The general regulations and administrative procedures presented here are intended to provide guidance for applicants to graduate studies, graduate students, and members of staff and faculty involved in graduate study at Queen's University.
Academic Qualifications for Admission
To satisfy the basis of admission to any advanced-entry professional or graduate degree program at Queen's University, it is expected that previous academic credentials will be from an institution providing an academic environment and education that prepares students for potential success in advanced study at Queen's.
Within Canada, such institutions might reasonably be considered to reflect the following qualities and characteristics:
- Authority from the provincial legislature to grant degrees
- Administrative and governance appropriate for a university
- Academic staff and Senate (or other appropriately elected body) with authority to make decisions affecting academic programs
- Independent board of governors, or appropriate equivalent
- Senior administration, normally a President and Vice-Presidents
- Approved, clearly articulated mission statements and academic goals that include a commitment to teaching, research, and community service.
- Teaching mission at a university level with the majority of programs at that level.
- Offer a full program or programs of undergraduate degree and/or graduate degree studies.
- Academic staff with PhDs or other appropriate terminal degrees
- Undergraduate programs taught by senior academic staff
- Quality assurance mechanisms, with provision for periodic evaluation of academic staff
- Access to library and other learning resources
- The periodical monitoring of graduate outcomes
- Academic counseling and other student services
- Financial resources to meet its mission statement and goals
- Undergraduate degree programs, including professional degrees, are characterized by breadth and depth in the traditional areas of the liberal arts and/or sciences.
- A proven record of scholarship, academic inquiry and research
- Expectation that faculty will be engaged in peer-adjudicated external reviews
- An environment that focuses on intellectual inquiry
- An environment that respects the search for and communication of knowledge, respects academic freedom, encourages high standards of achievement, and values intellectual honesty, fairness, and integrity.
Academic credentials obtained outside of Canada would normally be expected to be from an accredited university-level institution pursuant to the national accreditation system within the issuing country.
Admission to graduate degree programs at Queen’s University
Applicants who wish to be considered for admission to graduate degree programs1 must hold the minimum qualifications as listed above. Departments/Programs may require higher qualifications and/or require applicants to write the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
"degree program” encompasses all degree programs, joint degree programs, combined degree programs, collaborative degree programs, co-tutelle degree arrangements, graduate diploma programs and professional graduate level programs under the administration of the SGSPA.
Additional Notes on Admission Criteria
- Members of faculty at Queen's University above the rank of lecturer are not eligible to register in a degree program in the Department or Program (or where there is no Department, the Faculty or School or Graduate Program) in which they hold appointments.
- Members of faculty, above the rank of lecturer, who wish to proceed to a graduate degree in another department or program or faculty must obtain permission
- from their Head of the Department/Program and the Dean of the Faculty in which they hold an appointment;
- from the Head of the Department/Program in which the graduate studies are to be undertaken;
- from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.
The guidelines for granting such permission are delineated in the Minutes of the Senate Meeting held on 27 March 1980.
The minimum qualification for admission to a Graduate Diploma is normally a Bachelor's level credential or equivalent. Other admission criteria may be required. Interested applicants should consult directly with the department/program offering the graduate diploma, for information.
The minimum qualification for admission to a master's program is second-class standing in one of the following degrees, awarded by an eligible institution according to the criteria of the Queen’s University Policy on the Basis of Admission for Advanced Study:
- an honours Bachelor's degree in Arts or in Science,
- or a Bachelor's degree in Applied Science or Law,
- or the degree of Doctor of Medicine,
- or equivalent.
The qualifications of an applicant who has a Bachelor's general degree with not less than a B grade average and has completed one academic year of satisfactory full-time study as a qualifying student may be considered equivalent. See the Qualifying Student section.
Note: For the Master's programs in Education, refer to the Faculty of Education's admission qualifications.
The minimum qualification for admission to a doctoral program is one of the following:
- successful completion of a master's degree.
- promotion from a master's program to a doctoral program: students who have been registered full-time for at least two terms and before completing five terms in a master's program at Queen's University, who have first-class standing, and who show exceptional promise in their research, may be considered for promotion to a doctoral program in the same Department/Program, without completion of the master's degree. Promotion to a doctoral program requires the recommendation of the Department/Program, the approval of the Faculty Graduate Council/Committee according to its established procedures, and the approval of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA).
- direct entry: students with unquestionably superior standing in their honours bachelor's degree, or equivalent, may be considered for direct admission to a doctoral program. Students admitted in this way must complete a minimum of two session-length or four term-length graduate courses during the doctoral program.
Note: Students admitted to a doctoral program may revert to the master's program within the same department/program in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the supervisor(s), the department/program and the SGSPA.
Assessment of the academic background and the ability of applicants is the responsibility of the Department/Program concerned. Recommendations for admission of applicants are made by the Department/Program to the SGSPA, taking into consideration the availability of faculty, financial support, and facilities at that time.
Official offer of admission letters are sent only by the SGSPA, and are only valid for the academic year indicated in them. A successful applicant must reply at an early date, declining or accepting the offer. If circumstances prevent the applicant from accepting the offer for the academic year/term stated in the letter, the Department/Program reserves the right to reconsider the offer of admission. If the applicant wishes to commence study in an academic year subsequent to the one indicated in the offer of admission letter, they must submit another application for that academic year.
Accommodation for Graduate Students with Disabilities
Queen’s University is committed to providing accommodation for students with disabilities who are enrolled in any of its graduate programs. University administration, faculty, staff and other students are expected to support, to the point of undue hardship, all reasonable individualized and appropriate accommodation plans that preserve the program’s academic standards and adhere to the principles of academic integrity.
