Undergraduate Admission, Queen's University, Canada

Humanities

[Students studying in the library]

Humanities

Humanities

[students writing on whiteboard]

Bachelor of Arts, Honours (BAH)
OUAC code: QA or QIA (BISC)

Also available with Concurrent Education
OUAC code: QB (Kingston Campus)
QIB (Bader International Study Centre Campus)

How should we understand the past? What is the place of religion in human society? How do literature, art, architecture and design contribute to human culture? How can we build a fair society in which everyone can thrive?

Study the Humanities at Queen’s and you’ll wrestle with the big questions. You will read what different scholars and writers have thought about them, and be encouraged to work on answers of your own. You will work to increase your understanding of the nature of the individual and the workings of human societies from antiquity to the present.

Our programs such as Art History, Classics, English Language and Literature, History, Jewish Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies will develop your capacity to think clearly and critically, and provide you with plenty of opportunities to use your imagination and creativity. Study the humanities and you can expect to see the world very differently.

[paintings in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre]

Why Study the Humanities at Queen’s?

Queen’s has offered degrees in the Humanities since 1841, making it the oldest discipline taught at the university. One example of the unique opportunities available in the Humanities is that the Department of English welcomes a well-known author to act as writer in residence for one term each academic year. This writer participates in a range of literary events on campus and offers advice and mentorship to students involved in creative writing.

Our Facilities

[interior of the Isabel]

The programs in the Humanities span seven buildings, and courses take place across campus from the oldest to the newest spaces. Classes on the shore of Lake Ontario in the state-of-the-art Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts or in Queen’s oldest building Theological Hall are sure to inspire.

Learn by Doing

Art History offers an annual Summer School in Venice, held during the month of May. In 2015 the Venice Summer School launched a brand new study abroad experience, focused on the famed Venice Biennale, the international contemporary art fair held in the city every two years since 1895.

The Department of Classics hosts two international excavation projects in such places as Italy (Caere) and Macedonia (Stobi). Students can apply to participate in these excavations as volunteers (not for credit) or for credit towards their degree.

Internships are a great way to learn by doing at Queen’s in the Humanities. Students can complete a 12-16 month paid, professional internship that tops up your degree with hands-on experience.

Humanities Programs

[student giving a presentation]

Art History

Encompassing global art traditions from prehistory to the present, our courses explore how visual and material culture have shaped human societies across time and around the world. Course topics range from the scientific study of artists’ materials and techniques to cultural heritage preservation, Renaissance sculpture to Inuit printmaking, Baroque painting to Victorian textiles.

Our students have many opportunities for first-hand engagement with art and architecture outside the classroom, including seminars in Venice, Italy or our Castle in England, experiences at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on the campus, and internships at local archives, libraries, and galleries. Students go on to diverse careers and graduate programs including our Master’s in Art conservation, the only one of its kind in Canada.

More about the Art History program…

Classics

It can be said that studying Classics leads to a wider appreciation of human values and achievements, and a more objective understanding of ourselves and our times.

Multi-disciplinary in approach, it involves the studies of history, literature, archaeology, religion, mythology, drama and philosophy, in addition to the ancient languages of Greek and Latin. Today our understanding of Greek and Roman culture is further enhanced by the latest advances in technology that increasingly pervade studies in archaeology, epigraphy, papyrology, and ancient science and medicine.

Outside the classroom, Classics students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the latest techniques by participating in one of two archaeological excavations supervised by our own faculty.

More about the Classics program…

English and Literature

When you study English Literature at Queen’s you’ll learn to read perceptively, analyze clearly, and above all communicate effectively. Students explore the literary canon, including writers such as Shakespeare, Austen, and Brontë, but also engage with current forms such as graphic novels and works by contemporary writers.

Queen’s English encourages an eclectic approach to the subject: combining attention to methodology and core knowledge with the flexibility to support individual passion.

English at Queen’s is structured to ensure that in each year of your program you will be in one class small enough to make your voice heard and where you won’t get lost in the crowd. Along the way you will also develop research skills and expertise in analysis and written expression. Those interested in creative writing have the option of including workshop seminars where they can hone their craft.

More about English Language and Literature…

When you study English Literature at Queen’s you’ll learn to read perceptively, analyze clearly, and above all communicate effectively. Students explore the literary canon, including writers such as Shakespeare, Austen, and Brontë, but also engage with current forms such as graphic novels and works by contemporary writers.

