School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Environmental Studies



"It is a big decision to return to school. The School of Environmental Studies is incredibly supportive, and we’re fortunate to have access to academics across a wide range of disciplines.” Joanne Linnay, MES Candidate 2013

“I have a passion. I love being in environmental studies. The program just matched with what I wanted.”  Floxy Iziegbe Akhuetie, MES 2013

"The academic environment is excellent. The faculty is supportive, and the students are really friendly." Atanu Sarkar MES 2010

Program Contact

Colin Khan
Graduate Assistant
Environmental Studies
Biosciences Complex Room 3132, 
116 Barrie St. Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000 ext. 77531


Program Overview

The Environmental Studies program at Queen’s University provides graduate-level training in the field of environmental sustainability by practicing an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the longterm nature and impacts of environmental change, the connections between today’s decisions and tomorrow’s welfare, and the strong dependence of human well-being on environmental quality.


As the market for professionals with environmentally - related skills continues to grow, students are demanding post-graduate training in preparation for environmental careers in industry, government and non-governmental organizations. We have developed our programs in response to this growing demand. This program provides opportunities for joint projects with many disciplines at Queen’s and RMC including Biology, Business, Chemistry, Developmental Studies, Engineering, Geography and others.

Career paths – employment opportunities

Our graduates have entered careers in Academia and Professional Practice in Government and Non-government areas such as:

  • Environmental Protection – water quality
  • Conservation & Preservation of Natural Resources- Forestry, Energy, Natural Resources Management
  • Environmental Sustainability – Education, Communication & Public Awareness, Sustainable Development Management, Policy & Legislation
Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)

  • Research based : 24 Months
  • Course Based: 16-20 months

Ph.D.: 48 months

Method of Completion

Ph.D.: seminars, original interdisciplinary research, readings, comprehensive examination, thesis, formal defense.

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)

  • Research-based - traditional graduate training. Four half-credit courses, original research, thesis, seminars, formal defense.
  • Course-based - development of conceptual thinking, analytical & interpretive skills. Six half-credit courses, seminars, library-based interdisciplinary paper.
  • Transfers between course- and researchbased streams are allowed in the first year of study.
  • MES students exhibiting exceptional progress and promise may consider applying for promotion to a PhD in Environmental Studies after two terms in the MES program.
Fields of study and Supervisors

We encourage applicants to identify an area of research interest and contact faculty members before applying. Offers of admission are given only to those who have a named supervisor or advisor.

Environmental Chemistry & Toxicology:

  • Stephen Brown – Environmental Chemistry
  • Peter Hodson – Fish Toxicology
  • Heather Jamieson – Environmental Geochemistry
  • Diane Orihel – Aquatic Ecotoxicology
  • Louise Winn – Fetal Toxicity

Ecosystem & Human Health:

  • Ryan Danby – Ecosystem Change and Biodiversity Conservation
  • Louise Winn – Fetal Toxicity

Society, Culture & Economic Sustainability:

  • Allison Goebel – Environmental Justice; Women Health & Environment; Local Food Issues/Movements; Gender, Environment & Development in Africa
  • Myra Hird – Interdisciplinary Environmental Research; Waste Flow; Knowledge Mobilization
  • Alice Hovorka (Director) – Animal Geographies, Gender and Environment, Urban Geography, Southern Africa
  • Mick Smith – Environmental Philosophy
  • Graham Whitelaw – Environmental Assessment and Land Use Planning
Funding, Academic Prerequisites and Deadline

Funding Information

Funding will come from a combination of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA), Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA), Queen’s Graduate Award (QGA), external scholarships and/or other internal awards.

PhD – $20,000/year minimum

MES – $14,000/year minimum

We strongly encourage you to apply for major national (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) and provincial scholarships (OGS). Top-up awards are provided by Queen's to federal government Tri-Council Award winners in the first year of a program; $5,000 for Masters and $10,000 for PhD.

Academic Prerequisites

PhD – Master’s degree

MES – Four-year Honours undergraduate degree (or the equivalent)

These programs are suited to students with a wide range of education and experiences in backgrounds such as Environmental Studies, History, Biology, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Engineering, Law, Philosophy and Art.

We consider grades over the last two years as well as your cumulative average.

To be considered for admission, students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.3/4.3 (77%, B+ standing) or equivalent.

Test Requirements

We do not use GRE scores. International students must have TOEFL scores of at least 600 (paper) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: 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.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: Ongoing; Still accepting applications for 2021-22 till April 30th .

Notification of Acceptance: As soon as possible after receiving your full application.

Grad Maps

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


PHoto of Floxy-Akhuetie Floxy Akhuetie
Environmental Studies
An Environmental Passion
photo of Joanne LinnayJoanne Linnay
Environmental Studies
CIDA funded Cape Town research.
Atanu Sarkar  Atanu Sarkar
Environmental Studies
Medical Doctor & MES Student