The History Department offers a wide range of courses of that span from the pre-modern past to the contemporary era, and geographically circle the globe. Courses build on a number of disciplinary vantage points and explore a variety of themes, including cultural, economic, environmental, gender, global and transnational, Indigenous, intellectual, labour, legal, political, and religious history. In addition, students have the opportunity to undertake a variety of independent research, community projects, experiential learning and internship opportunities. The emphasis on analysis, critical thinking, research, communication, and writing skills prepare history students for careers in law, education, public policy, business, museum and and archives, publishing, research, and media.

Top 5 Reasons to study History:

  1. A History degree provides a sound preparation for a variety of careers, including education, law, public service, communications, and business.
  2. History offers a range of small sized seminar courses, which allow students to interact with professors individually, and provides an enahanced and enriching learning experience.
  3. The range of History courses span the globe. Lecture and seminar courses cover every continent and many courses examine transnational connections between different geographical regions.
  4. Critically explore the roots of contemporary issues throughout the world.
  5. History students have both study abroad and internship opportunities available to them in order to apply the skills they learn in our classrooms.

“Studying in the Queen’s History department taught me a number of great things, including that I know a small fraction of what there is to know, but that I have the capacity to learn a lot through discussion, analysis and hard work.”
                                                                                                                                   -Christine Platt, BAH ‘06

Watson Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 
Rebecca Manley
Departmental Manager: 
Matthew Colby
Graduate Chair: 
Ishita Pande
Graduate Assistant: 
Cathy Dickison
Undergraduate Chair: 
Amitava Chowdhury
Undergraduate Assistant: 
Alex Geris
Program Manager: 
Jenn Lucas
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.

Internship options available

Bachelor of Arts (General)

Online Bachelor of Arts (General)

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

Graduate Degree Options

History - PhD
History - MA


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 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.

Where could History students go after graduation?

  • Anthropology
  • Archaelogy
  • Archival science
  • Business administration and management
  • Campaign organization
  • Communications
  • Community development
  • Counselling
  • Ethics
  • Events management & fundraising
  • Genealogical resourch
  • Human resources
  • Insurance
  • Intelligence analysis
  • International development
  • International relations
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Library science
  • Management consulting
  • Marketing and marketing research
  • Medical records & research
  • Museum curator
  • Museum management
  • Policy analyst
  • Public administration
  • Publishing
  • Social work
  • Technical writing
  • Tourism and travel
  • Urban and regional planning

Taking time to explore career options, build experience and network can help you have a smooth transition to the world of work after graduation. Note: some of these paths may require additional training.


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.

HIST 216: US Civil War and Reconstruction
The Civil War has been the defining moment in American history. This course examines the political, cultural, and social origins of the conflict, studies the unfinished revolution of Reconstruction, and considers the legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction in the contemporary US.

HIST 253: History of Public Policy
An introduction to the history of social welfare and public policy in Western Europe and North America. Topics include health care and public assistance; employment, pension and education policy; economic and urban planning. A major theme of the course is the emergence and development of civil, political, economic and social 'rights'.

HIST 214: Food in Global History
The online course will attempt to study aspects of global history using food as a central theme. We begin from the reflection that food has successfully transcended political and cultural boundaries in the global past, and it provides a promising path for interrogating socio-economic and cultural issues in transnational contexts.


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. Visit queensu.ca/admission for additional information regarding requirements and admission to Queen's.

History (BAH)
OUAC Code:
QA (Kingston Campus)
QB (Concurrent Education, Kingston Campus)
QIA (The Castle)
QIB (Concurrent Education, The Castle)

See Full Admission Requirements

After first year, in May, students will declare their area of study (major, minor, specialization, e.g.). The thresholds are competitive year to year and do change. 2020-21 thresholds for History majors are: 2.0 Cumulative GPA and minimum C in HIST 1## or BISC 100 or 101 for AUTOMATIC ACCEPTANCE or 1.6 Cumulative GPA with minimum C in HIST 1## or BISC 100 or 101 for PENDING LIST.

Information on Plan Selection


The Department of History offers challenging and innovative MA and PhD programs in established and new fields of historical inquiry, including geographically-defined fields such as Canadian, European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American history, as well as thematic and comparative historical fields of research such as gender and sexuality, public policy, medicine, the environment, religion, cross-cultural encounters, race and immigration, empire and colonialism, indigeneity and diaspora. For details visit: https://www.queensu.ca/sgs/graduate-calendar/programs-study/history   


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, law, 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, as well as events and workshops organized by the Global History Initiative, the Muslim Societies, Global Perspectives network, the Arthur Lower Canadian History Workshop 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. Queen’s University has a minimum funding guarantee for eligible doctoral students of $18,000/year for four years. This is a guaranteed minimum, and in practice our students receive substantially higher amounts, depending on external and internal competitions. 

Study Abroad: 

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). Interested MA students may also take advantage of an opportunity to spend a term at the Fudan University (Shanghai), one of the premier academic universities in China. 

Graduate Program Department Contact:

Cathy Dickison
Email: hist.grad@queensu.ca
Phone: 613-533-2150
Office: Watson Hall Room 212