Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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How To Apply to Cultural Studies MA and PhD Programs

Step 1: Identify and Contact a Supervisor

Admission to Cultural Studies (MA or PhD) depends upon a number of factors, including your research interests and our capacity to supervise your research idea.  We strongly encourage all applicants to secure a supervisor before applying to a Cultural Studies graduate program.  If you have already been in touch with and/or have a commitment from a supervisor, please indicate this on your application.  If you have not yet been in touch with potential supervisors, here are some suggestions:

  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 (your goal is to stand out and make a great first impression).
  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.
    • Provide a brief summary of your research interests and how your background has prepared you to undertake this research.
    • Let them know why your research interests are a good match with theirs.
    • Indicate that you are applying to Cultural Studies, and why Cultural Studies is a good fit.
    • If you have funding, advise them of the source, the value and the duration.
    • Ask if they would be willing to supervise you, if you are accepted into the program.
  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 2: 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. 
  • Cultural Studies offers a part-time studies option.  Students who are accepted into the program on a part-time basis will pay half tuitions fees and are not eligible for funding. 

  • 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. References will receive an email with a link to Queen's online recommendation form after you have submitted your application and paid the $105 application fee.
    • 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

  • Our application window is open annually from September through February. The application review process begins on February 1 and continues through the Spring.  Offers of acceptance will begin to be made in early March.  Late applications may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
Step 3: Compile the Required Documentation and Check for Testing 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 online application for graduate school process 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 4: 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 outlining your research interests, why you consider the Cultural Studies a good fit for your research, and which faculty members you have been in touch with as potential supervisors (maximum 2 pages, double-spaced, in PDF format)
  • A Curriculum Vitae when applying for a Doctoral degree (in PDF format)
  • For MA applicants who wish to pursue community work in partial fulfillment of their degree requirements, a description of any relevant experience should be included in the Statement of Interest
  • For PhD applicants who wish to pursue community work in partial fulfillment of their degree requirements, relevant experience should be included in the CV as noted above
  • For PhD applicants who are interested in the project option, documentation of relevant productions 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​

You may wish to view our most recent webinar, to learn more about the Cultural Studies program and the application process.

Step 5: Apply for External Funding

We strongly encourage all eligible applicants to apply for external funding. For more information, please visit the links listed below:

*Queen's University provides an automatic one-time top-up of $5,000 (Master's) or $7,500 (PhD, increasing to $10,000 for those applying to start in the 2017/18 academic year) to all SSHRC and CGS-M/PhD winners who are entering Year 1 of a graduate degree program.

Wondering if Cultural Studies is Right for You?

If you are uncertain whether the Cultural Studies Program is right for you, we can advise you before you make a formal application. Please fill out a Statement of Inquiry and return it by email as per the instructions in the document. Statements of Inquiry are only accepted until December 1.


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.

To be considered for the top Queen's awards and scholarships, you should apply for federal and provincial graduate awards (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR and Ontario Graduate Scholarships) in the Fall.  We also recommend that you submit your application to our School of Graduate Studies as early as possible.