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School of Graduate Studies

Old skeleton key in an old wooden door with chipped and peeling teal paint

School of Graduate Studies

Cultural Studies Ph.D.

Applications are now closed for Fall 2019.

Take an innovative approach to the study of culture, and gain comprehensive knowledge of the intellectual traditions in cultural studies.

This program, the first of its kind in Canada, opens the door to a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment in which you will have the opportunity to take on ground-breaking research in your chosen field. In this program, you will have the flexibility to work with your colleagues and faculty members the way that best suits your studies.

After graduation, you will be ready to do the important work of contributing, through teaching and original research, to fields of inquiry pivotal to the development of our thinking, and our cultures, in the twenty-first century. Trent graduates go on to become teachers and researchers at universities and colleges in Canada and abroad, and to develop new forms of cultural inquiry and artistic innovation wherever they live.

  • Collaborate and work closely with highly-regarded faculty members on original research.
  • Enjoy Peterborough’s vibrant arts and culture community – a stimulating environment for the study and development of culture.
  • Past dissertations have engaged a wide variety of fields, such as Memory Studies, Tourism Studies, Cinema Studies, Science Fiction, Media Studies and Research Creation.

Cultural Studies Ph.D. website

​Program Options

  • Ph.D.
  • Full- or part-time studies
  • 4 years to complete (full time)
  • September intake only

​Admission Requirements 

  • M.A. in Cultural Studies or related discipline with at least A- (80%) overall
  • Aptitude for theoretical inquiry and excellent writing skills
  • Original and innovative dissertation proposal

Required Documents

Official Transcripts

Submit one official copy for all post secondary education institutions, including incomplete studies/programs, transfer courses, letter of permission and exchanges. In order to be considered official, transcripts must be received by Trent University in envelopes sealed by the issuing institution, or received from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre. Trent students do not need to order Trent University transcripts. The School of Graduate Studies will obtain your Trent University transcripts for your application free of charge.

Two Letters of Reference

Academic references are preferred; however, professional references will be accepted. Links for your referees to submit an online reference will be sent directly to the referees you have provided on your application. We recommend you contact your referees prior to submitting an application to confirm their availability and contact information. If your referee does not receive the link, you can suggest that your referee check their junk email folder and email setting.  The email may have unintentionally been blocked by their email server.

Proof of English Language Proficiency

Proficiency in English usage, both written and oral, is essential to pursue graduate studies at Trent University. It Is required for applicants to demonstrate an adequate level of English proficiency, regardless of their citizenship status or country of origin. Applicants who completed two or more years of post-secondary education at a university in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the USA are exempt from this requirement. If you have completed two or more years of post-secondary education at a university where the primary language of instruction is English, the School of Graduate Studies is prepared to consider alternate proof of English language proficiency.

For detailed information about English Language Proficiency requirements, see International Applications

Applicants must make their own arrangements for taking language tests and having the results sent to the School of Graduate Studies in time to meet application deadlines by contacting the centre in their locale or by writing to one of the above.

Plan of Study          template

Typically 1-2 pages, outlining applicant's objectives in a graduate program. Any specific research interests (if known), relevant experiences, and/or career aspirations can be included. If a potential supervisor has been discussed, please identify this in your plan of study. Please indicate in the subject line of your email: student name and PHD.CUST. Email to: graduate@trentu.ca .

A Writing Sample

Submit a sample of your writing of about 20 pages or less. Writing samples preferred format is PDF. Hard copies will not be accepted. Good choices for writing samples include:  an undergraduate essay, lab report, research report, journal article, a chapter from a masters thesis, or a published article. Please indicate in the subject line of your email: student name and PHD.CUST. Email to: graduate@trentu.ca .


Additional information: 

Proof of Citizenship (ie. copy of passport or birth certificate) will be requested, only if an offer of admission is made.

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