The Master of Arts (MA) in Canadian Studies is one of the oldest graduate programmes at Carleton University, with the first MA thesis going back to the early 1970s, and over 260 written since then. By 2003, the MA courses were organized around four interdisciplinary research areas: Aboriginal Studies and the North; Women’s Studies, after 2009 changed to Gender Studies; Canadian Cultural Studies and Cultural Policy; and Heritage Conservation. Each of these research areas has a unique history in the School’s evolution and in helping foster related new programmes across the university.

To see a list of all graduate courses offered through the School, follow this link.

For a full overview of the program, see the SCS MA Program Guidelines Revised JAN 2023

For further information on the MA program, please contact: Jennifer Henderson, Graduate Supervisor


Applicants are required to hold an Honours B.A. (or the equivalent), normally with an A- average, in a subject area related to Canadian Studies or Indigenous Studies. Possession of the minimum entrance standing is not in itself, however, an assurance of admission into the program.

In addition to transcripts and letters of reference, application packages will include a statement of interest and a representative academic writing sample.

We recommend applicants explore the webpages of faculty members in advance of applying. SCS faculty research areas, related courses and publications are described on their individual SCS webpages. Applicants interested in the heritage conservation specialization, in particular, should contact appropriate faculty members to discuss this specialization.

M.A. Application Deadline

Applications are being accepted – Deadline is February 1 to be guaranteed consideration for funding for the fall semester.

Accelerated Pathway

Students in their third-year of study in the B.A. Honours Canadian Studies  degree should consult with both the Undergraduate Supervisor and the Graduate Supervisor to determine if the accelerated pathway is appropriate for them and to confirm their selection of courses for their final year of undergraduate studies.

Digital Humanities

Canadian Studies, in conjunction with a new collaborating MA in Digital Humanities, offers a program designed to add value to the existing MA in Canadian Studies by offering courses focused on the rapidly growing field of digital humanities.  Applicants must already be enrolled in the MA in Canadian Studies and, upon completion of their degree, they will obtain an MA in Canadian Studies with a designated concentration in Digital Humanities. For more information, go to Digital Humanities.

Qualifying Year Program

Applicants who do not qualify for direct admission to the master’s program may, in exceptional cases, be admitted to a qualifying-year program. Admission to the qualifying-year program does not imply automatic admission to the master’s program. At the end of the qualifying-year program, the student will be required to apply for entry into the master’s program, at which time the School will determine the student’s eligibility to enter the program.

Donner Exemption

The Aboriginal Studies and the North program area was initiated through a grant from the Donner Foundation. Students in this program area research a wide range of cultural, economic and political issues concerning First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities as well as Northern Canada. Although the same admission conditions and requirements apply as in other areas of the master’s program, here special consideration for admission may be granted to candidates who have extensive knowledge of the North and/or Aboriginal peoples.


You may be offered a funding package as part of your offer of admission to the program. Admissions funding packages can include scholarship funding and employment opportunities. Unlike other types of funding, you do not apply independently of your application to the program for an admission funding package or any of its constituent elements. Rather, any applications received by the annual February 1st deadline are automatically considered for an admissions funding offer. Admissions funding packages may include the following elements: Departmental Scholarships, Domestic Entrance Scholarships, Endowment Awards, Teaching Assistantships, and Research Assistantships. For more information, see the SCS MA Program Guidelines Revised JAN 2023.  In addition to admissions funding packages, the following awards are available to students enrolled in the program:

Students considering applying to the program can submit applications to OGS and SSHRC in the academic year prior to commencing the program.

For more information, see the SCS MA Program Guidelines posted under Graduate Resources in the Canadian Studies section of this website.