Department of Sociology



site header

Prospective Students

The Master's and Doctoral Programs in the Department of Sociology focus primarily on three core areas: 

Media, Information & Surveillance

Criminology & Law

Power, Inequalities & Social Jsutice

In addition to the Graduate Streams and the research project clusters, core and cross-appointed faculty undertake supervision and research across the following areas: Social and Sociological Theory, Economic Sociology, Social Capital, Stratification & Mobility, Consumer Culture and Consumption,Visual Culture, Urban Sociology and Cities, Science & Technology Studies, Intersectionality, Feminist Theory, Material Culture, Privacy & Citizenship, Social Movements.



Master of Arts

BA Honours undergraduate degree in Sociology or equivalent with a minimum B+ standing.

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

BA Honours undergraduate degree and Master's degree in Sociology or equivalent with a minimum A- standing. We also welcome applications from students with alternative academic backgrounds, particularly those with degrees from disciplines or interdisciplinary programs related to our specialty areas, for example, Communications, Criminology, Law, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Cultural Studies.

Application Deadline

Our application window opens annually in September. The application review process begins on February 1 and continues through the Spring. Applications must be submitted by February 1 to be considered for internal awards. We start to send out offers of acceptance in early March. Applications received after February 1 are accepted, and successful applicants may be offered funding, on a case-by-case basis, so please reach out for more information or begin your application.

To be considered for the top Queen's awards and scholarships, you should apply for federal and provincial graduate awards (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR and Ontario Graduate Scholarships) in the Fall. We also recommend that you submit your application to our School of Graduate Studies as early as possible.

We do welcome part-time status applicants at both the MA and PhD level. Applicants should know that these places carry no financial support from the University. Part-time students may be able to TA, but full-time students will be offered such opportunities first.

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required. The writing sample is a paper submitted in a sociology course or equivalent, typically 10-15 pages in length. Please send electronically to Graduate Program Assistant.

Statement of Interest

Master of Arts

MA applicants will vary in what they put in their statement of interest. Some have a very precise project in mind and they outline that particular project and indicate someone they feel would be able to best supervise them. But some applicants haven't narrowed in on a precise project so they indicate the area in which they are interested in studying. For the MA, we do not expect original research but demonstrated mastery of a given body of sociological literature related to a focused research question. If known, you could indicate whether you wish to pursue the essay or thesis option. Some MA students choose to do field work, but it is not mandatory. The length of the statement is about a page although it might be longer if you have a precise project (so 300 to 500 words in general).

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

Doctoral applicants will vary in what they put in their statement of interest. Some have a very precise project in mind and they outline that particular project and indicate the people they feel would be able to best supervise them. But some applicants haven't narrowed in on a precise project so they indicate the area in which they are interested in studying, the outlines of a possible project, and again indicate who might best supervise them. It's also a good idea to indicate why you have chosen Queen's Sociology -- what is there in particular about the program or people that makes this a good fit for your doctoral work. The length is probably about a page although it might be longer if you have a precise project (so 300 to 500 words in general). Each applicant must identify a faculty member in the Department who is willing to at least initially supervisor the work.

Other Requirements

Applicants to the Master’s program are not required to select a research area or find a suitable supervisor in advance.

To complete an application to the PhD program, applicants must have an agreement of supervision by a faculty member with a full time, joint, or cross appointment with the Department. PhD applicants must identify one of the three research areas as their primary specialty area and secure a faculty member in the Department who is willing to supervisor the work.

