Embarking on a graduate degree is the beginning of an exciting future. Queen’s is an exceptional environment in which to explore your research interests and pursue this next stage of your academic journey. This page provides you with the steps and information needed to apply to one of our graduate programs.
Steps to Apply
Deadlines: The application portal typically opens in September each year with deadlines occurring early in the new year. Each program will have their own specific submission deadline. Most acceptances to programs are made in March. Applications should be made early in the year if you wish to be considered for fellowships or awards. Please refer to the degree program websites for specific deadlines for the program that you are applying to.
Completing an Application: Once you have reviewed the degree programs available and decided to apply, you are ready to begin the online application. If you cannot complete the online application, please contact or email the graduate assistant in your program of interest for a paper application.
Accommodations: The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs places great importance on accommodating disabilities and special circumstances to ensure applicants can access and complete their application for graduate studies. Any applicant with requests for accommodations should email the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs Director of Admissions and Student Services.
In addition to your application form, you will need to submit additional documentation to complete your application to gradaute studies, including:
- Letters of Recommendation
- Additional Information and Documentation Needed by the Degree Program
Transcripts: 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. Acceptable methods for submitting transcripts:
- Transcripts can be uploaded to the online application, as PDF files. The transcripts must be scanned (black and white recommended) and saved as a PDF file, and uploaded successfully. Complete instructions are available to applicants on the Transcript Upload section of the online application.
- If a transcript or transcripts cannot be successfully uploaded to the online application, applicants are responsible for ensuring that an official transcript or transcripts of all current and previous university-level studies are sent to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs by all universities previously attended. All hard copy transcripts received as part of an application for admission must be received in sealed envelopes.
Final Transcripts: Hard copy original official transcript showing degree completion and conferral, will be required from all applicants who accept an offer of admission to graduate studies at Queen's University. These final transcripts are to be sent directly from the issuing institutions to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, in sealed envelopes.
Transcripts sent from the issuing university should be sent to:
School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
Gordon Hall Room 425
74 Union Street
Canada K7L 3N6
Other transcript notes:
- Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript.
- Photocopied transcripts or those 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.
- Transcripts are to be sent directly from the issuing institutions to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, in sealed envelopes.
- All hard copy transcripts received as part of an application for admission must be 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.
Official transcripts are not required for any study of any kind carried out at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs will access the student record directly for applicants who have attended or are currently attending Queen's University.
Letters of Recommendation: For applicants to research programs, two current academic recommendations are required from professors under whom the applicant has recently studied. It is recognized that certain applicants to some programs may have difficulty obtaining academic references and that it may be more appropriate to get references from professionals or supervisors. In such cases, references from other sources containing information acceptable to the Department/Program or School and the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs may be considered. However, all effort should be made to include academic recommendations.
Two Professional letters of recommendation (e.g., letters from an employer or workplace supervisor) can be submitted in support of applications to professional graduate programs. For applicants who apply to a professional graduate program, a Professional reference form will be generated for their referees.
In all cases, the information in recommendations should relate to the ability of a prospective student to undertake the work in the program to which they are applying.
Referees normally use and submit their letter of recommendation or reference form to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs via a secure online reference form submission process. Letters of reference sent as attachments via electronic mail (email) are unacceptable substitutes for this secure online reference form.
Photocopied or stale dated letters (letters that were issued more than one year prior to the application date) are unacceptable.
Other universities' references forms are not to be substituted for the reference form for an application to Queen's University.
Some departments/programs have special requirements regarding letters of recommendation (e.g., three letters may be required, etc.). It is the applicant's responsibility to consult the appropriate department’s/program's application procedures for details.
Additional Information and Documentation Needed by the Degree Program: Some departments/programs require additional documentation such as a current course list, GRE, or written sample of work. Review the department’s/program's application procedures for details. Please note that all required test scores must be received directly from the testing agency before your application is complete.
If you are an Indigenous student and wish your application to be considered under the "Indigenous Student Admission Regulation" then you must self-identify as Indigenous upon application for admission to Queen’s University School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.
All required test scores must be received directly from the testing agency before your application is complete.
English Language Comprehension: At Queen's, English is the language of instruction and communication, except for the language departments. Proficiency in English is a prerequisite for admission. Some programs require satisfactory achievement on the GRE. Please check with the degree program for specific testing needed and scores.
Those 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.
Any applicant whose first language is not English but who, within the 12 month period prior to the month of application, has studied for at least one complete year at a post-secondary institution where English is the official language of instruction, may submit with their application a request to be exempted from the English Language Proficiency test requirement. The Director of Admissions will review the request. The applicant will be informed of the results of the review.