Queen’s University is committed to creating a community that respects the dignity and worth of all persons who seek to participate in the life, work and mission of the University and to maintaining a culture that is welcoming, accommodating and supportive of persons with disabilities.
The essence of accommodating graduate students with disabilities is individualization and there is no set formula to be applied in developing accommodation plans. Each student’s needs are unique and must be considered afresh when an accommodation request is made. The University has an obligation to provide the most appropriate accommodation; that is, the accommodation that most respects the dignity of the individual with a disability, meets individual needs, and promotes integration and full participation.
The University, under the Ontario Human Rights Code, is required to accommodate graduate students with disabilities to the point of undue hardship. It is important to recognize that inconvenience, potential negative reaction from faculty or other students, third party preferences, collective agreements or contracts are not considered in the test of undue hardship.
Accommodations must preserve the academic standards and uphold the essential requirements of a program while adhering to the principles of academic integrity (see General Regulation Academic Integrity). Essential requirements refer to the knowledge and skills that must be acquired and/or demonstrated in order for a student to successfully meet the learning objectives and the degree level expectations of a course or program of study.
Mediating individual accommodation requests takes into consideration a student’s disability and program-specific requirements. There can be no legitimate claim that academic standards would be compromised by requested accommodations unless it can be demonstrated that the provision of the accommodation would alter the essential requirements of a degree program.
Eligibility for Consideration for Internal Scholarships
Students registered as part-time in a graduate degree program to accommodate a documented permanent disability may be eligible for internal scholarships and awards when the terms of the awards permit this flexibility.
The SGSPA will extend the normal funding eligibility period for graduate students whose documented permanent disability impacts their academic progress such that more time to complete their degree is required; a request for such extension should normally be made within the first term of study. An extension provides students with the option of distributing the normal funding package over a longer period of time. The allocation of funding support beyond the funding eligible period will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on the principle of individualized and particular accommodations and, if granted, will normally be limited to no more than one additional term for Master’s students or one additional year for doctoral students.
Roles and Responsibilities of Students, Faculty, and Staff
Agreements and Exchanges
This is an agreement with Trent University to permit suitably qualified faculty at Trent University to offer graduate courses and undertake the supervision of graduate students enrolled at Queen's University. All graduate students in courses offered by, and/or supervised by, faculty at Trent University who are participating in this agreement will be registered at Queen's University. Initial inquiries should be directed to the SGSPA at Queen's or the Graduate Office at Trent University.
Queen's/Royal Military College Visiting Graduate Student Agreement
Students from either university are permitted to take courses at the graduate level at the host university for degree credit at their home university. Courses may not be audited. Fees are paid at the home university.
Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) Plan
This plan allows a graduate student of an Ontario university to take graduate courses at another Ontario university while remaining registered at the home university. The plan allows the student to bypass the usual application for admission procedures to the host university and facilitates transfer of course credits to the home university. The student pays fees to the home university and is classed as 'visiting graduate student' at the host university, to which no fees are paid. The student must make application for study under this Plan by completion of a special application form which is available at departmental/program offices or from the SGSPA. Students may not audit courses under this plan nor enroll in any courses which are not to be credited towards their degree program. The student must be registered at Queen's as full-time off-campus.
German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD)
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a publicly funded independent organization of higher education institutions in Germany. Among other funding opportunities, DAAD offers research grants and/or study scholarships for students with at least a Bachelor's degree to either study or do research in Germany.
Departments/Programs are informed annually of this competition and the applicable deadline(s). As a partner university with DAAD, Queen's University may nominate one "priority candidate" for these competitions. The priority candidate will be placed in a separate application pool in the DAAD national competition. Even with this status, competition for the limited number of awards is still very strong. A subcommittee of the Fellowship Committee of the SGSPA will evaluate all eligible applications using the same criteria that the DAAD Selection committee will use: the overall excellence of the academic record, the proposed plan of study/research, and the applicability of the proposal to German institutes of higher education, archives or research institutes. Although Queen's can only nominate one priority candidate, all other, non-nominated, eligible applications will be forwarded to DAAD and placed in the general competition.
The SGSPA administers the applications for the DAAD annual competitions for:
Study Scholarships: available to highly qualified undergraduates enrolled in their final year, and graduate students of all disciplines, to provide the opportunity to study in Germany, or complete a postgraduate or Master's degree program. Individuals wishing to complete a doctoral program in Germany are also invited to apply for a Study Scholarship. The Study Scholarship is for 10 months and must take place during the German academic year (October 1 to July 31). Students in degree-granting courses in Germany may receive an extension of up to one year for Master's programs and two years for doctoral programs. All study scholarship holders must take courses at a German university.
Research Grants: available to highly qualified students enrolled in any graduate program, including Ph.D. candidates who are nearly complete (all but dissertation) who wish to carry out post-doctoral research at universities or institutes in Germany. Current post-doctoral fellowship holders at Queen's University are also encouraged to apply. All academic disciplines are eligible. Research grants can be either short-term (1to 6 months) or long-term (7 to 10 months). Short-term grants must occur between August and January. Long-term grants must occur within the time frame of the German academic year (October 1 to July 31).
Note: Undergraduates are NOT eligible to apply for Research Grants, but have many other opportunities to apply for funding for study or research in Germany. Visit www.daad.org to find out more.
Other Exchange Opportunities
Queen's University has reciprocal exchange agreements with approximately 175 institutions. Some agreements are faculty-specific while others include multiple faculties. Some are specific to a particular Queen's department/program. Not all exchanges can accommodate graduate-level students. More information is available from the University's international studies website.
Application for Admission
Initial inquiries concerning graduate study at Queen's University may be made to the Department or Program offering the graduate degree program.
