Undergraduate Admission, Queen's University, Canada

Social Sciences

[skyline of campus]

Social Sciences

Social Sciences

[political studies student]

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)

If you are intrigued by the behaviour and interactions of human beings, both as individuals and in groups, you should consider a program in the Social Sciences.

Our topics range from psychological drivers and motivations to economic growth and development; from political practices and institutions to patterns of family interaction; from the effect of human interventions on the environment to the roles of gender in different societies. In the Social Sciences, you will be encouraged to approach human beings and human life with curiosity and an open mind, to investigate issues with careful research, and to draw conclusions based on evidence.

Why Study Social Sciences at Queen’s?

Our approach to teaching at Queen’s combines technology with a cooperative, interactive classroom experience – tried and tested, this blended approach has increased student academic success in the classroom. Throughout their first year students enjoy enhanced face-to-face interactions with their professors and the opportunity to work with their peers as they tackle a new way of learning.

In addition to our many degree programs, for students interested in augmenting their studies with an additional credential, Social Sciences also offers certificates in Sexual and Gender Diversity, International Studies and Geographic Information Science.

Our Facilities

Many social sciences courses take place in the active learning classrooms in Ellis Hall. Combining flexible design with cutting-edge technology, these exciting learning spaces encourage student participation and cooperative learning.

[Ellis Hall Active Learning space]

Learn by Doing

The Department of Psychology offers research opportunities for undergraduate Psychology students in the Adolescent Dynamics Lab, which tracks the fascinating mental and emotional changes in children as they become teenagers.

Learning from University of Havana professors and Cuban musicians and filmmakers, Cuban Culture and Society takes studies to Havana for two-weeks in May after a winter semester of seminar study about Cuba.

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

Social Sciences Programs

[students in Gender Studies class]


What determines the prices of goods and services? How do individuals decide how much to spend and save? How can government policy help reduce environmental pollution?

These are questions we all face every day. Economics is our attempt to analyze and understand them. Often seen as being all about money, at its more basic level, Economics is concerned with the material well-being of human societies.

The Department of Economics has a long, celebrated history of academic excellence and is one of Canada’s leading departments for undergraduate and graduate education. By systematically addressing these economics questions and many others, we can help you make better decisions in your personal life, in your business life and as a global citizen. Economics is essential to understanding the world in which you live and work.

More about the Economics program…

Environmental Studies

We are all aware of the grave environmental problems the world faces today, from climate change to habitat loss to environmental degradation. At the same time, we have realized that the solutions to these problems are not simple. No environmental issue can be treated in isolation from the society in which it exists.

In Environmental Studies we realize that to make a difference in this field, students need knowledge of the cause and magnitude of environmental problems, as well as the tools to find solutions for them within the complex web of social, economic and cultural factors we all live in. To give our students these, Environmental Studies at Queen’s takes a new, innovative approach to environmental education. We bring together faculty from a wide variety of disciplines – biology, chemistry, geography, geological sciences, economics, history, and policy studies, to name but a few – which lets us offer our students a truly multidisciplinary perspective on the challenging environmental problems facing humanity today.

More about Environmental Studies…

Gender Studies

This innovative, interdisciplinary program combines the arts, humanities, and social sciences, offering students a unique opportunity to design a degree suited to their interests and career goals. With 50 course offerings from 22 departments, above and beyond the unit’s strong and popular core classes, Gender Studies enables students to develop targeted programs attentive to gender, race, class, difference, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, globalization, and politics.

The department administers a study program leading to a Certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity, an invaluable tool on the job market. This option is available to all students regardless of their degree concentrations, allowing them to add a critical sexualities and gender diversity component to their degree. Interested students have the opportunity to spend an exchange term in Norway at the prestigious University of Oslo. The department offers a practicum at the fourth-year level for students invested in community engagement and social justice.

More about Gender Studies…

Geography and Planning

Human geography is a diverse and vibrant subject that aims to understand how humans interact on the earth’s surface: the places they create, the boundaries they construct, the connections they make and the environments they alter. Human geography has a rich intellectual tradition at Queen’s which is broad and plural so a wide range of research is undertaken.

