Political Studies Summer Institute

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Queen's University Political Studies Summer Institute (QPSSI)

QPSSI students at Niagara Falls in 2017

Photo courtesy of the Queen's Gazette

Designed specifically for international students who are either completing an exchange at Queen's University or wish to attain a summer credit that can be applied to their home institution, the Queen's Political Studies Summer Institute (QPSSI) provides students two weeks of immersive learning that explores Canadian society, culture, and politics. The first of its kind in Canada, the program combines traditional classroom lectures and educational field trips to allow students to experience Canadian life. Students will visit some of Canada’s monumental landmarks through various excursions that include a trip to Ottawa, the nation’s capital; Ontario’s capital Toronto; historic Montreal; and the world-famous Niagara Falls. 

Students who successfully meet the academic requirements of the course will receive 3.0 units of academic credit (equivalent to 6.0 ANU units). Students receiving course credit for a three-unit (or one term) second-year political science course in Canadian Politics pay a program fee of $5,500 (CDN), which covers tuition, on-campus accommodation, field trips, breakfast, and lunch, transportation while in Canada, and program materials. Students who are completing the course as a certificate program pay a program fee of $4,000 (CDN)

QPSSI was not offered in the years 2020 to 2023, but is tentatively scheduled for July 2024. 

Sample Itinerary (QPSSI 2019 Itinerary)

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

Students who are affiliated with any of our partner institutions (including students from Australian National University (ANU) who wish to complete QPSSI as part of the ANU PRIMO program) and have a Letter of Permission (LOP) from their home university to attend QPSSI are eligible. Non-affiliated students are also eligible to apply for the QPSSI program provided that they have met their home university’s requirements to study abroad and have a valid Letter of Permission (LOP) from their home university.  Applicants must be 18 years of age by the start of the program. 

The language of instruction is English. Candidates for whom English is not their first language, please determine if submission of a test of facility in English is required for admission to attend QPSSI.

How to apply?

  1. Access the online registration form (to be posted in near future).
  2. Complete all sections of the application form and submit your application.
  3. You should indicate if you require a visa on your online application to the summer school.

Register for the Certificate Program

For more information please see the QPSSI Brochure: 

QPSSI Brochure - Chinese (PDF, 474KB) 

Accepting your offer

Once your application has been received and processed, QPSSI will send you an offer letter and an invoice that outlines your program fees and method of payment.  You must pay your tuition fees in full in order to confirm your place in the program.  Once you have accepted your offer and paid your fees, you will be a Letter of Acceptance and visa support letter that will enable you to apply for a visa (if applicable).

Deadline for applications

Information regarding the deadline to apply for the 2024 QPSSI will be posted once available.

Visa Information

The Queen’s Political Studies Summer Institute is a short-term program (less than 6 months) so depending on your citizenship, you may be required to obtain a Temporary Resident (Entry) Visa (TRV).  The Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) has information about the application process on the Study Permits, Visas, and Residency page of their website.  Please read through the information carefully and give yourself time to file an application.

For students whose countries of citizenship do not require a TRV for entry into Canada, you may study in Canada at the QPSSI as a visitor and are not required to apply for a TRV.   

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Air travel to Canada changed over the course of the pandemic. Anyone whose citizenship exempts them from the requirement for a temporary resident visa (TRV).

Citizens of all visa-exempt countries (excluding the United States) will require an eTA before boarding a plane to Canada.

An eTA costs approximately $7.00 CAD, and is valid for 5 years or until the expiry of your passport (whichever comes first).

Applications will be made online and will require a valid passport, e-mail address, and credit card.  In most cases, an eTA will be issued in minutes.


QPSSI 2017 was featured in the Queen's Gazette in July 2017. Read the story here, "Taste Canadian Culture and Politics"