Doctoral candidates must successfully complete 10.0 credits. Candidates with deficiencies in certain areas may be admitted to the Ph.D. program, but normally will be required to complete additional work. The specific requirements are as follows:

  • 1.0 credit for successful completion of CDNS 6900 , the mandatory core seminar;
  • 1.0 credit for successful completion of two courses or tutorials (or the equivalent) drawn from the graduate list offered by the School, below; a GPA of 9.0 or better must be obtained in these courses for students to be allowed to proceed to the comprehensive examinations;
  • 1.0 credit for successful completion of two 0.5-credit written comprehensive examinations. Students will be examined in two areas of research;
  • Satisfactory demonstration of an understanding of a language other than English. Although French is the preferred second language, students may be permitted to substitute an Aboriginal language indigenous to Canada or another language if it is demonstrably relevant to their research interests;
  • A public defence, in English, of a written thesis proposal. Following the completion of their comprehensives, students will be expected to defend a proposal of the research and analysis they plan to undertake in completing their Ph.D. thesis. The thesis proposal defence should normally occur within six months after completion of a student’s comprehensive examinations. The thesis committee will be composed of three faculty members, always including one from each university;
  • A 7.0-credit thesis, which must be successfully defended in English at an oral examination.

Language Requirement

All doctoral students are required to pass the Ph.D. program’s language test. The language test entails the translation into English of a French text (or a text in another approved language such as an Aboriginal language indigenous to Canada or another language if it is demonstrably relevant to their research interest). The language test is two hours long, and students are permitted to use a dictionary. Grades for the language test are Pass or Fail.
Students who have taken a language test as a requirement for their M.A. cannot use it to meet the Ph.D. language requirement. In order to establish equal treatment of all students, all doctoral candidates will be required to pass the Ph.D. language test.

Academic Standing

All Ph.D. candidates must obtain at least B+ standing or better (GPA 9.0) in each course counted towards the degree. Comprehensive examinations (which will be graded on a Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory or Pass with Distinction basis) are exempted from this required standing.

Comprehensive Examinations

Full-time students are expected to complete their comprehensive examinations within 24 months of their initial registration in the Ph.D. program. Part-time Ph.D. students should finish their comprehensive examinations within 36 months of completing course work. Both full-time and part-time students should complete their comprehensive examinations before defending their dissertation proposal. Comprehensive exam reading lists are based on areas of research agreed upon between the student and the comprehensive examination committee. Students have worked on a broad range of topics, including critical settler studies; colonialism and reconciliation; the complexities of understanding and preserving heritage; nation-branding; cultural studies and cultural policy; critical nationalism; and the representation and performance of identity.

Thesis Proposal

All students must defend publicly a thesis proposal after completing their comprehensive examinations. Full-time students must complete this requirement within the first two years of registration in the program.

Ph.D Courses in Canadian Studies

To meet program requirements Carleton students must take at least 0.5 credit courses in Canadian Studies courses. Students can also choose from approved graduate courses at the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Students should consult with the Program Administrator for the complete listing of acceptable graduate courses available at Trent University in any given year.

Students may also register in graduate courses offered outside Canadian Studies.

All graduate courses must be approved by the Ph.D. Coordinator in Canadian Studies at Carleton University.

Collaborative Ph.D. with a Specialization in Political Economy

The School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies and the Institute of Political Economy offer a Collaborative Program in Political Economy at the Ph.D. level. For further details, see the Institute of Political Economy’s Collaborative Ph.D. with a Specialization in Political Economy section of this Calendar.