use of various technical devices at least in the Renaissance and . in Early Netherlandish painting .  Jan van Eyck 's 1434 painting Arnolfini Portrait shows a convex mirror in the centre of the painting. Van Eyck also left his signature above this mirror,  showing the importance of the tool. The painting includes a crown glass window in the upper left side, a rather expensive luxury at the time. Van Eyck was rather fascinated by glass and its qualities, which was as well of high symbolic importance for his contemporaries.  Early optical instruments were comparatively expensive in the Medieval age and the Renaissance.