The Department of Philosophy offers three M.A. programs: the M.A. program, the M.A. in Political and Legal Thought program, and the new J.D./M.A. in Political and Legal Thought program. Details about each program can be found below. For information on admissions, application procedures, and funding, see Prospective Students.
The terrific writing and analytic skills that students develop over the course of our M.A. programs have consistently made them desirable candidates for jobs in both the public and private sectors, as well as sought-after applicants at the most competitive law schools, professional M.A. and M.B.A. programs, and Ph.D. programs in North America and Europe. For example, recent M.A. students have gone on to law programs at schools such as Queen's, U of T, Dalhousie, and McGill, and Ph.D. programs at schools such as Queen’s, U of T, Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Arizona, Cornell, UCLA, Chicago, and Pittsburgh.
The M.A. Program
The M.A. program aims to provide students with both a strong, general education in philosophy and opportunities for advanced, independent research on topics of students' choosing. It is unique amongst Canadian M.A. programs, designed to be completed in one year (12 months) with both courses and a thesis. During the Fall and Winter terms, students complete course work (6 graduate seminars / Directed Studies courses). During the Spring and Summer terms, students write M.A. theses on topics of their choosing under faculty supervision, to be defended at the end of Summer or in the very early Fall.
The M.A. in Political and Legal Thought Program
The M.A. in Political and Legal Thought program is offered by the Department of Philosophy in collaboration with the Department of Political Studies and the Faculty of Law. The program builds on each unit’s strengths in political, legal, and ethical theory, providing students with opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement with leading scholars. The program is designed to be completed in one year (12 months). During the Fall and Winter terms, students complete 6 courses, 4 of which must be designated Political and Legal Thought courses, which span Philosophy, Politics, and Law. During the Spring and Summer terms, students write Major Research Papers on topics of their choosing under faculty supervision. Further information about the M.A. in Political and Legal Thought can be found here. A list of affiliated faculty can be found here.
The J.D./M.A. in Political and Legal Thought Program
The J.D./M.A. in Political and Legal Thought Program is a collaborative program offered through the Department of Philosophy and the Faculty of Law. It offers a unique opportunity for those interested in normative questions lying at the intersection of law and moral, political, and legal philosophy to concurrently develop the skills and background needed to explore them in depth, under the supervision of world-class faculty in Law, Philosophy, and Political Studies. See this brochure for more information about the program’s structure, and, if interested, contact Philosophy's Graduate Coordinator (currently Deborah Knight) for further details.
The creation of a collaborative MA in Political and Legal Thought at Queen’s University is an inspired idea, showcasing a long tradition of strength with a significant presence internationally as well as in Canada. The program is a boon to students who will find a wonderful grounding for further studies in Law, Philosophy and Politics.
Professor of Law and Philosophy, Albert Abel Chair, and University Professor, University of Toronto
Applications for all graduate programs in philosophy are hosted online by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Information on how to apply online can be found here. Click below to begin your application.