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How to apply

Humanities PhD students are able to create their own path and pursue original interdisciplinary projects while supported by an advisory committee of three faculty members who can be chosen from departments across the Humanities, Social Sciences and Fine Arts at Concordia (see Faculty Profiles). In keeping with a growing desire for new ways of knowing and making, the Humanities program also welcomes research-creation projects that combine creative practice with scholarly investigation (applicants to the research-creation stream are encouraged to read the excellent article by Owen Chapman and Kim Sawchuk on the different modes that research-creation can take).

Applicants are required to have a confirmed three-member advisory committee at the time of application.  Students are officially accepted into the program only when they have a complete three-member advisory committee (Major Field supervisor and two Minor Field advisors), and subject to the availability of necessary resources at Concordia and the approval of the School of Graduate Studies. See more here on finding your advisors.

Applicants are welcome to contact the Humanities Director prior to submitting an application to the program to discuss their research proposal and prospective advisors. You can also sign up for our online application workshop which takes place in fall.

When you are ready to apply

Prepare your application as described below and follow the steps outlined on the graduate admissions page.

What to include in your application

A complete application includes:

  1. A completed Application Form (completed through the online graduate application system)
  2. A completed Humanities PhD Committtee Form: Use our online form to enter information about your Major field and two Minor fields, and the applicant's prospective advisory committee members. This will generate a PDF form for your committee members to sign; you can also add confirmation emails to that PDF. When it is signed, ppload this PDF.
  3. Research Proposal clearly demonstrating the interdisciplinary character of the proposed program of study, accompanied by a preliminary bibliography. The research proposal should be 2,000 to 3,000 words in length, and should include:
  4. * A clear articulation of the research or research-creation questions and issues to be explored, and the methodological and theoretical frameworks to be used in pursuing them (whenever relevant discussing the applicant’s prior experience in these areas, at the Masters level for example);

    * A brief overview of the existing body of scholarly work (and artistic practices in the case of research-creation) relevant to the proposed doctoral project, foregrounding the ways in which the applicant’s project will be informed by and make an original contribution to these areas;

    * A paragraph outlining the three fields that will constitute the applicant’s program of study (the major field and two minor fields), listing the Concordia faculty members who have agreed to serve as advisors, and briefly discussing the relevance of each prospective advisor’s expertise to the applicant’s project;

    * A concluding overview of the objectives of the doctoral work to be undertaken, as well as the applicant’s broader scholarly and creative goals. 

    See a sample research proposal by Humanities alumna Sonia Cancian, and a sample research proposal with a studio component by Humanities alumnus Ted Hiebert.

  5. A Statement of Purpose (500 words)
  6. A Curriculum Vitae
  7. A Sample of Applicant's best written Work (maximum 10 pages)
  8. Portfolio if the applicant holds a Masters degree with a creative practice component and is seeking to enter the program in the research-creation stream with Studio as one of the 3 fields (see below). Portfolios can be submitted electronically. 
  9. Transcripts of all previous university study. Please follow the transcript submission requirments on the graduate admissions page.
  10. Three Academic Assessment / Reference letters. The assessment and submission of references is administered electronically through the online application system. Please find more details regarding the process under Letters of Reference.
  11. Proof of Citizenship (when applicable)
  12. Application Fee


In conjunction with our program specific requirements, please see the university-wide graduate application steps and the graduate admission requirements for further guidance.


Applicants with a Masters degree with a creative practice component (such as MFA or Creative Writing) who are seeking to enter the program in the research-creation stream, with Studio as one of the 3 fields, must submit a portfolio with examples of their creative practice. You may submit the portfolio directly to the Humanities Program Office (not to the central admissions office) by mail or electronically. Applicants should take special note that originial materials should only be submitted with the understanding that the program is not responsible for the materials.

You are welcome to submit in the following formats: CD, USB, or if your portfolio is available online please include the URL on a separate document along with your admissions application. Or you may email this information directly to You are also welcome to include any other URLs for personal websites or links to presentations, videos, performances etc.

Hardcopy portfolios are non-returnable and should be mailed to:

Attention: Humanities PhD Program Admissions
Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC)
Concordia University LB-689.90
1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8 Canada

Additional admission requirements

Students are officially accepted to the program only when they have a complete three-member advisory committee, subject to the availability of necessary resources at Concordia, and the approval of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants are required to submit research proposals indicating the interdisciplinary scope of their projects. Students in the program declare one Major field, normally within the discipline of the student's Master's degree, and two Minor fields/disciplines.  The Major field must be from a Humanities, Social Science or Fine Arts discipline. Minor fields are normally from the Humanities, Social Sciences or Fine Arts, but may also invovle disciplines such as mathematics or the life sciences. The Ph.D. in Humanities program is designed for full-time study.

Evaluation criteria

The Humanities Program Committee (HPC) will scrutinize the applicant’s academic background and proposed program of study in order to determine whether the applicant’s interests are truly interdisciplinary, and fall within the scope of the available faculty and facilities at Concordia. In its deliberations, the HPC will look for evidence that the student’s record indicates that he/she is likely to be able to cope with a demanding program involving rigorous practice in more than one discipline and that the academic background is strong enough to enable the student to proceed to doctoral-level study in their Major field, as well as overall exceptional ability, promising likely successful completion of a demanding program. Where feasible and warranted, the HPC may conduct a personal interview with the applicant after reviewing the dossier. Advisory committee members submitted by applicants are confirmed by the Director of the Humanities program in consultation with the HPC.

Language requirements

The language of instruction at Concordia is English. Applicants should consult the English language proficiency requirements and the language proficiency test exemptions detailed by Graduate admissions for up-to-date policies and procedures.

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