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Prospective Students

As a mid-sized university and department, we provide a rich, supportive learning community to students from across Canada and around the world. Our award-winning graduate faculty, recognized for their contributions to research, teaching and mentorship, offer courses in established and emerging fields of study including the history of gender and sexuality, intellectual history, and urban history, whether focused on Canada, Europe, or other parts of the world. Students benefit from the smaller class sizes and excellent funding opportunities available to our Ph.D. and M.A. students. All our M.A. and Ph.D. students are generously funded through a combination of research and teaching fellowships and assistantships. Our graduate students form a well-knit community that is nurtured by and actively contributes to the intellectual and social exchange offered by the department.

Beyond the classroom, students enjoy the opportunities for exploration offered by Kingston. Situated close to the Thousand Islands and nestled between Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and the Cataraqui River, Kingston offers students plenty of opportunities to explore natural beauty through the hiking trails and beaches in the summer, and to learn about the region’s settler and indigenous history all year round.

How to Apply

All applications and supporting materials are due by Friday, January 19, 2024. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty whose research interests overlap with their own prior to completing their application.

Please note that the first round of admission offers will be made based on applications received by the Department’s formal deadline. However, late applications will be considered for admission and funding.

Online Application

Queen's University uses an online application form.

If you are thinking of applying to the MA or PhD programme, please follow the steps outlined at the School of Graduate Studies' Admission Procedures.

If you encounter any difficulty in the online application, please contact the School of Graduate Studies, or 613-533-6100. Other questions can be directed to the History Graduate Office, or 613-533-6931.

Check My Application

Admission Requirements

Second class standing in the final two years of an Honours BA degree in History from a recognized university is the minimum requirement (equivalent to 76-79% or GPA 3.3) for admission to MA. Successful applicants most often have first class standing.

MA applicants normally must have taken several upper level history courses, ideally seminar courses, and have at least an A- in these courses. If you are unsure if your academic background meets the programme requirements, please contact the History Graduate Chair. Please copy and paste your student transcripts into the email. Students without sufficient background in history will need to take history undergraduate courses before applying to the MA, although a qualifying year is sometimes an option.

Admission to the Ph.D. is normally limited to applicants with first class standing on their M.A. work (A minus minimum, GPA 3.7).

If English is not your first language, we require a total TEOFL score of at least 627 (paper-based), 263 (computer-based) or 88 (internet-based) as well as a TEOFL test of written English section score of 6.0 (paper or computer-based) or 24 (internet-based). All required test scores must be received directly from the testing agency, in order for your application is complete. Any applicant who has recently studied (in the previous 12 months) for at least one complete year at a university where English is the official language of instruction may be exempt from the English language proficiency test.

Reference Letters

Two current academic reference letters are required. Where possible, PhD applicants should ensure that one of those references is by the student’s MA supervisor. Applicants applying online will have the option to have their referee submit the letter of recommendation to Queen's University electronically. If you have been out of university for a number of years, one or more professional recommendations may be included. However, all effort should be made to include academic recommendations. The most effective letters are usually written by experienced faculty members who know you well.


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.

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, in sealed envelopes or emailed directly from the issuing institutions to School of Graduate Studies at

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

Queen's Transcripts - The Department of History and The School of Graduate Studies will access the student record directly for applicants who have attended or are currently attending Queen's University.

Writing Samples


The writing sample should be chosen because you think it best exemplifies your strengths as a potential graduate student in history. If possible, submit a copy of the paper without the professor's comments or grade. The writing sample should be approximately 8-10 pages at a minimum and no more than 20 pages.


The writing sample should be in the range of approximately 18-25 pages. It can be a chapter of the MA thesis/essay or a course paper.

Please email writing samples to Cathy Dickison at

Research Interests and Statement of Interest

You will be prompted in the online application to describe your research interests in two places. The first labeled "Research Interests" provides an opportunity to label the areas and topics you are interested in and to provide a short a paragraph describing your general research area or topic.

The second place is in the "Statement of Interest" section where you can describe your fields of interest and proposed research project more fully. Most M.A. applicants find that the on-line application provides sufficient space for this purpose. If this is not the case, you may send a larger version of your Research Statement with your writing sample.


You will be prompted in the online application to describe your research interests. The online application generally does not provide sufficient space for doctoral applicants to describe their research interests in either the "Research Interests" or "Statement of Interest" sections. Please email a longer research statement along with your writing sample to Cathy Dickison at Research Statements for doctoral candidates are typically 3-5 double spaced pages. If you have applied for a SSHRC PhD award, you could use that as a basis for this statement. The Admissions Committee looks very closely at the research statement and we encourage you to be as specific as possible, at the same time indicating how your proposed research addresses larger questions and problems.

Fees and Registration

Application Fees - before you can submit your application, you must pay the non-refundable $110.00 (Canadian dollars) application fee, which is payable by Visa or Mastercard only.

The current academic fees can be found at the University Registrar website.

Registration for graduate courses is administered by the Graduate Office in History in late August. Students will be contacted by the Graduate Office in June to ask for their course selections.

International Students

The History department anticipates admitting a small number of highly qualified international students to both its MA and PhD programs this year. The department strongly encourages interested applicants who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents to contact the chair of graduate studies and members of our graduate faculty in their proposed areas of study well before the application deadline to discuss the studying at Queen's as an international student, the program, supervision, and funding opportunities. Further information can also be found through the School of Graduate Studies, the Office of the Registrar, and the Queen's International Centre.

Queen's International provides information for international students and describes the services that Queen's University offers to international students.

Queen’s University International Centre is a support service for all members of the Queen’s community and assists in building community between international students.

The School of Graduate Studies provides:

  • An outline of tuition fees and estimated living costs for international students
  • Information about medical coverage
  • A description of immigration requirements for international students coming to Queen's
  • Training for international students who would like to hold teaching assistantships

Living in Kingston

Living in Kingston

The City of Kingston is located in eastern Ontario, about 200 km from Canada's capital city of Ottawa, about 250 km from the centre of our provincial capital of Toronto, and about 300 km from Montréal, Québec.

Kingston is a home-away-from-home not only for students from Queen’s, but also for those attending the Royal Military College and St. Lawrence College – more than 30,000 in all! Described as both “quaint” and “eclectic,” Kingston is big enough to provide all the conveniences of modern life, and small enough for students, staff, and faculty to feel instantly comfortable and at home.

Learn more about living in Kingston

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.