Application for admission and subsequent correspondence must be directed to:
School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
Room 425 Gordon Hall
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
A non-refundable application fee of $110 (Canadian) payable to Queen's University must accompany each application (this amount is subject to change without notice).
Although applications may be submitted at any time, most applications are adjudicated in March, so applications should be made early in the year. However, certain departments/programs do have earlier, firm, deadlines. It is the applicant's responsibility to contact the Department/Program for information on their deadline dates. Applicants from outside Canada should apply before the beginning of the year to compensate for possible delays.
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required application documentation is received by the SGSPA. Applications must be considered complete and all required application documentation must be received before a decision regarding acceptance will be made.
Formal application for admission is comprised of the following:
a. Application Form: There are two ways to apply to graduate studies at Queen’s University:
- Online Application: To submit an online application applicants must access the online application site, https://eservices.queensu.ca/apps/sgsapp and follow the instructions to first create an account and then complete and submit the application. Submission includes verification that the information submitted is true and accurate, and payment of the non-refundable application fee online using a Visa or MasterCard.
- Paper Application (only if unable to apply online): Prospective applicants unable to apply online may request a paper application package from the graduate department/program they wish to apply to.
Note: For either application procedure, the applicant is responsible for ensuring that any and all required supporting documents, letters of reference, transcripts and test scores (if applicable) are received by the SGSPA. Hard copy documents are to be mailed directly to:
School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
Room 425 Gordon Hall
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario Canada K7L 3N6.
Other transcript notes:
- Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript.
- Photocopied transcripts or those printed from a university website are not permitted.
- Degree and graduation certificates must be included if the transcript does not indicate the type of degree and date granted.
- Hard copy transcripts are to be sent directly from the issuing institutions to the SGSPA, in sealed envelopes.
- All hard copy transcripts received as part of an application for admission must be received in sealed envelopes.
- Transcripts submitted with applications become the property of Queen's University, are subject to verification, are not available for copying and will not be returned to the applicant.
- Official transcripts are not required for any study of any kind carried out at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. The SGSPA will access the student record directly for applicants who have attended or are currently attending Queen's University.
c. Letters of Recommendation: For applicants to research programs, two current academic recommendations are required from professors under whom the applicant has recently studied. It is recognized that certain applicants to some programs may have difficulty obtaining academic references and that it may be more appropriate to get references from professionals or supervisors. In such cases, references from other sources containing information acceptable to the Department/Program or School and the SGSPA may be considered. However, all efforts should be made to include academic recommendations.
Two Professional letters of recommendation (e.g. letters from an employer or workplace supervisor) can be submitted in support of applications to professional graduate programs. For applicants who apply to a professional graduate program, a Professional reference form will be generated for their referees.
In all cases, the information in recommendations should relate to the ability of a prospective student to undertake the work in the graduate program to which they are making the application.
Referees normally use and submit their letter of recommendation or reference form to the SGSPA via a secure online reference form submission process. Letters of reference sent as attachments via electronic mail (email) are unacceptable substitutes for this secure online reference form.
Letters of reference sent by any method directly from the applicant, are unacceptable.
Photocopied or stale dated letters (letters that were issued more than one year prior to the application date) are unacceptable.
Other universities' reference forms will not be accepted as substitutes for the reference form for an application to Queen's University.
Some departments/programs have special requirements regarding letters of recommendation (e.g., three letters may be required, etc.). It is the applicant's responsibility to consult the appropriate department’s/program's application procedures for details.
d. Additional Information/Documentation: Some departments/programs require additional documentation such as a current course list, GRE or written sample of work. It is the applicant's responsibility to consult the appropriate department’s/program's application procedures for details.
e. Test scores: All required test scores must be received directly from the testing agency, before the application can be considered complete.
f. Application fee: There is a non-refundable application fee of $110.00 CAN for each application to a program (this amount subject to change without notice). Those applying online must pay the application fee using a MasterCard or Visa credit card. Those applying with a paper application must submit with that paper application a certified cheque or money order of $110.00 CAN, payable to Queen’s University.
Other Application Notes
- A student who wishes to enter a doctoral program while still studying a master's program at Queen's University must make a formal application to the doctoral program.
- As Queen's University is committed to the integrity of its student records, each applicant is required to provide their complete, legal name. Any requests to change a name, by means of alteration, deletion, substitution or addition must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.
- Information submitted as part of the application to graduate studies at Queen's University will be part of the application materials only, and will be reviewed by those with the proper authority to review graduate applications.
- Personal health information sent with the application or in the application, is reviewed only by those with the proper authority to review graduate applications, not by any medical or health professionals, nor by senior administrators at the university.
- Application for Fellowships: All students accepted for admission are considered for limited departmental/program funding. Prospective or enrolled students do not make individual application for most internal fellowships administered by the SGSPA. Departments/Programs are notified of all annual fellowship competitions, and nominate eligible students appropriately. Most of these fellowship allocations are made in June. Financial assistance is limited and applicants should also investigate all possible funding sources external to Queen's University. Additional information may be found under Awards and Financial Assistance.
- Comprehension of the English Language: At Queen's University English is the language of instruction and communication. Proficiency in English is, therefore, a prerequisite for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English or who have not recently studied for at least one complete year at a post-secondary institution where English is the official language of instruction, will be required to obtain satisfactory results in an English language proficiency test, as part of the application process, and before their application will be considered complete. For more information, go to the International Students regulation below.