The following English Language Proficiency tests' results are accepted by the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs:
TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test)
For an overall minimum score of 88 (out of 120).
Applicants must have the minimum score in each test, as well as the minimum overall score. Please note that the Department of English and the Faculty of Law have higher minimum TOEFL iBT requirements.
TOEFL Paper-Based and Computer-Based Tests
Applicants must meet the minimum score requirements of the department to which they wish to apply. These minimum scores are listed on the individual Program websites.
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - score of 7 on the academic module
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) - 65 (minimum overall score)
- Canadian Academic English Language (Computer Edition) (CAEL CE) – 70 (minimum overall score)
Please note that if a final grade of 80% or more in ESLA 140 or ESLA 150 from Queen's University's English for Academic Purposes Program is achieved at the time of application, an English language test score may not be required. See Queen's University School of English for details.
How to Submit English Language Test Scores: The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs is able to access test scores directly from TOEFL , IELTS, PTE Academic, and CAEL CE databases. We do not require hard copies of your test scores sent from the testing centre if we can obtain them directly from TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or CAEL.
TOEFL, PTE Academic, and CAEL CE
Please ensure that you have the testing centre release the TOEFL, PTE Academic, or CAEL CE score to Queen’s University (0949) and inform the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (following submission of your application) that your score report is available to retrieve electronically from the official testing centre site. Email: email@example.com
Please provide the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs with the TRF number found on your IELTS score report (following submission of your application) in order for us to obtain your IELTS test score electronically from the IELTS site. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard copy test results : If you did not arrange to have the results of your English language proficiency test accessible to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, you must request that the testing agency send us a hard copy official test results document either by email email@example.com or through regular mail (address below).
Cambridge English Assessment
The Cambridge English Assessment requires a minimum score of 185. To access this test, please visit the Cambridge English website.
The online application will walk you through each step in the process, including how to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation and other documentation. You will first be invited to create an account using your email address. We will email you a User ID so that you can create a password to complete the online application.
Complete all the screens as they are presented to you, remembering to click Save and Continue before you move on to the next set of questions.
Paying the Application Fee: When you have completed all the sections, you can submit your application. At this point, you are asked to pay the non refundable application fee online (currently $110 CDN). Remember, you must be able to pay the fee online with a Visa or Mastercard number, in order to complete your application online.
Please note that the application fee of $110 (CDN) is non-refundable.
The application is considered complete when all of the documentation is received by the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.
You will be emailed an application number and can set your own password to complete your online application and check the status of your application, such as which documents are still needed in order for your application to be complete.
When your online application is complete and all documentation is received, the degree program will assess your application. You will be informed by the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs by email, or in the postal mail if you submitted a paper application, about whether or not you are being offered admission.
Supervision: Some graduate programs require applicants to identify a potential supervisor prior to applying. Review specific graduate program websites to determine program requirements. Speaking with your current mentors, attending graduate recruitment fairs, and asking questions of potential supervisors will help clarify your options, expectations, and give you a chance to get to know the communities in which you may choose to work.
Funding: Funding for your studies is an important consideration when choosing a graduate program. Queen’s offers competitive funding packages. Review our funding page for more information on our graduate funding packages.
Equity Admission Regulation: Queen’s University School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs is committed to enhancing diversity in graduate education which includes ensuring mechanisms for applications from prospective students who may not have had opportunity and advantage equal to others to be considered. In recognition that life circumstance may prohibit, present barriers, and/or discourage access to pursue advanced degrees, due consideration shall be given by the applicable graduate program personnel to the non-academic factors identified by the applicant, and the applicant’s special circumstances and unique qualities. Traditional measures of an applicant’s academic performance will be considered accordingly.
Indigenous Applicants: Queen’s welcomes and encourages inquiries and applications from Indigenous candidates. If you are an Indigenous student and wish for your application to be considered under the “Indigenous Student Admission Regulation,” you must self-identify as Indigenous upon application for admission. For the purposes of this regulation, Indigenous is defined as First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI). See Step 3 above for more information on self-identification procedures in the application process.
International Applicants: English is the language of instruction and communication at Queen’s, except for language departments. Proficiency in English is a prerequisite for admission. Those applicants whose native languages do not include English will be required to obtain satisfactory standing in an English Language Proficiency Test before acceptance is granted. See Step 4 above for more information on English Language Proficiency Test requirements.
International Study Permits: International students participating in programs longer than six months must obtain a study permit issued by the Canadian government. Additionally, citizens of some countries require a temporary resident (entry) visa for entry into Canada. The Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) offers information about applying for these documents, as well as additional support for mandatory health insurance, housing, and more.