Department of Philosophy



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Programs Offered

The Master’s

MA: The MA program is a 12-month program, unique amongst Canadian MA programs in having courses and a significant research component to be completed in one year.  Students have the opportunity to explore their interests through graduate seminars, directed studies courses, and an MA thesis, on a topic of their choosing, written under the supervision of a faculty member over the Spring and Summer terms, and defended at the end of the summer.

MA-PLT: The department also offers, in collaboration with the Department of Political Studies and the Faculty of Law, a 12-month MA in Philosophy with Specialization 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 six seminars, at least four of which must be designated Political and Legal Thought courses and complete a Major Research Paper.

The Doctorate

PhD: The PhD program affords opportunities to pursue high-level studies and research, working closely with members of Faculty. PhD candidates complete their course requirements, six graduate seminars or directed studies courses, in their first year. The second year is devoted to writing research papers on topics relevant to students’ research interests and defending a dissertation proposal. The generalist nature of the first two years gives students a broad background before they begin specialized research on their dissertation.

Further details about the programs below.



The online application form can be found at

Please consult the information on how to apply at

Admission requirements:

  • Master of Arts: BA Honours undergraduate degree in Philosophy or equivalent with a minimum A- standing.
  • Doctor of Philosophy: MA degree in Philosophy or equivalent with a minimum A- standing.

Application Deadlines – February 1st. Applications can be made online from October 1st of the previous year.

Letters of Recommendation: Two current academic references are required. The requests are sent to your referees electronically so please insure you use their correct email address.

Transcripts: A complete application must include official, up-to-date transcripts for all current and previous study which the applicant has listed in the Academic Background section of the application. For further details please consult the School of Graduate Studies website. Link:

Supplementary Admission Data This information is an important part of the application which must be completed and submitted with the application. The additional information is required to provide more background to assess an applicant's suitability for entrance into a graduate program.

  • Written Work – A sample of written work of 10-15 pages double-spaced, is required. Save file as pdf, file name <LASTNAME.FIRST NAME writing sample>. Email to
  • Statement of Interest – A statement of reasons for wishing to undertake graduate studies, normally not more than two double-spaced pages (completed online).
  • Current Course List – A list of all related undergraduate and graduate courses taken; include course name, number, level, and a short description of content (completed online).

Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of around $105 in Canadian currency is required for each application submitted.  (Subject to change – for the most up-to-date fees please check the School of Graduate Studies website at

Proficiency in English: English is the language of instruction and communication in the Philosophy Department at Queen’s University. Proficiency in English is a prerequisite for admission.  If English is not a native language, prospective students must meet English language proficiency requirements in writing, speaking, reading, and listening. The School of Graduate Studies requires the following minimum scores: TOEFL (paper-based): 550, (2) TOEFL iBT: Writing (24/30); Speaking (22/30); Reading (22/30); Listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120 (applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score), or (3) IELTS: 7.0 (academic module overall band score), or (4) PTE Academics: 65.

Please consult the School of Graduate Studies website for details