Queen’s University

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Queen’s University push the limits of what can be achieved and develop ideas that can make a difference in the world.

For more than 170 years, our community has been more than a collection of bright minds – Queen’s has attracted people with an ambitious spirit. We imagine what the future can be, and work together to realize it.

Queen’s is located in the city of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, half-way between Montreal and Toronto, two of Canada’s largest cities. Kingston is situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, near the entrance to the St. Lawrence Seaway, Thousand Islands and the Rideau Canal.

The best way to get to know Queen’s is by coming to visit. Explore our historic buildings, attend cultural events, and spend some time in our distinguished museums, archives, and galleries.

Queen’s University is a community, 170+ years of tradition, academic excellence, research, and beautiful waterfront campus made of limestone buildings and modern facilities. But more than anything Queen’s is people.

We are researchers, scholars, artists, professors and students with an ambitious spirit who want to develop ideas that can make a difference in the world. People who imagine together what the future could be and work together to realize it.

Queen’s is one of Canada’s oldest degree-granting institutions, and has influenced Canadian higher education since 1841 when it was established by Royal Charter of Queen Victoria.

Located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, it is a mid-sized university with several faculties, colleges and professional schools, as well as the Bader International Study Centre located in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, United Kingdom.

Queen’s balances excellence in undergraduate studies with well-established and innovative graduate programs, all within a dynamic learning environment.

Queen’s is a full-spectrum, research-intensive university that conducts leading-edge research in a variety of areas, including:

  • computational science and engineering
  • globalization studies
  • mental health
  • basic and clinical biomedical sciences
  • healthy environments and sustainable energy systems
  • social issues such as surveillance, poverty and bullying

The campus has a fully integrated network of six libraries and is home to several outstanding museums and arts facilities, including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

A Community Campus Environment

  • 95% of the student population comes from outside of Kingston
  • 85% of students live within a 15-minute walk to campus
  • more than 90% of first-year students live in residence (residence is guaranteedfor first-years; two new residences will open Fall 2015!)
  • Queen’s is home to students from more than 109 different countries
  • International/visa students make up approximately 8.3% of the full-time student population.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

Faculty of Arts and Science

In the Faculty of Arts and Science, exceptional students learn to analyze and think critically, communicate and debate, interpret and judge independently – skills that are sought after by postgraduate programs, professional schools, and employers!

  • Art History and Conservation
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Computing
  • Dan School of Drama and Music
  • Economics
  • English Language and Literature
  • Environmental Studies
  • Film and Media
  • Fine Art (Visual Art)
  • French Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Geography and Planning
  • Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
  • Global Development Studies
  • History
  • Industrial Relations
  • Kinesiology and Health Studies
  • Languages, Literatures and Cultures
  • Life Sciences and Biochemistry: Life Sciences | Biochemistry
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Philosophy
  • Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy
  • Political Studies
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Sociology

Faculty of Education

The Faculty of Education develops progressive, ethical, competent, and thoughtful leaders in education through teaching, research, and professional collaboration.

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Queen’s engineers take pride in an enduring tradition of achievement, both academically and in extracurricular pursuits, that have an impact on the world around them. In an atmosphere of collaboration, not competition, this dual focus has helped make Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science an international leader in engineering education. All entering engineering students take a common first year, which exposes them to the full range of engineering disciplines.

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical and Materials Engineering
  • Mining

Faculty of Health Sciences

The Faculty of Health Sciences (encompassing the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Rehabilitation Therapy) excels across all of its mandates for education, health care, and research. Strong collaboration across schools, faculties, and our partnering institutions is the hallmark of Queen’s academic health sciences centre.

  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
  • Cancer Research Institute
  • Cardiac, Circulatory and Respiratory (CCR) Program
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Critical Care Medicine Program
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Family Medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Internal Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Health Sciences
  • Hematology, Oncology, Palliative Care, and Bioethics
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Life Sciences Program
  • Medicine
  • Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Neuroscience Studies, Centre for
  • Neurosurgery
  • Nursing
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Palliative Care Medicine Program
  • Pathology and Molecular Medicine
  • Paediatrics
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy Clinic
  • Physical Therapy
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Public Health Sciences (formerly Community Health and Epidemiology)
  • Regional Geriatric Program
  • Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
  • Rheumatology
  • Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Urology
  • Vascular Surgery

Faculty of Law

With a proud tradition of community, collegiality, and service, Queen’s Faculty of Law develops outstanding legal professionals with a global perspective and advances the understanding and development of the law through dedicated, innovative teaching and scholarship.

Smith School of Business

The Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, one of the world’s premier business schools, has earned its international recognition through its outstanding faculty and innovative approaches to business education. The School develops outstanding leaders with a global perspective and creates new knowledge that advances business and society.


School of Graduate Studies

The School of Graduate Studies offers 120 graduate degree programs within 50+ departments and centres of research to consider. Through Queen’s University School of Graduate Studies, students set their ideas in motion and create an impact on the world.