Equity Admission Policy
Queen’s University SGSPA is committed to enhancing diversity in graduate education which includes ensuring mechanisms for applications from prospective students who may not have had opportunity and advantage equal to others to be considered. In recognition that life circumstances may prohibit, present barriers, and/or discourage access to pursue advanced degrees, due consideration shall be given by the applicable graduate program personnel to the non-academic factors identified by the applicant, and the applicant’s special circumstances and unique qualities. Traditional measures of an applicant’s academic performance will be considered accordingly.
For complete information about tuition fees and ancillary fees information, please review the information on the website of the Office of the University Registrar, here: Graduate Fee Information.
Payment of Fees
Please refer to the section Payment Methods, on the website of the Office of the University Registrar.
- Students are responsible for making fee payments according to the fee dates. Students are expected to access the university's online student services system (SOLUS) to determine account balances and charges.
- Students registered in two degree programs simultaneously at Queen's University are required to pay tuition fees for each degree program, except those graduate students who are completing a Master's program and simultaneously beginning a doctoral program in the same department/program and who have been approved for dual registration. In this case tuition fees are payable for the full-time program. Student activity fees are assessed only once. See the general regulation Dual Registration for more details.
Non-Payment of Fees and Charges
Students who have not paid their fees by the prescribed due dates will be assessed a service charge on the unpaid month-end balance, and until the debt is settled. The service charge is assessed and administered by the Office of the University Registrar.
Students with fees not paid by the due dates will i) not receive academic results; ii) not be permitted to register in a subsequent term until the debt is settled. The set service charge continues to be assessed until the debt is settled.
See Administrative Fee Information, Service Charges, for complete information.
Any student who has an unresolved grievance concerning tuition fees should contact the Office of the University Registrar, Gordon Hall, Queen's University.
Students who fail to register, to maintain continuous registration, and/or to pay tuition fees for any term before the degree program requirements have been fulfilled, are normally considered to have withdrawn and will be required to apply for readmission. Students who are successful in gaining readmission may be assessed readmission fees, at the appropriate current tuition fee rate per term for the number of terms away to a maximum of three terms. Thereafter, students will pay the appropriate term tuition and related fees until the completion of the program.
Note: For details on how to pay fees, see the information on the website of the Office of the University website here: Payment Methods.
Refund of Fees Due to Withdrawal from Program
A student who elects to withdraw after registration may be eligible for a refund of tuition and student activity fees that have been paid for that session provided that an Academic Change Form for withdrawal is completed and returned together with the student card to the Office of the University Registrar, Gordon Hall.
Refund of Fees Due to Completion of Program
A student who completes a program (a Letter or Form of Completion has been submitted to the Office of the University Registrar from the SGSPA) mid-term may be eligible for a partial refund of tuition and student activity fees that have been paid for that term, provided that the student card is returned to the Office of the University Registrar. The refund will be calculated in the same way Refund of Fees due to withdrawal. Some programs require a minimum registration period of twelve months and corresponding tuition fees.
Receipt for Income Tax Purposes
The Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate (T2202) is available for students (and former students) to view and print by the end of February each year for the prior calendar year (forms are not mailed).
Complete information is available on the Office of the University Registrar web site.
Canada Revenue Agency's guidelines and information about income tax can be obtained directly from the CRA website.
Hospital and Medical Coverage
All full-time students and their dependents must have insurance to cover medical and hospital costs in order to protect their interests and the interests of the University community. Students shall be required, at Registration, to produce evidence of hospital and medical insurance effective in Ontario.
Queen's has negotiated a health insurance plan for international students.
For information, please contact the Queen's University International Centre (QUIC).
It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the University has at all times, complete and accurate address information. You are reminded that any change in telephone number, emergency contact, mailing address, etc. must be provided to the Office of the University Registrar. For details, see the Registrar's website.
Citizenship and Tuition Fee Assessment
With the exception of any student enrolled in a Ph.D. program, any student who is not a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident (Landed Immigrant), or a person registered as an Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act is charged the international tuition fee.
A number of exemptions may apply to international graduate students. A short description of each of these categories is found here under Exemption Categories.
Each of these cases must be examined individually by fee assessment staff in the Office of the University Registrar, Gordon Hall, telephone 613 533-6894.
If your status in Canada changes during the term it must be reported with supporting documents to the Office of the University Registrar. Documentation must be provided before the Ontario government enrolment count dates to affect fees for that term (1 November for the Fall term, 1 February for the Winter term, 30 June for the Summer term, and 23 July for the relevant course-assessed graduate programs in the Faculty of Education programs).
Indigenous Student Admission Policy
Queen’s University SGSPA welcomes and encourages inquiries and applications for all our graduate programs from Indigenous2 candidates. Indigenous candidates’ academic, cultural, personal and professional background, and other factors indicative of capacity for graduate level study and research, will be considered and evaluated accordingly on an individual basis by the applicable graduate program personnel. To be considered under this regulation, applicants must self-identify as Indigenous upon application for admission to Queen’s University SGSPA.
For the purposes of this regulation, Indigenous is defined as First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI).
At Queen's University English is the language of instruction and communication. Proficiency in English is, therefore, a prerequisite for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English or who have not recently studied for at least one complete year at a post-secondary institution where English is the official language of instruction will be required to obtain satisfactory results in an English language proficiency test, as part of the application process, and before their application will be considered complete.
The following English Language Proficiency tests are accepted by the SGSPA3 at Queen's University:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) (may no longer be available; this information is for reference only)
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
- Canadian Academic English Language Test, Computer Edition (CAEL CE)
Not all graduate programs will accept test results from all sources listed here.
