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Queen's University
 

Doctoral Degree Requirements


PhD Coursework

All doctoral students will be expected to take a minimum of 4 one-term graduate courses in their first year, at least two of which must be selected from the three core courses offered by the program. Students with a Queen's M.A. in Cultural Studies and who have already taken the core courses are exempt from this requirement. Their four required courses will be electives, drawn from the list of vailable courses and to be determined in consultation with their program advisors. Also, in order to graduate from the program, students must attend 8 sessions of the bi-weekly program seminar series (CUST 802 Professional Development ) This must be completed in the first year of the program.

PhD Project Option

This option will allow students to create a cultural product (work of art, performance, film, play, text) or become involved in community-based culturalwork as a means of partially fulfilling the requirements for a PhD. Students taking the project option will be required to provide an analytic-theoretical commentary based on the work, its conditions of production, and its implications for academic scholarship.

This option will be comprised of the same course work, plus a project that is of a scale and scope that it may be completed within the time it takes to write a doctoral thesis, i.e. three years. The analytic component will consist of a written paper. As with the MA project option, the student's work will be evaluated on the basis of the merits of the project as a cultural product (e.g. it must be a good film), as well as on the merits of the analytic component. Students will be expected to show that they are capable of using the critical skills developed in the program course work, and of being reflexive about their own work. There must be clear signs of the successful integration of the analytic and production/ participatory components of the project. Where appropriate, assessments from community collaborators will be considered in the evaluation process.

For the PhD, there will be an additional requirement that the analytic component make an original contribution to scholarship, and that the cultural product meet professional standards in both form and content.

PhD Qualifying Examination and Thesis/Project Proposal Exam

At the beginning of the second year, each student, in consultation with the student's program advisor, must finalize arrangements with a supervisor and two other faculty members for the qualifying examination and Ph.D. dissertation. Those faculty members will comprise the supervisory committee for the qualifying exams and for the dissertation and will monitor the student's progress.

The student will submit a 1000 word proposal for the qualifying exam. The proposal must be organized around a specific problem within the student's field and identify a reading list (annotated bibliography) of a minimum of 25 to 30 texts (articles are considered "texts"). Upon approval of the examination proposal by the committee, the student will write a 3500 to 5000 word exam in a 2 week period, based on questions created by the examining committee, which will address the theoretical, methodological, and substantive aspects of the dissertation. The examiners will provide written assessments of the exam response within 2 weeks of its having been written, indicating whether it merits a Pass, Revisions required, or a Fail. If the student receives a "Revisions required" they will have 10 working days to complete the revisions and resubmit. If the student fails the exam (which occurs when 2 or more examiners say the exam has been failed), the student will have one chance to re-write it within the next six months.

By the end of the second year, the student will have completed the qualifying exam followed by a 2500 to 3000 word dissertation proposal. The dissertation proposal must identify the dissertation's object of study, its research method, its theoretical framework, and it must include an annotated bibliography of works relevant to the chosen area(s) of study. For the project option, a clear description of how the student will meet the requirements for that option must also be included.

The proposal will be defended before the student's dissertation committee. The examination will focus upon the relevant theoretical, methodological and substantive areas germane to the student's program. It will also test the student's understanding of the discipline, the viability, scope and coherence of the thesis proposal and the preparedness of the candidate to undertake the proposed research. All students will be required to show the relation of the project to the program's objectives, available faculty expertise, and to the relevant academic literature. Students in the project option whose work will involve community collaborators must show that they have appropriate participants, and they must justify their choice of participants given the theoretical, political, and methodological contexts of their thesis work. The student will have the opportunity to re-write the proposal and defend it twice.

PhD Dissertation/Project Evaluation Procedures

General procedures concerning the doctoral dissertation required of all candidates for the Ph.D. are defined in the Graduate Calendar of the University. For the project option, students' work will be evaluated on the basis of the merits of the project as a cultural product, as well as on the merits of the analytic component. The cultural product must be of a quality that the examiners judge to be sufficient for public exhibition, performance, or implementation. The written component must be publishable as an article or book. There must be clear signs of the successful integration of the analytic and production/ participatory components of the project. Where appropriate, assessments from community collaborators will be considered in the evaluation process.

Expected Progress Through the MA Program

  1. End of Year 1
    • Complete course work
    • Choose a supervisor and begin work on proposal
  2. Middle of Year 2
    • Complete qualifying exams
    • Establish full committee membership
    • Prepare, present, and defend the dissertation/project proposal
  3. End of Year 3
    • Complete research / production
  4. End of Year 4
    • Write analytic component and defend the dissertation / project content

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000