Dept. of History
49 Bader Lane
Watson Hall, 212
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
Africa, Asia, Atlantic World, British Isles, Canada, Caribbean, Environmental, Europe, Gender and Race, Intellectual, Islamic, Latin America, Medieval, Medicine, Military, Russia, U.S., and World
Our doctoral programme aims to provide students with both a broad-ranging command of several fields and a more focused expertise in their major field.
In the first year, doctoral students take the equivalent of two full year seminar courses, and a required fall-term course on historical theories and methods. They also prepare for an oral defence of their major and minor fields that is structured around the preparation of syllabi in these fields.
Half way through the second year of the programme, they defend an extended thesis proposal before their dissertation committee.
The structure of the programme is designed to enable students to complete their doctorates within four years.
Queen's History also offers PhDs the opportunity to take advantage of international graduate programmes, notably Birkbeck College, University of London, and Fudan University in Shanghai.
Special Programs or Resources
The Stauffer Library holds primary source material for advanced historical research in Canadian, American, European, and Commonwealth history. The manuscript collections of the Queen's University Archives, holdings of printed governmental documents, collection of rare Canadiana, microfilm copies of Library and Archives Canada/Department of Labour materials, and numerous Canadian newspapers on microfilm form a comprehensive scholarly resource.
The Duke of Richmond Papers, the early records of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the William Bell diaries, and the Cartwright, Kirby, Macaulay, Landon, Stone, Tett, Parrott, and Treadwell Papers are some of the collections containing material on the early social and economic development of Upper Canada. On the local level, research is facilitated by the records of the City of Kingston, and of numerous other individuals, associations, institutions, and businesses. For the study of Canadian economic history, resources include the papers of the Calvin Company, Redpath Sugar Company, Canada Steamship Lines, Macpherson-Crane and Company as well as the records of a number of local firms. For Canadian history since Confederation, the Archives contain the papers of Alexander Mackenzie, Mackenzie Bowell, Charles Mair, W.D. Gregory, Sir Allen Aylesworth, Walter Mitchell, Charles A. Dunning, T. A. Crerar, Herbert A. Bruce, Norman Rogers, C. G. Power, Sir Joseph Flavelle, Donald Gordon, J.M. Macdonnell, John Buchan, B.K. Sandwell, Grant Dexter, George Chipman, Norman Lambert, Donald C. MacDonald, G. Grube, Adam Shortt, A.R.M. Lower, and John T. Hackett. This material is supplemented by the microfilmed papers of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, John A. Macdonald, Borden, Arthur Meighen, William Lyon Mackenzie King, R.B. Bennett, John Diefenbaker, Louis Riel, Alexander Morris, the 9th Earl of Elgin, the Earl of Dundonald, Sir Edward Grigg, and the records of the United States State Department, Navy and Army, concerning the War of 1812, naval exploration, and the Civil War.
Library's holdings of printed Canadian governmental documents, national and provincial, include complete sets of debates and sessional papers of the Parliament of Canada, and the journals of the Legislature of Upper Canada. In addition, the library has substantial holdings of United Nations, United States State Department, British, New Zealand, Indian, Pakistani, South African, Australian, and French documents. The Stauffer Library is a depository for published documents of the United States government. Holdings include the Journals of the House of Representatives and Senate and most of the Congressional Record. The archival and governmental documents are supported by collections of rare Canadiana and microfilms of a broad range of Canadian newspapers.
The Stauffer Library is strong also in British, British Imperial and Commonwealth history. The South African holdings rank with the best collections in North America. The Archives hold all the Colonial Office confidential prints relating to South Africa before 1916. The Parliamentary Debates and Parliamentary Papers are all available, and the collection contains long runs of newspapers on microfilm. The Library has acquired the Carter Karis collection of African political materials on microfilm. This is a very important source for the development of African nationalism in South Africa. For students of imperial policy, the British documentary section, supported by newspaper and periodical holdings, is invaluable. In addition, scholars in military history will find help at the Massey Library at the Royal Military College of Canada. The Canadian holdings in Stauffer are also of use to Commonwealth and military students.
The Health Sciences Library houses a rapidly growing collection of secondary works on the history of Western Medicine. All pre-1820 medical monographs published in the United States have been acquired on microfilm. A complete collection of medical periodicals published in Canada before 1911 is available on microfiche. Such sources are complemented by primary material in the Archives, such as the Kingston General Hospital collection, and an expanding group of secondary works on the history of science at the Douglas Library.