In these tests, the SGSPA4 at Queen's University requires the following minimum scores:
- TOEFL Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT): The minimum overall score is 88, made up of the minimum scores in each component test as follows 5:
- Writing test: 24/30
- Speaking test: 22/30
- Reading test: 22/30
- Listening test: 20/30
- MELAB: 80 (minimum overall score)
- IELTS: 7 (minimum score, academic module)
- PTE Academic: 65 ( minimum overall score)
These tests are offered widely around the world. International students applying to Queen's should arrange to take one of these tests in sufficient time for the results to be available at the time of application. It is the applicant's responsibility to consult the department/programs, and the Application Procedures documentation, for more details.
- CAEL CE: 70
Note that some departments/programs have higher minimum score requirements in one or more of the tests listed.
Applicants must have the minimum score in each test, as well as the minimum overall score.
Other notes on English language proficiency for international applicants and students:
- Any applicant whose first language is not English, but who, within the 12-month period prior to the month of application, has studied for at least one complete year at a post-secondary institution where English is the official language of instruction, may submit with their application a request to be exempted from the English language proficiency test requirement.
Proof will be required that it has not been more than one year since the applicant was a student at the post-secondary institution and also that English is the language of instruction there. Acceptable proof of this is the original, official transcript, received from the issuing post-secondary institution or uploaded by the applicant as part of the application for admission. If it is not stated on or evident from the transcript that English is the language of instruction, the applicant must make arrangements for a separate, official letter that confirms this to be sent to the SGSPA from the issuing post-secondary institution.
When the official original transcript or other official letter is received by the SGSPA, the request for exemption will be reviewed. The applicant will be informed of the decision.
A request for an exemption from this requirement will not be considered prior to submission of the application.
A request for an exemption from this requirement will not normally be considered for any applicant who, at the time of application to graduate studies, has a passing score in one of the accepted tests of English language proficiency listed above which is still valid (not expired).
A request for an exemption from this requirement will not normally be considered for any applicant who, at the time of application to graduate studies, has taken one of the accepted tests of English language proficiency listed above but failed to get the minimum score required.
- If a final grade of A- (A minus) or more in ESLA 150 from Queen’s University’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program is achieved at the time of application, an English language test score may not be required. See Queen’s University School of English for details.
- Students may be required to take a remedial course in English and may be required to fulfill additional requirements if accepted into a graduate program.
While the application procedures for international students are no different than those for Canadian applicants, generally more time is required to receive the necessary documentation and to evaluate the academic record. Two letters of reference are required from professors under whom the applicant has recently studied. Official transcripts for all undergraduate programs and subsequent graduate work must also accompany the application. Given that many international students who apply to Queen's do so from a great distance, it is recommended that sufficient time be allowed for these materials to be received. January to March are heavy months for processing applications for admission in September. It is suggested that the application process begin as early as September of the year preceding the year in which you wish to enter the program. See also the Application for Admission section above for details.
International applicants who have been accepted into the SGSPA must obtain a Study Permit and visa (if required) and complete any required immigration procedures.
Information about applying for Canadian immigration documents is available through the Queen's University International Centre (QUIC).
For complete information about tuition fees and ancillary fees information, please review the information on the website of the Office of the University Registrar, here: Graduate Fee Information.
International students must have health insurance coverage by enrolling in the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). This mandatory health plan provides basic medical coverage for most doctor and hospital services in Ontario.
The following individuals are required to have UHIP coverage each year:
- All international members (student or non-student) and their dependents.
- All students, non-students and their dependants who do not have valid Canadian provincial/territorial health insurance (such as: Alberta Health, OHIP, etc.).
More information is available from the Queen's University International Centre (QUIC):
International students should consult with the prospective department/program about their eligibility and need for any and all forms of financial support.
Queen's University International Centre
The Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) is an international education support service for students, faculty and staff at Queen’s. Through its activities the Centre promotes an internationally informed and cross culturally sensitive university community.
QUIC has been working to promote cross-cultural understanding for more than 50 years through a wide range of services and programs. The Centre's history dates back to 1961, when the International Club was established at Queen's to help international students adjust to life at Queen's and in Kingston. QUIC provides support for international students and their families throughout their stay at Queen's. The International Student Advisor will provide guidance to students on issues including immigration, travel, housing, finances, academic and personal matters. During the academic year, services and programs offered include on-site orientation programs for the fall and winter terms, a host-family program, and practical information sessions on topics of interest to all students. QUIC is located in the John Deutsch University Centre.
Maternity and Parental Leave
- Graduate students who wish to take maternity and/or parental leave from their program of study may register as inactive without prejudice to their academic standing. The maximum duration of maternity and parental leave is two terms and two terms respectively. Both parents are entitled to a parental leave. In addition, mothers are entitled to maternity leave. The maternity and/or parental leave would normally be taken during the first year of the child's life, or, in the case of adoption of a child, within 12 months after the child first comes into the custody of the parent. A fee waiver for the period of the leave will be granted by the university through the SGSPA.
Students apply for this status by completing and submitting the designated form, available as an e-form or PDF from the SGSPA website: Maternity/Parental Leave.
- For students taking a maternity and/or parental leave, the statutory periods for completion of degree programs (see Time Limits for Completion of Programs), together with the prescribed maximum periods of eligibility for financial support from the SGSPA's sources will, on resumption of studies, be extended by the time-period taken for the leave.
- Awards to students which are derived from the resources of the SGSPA (such as but not limited to, Dean's Awards, International Tuition Awards, internal Fellowships and Scholarships, and Queen's Graduate Awards) will be suspended for the duration of a maternity and/or parental leave. On resumption of studies, the award will recommence to make up the complete time span for which support was originally granted.
- Students holding externally funded fellowships, or other forms of support derived from sources external to the University, must observe the regulations prescribed by the granting agency concerned.