Looking for a Supervisor? (PhD ONLY)

The following faculty are currently available for and actively interested in supervising new PhD applicants in the Sociology program:

  • ABRAMS, Thomas - Disability Studies; Sociological Theory; Social Inequality; Sociology of Health and Illness; Sociology of the Body
  • BARON, StephenCriminology, Young Offenders
  • BEAMISH, RobPhenomenology and Interpretive Sociology, The Theoretical Logic of Sociology, Marx's Work and Nachlass, Lawrence Krader's Noetics (On leave July 2018 - June 2019)
  • BURFOOT, Annette - Feminism, Visual Science Studies (anatomy, cancer care, science fiction), Technology Studies (political economy of manufacturing, reproductive & genetic engineering), Cultural Studies
  • HAND, MartinEmergent Media; Digital Culture, Photography and Imaging, Archives and Memory, Consumer Culture, Domestic Technologies, Everyday Life, Sociological Theory
  • KAY, FionaSociology of Law, Criminology, Work and Occupations, Sociology of Professions, Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Mixed Methods
  • LEVINE-RASKY, CynthiaRomani studies, Immigrants and Refugees, Immigration and Refugee Policy, Inequality, Social Justice, Community-Based Research, Qualitative Methods, Ethnography, Writing as Inquiry
  • LYON, DavidSurveillance, Identification, Biometrics, Histories and cultures of surveillance, Surveillance in Canada and internationally, Religion, Ethics and Surveillance (On leave January - June 2019)
  • MÖLLERS, Norma - Science, Technology & Politics, Cybersecurity & Surveillance, Digital Labour
  • MURAKAMI-WOOD, DavidSurveillance, Security, Global Cities, Science and Technology Studies, particularly Internet of Things and Smart Cities, international comparative perspectives on surveillance and cities, including the UK, Japan and Brazil, science fiction and futurology, Actor-Network Theory / assemblage approaches to Social Theory
  • MYERS, Nicole - Bail and Pre-trial Detention; Supervision and Conditions of Release; Court Processing and Sentencing; Punishment and Social Control; Criminal Justice policy
  • SOEDERBERG, Susanne - Global Political Economy, Global Finance and Debt, Global Development, Global Governance, Rental Housing and Finance
  • SRIVASTAVA, SaritaSocial Movements, Critical Race Theory, Anti-Racist Theory and Practice, Feminist Movements and Feminist Theory, Sociology of Gender and Race, Sociology of Emotion
  • SYTSMA, Victoria - Criminology, Policy & Program Evaluation, Policing, Quantitative Data Analysis
  • TAYLOR, Marcus - Political Economy, Economic Sociology, Political Ecology, Labour & Livelihoods, Climate Change Adaptation
Method of Completion

Master of Arts

  • 2 degree patterns: 4 half-courses + thesis or 6 half-courses + essay.
  • The minimum time for degree completion is two years.

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

  • Students normally take courses the first year, then complete a comprehensive qualifying examination (written and oral), write a thesis proposal and oral defense.
  • Minimum time for degree completion is four years.
Finance Your Studies

The Queen's Student Awards website provides charts with guidelines for the costs that students in our Graduate Studies programs may incur, including education and basic living expenses (based on an 8 month period). The amount it costs to attend Queen's will depend somewhat on the choices you make, which will affect your budget.

For information on financial assistance please contact Queen's Student Awards.

Funding Packages

All eligible full-time graduate students are considered for funding to help them with the costs associated with their graduate studies as long as they request financial support upon their initial application for admission by February 1. The minimum guaranteed funding package for Ph.D. students is $21,000 per year for four years. The minimum guaranteed funding package for M.A. students is $14,000 per year for two years. The funding package consists of a Queen's Graduate Award and Teaching Assistantship.

In addition to the above, international students are guaranteed $5,000 per year in the form of an International Tuition Award (ITA).  The ITA is highly competitive and is typically reserved for PhD students.

Recipients of Queen's Internal Fellowships or External Awards will receive at minimum the award, plus a teaching assistantship. Additional "top up" monies are awarded whenever possible. We make every attempt to ensure our offers are fully competitive with other Canadian universities.

Minimum funding offers are communicated to applicants when they receive an offer of admission and the details are provided in July.

Queen's Internal Awards

Successful applicants are nominated for Queen’s Graduate Fellowships/Scholarships, no separate application is necessary. The awards are valued between $5,000 and $10,000 and are awarded on a competitive basis.

