Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021-2022 year.

How To Apply to the Cultural Studies PhD Program

Step 1: Draft a Research Statement

Your application requires a Research Statement (2 pages, double spaced) in which you outline a project you intend to undertake for your PhD. While your project will inevitably change, this statement allows us to learn about your background, your research interests, and your anticipated methodologies (e.g. academic research, research-creation, community-based research). With reference to sources you are familiar with and any relevant work you have already done, explain what you intend to study at Queen’s, and why Queen’s seems to you like a good fit for this work. It is useful to include a draft of this statement when corresponding with potential supervisors.

Step 2: Identify and Contact Potential Supervisors

Admission to the Cultural Studies PhD depends not only on your research potential, but on our faculty capacity to supervise your research. All students must have a supervisor before we can admit them. We request that you contact potential supervisors before applying.

  1. Identify potential supervisors by using our list of recruitment areas to confirm if there are professors doing research in the areas of interest to you.
  2. Create a short-list of 2 or 3 potential supervisors.
  3. Do a bit of research; review their webpage(s) and check out any online publications that are available (and read them).
  4. Approach potential supervisors by email; be sure to tailor your email to each faculty member and include a draft of your Research Statement.
  5. Consider these tips for approaching potential supervisors:
    • Be deliberate with what you include - the overall message should be brief.
    • Write with a formal but conversational tone.
    • Let them know why you think your research interests are a good match with theirs.
    • Ask if they would be willing to supervise you, if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that if they are not able to supervise you, they suggest colleagues who may be suitable.
  6. Indicate the name(s) of the faculty member(s) whom you have contacted and/or who are willing to supervise you when you complete the School of Graduate Studies online application.
Step 3: Prepare and Submit Online Application
  • All graduate program applicants must prepare and submit an online application through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) at Queen's; please be sure to review the application process for more detailed information. 
  • During the online application process you will be given the option to either (a) upload copies of your official transcripts or (b) arrange for Queen's to receive official hard copies of your transcripts; please be sure to review the SGS Application Process for more details about transcript requirements.
  • During the online application process you will be asked to provide names and email addresses for two academic references. Make sure to give your references ample warning of your deadline. References will receive an email with a link to Queen's online recommendation form after you have submitted your application.
    • Please note: recommendation letters sent by email will not be accepted.
    • References who are not able to use Queen's online recommendation form must mail their original signed letter of recommendation with a signature across the sealed envelope to:

School of Graduate Studies
Queen's University
Gordon Hall Room 425
74 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

    Step 4: Compile the Required Documentation and Check for Language Proficiency Requirements
    • A complete application must include official, up-to-date transcripts for all current and previous study the applicant has listed in the Academic Background section of the application.  Please note the following details, and refer to Step 2 of the School of Graduate Studies online application guide for additional information about submitting your transcripts including:
      • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript.
      • Transcripts printed from a university website are not permitted.
      • Degree and graduation certificates must be included if the transcript does not indicate the type of degree and date granted.
      • Hard copy transcripts received as part of an application for admission must official transcripts received in sealed envelopes.
      • Transcripts submitted with applications become the property of Queen's University, are subject to verification, are not available for copying and will not be returned to the applicant.
    • Applicants whose native languages do not include English will need to earn satisfactory standing in an English Language Proficiency Test as part of the application process, and before final acceptance is granted. For more information, please read Step 3 - Check for Any Testing Requirements on the School of Graduate Studies website.
      • Please contact to arrange for your TOEFL or IELTS test scores to be retrieved electronically. 

    The mailing address is:

    School of Graduate Studies
    Queen's University
    Gordon Hall Room 425
    74 Union Street
    Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 

    Step 5: Submit Supporting Documents to the Cultural Studies Program

    All applicants must submit the following supporting documents directly to the Cultural Studies program at

    • A sample of academic writing, preferably a short research essay (approximately 10 pages, double-spaced where possible, in PDF format)
    • A Research Statement
    • A Curriculum Vitae (in PDF format)
    • For applicants who wish to pursue community-based research, relevant experience should be included in the CV as noted above
    • For applicants who wish to pursue research-creation or artistic research, documentation of relevant creative work can be sent electronically to or by mail on CD/DVD to: 

    Cultural Studies Program Office
    Queen’s University
    B176 Mackintosh-Corry Hall
    Kingston, ON K7L 3N6​


    If you have questions that have not been answered in the information above, please contact us at Thank you!

    Application Deadlines, Late Applications, and Decision Timelines

    Our application window opens annually in September. The application review process begins on February 1, with offers of acceptance beginning in early March.  You have a competitive advantage if you submit your application before the review process starts.  However, applications may be submitted until March 1.  Applications submitted after March 1 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.