School of Graduate Studies

Queen's University
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Cultural Studies



"I was attracted to the Cultural Studies program at Queen’s for a number of important reasons, including the amazing range of faculty involved the opportunity for interdisciplinarity, and the clear commitment to engaged, critical scholarship. I feel very strongly that my decision to be a part of this program has been validated by the wonderful sense of community we’ve forged--as opposed to competition that plagues so many graduate programs-- as well as the wide variety of scholarly interests and personal backgrounds among the students, and the personal care and support offered by our dedicated faculty and administration.”

Karl Hardy, PhD candidate


Program Contact

Danielle Gugler
Graduate Assistant
Cultural Studies
Macintosh Corry Hall; room B408;
68 University Avenue, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6




Program Overview

Cultural Studies is an emphatically interdisciplinary area of inquiry that intersects the humanities, science studies, the social sciences and the arts. Its researchers theorize the forces that shape the lived reality of people in the 21st century. Drawing on a range of practices, researchers investigate values, beliefs and belongings, cultural processes and cultural objects, economic and social relations, institutions and identities. What distinguishes Cultural Studies from other approaches to the study of culture is its recognition that no single disciplinary approach can get at the complexity of cultural forms and its emphasis on power, social justice and social change. As one of the only Cultural Studies program in Canada with a project option, Cultural Studies at Queen’s (CSQ) is a unique program that integrates the range of theoretical approaches used within Cultural Studies, and that fosters scholarship in both historical and contemporary fields of research.


Cultural Studies offers opportunities to break down conventional divisions between academia and activism, between theoretical critique and cultural production. Necessarily self-reflexive, Cultural Studies draws on a range of methods and critical theories. Comprising 89 distinguished faculty from 22 disciplines to offer an innovative program at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels, CSQ is committed to a diversity of students and faculty and to the global expertise that they bring to the cultural and academic fields.

Career paths – employment opportunities

Professional work in fields related to the study of culture, including work in the media, non-profit agencies, museums, galleries, publishing houses and social policy agencies. The objective of the Ph.D. program is also to prepare candidates for careers in teaching and research. Our graduates will have acquired a broad knowledge of research in their area of study and will have the ability to design and teach courses in that area.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.A.: 2 years full time (part time also available)

Ph.D.: 4 years full time (part time also available)

Method of Completion

M.A. Pattern I: 4 full-term courses + CUST-802 + 20,000-25,000 word thesis or a major project.

M.A. Pattern II: 6 full-term courses + CUST-802+10,000-12,000 research essay or a minor project.

Ph.D.: 4 full-term courses in the first year, including two required core courses; plus CUST-802, a qualifying exam; thesis proposal exam; thesis or project

Fields of study and Supervisors

We encourage you to identify an area of research interest and contact a potential supervisor before applying. A potential supervisor must be assigned before an admission offer is made. Faculty in the program specialize in contemporary critical theory (e.g., poststructuralist, feminist, psychoanalytic, anarchist, postcolonial, critical race, queer, and Marxist) to analyze a variety of cultural spheres.

Based on this expertise, and graduate courses currently being taught at Queen’s, we will offer the following fields at the doctoral level: Communication, Media and  Technologies; Globalization, Nationalisms and Cultural Citizenship; Social Movements; Bodies and Identities.


• Art: Janet Allen, Sylvat Aziz, Lynda Jessup, Susan Lord, Allison Morehead, Ted Rettig, Clive Robertson, Dylan Robinson, Sarah Smith, Pat Sullivan

• Biology: Lonnie Aarssen​

• Classics: Cristiana Zaccagnino

• Drama: Tim Fort, Kim Renders, Natalie Rewa, Julie Salverson, Craig Walker

• Education: Susan Babbitt, Shehla Burney, Magda Lewis

• English: Petra Fachinger, Mark Jones, Sam McKegney, Laura Murray, Asha Varadharajan, Glenn Willmott

• Environmental Studies : Mick Smith

• Film and Media Studies: Blaine Allan, Frank Burke, Gary Kibbins, Frances Leeming, Susan Lord, Clarke Mackey, Sidneyeve Matrix, Dorit Namaan, Kip Pegley

• Gender Studies: Sylvat Aziz, Annette Burfoot, Joyce Davidson, Pamela Dickey Young, Karen Dubinsky, Ellen Goldberg, Samantha King, Audrey Kobayashi, Cynthia Levine-Rasky, Magda Lewis, Margaret Little, Susan Lord, Katherine McKittrick, Scott Morgensen, Dorit Naaman, Kip Pegley, Elaine Power, Natalie Rewa, Sarita Srivastava, Peter Thompson, Jane Tolmie

• Geography: Laura Cameron, Joyce Davidson, Audrey Kobayashi, George Lovell, David Murakami Wood

• Global Development Studies: Richard Day, Marc Epprect, Villia Jefremovas, Robert Lovelace, Scott Rutherford

• History: Jeffrey Brison, Caroline-Isabelle Caron, Karen Dubinsky, Marc Epprecht, Emily Hill, Adnan Husain, Ian McKay, Ariel Salzmann, Barrington Walker, Awet Weldemichael

• Jewish Studies: Howard Adelman

• Kinesiology and Health Studies: Mary Louise Adams, Samantha King, Elaine Power

• Languages, Literatures & Cultures: Christiane Arndt, Daniel Chamberlain, Jennifer Hosek, Jan Mennell, Donato Santeramo, Jill Scott, Peter Thompson, Cristiana Zaccagnino.

• Law: Sharry Aiken, Bita Amani, Kathleen Lahey

• Mining: Laeeque Daneshmend

• Music: Kip Pegley, Matt Rogalsky, Gordon Smith, Margaret Walker

• Philosophy: Susan Babbit, Jackie Davies, Sergio Sismondo, Mick Smith, Zipporah Weisberg

• Political Studies: Margaret Little, Eleanor MacDonald

• Religious Studies: Richard Ascough, Pamela Dickey Young, Ellen Goldberg, James Miller

• Sociology: Mary Louise Adams, Annette Burfoot, Richard Day, Martin Hand, Villia Jefremovas, Cynthia Levine-Rasky, Magda Lewis, David Lyon, David Murakami Wood, Sergio Sismondo, Sarita Srivastava

Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

M.A.: Minimum $12,000

Ph.D.: Minimum $18,000

We encourage you to apply for additional funding through external scholarships (SSHRC, OGS, etc.). Entering graduate students who win federal government tri-council awards are  automatically provided a $5,000 (for M.A) or $7,500 (for PhD - will be increased to $10,000 for the 2016/17 academic year) top-up award by Queen’s.

Academic Prerequisites

M.A.: Four-year bachelor’s degree in a related program from a recognized university, minimum upper second class standing

Ph.D.: Master’s degree in Cultural Studies or a related discipline from a recognized university

Application Requirements

  • Writing sample
  • Statement of Interest
  • Video documentation of relevant work (if applicable)
  • C.V.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a language other than English (if needed)

Test Requirements

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paperbased) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30; speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for

total of 88/120. Applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: 31 January to qualify for funding

Learning Outcomes and Cultural Studies Handbook
Ian CuthbertsonIan. A. Cuthbertson
Cultural Studies
Give Researchers a venue & they'll impress you"
Daniel VenaDaniel Vena
Cultural Studies
High Flying Ambition
Mimi GellmanMimi Gellman
Cultural Studies
Arts '49 Principal Wallace Award Recipient
Linda Grussani
Cultural Studies
A portrait of success