Queen’s English encourages an eclectic approach to the subject: combining attention to methodology and core knowledge with the flexibility to support individual passion.

English at Queen’s is structured to ensure that in each year of your program you will be in one class small enough to make your voice heard and where you won’t get lost in the crowd. Along the way you will also develop research skills and expertise in analysis and written expression. Those interested in creative writing have the option of including workshop seminars where they can hone their craft.

More about English Language and Literature…

Film and Media

With a focus on critical thinking, our students examine a wide variety of cinema, video, and media – including social media – in order to better understand, and contribute to, contemporary visual culture.

Our program integrates this material with courses in history, theory and criticism that include such diverse topics as digital media theory, Hollywood cinema, non-Western cinema, experimental film and animation, performance and cultural studies, the business of media, and much more. We also offer instruction in the major genres of filmmaking, including narrative, documentary, experimental film, and animation, as well as contemporary digital media, because we believe that knowledge of film and media is deepened through hands-on experience in producing it – and vice versa.

In 2014, we relocated to the beautiful Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, equipped with new facilities, including a soundstage, audio recording and mixing studio, DigiLab computing facility and 90-seat screening room.

More about the Film and Media program…

History

The study of history will help you hone your skills of analysis, discussion, research, and writing – all while critically exploring the roots of contemporary societies throughout the world.

Thanks to the department’s intellectual breadth, students of history at Queen’s can explore a broad menu of topics, subjects as diverse as the Crusades, slavery and race relations, Native history in the Americas, the Russian Revolution, the problems of 20th century Canadian unity, the economic development of Africa, and the perception and treatment of women in North America.

As well, our seminar-based undergraduate program offers something hard to find these days – small classes that promote lively exchanges where students and instructors discuss what they have read, what they think, and what they really believe.

More about the History program…

[archaeological dig]

Jewish Studies

Jewish civilization has a history reaching back 4,000 years, during which it interacted with much of world history, especially in Europe and the Middle East. At Queen’s, survey and advanced courses in Jewish history and culture are offered in the Departments of History and Religion as well as in the Hebrew program. These courses can enhance a History degree, round out a program in humanities or social sciences, or complement work in science or creative arts.

Students from all backgrounds take courses in Jewish Studies, and the program is especially committed to the dialogue courses, co-taught with Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian scholars in order for students to be engaged with different narratives about historical and contemporary events.

More about Jewish Studies…

​Philosophy

Philosophy, according to Plato, concerns itself with the good, the true and the beautiful. Grappling with life’s big topics, it also provides students with critical thinking skills that enable students to uncover hidden assumptions, identify core premises, and evaluate arguments.

Philosophy at Queen’s is a wide-ranging discipline. We offer courses that span the history of philosophy from the ancients to contemporary thinkers, and others that cover broad philosophical topics – ethics and aesthetics, metaphysics and the nature of truth. And students get to “think philosophically” about a wide range of other topics, too – like feminism, the environment and social diversity, to name just three.

Through reading, writing and class discussion students in Philosophy gain powerful analytic and interpretive skills they will continue to use in whatever they do in life.

More about the Philosophy program…

Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Study social issues and how our society responds to these issues, while asking questions drawn from economic, political and philosophical perspectives. Society faces challenges that are complex and multi-dimensional, and our efforts to tackle these challenges require us to bring complementary intellectual skills together using multi-disciplinary analytical and critical approaches.

This program combines Economics, Philosophy and Politics in ways designed to prepare students to enter graduate studies in their area of specialization, law, public service, international development, policy design and analysis, or any other career that calls for strong analytical and communication skills.

More about the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Specialization…

Religious Studies

Religion plays a major role in shaping and influencing various cultures and historical and political movements across the globe. Understanding religious traditions and their impact on diverse modern issues is vital preparation for building a career in the global marketplace.

At Queen’s our approach to the study of religion is multicultural, diverse, multi- and interdisciplinary. Our courses look at religion in a variety of interesting ways – Religion and Violence, Religion and Sport, Mythology of the Ancient Near East, Religion and Sex, Yoga in India and the West, Religion and the Environment, and Religion and Film.

At the same time, the program offers students the opportunity to study in-depth such traditions as Hinduism, Islam, Daoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Indigenous Traditions of North America. Students learn how to investigate and assess the impact of religion in today’s world, critically examine complex ideas, and express their own points of view clearly and effectively.

More about Religious Studies…

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