PhD Program

The primary goal of the doctoral program is to provide a strong foundation for the pursuit of a career in university teaching and conducting research.

The department offers five fields of study within the doctoral program: 

  • Canadian Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Gender and Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory

In addition, the department has particular strengths in the study of divided and diverse societies as well as peace, conflict and security.

Applicants must have an A- average in a Master's degree in political science, or equivalent. Between four and seven candidates are accepted into the doctoral program each year. The PhD program requires successful completion of six one-term courses, a second-language examination, field examinations in two fields, and the presentation and defence of a Ph.D. dissertation. The average completion time for the doctoral program is just over five years.


Students who are accepted for doctoral studies will be provided financial assistance. Each offer of admission includes a funding package that guarantees a minimum level of funding for the duration of the student’s period of funding-eligibility (four years of full-time enrollment for PhD students). This funding typically consists of a Queen's Graduate Award and a Teaching Assistantship, but may include a Research Assistantship, or a Queen’s internal award.

Our students have an excellent track record of securing external scholarship support (SSHRC, OGS, etc.). In the past, our doctoral students have been honoured with the Trudeau Scholarship and the Vanier Scholarship. 

Please note that PhD students should apply for all major external and internal scholarships for which they are eligible in order to qualify for the minimum funding guarantee. 


External Opportunities

The department encourages and supports the participation of doctoral students in external opportunities and offers access to two major skill-building summer schools:

The Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR)

Held annually by the Consortium for Qualitative Research Methods in Syracuse, NY, the institute seeks to enable participants to create and critique methodologically sophisticated qualitative research designs, including case studies, tests of necessity or sufficiency, and narrative or interpretive work. IQMR attendees receive constructive feedback on their own qualitative research designs, and the course also includes discussions led by the authors of well known works which employ qualitative methods. Funding is provided through the department.

Samantha Twietmeyer, PhD Candidate"The methods institute allowed me to explore new options for approaching my research question critically and provided me a laundry list of helpful tips about conducting field research and analysis. I also had the opportunity to make connections with fellow researchers from all around the world."

- Samantha Twietmeyer, PhD Candidate


The International Summer Research Institute

The UQAM Summer Institute is a bi-annual two-week summer school for graduate students that is organized and financed by a broad academic network headed by Professor Alain Gagnon at the Université du Québec au Montréal.

In 2017, the summer institute took place in Bolzano/Bozen, in cooperation with the Eurac Research-Institute for Minority Rights and Institute for Comparative Federalism. The 2017 edition (June 19 - 30, 2017) of the summer school focused on “A World in Turmoil: Territory, Power-Sharing and Conflicts” and examined the challenge of complex diversity through theoretical and empirical perspectives from all over the world. The two week program consisted of lectures given by distinguished scholars and experts—mainly coming from the network of partners-—seminars, institutional visits and other non-academic and cultural activities. Students also had the opportunity to deepen their expertise regarding the school's topics by presenting and discussing their own work, such as doctoral dissertations, on-going research, or research papers. Funding is provided through the department.

Alexandra Liebich, PhD Candidate"The summer institute was a terrific opportunity to meet and study with other scholars in the field, to network with prominent researchers, to foster future collaborations, and to learn about a fascinating region in the heart of Europe."

- Alexandra Liebich, PhD Candidate