The Irish collection is growing. It includes long runs of official documents and supporting materials stretching back to the 16th century.
In medieval and early modern European and Mediterranean studies, printed sources are available in the Stauffer Library for research in English medieval history, the Central European Reformation and in many aspects of the late medieval history of the Catholic Church. The library holds nearly all published governmental records for English and Scottish history of the medieval and Tudor periods, as well as a substantial proportion for the period 1603-80. Holdings of other documentary as well as narrative sources are also strong.
There are large collections of newspapers and other sources on the Old Regime and the French Revolution. For research in 20th Century French History, the Stauffer Library contains the parliamentary debates and the complete collection or long runs of some of the leading 20th century newspapers, including Le Temps, Le Monde, L'Humanité, Le Figaro, Le Populaire, La Croix, Le Peuple, l'Action Française, Gringoire, Je Suis Partout, L'Express, Témoignage Chrétien, France-Observateur. The Library also has collections of many other important journals and newspapers.
Proximity to the Library and Archives Canada and other collections in Ottawa, including the Parliamentary Library, makes it possible for students to supplement their work at the university by periods of research in the capital.
Queen's is a member of the Central Research Library (CRL) and through this membership has access to a valuable and wide-ranging collection of primary source material.
Funding for PhD students comes from a variety of sources, both internal funding and external funding,and we assist our incoming and continuing students in applying for and securing funding. Teaching experience is both a form of funding and part of professional development. It is made available to all doctoral candidates.
Queen's University has a minimum funding guarantee for eligible doctoral students of $18,000. This amount is a minimum, and actual doctoral student support may be substantially higher.
Admission to the PhD is normally limited to applicants with first class standing on their MA work (A minus minimum, GPA 3.7). If English is not your first language, we require a total TEOFL score of at least 627 (paper-based), 263 (computer-based) or 109 (internet-based) as well as a TEOFL test of written English section score of 6.0 (paper or computer-based) or 30 (internet-based). All required test scores must be received directly from the testing agency, before your application is complete. Any applicant who has recently studied for at least one complete year at a university where English is the official language of instruction may be exempt from the English language proficiency test.
The purpose of the course work in the candidate's major field is to introduce the candidate to the major historical writings and debates in the area covered, prepare them to teach and undertake original research in that area, and provide a context for the broad-ranging historiographical and interpretative portion of their thesis proposal. The purpose of the course work in the minor is to add breadth to the candidate's training, either to strengthen and widen the framework for the dissertation, to prepare for future teaching or to broaden knowledge of methodology and historiography.
All doctoral students are required to take History 901. This seminar introduces PhD candidates in the Queen's Department of History to a selection of theories and methods that have shaped the contemporary discipline of history.
Royal Military College
Students may also take graduate courses offered at the Royal Military College. Offerings vary from year to year, and interested students should consult both History departments well in advance. Note: Normally students taking courses at RMC must take, or must have taken, two other regular history courses in the Queen's History Department, either as part of a three-course MA program or as one of three Ph.D. courses. The cooperative Queen's/RMC programme permits students to take a course at either institution without payment of extra fees.
Students will be required to demonstrate competency in the major and minor fields by successful completion of the course work in each field and an oral examination of the field: in preparation for this examination, the student shall prepare a syllabus for a 24 week senior undergraduate seminar in the major field and a 12 week senior undergraduate seminar in the minor field. Students will be required to demonstrate in the oral defence of the syllabus a sophisticated and broad-ranging knowledge of the major historiographical topics, debates, and trends in broadly defined fields. The reading lists for these fields are to be generated in consultation with the field supervisors.
The Qualifying Examination
The qualifying examination is an examination of a thesis proposal prepared by the candidate. The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to provide the candidate with an opportunity to put together a detailed thesis proposal. The examination also enables an evaluation of the candidate's suitability for continuing in the doctoral programme. The examination should aid in the identification of weaknesses which need to be remedied, provide the candidate with the opportunity to organize material in a wider context than is normally available in an individual graduate course, and help the faculty to judge the overall intellectual abilities and scholarly qualifications of the candidate.
The thesis proposal must be submitted and defended by December 15 in the second year of the programme. The student must deliver one copy of their qualifying proposal to the Graduate Office and deliver the remaining copies to their committee within 10 days of their defence. The supervisor will be responsible for convening the defence of the proposal.
Last Updated: October 19, 2012