Our application window opens annually in mid-September; the application deadline is January 31. The application review process begins on February 1, with offers of acceptance beginning in early March. Depending on capacity, a second round of applications may be adjudicated after March 1.
All applications including letters of reference and transcripts are processed centrally through the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA) and all technical information on application components and steps is available on the SGSPA website.
Both MA and PhD applications require submission of additional materials to Cultural Studies: read below on how to prepare these important elements.
Important update for international applicants: Cultural Studies anticipates accepting only 1 or 2 highly qualified international students in 2024-2025. All international applicants (MA and PhD) must secure funding through their supervisor and/or from external sources before submitting an application. To avoid paying an unnecessary application fee, we strongly encourage international applicants to contact email@example.com before submitting an application.
Proficiency in English is a prerequisite for admission. View more information on the SGSPA site.
If you have questions about application requirements, supporting documents, or locating a supervisor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successful applicants are admitted into the 1-year MA; if they wish to continue to a second year, they apply to enter that stream in January of their first year. You do not need to locate a supervisor to apply to the Cultural Studies MA program.
An academic average of at least B+ in the last two years of the BA is generally expected for admission to our MA program. We welcome applications from students with a wide range of undergraduate experience, from social sciences and humanities disciplines as well as the arts and even the sciences. And please note that Cultural Studies is committed to recognizing diverse measures of accomplishment, knowledge, and aptitude, and we encourage you to indicate those in your application materials, even or especially if they come from experience outside academe.
Note that the online application requires a Statement of Interest (no more than 4000 characters, including spaces). You should draft this in advance, describing your academic, artistic, activist and/or professional background, and why you are interested in pursuing an MA in Cultural Studies at Queen's.
Also concerning the online application: you can answer “no” in the Professional Experience Section because we will refer to your Curriculum Vitae for this information.
In addition to completing the online application, you must submit to us a sample of academic writing, preferably a short research essay. This document should be approximately 10 pages, double-spaced, saved as a pdf named <MA-LASTNAME.FIRSTNAME writing sample>. Optionally, you may include a Curriculum Vitae, saved as a pdf named <MA-LASTNAME.FIRSTNAME CV>. Please submit to email@example.com with the subject line <MA supporting documents + registration number> by January 31.
An academic average in the A range is generally expected for admission to the PhD in our program. But please note that Cultural Studies is committed to recognizing diverse measures of experience, accomplishment, knowledge, and aptitude, and we encourage you to indicate those in your application materials.
To apply to the PhD, your first task should be to look through the SGSPA application portal and familiarize yourself with the process and materials required. After that, the bulk of your application efforts should be focused on drafting a Statement of Interest, and locating a supervisor for your research.
1. Prepare a Statement of Interest
The online application requires a Statement of Interest (4000 characters, including spaces). While your project will inevitably evolve, this statement allows us to learn about your background, your research interests, and your anticipated theoretical frameworks and methodologies. We recommend that you draft this carefully off-line, outlining your proposed PhD project with mention of anticipated methodologies and/or theoretical frameworks, connection to your past work, and reasons why you consider Cultural Studies at Queen’s a good fit for your research.
2. Identify, Contact, and Confirm Potential Supervisor(s)
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. It is the applicant's responsibility to confirm available supervision before applying.
- Identify potential supervisors by searching our directory to confirm if there are professors doing research in the areas of interest to you. Review their webpage(s), and read some of their work as available.
- Even if you choose one "front runner," it is wise to approach more than one potential supervisor, because faculty members are often very busy and have other commitments. If contacting more than one faculty member, be sure to tailor each email to the expertise of the addressee and include a draft of your Statement of Interest.
- 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 — or if there is any further information they might need to make that decision.
- Request that if they are not able to supervise you, they suggest colleagues who may be suitable.
3. Fill out the online application.
- In listing the name(s) of the faculty member(s) whom you have contacted, make sure to indicate clearly who has agreed to supervise you.
- You can answer “no” in the Professional Experience Section because we will refer to your Curriculum Vitae for this information.
4. In addition to the online application, all applicants must submit the following supporting documents directly to the Cultural Studies program at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line <PhD - supporting documents + registration number>:
- A sample of academic writing, preferably a short research essay. This document should be approximately 10 pages, double-spaced, saved as a pdf named <PhD-LASTNAME.FIRSTNAME writing sample>.
- A Curriculum Vitae, saved as a pdf named <PhD-LASTNAME.FIRSTNAME CV>. Remember to ignore the ‘professional experience’ section online.
- For applicants who wish to pursue Community-based Research, relevant experience should be included in the CV and/or Statement of Interest.
- For applicants who plan to work in Research-Creation, documentation of relevant projects should be indicated by hyperlink in the Statement of Interest and/or Curriculum Vitae, or sent electronically to email@example.com with subject line <PhD - supporting documents + registration number>.