On the humanities side, human geographers draw on ideas of agency, power and meaning to analyze written texts, such as novels, travel writing and visual images. On the social science side, geographers engage with diverse research methods to study how people seek their various needs and wants and how resources and services are uneven across the globe. Human geographers also engage in field research and practical assignments to bridge gaps between theory and practice.

In addition to a concentration in human geography, the department offers students the option of earning a certificate in Geographic Information Science. Undergraduates can also pursue a fast-track professional master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

More about Geography and Planning…

Global Development Studies

Global Development Studies seeks to better understand the complex and unequal history of our shared world. Being interdisciplinary in nature, the program works closely with Geography, Economics, Environmental Studies, History, Languages Literatures and Cultures, Political Studies, Sociology and Gender Studies as well as the Queen’s Aboriginal Council to understand the nature of the interactions between and within the countries of the Global North and the South.

Global Development Studies looks at poverty, cultural imperialism, human rights, physical environments, social policy and trade relations. It also examines the varying notions of freedom, democracy, and progress that inform different visions of development. Our students are committed to making our world a better place and do so with first-hand experience in development through work-study placements and study abroad opportunities, including a course that is partially taught at the University of Havana.

More about Global Development Studies…

[students in Havana]

Health Studies

Health Studies strives to understand the complex factors that influence physical, mental and social health and overall well-being. We offer courses that explore the social and the physical determinants of health, as well as approaches to health promotion, public health, epidemiology and health program evaluation.

You’ll be expected to challenge yourself and to think critically about health in relation to social justice, politics and culture. And you’ll gain the skills you need to do that. All Health Studies students participate in a capstone experience developing a program plan in collaboration with local organizations. The Health Studies program also offers students the opportunity to participate in community-based and research-based internships in third year, as well as, a two-year ‘mini-stream’ internship in Exercise, Disability and Aging in our specialized exercise facility for people living with mobility impairment and/or intellectual disability.

More about Health Studies…

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…

Political Studies

Politics is about power – who has it and how it is exercised by nation-states, individuals, groups, classes, or political parties, and how different interests are reconciled in and between communities. Political Studies is also concerned with institutions created to govern communities, as well as practices such as voting habits or protests, and how rules, behaviour and culture are created in societies. And since power in society is often dependent upon material resources, political scientists study the distribution of wealth, both within and between nations.

Students sharpen their debating skills at the Queen’s Model Parliament, they discuss international issues at the Queen’s Model UN or with the Queen’s International Affairs Association. Learning in Kingston, a city with a significant number of public sector institutions and well-recognized politicians as part of the faculty, Politics at Queen’s extends past the classroom.

More about Political Studies…


Psychology is the study of mental processes and behaviour. It covers a wide range of topics including cognitive and behavioural neuroscience, social influence, health, development and abnormal behavior. Studying Psychology helps you answer questions like how our early experiences affect us, what we can do to better manage stress and how our brains process information about the world.

In the social science stream of Psychology, you will focus on child development, personality differences, how people act in groups or organizations, sexuality and health-related behaviours. You will study these in the context of both normal and abnormal behaviour.

Home to 26 labs, psychology students have the opportunity to work alongside faculty researchers and graduate students to gain valuable research training.

More about the Psychology program…


Sociology investigates how societies work. We study social life at every level, from personal relationships to how institutions and nations function, right up to global interconnections.

Queen’s Department of Sociology is widely known for its strengths in Criminology and the Law, Media, Information and Surveillance, and Social Justice. Studying Sociology at Queen’s will help you understand the structures and dynamics of societies and the complex effects these have on human behaviour, public issues, everyday life, politics, culture and individual life chances. Through courses focusing on topics as diverse as surveillance, the sociology of crime and delinquency and consumer culture, you’ll start to understand how differing social forces produce order and change and influence what we do and how we think as a result.

More about the Sociology program…

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