Queen's University

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Graduate Studies

School of

Graduate Studies

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Collaborative Program in Political Thought

Collage of political thought and Queens

“The creation of a collaborative MA in Political Thought at Queen’s University is an inspired idea. The Philosophy Department and the Political Science Department both have a long tradition of strength and depth in political philosophy and political theory, and uniting these strengths in a collaborative graduate program will be a boon to students. The program will help to bridge the unfruitful academic divide between political philosophy and political theory and will give students a wonderful grounding for further studies, in Law as well as in Philosophy or Politics.”
David Dyzenhaus, Professor in Law and Philosophy at the University of Toronto

"The collaboration between Philosophy and Political Studies at Queens is well established. There is outstanding, internationally acclaimed scholarship in political thought in each of these departments, and the many connections between them double their strengths. The MA in Political Thought will be an excellent opportunity for students interested in exploring the far-reaching and fundamental questions at the intersection of the two disciplines. Queen's is one of the best places in the country to pursue such a program and I wish it had been available during my time there.”
Mira Bachvarova, former graduate student and now Assistant Professor at University of New Brunswick

“The new MA program in Political Thought will further enhance Queen’s University’s reputation as a leading centre for political philosophy in North America. The range of topics it covers is excellent, and essential groundwork for any student wishing to proceed to doctoral research."

David Miller, FBA, Professor of Political Theory, Nuffield College, Oxford University

Program Contact - Philosophy

Judy Vanhooser
Graduate Assistant
Department of Philosophy
Watson Hall, Room 312
Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6

Phone: 613.533.2182
E-mail: jv1l@queensu.ca
Website: www.queensu.ca/philosophy


Program Contact - Political Studies

Dianne Flint
Graduate Assistant
Department of Political Studies
Macintosh-Corry Hall, room C321
Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000 ext 77452
E-mail: gradpols@queensu.ca
Website: www.queensu.ca/politics


The Dept of Philosophy and the Dept of Political Studies at Queen’s have a new 12 month MA in Political Thought.  We offer courses on such topics as:  Moral Philosophy, Bioethics, Just War Theory, Equality, Social and Political Philosophy, Global Justice, Ethics and Animals.

The Queen’s Collaborative Program in Political Thought offers students the chance to complete an MA in either Philosophy or Political Studies with a specialization in Political Thought.  Students enrolled in the program can take designated political thought courses from both departments.  “Political thought” is defined broadly so as to include (1) the analysis of basic normative concepts such as justice, equality, and liberty; (2) the elaboration of such concepts in philosophies such as liberalism, Marxism and feminism; and (3) the historical development of these ideas; and (4) the application of these ideas to law and policy, e.g., trade, immigration, religious accommodation.  

The Political Thought program builds on the close connections that currently exist between Philosophy and Political Studies.  This is an exciting opportunity to intensively engage in an important interdisciplinary field with leading scholars in a lively intellectual community. Students interested in the Collaborative Program in Political Thought are encouraged to contact the contributing departments (see program contacts above right) to determine which Department is best aligned with their academic and research interests.

Degree Offered & Method of Completion

Degree Offered

M.A. (specialisation in Political Thought) - 12 months

Method of Completion

The MA requires students to take six courses, four of which must be in political thought, and write a Major Research Paper.



Philosophy Faculty:

  • C.Overall - Feminist philosophy, Reproductive Ethics
  • K.Gordon-Solmon - Bio-ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Egalitarian Political Thought
  • A.Macleod - Theories of Justice
  • J.Davies - Feminist philosophy
  • W.Kymlicka - Multiculturalism, Citizenship, Animal Ethics
  • U.Schuklenk - Bio-ethics
  • M.Smith - Environmental Ethics
  • R.Kumar - Moral philosophy, Contractualism
  • P.Fairfield - History of political thought, Critical theory
  • C.Sypnowich - Egalitarian political thought, Philosophy of Law

Political Studies Faculty:

  • M.Moore - Nationalism, Global Justice
  • A.Lister - Theories of justice, Public reason
  • C.Farrelly - Ideal/non-ideal theory, Ethics and public policy, Genetics and justice
  • E.Macdonald - Contemporary political thought, Feminism
Funding & Academic Prerequisites

Funding Information

Most students admitted to the programme will be offered a funding package to help support their graduate education. We encourage students to apply for external scholarships.

Academic Prerequisites

Student seeking to enrol in the Collaborative Program in Political Thought must be accepted in either the Graduate Program in Political Studies (http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/political-studies ) or the Graduate Program in Philosophy (http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/philosophy ).

An average of A- in Philosophy or B+ in Political Studies is normally required to be competitive for admission. Students without either a philosophy or politics degree may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirement

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paper-based) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30); speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30); for a total of 88/120. Applicants must have he minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

Learning Outcomes

Degree Level Expectations - Philosophy - M.A., M.A (specialisation in Political Thought (24KB)

Degree Level Expectations - Political Studies - M.A, M.A (specialisation in Political Thought) (29 KB)