School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

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How to Apply in 5 Steps

Before you start your application, have you reviewed the admission requirements for your chosen program of study?

Step 1: Start the online application


You may complete the on-line application for graduate studies at Queen's at any time. Most acceptances are made in March and applications should be made early in the year if you wish to be considered for fellowships or awards. Please refer to the degree program websites for specific deadlines for the program that you are applying to.

Once you have reviewed the degree programs available and decided to apply, you are ready to begin the online application

Completing a Paper Application

If you cannot complete the online application, please contact or email the graduate assistant in your program of interest for a paper application.

Accommodating Disabilities

The School of Graduate Studies places great importance on accommodating disabilities and special circumstances to ensure that everyone is able to complete the application process. Any applicants with questions about accommodating their needs should e-mail the School of Graduate Studies Director of Admissions and Student Services.

Step 2: Compile the Documentation


A complete application must include official, up-to-date transcripts for all current and previous study the applicant has listed in the Academic Background section of the application.

Acceptable methods for submitting transcripts:

  1. Transcripts can be uploaded to the online application, as PDF files. The transcripts must be scanned (black and white recommended) and saved as a PDF file, and uploaded successfully. Complete instructions are available to applicants on the Transcript Upload section of the online application.
  2. If a transcript or transcripts cannot be successfully uploaded to the online application, applicants are responsible for ensuring that an official transcript or transcripts of all current and previous university-level studies are sent to the School of Graduate Studies by all universities previously attended. All hard copy transcripts received as part of an application for admission must be received in sealed envelopes.

Final transcripts: Hard copy original official transcript showing degree completion and conferral, will be required from all applicants who accept an offer of admission to graduate studies at Queen's University. These final transcripts are to be sent directly from the issuing institutions to the School of Graduate Studies, in sealed envelopes.

Transcripts sent from the issuing university should be sent to:

School of Graduate Studies
Queen's University
Gordon Hall Room 425
74 Union Street
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.
  • Transcripts are to be sent directly from the issuing institutions to the School of Graduate Studies, 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 School of Graduate Studies will access the student record directly for applicants who have attended or are currently attending Queen's University.

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 in 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 School of Graduate Studies may be considered. However, all effort 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 program to which he or she is making application.

Referees normally use and submit their letter of recommendation or reference form to the School of Graduate Studies 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.

Photocopied or stale dated letters (letters that were issued more than one year prior to the application date) are unacceptable.

Other universities' references forms are not to be substituted 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.

Additional Information / Documentation Needed by the Degree Program

Some departments/programs require additional documentation such as a current course list, GRE or written sample of work. Review the department’s/program's application procedures for details.

Please note that all required test scores must be received directly from the testing agency before your application is complete.

Step 3: Check for any Testing Requirements

All required test scores must be received directly from the testing agency, before your application is complete.

English Language Comprehension

At Queen's, English is the language of instruction and communication, except for the language departments. Proficiency in English is a prerequisite for admission. Some programs require satisfactory achievement on the GRE. Please check with the degree program for specific testing needed and scores.

Those applicants whose native languages do not include English will need to earn satisfactory standing in an English Language Proficiency Test as part of the application process, and before final acceptance is granted.

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. The Director of Admissions, School of Graduate Studies, will review the request. The applicant will be informed of the results of the review. 

The following English Language Proficiency tests results are accepted by the School of Graduate Studies:

TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test)


Score (/30)

Writing Test


Speaking Test


Reading Test


Listening Test


For an overall minimum score of 88 (out of 120).


Applicants must have the minimum score in each test, as well as the minimum overall score.

Please note that, the Department of English, and the Faculty of Law have higher minimum TOEFL iBT requirements.

TOEFL Paper-Based and Computer-Based Tests

Applicants must meet the minimum score requirements of the department to which they wish to apply. These minimum scores are listed on the 2017-18 Application Requirements Table (PDF*, 42 KB).

  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) - score of 80
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - score of 7 on the academic module
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) - 65 (minimum score overall)

Please note that if a final grade of 80% or more in ESLA 140 or ESLA 150 from Queen's University's English for Academic Purposes 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.

Step 4: Complete the Online Application

The online application will walk you through each step in the process, including how to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation and other documentation. You will first be invited to create an account using your email address. We will email you a User ID so that you can create a password to complete the online application.

Complete all the screens as they are presented to you, remembering to click Save and continue before you move on to the next set of questions.

Paying the Application Fee

When you have completed all the sections, you can submit your application. At this point, you are asked to pay the non refundable application fee on-line (currently $105 CDN). Remember, you must be able to pay the fee on-line with a Visa or Mastercard number, in order to complete your application on-line.

Please note that the application fee of $105 (CDN) is non-refundable.

The application is considered complete when all of the documentation is received by the School of Graduate Studies.

Step 5: Check the Status of Your Online Application

You will be emailed an application number and can set your own password to complete your online application and check the status of your application such as which documents are still needed in order for your application to be complete.

When your online application is complete and all documentation is received, the degree program will assess your application. You will be informed by the School of Graduate Studies by email, or in the postal mail if you submitted a paper application, about whether or not you are being offered admission.