- A change of status to inactive may also impact repayment requirements of any student loan that the student currently receives or has ever received, including any provincial and/or federal student loans, or loans from any other student loan provider. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of how a status change to inactive impacts any student loan(s).
- Some doctoral students may qualify for maternity/parental leave funding. See Maternity/Parental Leave Funding for complete details.
Medical Leave for Graduate Students
Without prejudice to their academic standing, graduate students may apply for a leave of absence on medical grounds, for one term (4 months) and up to a maximum of three terms (12 months). Students are required to send a request for a medical leave of absence in writing to the Director, Admissions and Students Services, SGSPA, and must provide documentation from a doctor or health care practitioner to support a medical leave of absence for the duration requested.
Students will be registered as inactive for the duration of the approved medical leave. A tuition fee waiver for the period of the medical leave will be granted. It is understood that students on approved medical leave will not undertake academic or research work during the period of leave.
When the approved medical leave expires or is terminated by the student, it is expected that the student will return to active status with the same registration status held immediately prior to the period of medical leave. The student is responsible for clearing past debt (if any), payment of fees or making fee payments arrangements by the deadline of the term in which they return to active status, and ensuring registration in a course or courses in the term in which they return to active status.
For students granted an approved medical leave, the statutory periods for completion of degree programs (see Time Limits for Completion of Programs), together with the prescribed maximum periods of eligibility for financial support from SGSPA sources will, on resumption of studies, be extended by the time-period taken for the leave.
Graduate students on medical leave are not eligible to receive awards or financial support from the resources of the SGSPA. This includes any and all internal awards (awards, prizes, bursaries, scholarships, fellowships) all of which will be suspended at the onset and for the duration of, and reinstated at the termination of, the medical leave period. Upon return of the student to active status, every effort will be made to make up and maintain the total financial support originally granted.
Students holding externally funded fellowships, or other forms of support derived from sources external to the University, including research assistantships, must observe the regulations prescribed by the sources of the funding concerned.
A change of status to inactive may also impact repayment requirements of any student loan that the student currently receives or has ever received, including any provincial and/or federal student loans, or loans from any other student loan provider. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of how a status change to inactive impacts any student loan(s).
International graduate students should contact Queen’s University UHIP Administrator since UHIP coverage could be affected by a change of status to inactive for medical leave.
Queen's University Student Code of Conduct
Queen’s University has a Student Code of Conduct to describe the standard of behaviour to which its students will be held.
The complete document is found on the University Secretariat website.
Contravention of the terms of conduct published here or of any other applicable University policy by any Queen’s student may lead to disciplinary consequences.
All new graduate students must register prior to their initial term for the ensuing terms in the current academic year. All continuing students must register each year for the full academic year until the completion of the requirements of their program of study. At the beginning of the academic year, students must confirm their registration status through their home department/program, and complete online registration by the stated deadlines.
Any student with a debt to the University will not be permitted to register or to receive examination results, official transcripts, or marks reports until the outstanding account is settled in full or until an acceptable arrangement for settling the account is made. In no case will a diploma be released to a student with debt to the University.
All graduate students register in their programs electronically.
To maintain continuous registration, graduate students normally have to be registered in a course or courses for each term (Fall, Winter, and Summer) of the full academic session.
Late Registration Charges, Failure to Register, and Readmission
- Late Fee: For planning purposes, the University needs to know by certain dates, how many students plan to register for the upcoming session. Anyone who does not complete the applicable steps to registration by the applicable deadline is charged a Late Fee.
Students who have not registered and paid tuition fees or made acceptable tuition payment arrangements before September 1 will be charged a Late Fee effective September 2, unless they have previously been granted permission to register late by the SGSPA.
For information on this fee please refer to the Dates and Deadlines information on the website of the Office of the University Registrar.
- Failure to Register: A graduate student who fails to register for any term will be considered to have withdrawn from their program of study. Any student who becomes withdrawn due to failure to register must apply for readmission if they wish to resume their studies. Readmission is not guaranteed.
- Readmission: A former graduate student who has withdrawn voluntarily or who was withdrawn due to failure to register, may be considered for readmission to complete that degree. For readmission, the student must apply to the SGSPA through the normal application procedures (see Application for Admission). The Department/Program will review the application for readmission and decide whether or not to support readmission of the student to complete the degree. If readmission is supported, the Department/Program must recommend, and the SGSPA approve, readmission to the graduate degree program, and the period of time to be allowed for completion of it. Readmission is not guaranteed. Readmission fees are normally assessed (see Readmission Fees).
Change of Registration
Any change in biographical information can be reported to the Office of the University Registrar electronically, or recorded by the student on a biographic change form and submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.
Changes in a student's program of study must be approved by the Department/Program and the SGSPA.
Registration in courses or any changes made must be recorded on academic change forms by the deadlines for course changes indicated in the annual Sessional Dates. This does not imply that the student has the right to enter a course after the commencement of instruction. Permission to do so is at the discretion of the instructor.
Students who want to add or drop a course after the course registration deadline must obtain approval from the SGSPA. A written explanation for making the request after the deadline, as well as a written statement of support from the student's home department/program, must be sent to the SGSPA along with the completed and signed graduate academic change form.
Courses that are dropped after the course registration deadline remain on the student's official transcript. They are denoted as DR (dropped).
A student who proposes to study in two degree programs at the same time, at Queen's University, of which one or both are graduate degree programs, must obtain permission for dual registration, each term, from the SGSPA and the Departments/Programs concerned.
A student who is permitted dual registration must register in each degree program and may be full-time in only one.
Students will pay tuition fees for each degree program unless the degree programs are both graduate degrees within the same graduate department/program.
At Queen's University, a graduate student is a student who is registered in the SGSPA in a graduate degree program.
