Under the auspices of Senate, the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA) in concert with the Faculties/Schools is responsible for the conduct of graduate studies at Queen's University. The SGSPA's mandate is to support student achievement consistent with the highest possible academic standards in graduate degree programs and to foster excellence in graduate student research.
The SGSPA fulfills the mandate in collaboration with Faculties/School through the development and implementation of appropriate regulations and operating procedures for admissions, programs of study, and completion of degree requirements and through the support of graduate students.
- Setting policy concerning all graduate (masters' and doctoral) degree programs, graduate certificate and diploma programs within its jurisdiction and subject to the authority of Senate;
- Making recommendations to the Senate and the Vice-Principal (Academic) concerning the development and operation of graduate studies and graduate education;
- Ensuring adherence to program quality assurance standards;
- Ensuring adherence to institutional and external program approval and ongoing audit requirements;
- Ensuring compliance with provincial government regulations as they relate to program quality, program approval, and program funding requirements;
- Graduate enrollment planning and management;
- Working with graduate programs to develop and support recruitment strategies;
- Admission of students to graduate degree programs and qualifying students for subsequent admission to graduate degree programs;
- Supporting graduate student achievement;
- Monitoring the progress of graduate students at the University, overseeing the maintenance of academic standards, and recommending to Senate the awarding of graduate degrees;
- Appointing and convening the Fellowship Committee;
- Appointing and convening the Academic Appeal Board;
- Managing Queen's graduate student awards;
- The publication of the Calendar of the School, and of all official publications concerning graduate work within the jurisdiction of the School.
The design, implementation and oversight of graduate curriculum is a shared responsibility between the Graduate Studies Executive Council and the Faculty Graduate Councils/Committees.
Graduate work at Queen's University at Kingston was established formally in 1889 with the adoption of regulations for the Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees. At that time, the degree of M.A. was not a graduate degree, but was given on the completion of honours work in certain courses provided the candidate had first class standing. With the introduction of a new system of studies in 1919, however, a graduate program was set up requiring a year of work beyond the B.A. and prescribing advanced lecture courses and a thesis or other piece of independent work. In 1926, the master' s course was strengthened by making the Honours B.A. (or its equivalent) with at least second class standing the standard of admission. Moreover, the regulations stated that the degree was to be given "not on the grounds of general attainment, but in recognition of the candidate's wide knowledge of a special field of study."
The degree of M.Sc. was given for the first time in 1905-06. Graduates holding the bachelor' s degree could qualify for the M.Sc. by practicing engineering for two years or spending one year at the University. In 1922-23 a formal course was set up and one year of attendance beyond the B.Sc. was required. Strong emphasis was placed on the research and thesis.
The establishment of the Chown Science Research Chair in 1919 and the Miller Memorial Research Chair in 1929 did much to stimulate graduate work in the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Geology, and Mineralogy, increasing the number of graduate students in these fields.
The administrative aspect of graduate work was first formalized by the Faculty of Arts which set up a Committee on Graduate Studies in 1941. In 1943, the Senate constituted the Queen’s University Board of Graduate Studies. The Board was reconstituted into the School of Graduate Studies in 1963 and expanded to include the research component in 1971. In 1990, the increasing importance of research led to the creation of a joint position of Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Principal (Research). This structure continued until 1995, when a separate portfolio of Vice-Principal (Research) was established.
Naming the School
The School of Graduate Studies and Research (SGSR) name reflected the jurisdictions over which the graduate school had responsibility and authority when it was established. Following the creation of the Vice-Principal (Research: VPR) portfolio, the responsibility for all aspects of the research enterprise, exclusive of graduate student research, was moved to the VPR. In the interests of providing clarity and being accurate, the SGSR was renamed the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) as part of governance changes approved by Senate in February 2009.
In November 2007, the position of Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, was expanded to include the responsibilities and title of Associate Vice-Principal and Dean, Graduate Studies and Research (now, AVP/Dean, SGS) to reflect the university wide scope of graduate education at Queen’s. In 2010, the position title was revised to Vice-Provost and Dean, Graduate Studies.
In 2022, the School of Graduate Studies was renamed to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA) to inclusively represent its members and services to Queen’s postdoctoral fellows. The renaming to the SGSPA signifies an ever expanding and important role for graduate studies and postdoctoral training at Queen’s, as an institutional priority for the advancement of graduate education and excellence in research.
Deans, School of Graduate Studies and Research
1963-1964 - Dr. J.M.R. Beveridge, Head, Biochemistry Department
1964-1968 - Dr. C.A. Curtis, Head, Economics Department
1968-1970 - Dr. D.W. Slater, Professor, Economics Department
1970-1979 - Dr. R.L. McIntosh, Professor and Former Head, Chemistry Department
1979-1984 - Dr. M. Yeates, Professor and Former Head, Geography Department
1984-1989 - Dr. D.T. Canvin, Professor and Former Head, Biology Department
Vice-Principal (Research) and Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Research
1989-1995 - Dr. Wm. McLatchie, Professor, Physics Department
Deans, School of Graduate Studies and Research
1995-2000 - Dr. R.J. Anderson, Professor and Former Head, Mechanical Engineering Department
2001-2006 - Dr. U. Scheck, Professor of German Language and Literature
Associate Vice-Principal and Dean, School of Graduate Studies
2007-2010 - Dr. J.M. Deakin, Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies
Vice-Provosts and Deans, School of Graduate Studies
2010-2018 - Dr. B. Brouwer, Professor of Rehabilitation Science
2018 - 2022 - Dr. F. Quadir, Professor of Global Development Studies
Vice-Provosts and Deans, School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
2022 - Dr. F. Quadir, Professor of Global Development Studies