School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Cultural Studies



"I was attracted to the Cultural Studies program at Queen’s for a number of important reasons, including the amazing range of faculty involved the opportunity for interdisciplinarity, and the clear commitment to engaged, critical scholarship. I feel very strongly that my decision to be a part of this program has been validated by the wonderful sense of community we’ve forged--as opposed to competition that plagues so many graduate programs-- as well as the wide variety of scholarly interests and personal backgrounds among the students, and the personal care and support offered by our dedicated faculty and administration.”

Karl Hardy, PhD candidate


Program Contact

Jennifer Powell
Cultural Studies
B176 Macintosh Corry Hall;
68 University Avenue, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6

Phone: 613 533 6000 x 79462



Program Overview

Cultural Studies is an emphatically interdisciplinary area of inquiry that intersects the humanities, science studies, the social sciences and the arts. Its researchers theorize the forces that shape the lived reality of people in the 21st century. Drawing on a range of practices, researchers investigate values, beliefs and belongings, cultural processes and cultural objects, economic and social relations, institutions and identities. What distinguishes Cultural Studies from other approaches to the study of culture is its recognition that no single disciplinary approach can get at the complexity of cultural forms and its emphasis on power, social justice and social change. As one of the only Cultural Studies program in Canada with a project option, Cultural Studies at Queen’s (CSQ) is a unique program that integrates the range of theoretical approaches used within Cultural Studies, and that fosters scholarship in both historical and contemporary fields of research.


Cultural Studies offers opportunities to break down conventional divisions between academia and activism, between theoretical critique and cultural production. Necessarily self-reflexive, Cultural Studies draws on a range of methods and critical theories. Comprising 89 distinguished faculty from 22 disciplines to offer an innovative program at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels, CSQ is committed to a diversity of students and faculty and to the global expertise that they bring to the cultural and academic fields.

Career paths – employment opportunities

Professional work in fields related to the study of culture, including work in the media, non-profit agencies, museums, galleries, publishing houses and social policy agencies. The objective of the Ph.D. program is also to prepare candidates for careers in teaching and research. Our graduates will have acquired a broad knowledge of research in their area of study and will have the ability to design and teach courses in that area.

Want a chance to get to know Cultural Studies?

Join us for a brief webinar on November 26th at 3pm EST, to find out about our PhD in Cultural Studies.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.A.: 2 years full time (part time also available)

Ph.D.: 4 years full time (part time also available)

Method of Completion

M.A. Pattern I: 4 full-term courses + CUST-802 + 20,000-25,000 word thesis or a major project.

M.A. Pattern II: 6 full-term courses + CUST-802+10,000-12,000 research essay or a minor project.

Ph.D.: 4 full-term courses in the first year, including two required core courses; plus CUST-802, a qualifying exam; thesis proposal exam; thesis or project


We encourage students to identify an area of research interest and contact potential supervisors before applying.  A potential supervisor must be assigned before an admission offer is made – we work with over 100 faculty from across the fine arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.  Our faculty have indicated that they are particularly interested in recruiting new MA and PhD students in the following research areas.

Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

M.A.: Minimum $12,000

Ph.D.: Minimum $18,000

We encourage you to apply for additional funding through external scholarships (SSHRC, OGS, etc.). Entering graduate students who win federal government tri-council awards are  automatically provided a $5,000 (for M.A) or $10,000 (for PhD ) top-up award by Queen’s.

Please visit the Funding section of the Cultural Studies website for more funding opportunities.

Academic Prerequisites

M.A.: Four-year bachelor’s degree in a related program from a recognized university. Academic average of at least a B+

Ph.D.: Master’s degree in Cultural Studies or a related discipline from a recognized university. Academic average of at least an A .

Application Requirements

  • Two official transcripts for any degrees earned outside of Queen's
  • Two letters of recommendation: Please note that referees listed on your online application will receive the link to Queen's online recommendation form after you submit your application
  • A Statement of Interest outlining your research interests, why you consider the Cultural Studies a good fit for your research, and which faculty you have been in touch with as potential supervisors
  • An academic writing sample, preferably a short research essay (approximately 10 pages) in PDF format
  • A Curriculum Vitae when applying for a Doctoral degree
  • A list of current courses

Test Requirements

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paperbased) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30; speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for

total of 88/120. Applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.  Please review "Step 3" of the Queen's application process on English Language requirements. 

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: 31 January to qualify for funding

Learning Outcomes

Degree Level Expectations - MA & PhD (206 KB)

Explore our new "Cultural Studies Grad Maps" and start mapping your future with Queen's

Grad Maps

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website


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