In the letter of acceptance, a new graduate student may be designated as preparatory or provisional.
- Preparatory: Preparatory status implies that, while having the academic qualifications for graduate study, the applicant's academic background in the chosen field of study is inadequate and consequently, prerequisite course work will be required in addition to that prescribed for the degree. Prerequisite courses cannot be credited to the main program. Preparatory graduate students must expect to take longer to complete the degree program.
- Provisional: Provisional status implies that, because the academic background and ability could not be appraised from the application for admission, the acceptance is conditional on the applicant demonstrating adequate qualifications to the Department/Program within the initial two terms. If this proviso is not fulfilled, the student will be required to withdraw. Note: The provisional designation will only be removed if this is recommended by the Department/Program to the SGSPA.
A qualifying student is a student who, having an academic record showing potential for graduate study, has been admitted to the SGSPA with a degree that is less than the equivalent of an honours bachelor's degree. The student will be required to take a make-up program during a period of qualifying study not exceeding one academic year. If, at the end of this qualifying year, the Department/Program is satisfied with the caliber of work, the student may, in competition with other applicants, be recommended for acceptance to a graduate degree program.
A Special Student is a graduate or equivalent who elects to take one or more graduate courses, but who is not registered in a graduate degree program at Queen's University. Students who register in this category do so normally as enrichment to their professional fields.
Failure to be admitted to the degree program of choice does not necessarily mean the applicant qualifies for, or will be considered for, entry as a special student.
To receive permission to take a graduate course as a Special Student, application must be made to and reviewed by the relevant graduate program or department, and approved by the SGSPA.
If a person wishes to take more than one course from more than one department/program under this status, separate applications to each department /program are required. If a person wants to take courses as a special student in more than one term (ie Fall term and Winter term) separate Special Student applications for each term are required.
All policies and procedures regarding courses and coursework requirements apply. See Course Work Requirements on the General Regulations page.
- Special students are not entitled to audit courses.
- Special students will be charged at the part-time Master's rate if they take 1 or 2 courses, and at the full-time Master's rate if they take 3 or more courses.
- Domestic students will be assessed domestic student tuition charges; international students will be assessed international student tuition charges.
- Special students are required to pay Student Activity Fees.
- A student who takes courses in this manner is not allowed a waiver of normal entrance requirements to any subsequent graduate degree program.
- Upon the recommendation of the graduate department/program, and with the agreement of the SGSPA, up to 50% of the course work requirement of a specific graduate degree program may consist of graduate course credits earned while a special student, provided that those graduate course credits have not been credited towards any other degree of any kind.
Visiting Graduate Student
- Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) Plan: This plan allows a graduate student of an Ontario university to take graduate courses at another Ontario university while remaining registered at the home university. The plan allows the student to bypass the usual application for admission procedures to the host university and facilitates transfer of course credits to the home university. The student pays fees to the home university and is classed as 'visiting graduate student' at the host university. Normally, an administrative fee of $1100 for a term-length course, and $2200 for a full year course, will be assessed by the host university, to be paid by the home university.
The student must make application for study under this Plan by completion of a special application form which is available at departmental offices or from the SGSPA. Students may not audit courses under this plan nor enroll in any courses which are not to be credited towards their degree program. The student must be registered at Queen's as full-time off-campus.
- Queen's/Royal Military College Visiting Graduate Student Agreement: Students from either university are permitted to take courses at the graduate level at the host university for degree credit at their home university. Courses may not be audited. Fees are paid at the home university.
- Reciprocal Exchange Student: A student from a university with which Queen's has a formal reciprocal exchange agreement may register at Queen's for non degree study while remaining registered at the home university. Application is made to the University and upon the recommendation of the Graduate Department/Program, the student may be accepted by the SGSPA as an Exchange Student. The student is allowed to take graduate courses for a period up to one year, depending on the terms of the exchange agreement. The student pays fees at the home university.
- Visiting Research Student: A student who is registered in a graduate level program at a home university may register at Queen's for non degree study to carry out research for their home degree thesis, or to join a research group. Upon the recommendation of a research supervisor and the Graduate Department/Program, such a student can be accepted by the SGSPA as a Visiting Research Student at Queen's University for a period of up to one year. Visiting Research Students shall be assessed student activity fees.
International Visiting Research Students are also responsible for paying for the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), which is the mandatory health plan for all international students who will have an association with Queen's University for 3 weeks or longer. Any dependents accompanying the Visiting Research Student must also have UHIP coverage. UHIP is a primary insurance plan that provides basic medical coverage for most doctor and hospital services in Ontario. More information can be found here: UHIP.
A full-time student is expected to engage in his/her studies on a full-time basis. It is expected that a full-time student will limit paid employment unrelated to the student's research to a total of ten hours per week (average); students wishing to exceed this level should consult their supervisor and graduate coordinator. A student who fails to meet program requirements or who fails to maintain progress consistent with full-time status may be required to withdraw from their program. Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to register as a full-time student while maintaining full-time employment (more than 30 hours a week) elsewhere. Full-time students employed as teaching assistants are limited to a maximum of ten hours a week (average) in this capacity. This is the total time spent by the student in this position and includes time spent on preparation, reading assignments, and marking tests and examinations. Full-time students are expected to maintain geographic availability to the university so that regular interaction can take place between the student and supervisor and the student can effectively use the resources available at Queen's. For this reason, full-time students are enrolled as On Campus students, by default and unless they receive permission to switch to Off Campus status. Clearly, implementation of this guideline must be sensitive to the context of electronic communication, but the central notion is that a full-time student is participating effectively in the academic life of the community.
