The Ph.D. Program began in 2001 and is offered jointly between the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University and the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. This unique joint Ph.D. is the only full interdisciplinary doctoral program in Canadian Studies in Canada, combining the longstanding strengths of both institutions in this field. The program draws on the faculty from both universities and offers five fields of study: Culture, Literature, and the Arts; Environment and Heritage; Policy, Economy and Society; Identities; and Women’s Studies. The program requires a combination of course work, comprehensive examinations, and a thesis.

The objective of the program is to produce academic teachers and researchers with specialized expertise in Canadian Studies. The program allows students with an interest in Canada to do advanced graduate work beyond the parameters of a single discipline and undertake research for their dissertations using a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. The program is founded on the premise that many complex problems and issues cannot be understood satisfactorily from the vantage point of a single discipline and that a more comprehensive understanding of Canada can be achieved through integrated and systematic interdisciplinary scholarship.