Please see Queen's Internal Awards for a list of available awards. If you feel you meet the requirements to qualify for any internal award please contact the Graduate Program Assistant.

Department of Sociology Awards

Blakely Family Student Initiatives Award

The Blakely Student Initiatives Fund provides financial support for student participation in projects devoted to the principles of personal growth and/or community service.  Projects should provide educational opportunities such as participation in exchanges, competitions, internships, symposia, conferences and seminars. Applications for funding must be received prior to the conference/event for which you are applying. See Blakely Student Initiatives Fund for further information

Conference Travel Awards
Full-time master's students in the first 2 years and full-time doctoral students in the first 4 years are eligible to apply for a student conference award to attend a recognized conference at which they are presenting an authored or co-authored paper or poster. Funds are allocated on January 1 and August 15. Successful applicants will be awarded some money to help support travel, accommodation, food, and registration fees. The application must be made and approved prior to the conference. See Conference Travel Award for more information.
School of Graduate Studies Info & Awards

Information on tuition, fees and costs as well as the financial support offered to graduate students from the University and external agencies is provided by the School of Graduate Studies:

Tri-Council Awards and Ontario Graduate Scholarships Top-Up Award

All Queen's graduate students entering the first year of their graduate program who bring new funding from one of Canada's three granting councils (SSHRC, NSERC or CIHR) automatically receive a one-time $5,000 top-up award from the University.

Current graduate students in the Department of Sociology who are eligible for an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and/or a SSHRC or another Tri-Council Award are required to apply for them.

OGS information and online application

SSHRC information and online application


Graduate students are expected to serve as paid Teaching Assistants in many of the undergraduate courses offered by the Department. Full-time students must limit Teaching Assistantships and any other academic employment (including Research Assistantships) to an average of ten hours per week in each term, unless they are Teaching Fellows.

Graduate students may also have the opportunity to be lead instructors for our courses as Teaching Fellows, ranging from comprehensive 200-level courses to specialized 400-level seminars. These are excellent opportunities to enhance syllabus design, course planning, teaching and broader pedagogic skills for future careers.

Click here for more information on posted Teaching Fellow job opportunities.


Brief descriptions of the courses offered in the graduate program can be found in the School of Graduate Studies calendar. All students in this program must take SOCY-901* (Professional and Pedagogical Skills) and SOCY-902* (Sociological Methodology).

SOCY-900* (Professional and Pedagogical Skills) is compulsory for doctoral students and is offered every other year.    

The Surveillance Studies Centre

We are part of The Surveillance Studies Centre, a multi-disciplinary international research initiative which studies issues ranging from supermarket loyalty cards to police networks searching for suspects. We also collaborate with other departments in the university including – Development Studies, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and Kinesiology & Health Studies. 

Career Opportunities

The majority of our PhD graduates who sought a position in academia have been able to secure tenure track appointments. Others find work in places like the Mental Health Commission of Canada, adjunct instructors, Ontario Provincial Government and a New York City Based Think Tank. PhD graduates in Sociology, from Queen’s are securing rewarding, full-time tenure track positions where they are able to draw upon all of their education, skills, and abilities to contribute to international scholarship and higher education.

Almost half of the Department’s Master’s graduates have chosen to pursue doctoral studies. Those who have not continued on to doctoral work have secured challenging positions commensurate with their advanced level skills as sociologists in:

  • Research
  • Policy Analysis
  • Policing Analysis
  • Policing and Corrections
  • Marketing
  • Social Justice Advocacy
  • Health Care Administration
  • Teaching

Contact Us

If you have general questions regarding our program, contact Celina Caswell:
Celina Caswell
Graduate Program Assistant
Macintosh-Corry Hall, Room D431
Tel (613) 533-6684
Fax (613) 533-2871
If you have specific questions regarding our program, contact Dr. Martin Hand:
Martin Hand
Professor, Department of Sociology Graduate Coordinator
Macintosh-Corry Hall, Room D529
Tel (613) 533-6000 ext. 74494
Fax (613) 533-2871