Admission Requirements

Admission to the M.A. Programs requires an honours bachelor’s degree with a strong background in philosophy (e.g., a major in philosophy) normally with a minimum A- standing, and proficiency in English.

  • Those interested in the M.A. in Political and Legal Thought program may apply to this program through the collaborating academic unit (Philosophy, Political Studies, or Law) that best matches their academic background. Successful candidates who apply through Philosophy will receive an M.A. in philosophy specializing in political and legal thought; successful candidates who apply through Political Studies will receive an M.A. in Political Studies specializing in political and legal thought; and so on. However, those interested in the J.D./M.A. in Political and Legal Thought program must apply to the M.A. in Political and Legal Thought program through the Department of Philosophy and, separately, to the J.D. program through the Faculty of Law.

Admission to the Ph.D. Program requires an M.A. degree in philosophy or equivalent with a minimum A- standing, and proficiency in English.

  • Proficiency in English: English is the language of instruction and communication in the Department of Philosophy 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 note that the admissions process is competitive. Accordingly, successful applicants tend to have qualifications higher than the minimum listed. International student admissions are especially competitive, given funding constraints. Prospective international students are therefore encouraged to get in touch with the Graduate Assistant at before applying.

Note that successful applicants to the new J.D./M.A. program must apply and be admitted, separately, to both (i) the M.A. in Political and Legal Thought program offered by the Department of Philosophy and (ii) the J.D. program offered by the Faculty of Law. If interested in applying for the J.D./M.A. program, contact Philosophy’s Graduate Coordinator (currently Deborah Knight) to request further information about admission requirements.  

For more information on the Department of Philosophy's graduate programs, see Graduate Studies. For information on how to apply, see Application Procedures. For information on funding for philosophy graduate students, see Funding.


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.