School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies



"My Graduate experience at Queen’s has been exceptionally rewarding. The Philosophy department is both intimate and vibrant – offering the benefits of smaller classes with the advantages of a diverse faculty. The departmental life is further enriched by the internationally renowned academics that frequently speak at our weekly colloquiums. The professors here have shown themselves to be both supportive and challenging.”

Christine Esselmont, PhD. candidate

Program Contact

Susanne Cliff-Jungling
Graduate Assistant
Department of Philosophy
Watson Hall & room 312 
Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.2182


Program Overview

The Queen’s University Philosophy Department offers high quality graduate programs that aspire to give students both a solid general education in philosophy and opportunities for specialized work on topics of your choice. Our faculty is very productive in a broad range of areas of research. The small size of the graduate programs allows for individual attention and a collegial atmosphere.

The writing and analytic skills that our M.A. students develop have consistently made them very desirable candidates for jobs in both the public and private sectors, and sought-after applicants at the best Law Schools, professional M.A. and M.B.A. programs, and the most competitive Ph.D. programs in North America and Europe.

The Ph.D. program affords opportunities to pursue high-level studies and research and to work closely with members of our faculty. Many candidates also acquire valuable teaching experience while they are writing their theses and often have opportunities to take full responsibility for courses as teaching fellows.


Our graduate students have the opportunity to work with students and faculty members in the areas of Political Studies, Law and Medicine. This provides a multidisciplinary environment.

Career paths – employment opportunities

  • University-level teaching positions
  • Government sector work
  • Private sector work
Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.A..: 12 months

M.A. (specialization in Political and Legal Thought): 12 months

Ph.D.: 4 years

Method of Completion

M.A. (specialisztion in Political and Legal Thought) - Students in the Collaborative Program will complete 4 term-length courses in the field of Political Thought (out of a total of 6 required courses) as well as complete a Major Research Paper in an areas relevant to the specialization.

M.A. Course work, research paper and oral defence

Fields of study and Supervisors

Master’s students may arrange for a supervisor after their first term. Ph.D. students may arrange for a supervisor during their second year. 

Departmental strengths include:

  • Ethics
  • Social & Political Philosophy
  • Epistemology & Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Applied Ethics


  • Susan E.Babbitt: Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Feminist Theory, Philosophy of Culture
  • David J. Bakhurst: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics, Russian Philosophy
  • J.E. Bickenbach: Social Policy Analysis, Bio-Ethics, Philosophy of Law
  • Jacqueline Davies: Feminist Theory, Critical thinking
  • Paul Fairfield: Contemporary Continental Philosophy
  • Kerah Gordon-Solmon: Political Philosophy, Bioethics
  • Deborah Knight: Philosophy of Art, Mind, and Language
  • Rahul Kumar: Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Will Kymlicka: Political Philosophy
  • Henry Laycock: Ontology, Philosophy of Language
  • Stephen R. Leighton: Ancient Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology
  • A.M. Macleod: Emeritus: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy
  • Lorne Maclachlan: Emeritus: Perception, Logic, Metaphysics
  • Adèle Mercier: Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Natural Language Semantics, Linguistics, Logic
  • Jon A. Miller: Early Modern (esp. rationalism), Ancient (esp. Hellenistic), African Philosophy
  • Joshua Mozersky: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Science
  • Christine Overall (Emerita): Feminist Philosophy, Applied Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion
  • Carlos G. Prado: Emeritus, Epistemology
  • Nancy Salay: Cognitive Science, Language, Metaphysics
  • Udo Schüklenk: Bioethics
  • Sergio Sismondo: Science and Technology Studies
  • Mark Smith: Mathematics, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Thought
  • Mick Smith: Environmental Philosophy, Postmodernism, Social Theory
  • Christine A. Sypnowich: Political Philosophy, Jurisprudence, Marxist Theory, Feminist Theory

Cross Appointed Faculty:

  • Cheryl Cline: Clinical Ethics
  • Jacalyn Duffin: Medical Epistemology
  • Andrew Lister: Political Philosophy
  • Margaret Moore: Social and Political Philosophy
  • Ram Murty: Indian Philosophy and Mathematical logic
  • Michael G.Pratt: Philosophy of Law
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

Ph.D: Minimum $23,000 guaranteed

M.A.: All admitted students are offered a funding package of a grant and a teaching assistantship. Please contact the Department for details.

Our department will nominate students for internal awards. We encourage you to apply for external awards such as SSHRC and OGS awards. Queen’s issues an automatic $5,000 (Masters) or $10,000 (PhD) top up award to winners of federal government tri-council awards.

Academic Prerequisites

M.A.: Honours B.A. in Philosophy or equivalent

Ph.D.: M.A. in Philosophy

Grades Required

M.A.: An average of A- (in Philosophy courses only) is normally required to be competitive for admission.

Ph.D.: First class standing (80% or better) is required to be competitive.

Other Requirements

  • Statement of Interest (part of online application form)
  • Writing sample (maximum: 10-15 pages, sent separately to the department)

Test Requirements

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paper-based) 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: February 1st (Students must meet this deadline to qualify for funding; however we will continue to accept applications afterward.)

Notification of Acceptance: Early March

Learning Outcomes

Degree Level Expectations - MA, MA (specialisation in Political Thought) (24 KB)

Degree Level Expectations - PhD (96 KB)

Grad Maps

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


Melaina Weiss Melaina Weiss
The Philosophy behind Rugby...