The History department at Queen’s will provide students with a sophisticated introduction to a variety of approaches to the past, and will hone your analysis, discussion, research, and writing skills. You can explore such diverse areas 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.

Our seminar-based undergraduate program offers something very few modern universities offer any more in this age of on-line tutorials and large lecture clickers—small classes where students and instructors discuss what they have read, what they think, and what they believe. We provide excellent training for MA and PhD students by offering a mix of seminars coupled with wide-ranging opportunities for gaining university-level teaching experience and professional development. At the same time, our focus on education at a human scale preserves that elusive sense of community that is so essential to any meaningful academic pursuit.

See our Major Map to learn more

Watson Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 
Dr. Rebecca Manley
Undergraduate Chair: 
David Parker (Acting)
Undergraduate Assistant: 
Deborah Stirton-Massey
Graduate Assistant: 
Cathy Dickison

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Major in History
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in History
A dual course of study in History and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in History
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Graduate Degree Options

History - PhD
History - MA

Job and Career Opportunities for History Grads

Learning about the past helps us learn how to understand our own heritage, and how to unravel the complexities of an increasingly interdependent world. The History program at Queen's will provide you with a sophisticated introduction to a variety of approaches to the past, and hone your analysis, discussion, research, and writing skills. You can explore such diverse areas as th e 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.

Some of our History grads work in the following industries:

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture & Landscape
  • Archival Science
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Community Development
  • Corrections
  • Counselling
  • Ethics
  • Education
  • Events Management & Fundraising
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Human Resources
  • International Development
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Librarianship
  • Management consulting
  • Media – Electronic & Print
  • Medical Records & Research
  • Promotions
  • Public Administration, Policy & Service
  • Publishing
  • Tourism & Travel
  • Urban and Regional Planning

Career paths for History grads handout from Career Services >

Undergraduate Course Highlights

If specific time periods are your interest there are courses that cover every period such as The Crusades, Slavery in North America from the Colonial Era to 1865, or The Holocaust. If your interest is more regional there are course such as India and the World, Africa in the Modern World or The History of Sexuality in Canada. Medicine and history overlap with courses such as Health and Disease in Western Society, Historiography of Medicine, and Nobel Prize in Medicine: Who won it; Who didn’t; and Why? Two of the most popular courses are the Queen’s Archives Internship and the new Food in Global History.

Undergraduate Admission to History

Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities Application Centre) website (ouac.on.ca). Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements.

Graduate Studies in History

The Department of History offers challenging and innovative MA and PhD programs in established and new fields of historical inquiry. We have a stellar record of placing our doctoral students in academic appointments, prestigious post-doctoral fellowships and senior government positions in Canada and abroad. MA and PhD graduates have also excelled in careers in government, media and private business. Many of our PhD students complete their degrees before their fifth year, and publish their theses as highly-regarded books.

Students are taught primarily in small all-graduate seminars, in which they engage in a lively, critical examination of historical writing, and delve into research in primary sources. MA and PhD students join an energetic young academic community: they participate in the departmental seminar series and biannually host the McGill-Queen's Graduate History conference that draws students from across Canada and the US. We are a mid-sized university and department, and we are therefore able to create for our students a rich, supportive learning community.

Queen's History Department offers funding for MA and Ph.D. students through a combination of internal and external awards and teaching assistantships and fellowships. We guarantee our doctoral students an annual minimum of $18,000 for four years. This is a guaranteed minimum, and in practice our students most often receive substantially more than this, depending on external and internal competitions.

Queen's University has a minimum funding guarantee for eligible doctoral students of $18,000.00. This amount is a minimum, and actual doctoral student support may be substantially higher.

Study Abroad: University of Fudan (Shanghai)

The MA programme features a term at the University of Fudan (Shanghai), one of the premier academic universities in China. For further information about this initiative and to contact Queen's students who have studied at Fudan, please email Dr. Emily Hill at hillem@queensu.ca. This opportunity is not restricted to students researching modern Chinese history.

Study Abroad: University of London - Birkbeck College

The Department of History has an arrangement with University of London (Birkbeck College), Faculty of History, University of London that provides Queen's History PHD students with the opportunity to spend six months in London (January-June).

Students would become visiting students at Birkbeck College and would have the benefits and services of regular Birkbeck students: for example, library, internet, having a Birkbeck supervisor who would meet with you and read your work, the opportunity to give a paper in a spring research seminar at Birkbeck. You would also have access to all the seminars at the Institute of Historical Research, though these are already open to you as a Queen's student.

To find out if there is a historian working in your area, please access the Birkbeck History Staff.

Tuition is approximately four thousand pounds for six months. There is a fellowship available for which applicants will be considered as part of their application to the Visiting Studentship programme. It is possible to apply for a waiver for your Queen's tuition fees since you would be paying tuition elsewhere. A formal application is required - and can be accessed at this link: Birbek University Postgraduate Degrees

Graduate Assistant

Yvonne Place
Phone: 613-533-6931
Internal Ext: 74371
Office: Mackintoch Corry E322