- Full-Time Off-Campus Status: Without forfeiting full-time status a graduate student may be absent from the university for the purposes of visiting libraries, undertaking fieldwork or taking a course at another institution, provided that, if the period exceeds four weeks in any one term, written permission is obtained from the student's department/program and the SGSPA. Students request this status and receive permission for it by completing and submitting a request form, available as an e-form or PDF, from the SGSPA website: Full Time Off Campus.
- Access to Funding: Full-time students are eligible for a wide range of internal and external scholarship, bursaries and awards including Queen's Graduate Awards (QGA), international tuition awards for international students (ITAs), and NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR and OGS graduate fellowships. Normally, teaching assistantships (TAs) and research assistantships (RAs) are limited to full-time students.
Students who are registered as part-time are expected to be pursuing their studies on a part-time basis and making commensurate progress. The number of terms of study for a given program is expected to be approximately twice as long as for a full-time student in a comparable program, but progress is expected to be continuous.
Part-time students may not gain financial advantage over full-time students with respect to the overall cost of fees for their program as a function of their part-time status.
Part-time students, normally, may not enroll in more than one half course (3.0 units) per term (excluding thesis registration). An exception to this condition is made when the normal full-time course load in the program is four or more courses per term, in which case a part-time student may take two half courses in a given term.
Part-time students are normally considered to be Off Campus students, unless they inform the SGSPA that they wish to be On Campus students and pay all due fees associated with this status.
Students may be admitted as part-time as permitted by the SGSPA. For such permission to be granted, prior to or at the time of recommending admission, the department/program must submit a formal recommendation containing
- an outline of a viable academic program
- a statement of the minimum and maximum period of registration to be allowed, and
- a statement of the proposed part-time status commitment.
This recommendation for part -time status must be approved before the student may be offered admission.
Note: The regulations above apply to any student who is admitted as a part- time student to what is normally a full -time graduate degree program. Part-time Master's degree programs, and/or professional part-time graduate programs (graduate diplomas and/or graduate certificate programs) normally have different regulations about course load and progression through the program.
A graduate student may register as inactive if permitted by the SGSPA to discontinue studies temporarily for personal or other reasons. Permission may be granted only if, on return, the student will still be able to complete the degree program requirements within the allowed time (see Time Limits for Completion of Programs on the General Regulations page).
Inactive Status Notes
- An inactive student will not always be excused term fees. However, all students who are inactive due to maternity/parental leave, or medical leave will be excused term fees.
- An inactive international student will pay the same fee as that required from a Canadian student. However, all students who are inactive due to maternity/parental leave, or medical leave will be excused term fees.
- For conditions of Maternity/Parental leave, see Maternity and Parental Leave
- For conditions of Medical Leave, see Medical Leave for Graduate Students.
- A change of status to inactive may also impact repayment requirements of any student loan that the student currently receives or has ever received, including any provincial and/or federal student loans, or loans from any other student loan provider. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of how a status change to inactive impacts any student loan(s).
Transfers from Part-Time to Full-Time
Students who begin as part-time students may transfer to full-time status if this modified registration plan is approved as part of their program prior to being accepted (see section Part Time). Applications for transfer to full-time status would also be considered if the circumstances of the student which led to the original request for part-time enrolment have changed. However, subsequent return to part-time status would then be in the context of the guidelines set out in section Transfers from Full-time to Part-time Status.
Transfers from Full-Time to Part-Time
In general, students registered in full-time programs are expected to maintain full-time status throughout their programs. Requests for change of status from full-time to part-time must be approved both by the Department/Program and by the SGSPA. Such requests may not be approved until after the student has completed the period of WGU eligibility (6 terms for Master's and 13 terms for Doctoral students).
No changes of registration status will be granted after the Ontario government enrolment count date for that term (1 November for the Fall Term, 1 February for the Winter term, 30 June for the Summer term).
Transfers from full-time to part-time status will be considered in the following circumstances:
- When there has been a change in the student's personal circumstances which prevent her/his studies from being pursued on a full-time basis. This would include increases in family commitments for childcare, care of other dependents or changes in personal health.
- An opportunity for full-time professional employment arises which would make it impossible for the student to maintain his/hers studies on a full-time basis.
- If a student registers full-time in another degree program.
Students request this status and receive permission for it by completing and submitting a request form, available as an e-form or PDF, from the SGSPA website: Part Time Status.
In order for the request to be considered, the request form must be accompanied by:
- a statement by the student of the reasons for requesting the transfer and a plan of study setting out the steps to be taken and a timetable for completion;
- a statement from the supervisor that the study plan and timetable are realistic.
Additional documentation is required to support a request to change to part time status in some cases. These requirements are stated on the form.
Part-time students are normally considered to be Off Campus students, unless they inform the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs that they wish to be On Campus students and pay all due fees associated with this status.
It is expected that the student applying for this transfer for reasons other than those set out in (a) above will have completed all data collection for the research and that the thesis is scheduled to be finished within one year of the time of transfer.
In cases of financial hardship after the period of WGU eligibility has expired, the taking up of full-time employment of a general nature may be considered provided that i) and ii) above are satisfied and completion is expected within one year of the time of transfer.
The registration of a student who has transferred to part-time status will be reviewed after one year; if the student has failed to make substantial progress during the year, he/she may be required to return to full-time status or to withdraw from the program.
- All Master's students registering initially in a full-time program as a full-time student must pay full-time fees at least for the first three terms, whatever their registration status.
- All doctoral students registering initially in a full-time program as a full-time student must pay full-time fees at least for the first six terms, whatever their registration status.
- Students who meet the conditions for part-time status will be charged the part-time fee, which is currently one-half of the full-time fee (however, note 1 and 2).