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, with one 0.5-credit course drawn fro m each of the candidate’s two major fields of study; 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 fields;
  • 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.
At the discretion of the School, candidates may be required to take an oral examination following the written examination.
The fields of study for the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations are to be chosen from the following list:

  • Culture, Literature, and the Arts
    A general knowledge of theories of culture in general, Canadian theoretical discourses on cultural practices, and on the interplay among theory, art, and literature, and their social contexts.
  • Environment and Heritage
    A general knowledge of locality, landscape, environment and region in Canada.
  • Policy, Economy and Society
    A general knowledge of the complex web of relationships linking economy, civil society, and public policy in Canada and their interaction within social, political, and cultural life.
  • Identities
    A general knowledge of the character and experience of individual, collective and communal identities in Canada.
  • Women’s Studies
    A general knowledge of women’s experiences of the major dynamics of social, political, economic and cultural development at all levels of Canadian life.

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.

Canadian Studies Courses at Carleton University by Fields of Study

Culture, Literature, and the Arts
CDNS 5301 , CDNS 5302

Environment and Heritage
CDNS 5401 , CDNS 5402

Policy, Economy and Society
CDNS 5302 , CDNS 5501 , CDNS 5601

CDNS 5101 , CDNS 5102 , CDNS 5501

Women’s Studies
CDNS 5201 , CDNS 5202, CDNS 5501

To meet program requirements Carleton students must take at least one of the 0.5 credit courses from the Canadian Studies courses listed above. 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.