School of Policy Studies

The School of Policy Studies is a leading centre for advanced education, research, debate and interaction with the non-academic world in the fields of public policy and administration.


Queen’s was a result of an outgrowth of educational initiatives planned by Presbyterians in the 1830s. A draft plan for the university was presented at a synod meeting in Kingston in 1839, with a modified bill introduced through the 13th Parliament of Upper Canada during a session in 1840. On 16 October 1841, a royal charter was issued through Queen Victoria. Queen’s resulted from years of effort by Presbyterians of Upper Canada to found a college for the education of ministers in the growing colony and to instruct the youth in various branches of science and literature. They modelled the university after the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow. Classes began on 7 March 1842, in a small wood-frame house on the edge of the city with two professors and 15 students.

The college moved several times during its first eleven years, before settling in its present location. Prior to Canadian Confederation, the college was financially supported by the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, the Canadian government and private citizens. After Confederation the college faced ruin when the federal government withdrew its funding and the Commercial Bank of the Midland District collapsed, a disaster which cost Queen’s two-thirds of its endowment. The college was rescued after Principal William Snodgrass and other officials created a fundraising campaign across Canada.

The risk of financial ruin continued to worry the administration until the final decade of the century. They actively considered leaving Kingston and merging with the University of Toronto as late as the 1880s. With the additional funds bequeathed from Queen’s first major benefactor, Robert Sutherland, the college staved off financial failure and maintained its independence. Queen’s was given university status on 17 May 1881. In 1883, Women’s Medical College was founded at Queen’s with a class of three. Theological Hall, completed in 1880, originally served as Queen’s main building throughout the late 19th century.

In 1912, Queen’s separated from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and changed its name to Queen’s University at Kingston. Queen’s Theological College remained in the control of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, until 1925, when it joined the United Church of Canada, where it remains today. The university faced another financial crisis during World War I, from a sharp drop in enrolment due to the military enlistment of students, staff, and faculty. A $1,000,000 fundraising drive and the armistice in 1918 saved the university. Approximately 1,500 students participated in the war and 187 died. Months before Canada joined World War II, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, came to Queen’s to accept an honorary degree and, in a broadcast heard around the world, voiced the American policy of mutual alliance and friendship with Canada. During World War II, 2,917 graduates from Queen’s served in the armed forces, suffering 164 fatalities. The Memorial Room in Memorial Hall of the John Deutsch University Centre lists those Queen’s students who died during the world wars.

Queen’s grew quickly after the war, propelled by the expanding postwar economy and the demographic boom that peaked in the 1960s. From 1951 to 1961, enrolment increased from just over 2,000 students to more than 3,000. The university embarked on a building program, constructing five student residences in less than ten years.

Following the reorganization of legal education in Ontario in the mid-1950s, Queen’s Faculty of Law opened in 1957 in the newly built John A. Macdonald Hall. Other construction projects at Queen’s in the 1950s included the construction of Richardson Hall to house Queen’s administrative offices, and Dunning Hall. By the end of the 1960s, like many other universities in Canada, Queen’s tripled its enrolment and greatly expanded its faculty, staff, and facilities, as a result of the baby boom and generous support from the public sector. By the mid-1970s, the number of full-time students had reached 10,000. Among the new facilities were three more residences and separate buildings for the Departments of Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Psychology, Social Sciences and the Humanities.

During this period Schools of Music, Public Administration (now part of Policy Studies), Rehabilitation Therapy, and Urban and Regional Planning were established at Queen’s. The establishment of the Faculty of Education in 1968 on land about a kilometre west of the university inaugurated the university’s west campus.

Queen’s celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary in 1991, and was visited by Charles, Prince of Wales, and his then-wife, Diana, to mark the occasion. The Prince of Wales presented a replica of the 1841 Royal Charter granted by Queen Victoria, which had established the university; the replica is displayed in the John Deutsch University Centre. The first female chancellor of Queen’s University, Agnes Richardson Benidickson, was installed on 23 October 1980. In 1993, Queen’s received Herstmonceux Castle as a donation from alumnus Alfred Bader. The castle is used by the university as the Bader International Study Centre.

In 2001 the Senate Educational Equity Committee (SEEC) studied the experiences of visible minority and Aboriginal faculty members at Queen’s after a black female professor left, alleging that she had experienced racism. Following this survey SEEC commissioned a study which found that many perceived a ‘Culture of Whiteness’ at the university. The report concluded that “white privilege and power continues to be reflected in the Eurocentriccurricula, traditional pedagogical approaches, hiring, promotion and tenure practices, and opportunities for research” at Queen’s. The university’s response to the report is the subject of continuing debate. The administration implemented measures to promote diversity beginning in 2006, such as the position of diversity advisor and the hiring of “dialogue monitors” to facilitate discussions on social justice.

In May 2010, Queen’s University joined the Matariki Network of Universities, an international group of universities created in 2010, which focuses on strong links between research and undergraduate teaching.

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