Department of Philosophy



site header

About the Graduate Program

Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Rahul Kumar

To apply for Graduate Studies in Philosophy you can find the application form at:

The deadline for both M.A. and Ph.D. applications is February 1st. If you have questions or require more information on applying to graduate studies in Philosophy, you can e-mail us at

Queen's offers high quality graduate programs that aspire to give students both a solid general education in philosophy and opportunities for specialized work on topics of students' choosing. The Queen's faculty is very productive in a broad range of areas of research. The small size of the graduate programs allows for individual attention and a collegial atmosphere.

Graduates of the Ph.D. program have gone on to positions at the University of Ottawa, the University of Winnipeg, and Memorial University, amongst others. Graduates of the Master's program have gone on to positions in the private sector, Law programs at schools such as Queen's, U of T, Dalhousie, and McGill, and Ph.D. programs at U of T, Harvard, Oxford, Cornell, Arizona, UCLA, UWO, and Pittsburgh.

Master of Arts

The M.A. program is a 12 month program. It is unique amongst Canadian M.A. programs designed to be completed in one year: students have the opportunity to explore their interests through both graduate seminars and Directed Studies courses (completed over the Fall and Winter terms), and an M.A. thesis on a topic of their own choosing, written under the supervision of a Faculty member over the Spring and Summer terms, and defended at the end of the summer or in the very early Fall.

The department also offers, in collaboration with the Department of Political Studies and the Faculty of Law, an M.A. in Political and Legal Thought.  This program builds on the strengths and expertise of the three units and provides an exciting opportunity for interdisciplinary engagement with leading scholars in a lively intellectual community.  Students take designated Political and Legal Thought courses (4 of the required 6) and complete a Major Research Paper.  Further information can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website:

The terrific writing and analytic skills that M.A. candidates develop over the course of the year have consistently made them very desirable candidates for jobs in both the public and private sectors, and sought after applicants at the best Law Schools, professional M.A. and M.B.A. programs, and the most competitive Ph.D. programs in North America and Europe.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D program affords opportunities to pursue high level studies and research and to work closely with members of Faculty. Ph.D candidates complete their course requirements, six half-courses, in their first year. The second year is devoted to completing comprehensive requirements and writing a thesis proposal. The generalist nature of the first two years gives students a broad background before they begin specialized research. The structure of the program is designed to ensure that candidates are able to defend in year five, not in year four. Many candidates also acquire valuable teaching experience while they are writing their theses, often having opportunities to take full responsibility for courses as teaching fellows.


PhD student Michael Tremblay giving colloquiumThe department has one of the best guest-speaker programs in the country. In addition to a number of special University lectures hosted by the department, the Colloquium is held weekly during the term, and is an integral part of the graduate program. Papers are presented and commented upon by members of faculty, graduate students and visitors. The Colloquium is a collegial institution in which graduate students and members of faculty are co-equals. Presenting a paper or commentary is an excellent way to try out ideas, and of gaining professional experience. For these reasons, regular participation is encouraged.

In addition, graduate students run their own Graduate Student Colloquium series, where students can present work in progress to their peers informally, or as a dissertation research seminar to students and faculty.


Contingent on academic qualifications, MA and PhD candidates may be eligible for funding in the form of grants and assistantships. The department makes every effort to secure maximum levels of assistance for as many candidates as possible. However, it should be noted that under present circumstances not all graduate students can assume that they will receive full funding covering the costs of their education.

Graduate students must apply for available financial assistance from external granting bodies. Only students who make serious efforts to gain support in this way will be considered by the department and the Graduate School when allocating support from funds under their control.

Limited funding is available to help graduate students attend conferences. To apply use the conference funding form.

meeting of the Political Philosophy Reading Group

A well-attended session of the Political Philosophy Reading Group. Photo credit Christine Sypnowich.