School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies


Burfoot, A.

Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Burfoot, A.

Baron, S.B.2, Beamish, R.B., Burfoot, A., Kay, F.1, Lyon, D.

Associate Professor
Day, R.3, Hand, M.1, Levine-Rasky, C., Murakami-Wood, D., Srivastava, S.

Assistant Professor
Möellers, N.T., Sytsma, V.A.

Professor Emeritus
Hamilton, R., Lele, J.K., Mosco, V., Pearce, F., Pike, R.M., Sacco, V., Silverman, R., Snider, L., Zureik, E.T.

Adjunct Professor
Krull, C.

Adams, M.L., Goebel, A., Jefremovas, V., Sismondo, S., Soederberg, S.,Taylor, M.E.

1 - On Academic Leave July-December 2017
2 - On Academic Leave January-June 2018
3 - On Academic Leave January- December 2018

Departmental Facilities

The University Computing Centre provides a complex of the most modern computer equipment, and instructional assistance in its use. The Department of Sociology has its own computer lab for Sociology graduate students in Mac-Corry D432.

The Stauffer Library contains a well-developed collection of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first century Canadian books, newspapers, periodicals and government documents. It subscribes electronically to most major journals.

The United Nations Documents Library contains the reports of many international bodies. The Law Library and the Health Sciences Library have substantial collections pertinent to the sociological study of these areas.

Resources in Gender Studies include library holdings of over 5,000 volumes. The Ban Righ Foundation provides weekly programs and serves as a resource centre for women.

Students in Sociology can draw upon the resources of the many professional Faculties and Schools which are at Queen's including Law, Medicine, Education, Kinesiology and Health Studies, Policy Studies, Environmental Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, Public Administration, Business, and the Industrial Relations Centre.

These cooperative relationships, together with a provision that enables students to take courses in other departments within the Faculty of Arts and Science, provide the opportunity for interdisciplinary scholarly work. The Department houses an interdisciplinary group that is supported by a SSHRC-funded project on surveillance and Information and Communication Technology.

Fields of Research

The program reflects the special expertise of the staff and utilizes the unique facilities offered by the Kingston community. The program reflects the special expertise in the following areas:

  • Critical Sociological Theory, including Marxism and Critical Race Theory
  • Deviance and Criminology (especially among young offenders)
  • Feminist Sociology
  • Social Movements
  • Sociology of Cities and Urban Sociology
  • Sociology of Law
  • Sociology of Sport
  • Cybersecurity and Surveillance
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Visual Culture
  • Research Methods 

The Graduate program is divided into three fields:

  • Power, Inequalities and Social Justice;
  • Criminology and Law;
  • Media, Information and Surveillance.

Financial Assistance

Successful candidates are guaranteed annual funding for up to 2 years for Master's students and up to 4 years for Ph.D. students. Master's students receive a minimum of $14,000 for years 1 and 2 of their program and Ph.D. students receive a minimum of $21,000 for years 1 to 4 of their program.

Programs of Study

Graduate students are accepted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

Master of Arts

The Department offers a program of study leading to the Master of Arts degree.  Most students take between 18 and 24 months to complete the program.  Students also have the option of completing the program in twelve months but should discuss this with the Graduate Coordinator upon arrival.

The M.A. program offers students a choice of two alternate programs:

  1. SOCY-901* and SOCY-902* and two term-length graduate courses normally to be taken in the first two terms of the program, and a thesis weighted at one-half of the total program which must be successfully defended. The thesis normally does not exceed 25,000 words and is scheduled to be undertaken after the course work is completed.

  2. SOCY-901* and SOCY-902* and four term-length courses normally to be taken in the first two terms of the program, plus an essay of between 10,000 and 12,000 words, weighted at one-quarter of the total program, which is normally to be undertaken after the course work is completed.

The essay is intended to demonstrate the capacity for critical and analytical research by reflecting the state of scholarship in a given area.  The essay will be marked by the supervisor and by a second reader.  The second reader will be a member of the Department, chosen by the Supervisor in consultation with the Head of the Department.

Doctor of Philosophy

Applicants are accepted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

The doctoral program comprises required course work in sociological theory and methods plus courses selected in one of the department's specialization: socio-legal studies, communication and information technology, feminist sociology or critical sociological theory; an oral qualifying exam, a written qualifying exam and successful defense of a thesis.


Doctoral candidates will normally take a minimum of four single-term courses in their first year. SOCY-901* and SOCY-902* (or their equivalents) are normally compulsory.  However, if the Coordinator of Graduate Studies decides that the student's earlier work corresponds to materials covered in SOCY-901* and SOCY-902*, alternative courses will be substituted (see below).

Students with an M.A. from Queen's who have already taken SOCY-901* and/or SOCY-902*, or those determined to have taken its equivalent, will be required to take other graduate courses in theory and methods offered by the department at the time; or to take appropriate courses in theory and/or methods as Directed Special Readings; or (with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the Supervisor) appropriate courses in other departments.

In addition, at least one single-term course in the student's area of specialization must be taken.

With the recommendation of the Supervisor and the Graduate Coordinator, courses may be taken outside the Department.

In addition to the preceding requirement, SOCY-900*, Professional and Pedagogical Skills, is a compulsory course (graded pass/fail).

Qualifying Examinations and Thesis Proposal Exam

By the end of the third term each student, in consultation with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, must choose a supervisor and up to two other faculty members from the Department to make up the Supervisory Committee. The faculty members on the Supervisory Committee will monitor the student's work towards completion of the dissertation.

By the end of the fifth term students must submit to their S upervisory Committee a written dissertation proposal. This proposal will be assessed in the context of a more general qualifying examination. The Qualification Examination Committee will consist of the student's supervisor and at least one of the other members of the Supervisory Committee, an internal/external examiner, the Head or delegate, and a Chair appointed by the Head (the Head can also serve as Chair).

This examination will be in two parts. The first is a one-week take-home written examination focusing on the relevant theoretical, methodological and substantive areas germane to the student's program. The second is an oral examination, approximately two hours in length, one to three weeks following the written exam, which focuses on the thesis proposal. The possible results of the oral exam are Pass, Refer or Fail. Both parts of the exam will test the student's understanding of the discipline, the viability, scope and coherence of the thesis proposal and the preparedness of the candidate to undertake the proposed research.


General procedures concerning the doctoral dissertation required of all candidates for the Ph.D. are defined in this Calendar (Thesis). The writing and final defense of the dissertation before an Examining Committee will proceed according to the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.