Current Graduate Students

The School of Kinesiology and Health Studies (SKHS) Graduate Student Handbook outlines the general expectations of our MA, MSc, and PhD programs. It is intended to provide direction to students and their supervisors as they progress in the program. 

This handbook should be read in conversation with the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs' Academic Calendar, which outlines the higher-level policies and procedures regulating our programs. 

Master of Arts (MA)

The degree requirements for students in the Master of Arts program are:

  1. The equivalent of four graduate level one-term courses.
  2. Students in Sociocultural Studies must take one of KHS 869: Bodies and Social Theory, KHS 873: Critical Methodologies, KHS 877: Intersectionality and Knowledge Translation, or KHS 892: Special Topics in Sociocultural Studies
  3. A Master's thesis, which must be defended orally. 
  4. 80% attendance at SKHS Graduate Seminar Series each year of studies. 
  5. Certificate in Human Research Ethics (CORE). 

Master of Science (MSc)

The degree requirements for students in the Master of Science program are:

  1. The equivalent of four graduate level one-term courses.
  2. Students in the MSc program may only take one of KHS 869: Bodies and Social Theory or KHS 873: Critical Methodologies. 
  3. A Master's thesis, which must be defended orally. 
  4. 80% attendance at SKHS Graduate Seminar Series each year of studies. 
  5. Certificate in Human Research Ethics (CORE). 

Doctorate (PhD)

The degree requirements for students in the doctoral program are:

  1. The equivalent of six graduate level one-term courses, two of which must be taken while enrolled as a PhD student in SKHS.
  2. Comprehensive Examination, which must be defended orally. 
  3. Thesis Proposal, which must be defended orally. 
  4. A Doctoral thesis, which must be defended orally.
  5. 80% attendance at SKHS Graduate Seminar Series each year of studies. 
  6. Certificate in Human Research Ethics (CORE). 

Timelines to Completion

Our MA and MSc programs are 2 academic years (6 consecutive terms), and our PhD program is 4 academic years (12 consecutive terms). Extensions to these timelines are possible. 

Students are permitted to take leaves of absence for a number of reasons. Details about leaves of absence are available in the SGSPA Academic Calendar

To comply with SGSPA regulations, all SKHS graduate students must complete and submit an annual progress report. To be in good academic standing, students must make continuous and satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree. When a student is not meeting progress standards, the SKHS Chair will request a meeting to create an action plan for the student's progress. The SKHS Graduate Coordinator will request progress reports in the Spring of an academic year. 

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

All eligible SKHS graduate students are required to apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS).  Applications are due March 1 of each year. Applications will be used to nominate students for internal Queen’s Awards and Fellowships.

Tri-Council Awards (CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC)

The Tri-Council is comprised of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

These prestigious awards provide significant funding for student research at Queen’s. All eligible SKHS graduate students are expected to apply for Tri-Council funding. Applications are due in October (PhD) and December (MA/MSc) of each year. 

Detailed information about applying can be found on each agency’s website. 

Conference Travel Awards

Each year, the School of Graduate Studies allocates a lump sum of Conference Travel Award funding to our department based on a two-year average of student enrolments. This funding is typically around $7,000 and is allocated to students per the SKHS Graduate Student Conference Funding Policy. Graduate students receive details and application materials during the Fall and Winter terms.

Graduate Dean's Travel Grant for Doctoral Field Research

The Graduate Dean’s Travel Grant for Doctoral Field Research is a competitive award for doctoral students pursuing dissertation research at a considerable distance from Queen’s. The maximum value of the award is $3,000. Graduate students receive details and application materials approximately 8 weeks prior to the annual competition deadline.

Emergency and Needs-Based Funding

Queen’s has a variety of programs to support graduate students who encounter financial difficulty. Funding resources and programs available to graduate students in need, include:

Schedule of Courses

Each July, current and incoming SKHS graduate students are provided the schedule of courses for the upcoming year. Students should discuss course options with their supervisors and then send course selections to the SKHS Graduate Program Coordinator at

Graduate students in other departments are welcome to take our courses provided they receive permission from the course instructor and from their program. To find our course schedule, students can either consult SOLUS or email the SKHS Program Coordinator at

SKHS graduates who wish to take an Independent Study Course should complete KHS-895-KHS-897-Independent-Study-Form and submit to the SKHS Program Coordinator.

Taking Courses Outside of SKHS?

SKHS graduates who wish to take any course in other graduate programs within Queen’s University, should complete an Academic Change Form (ACF) and have BOTH the course instructor and your supervisor sign it BEFORE sending it to

Students can access course schedules of other departments in SOLUS. Course catalogues can be found here: SGSPA Academic Calendar - Courses of Instruction

SKHS Course Catalogue

The SKHS Graduate Course Catalogue lists all courses offered by our graduate program. Please note that not all courses listed in the catalogue are offered in any one year. If a course is not offered in one year, it is often offered in the subsequent year. 

The relationship between students and their supervisors is a critical part of developing research projects, theses, and dissertations. Though it is the responsibility of students to initiate action and meet all degree requirement deadlines, the supervisor is expected to regularly assist the students' progression. 

Graduate Supervision Policy

Students and their supervisors should familiarize themselves with the Graduate Supervision Policy, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of graduate students, graduate supervisors and graduate programs. The Policy also includes a detailed conflict resolution process that is unique to managing conflict that may out of the student-supervisor relationship.

SGSPA offers several resources for facilitating positive supervisory relationships. Students and supervisors are encouraged to use the following if helpful:

Graduate Supervision Handbook

Setting Expectations Guide Workbook

Navigating Graduate Student Concerns: A Resource Guide for Graduate Students

Productive Supervisory Relationships: Making Assumptions Explicit (a one-page conversation guide)

The comprehensive examination is a key milestone in our doctoral program. The exam measures a PhD student's academic competencies in topic areas related to their research and thesis. It is intended to provide the student with a learning opportunity to further develop critical perspectives from which to make original contributions.

The focus and scope of the comprehensive exam are determined by the examining committee and may be tailored to the needs of the student in relation to their background and proposed research. 

The comprehensive examination normally begins during a student's third term of study. The expectation is that the examination is completed within the first 18-20 months of study. 

In SKHS, we have two examination processes: one for students in the Sociocultural Studies of Sport, Health and the Body research stream, and another for students in the Health Promotion, Biomechanics/Neuromechanics, Physiology, and Epidemiology research streams. 

For a detailed outline of comprehensive examination processes and expectations, please review: 

Socio-Cultural PhD Comprehensive Exam Timeline and Instructions

Science PhD Comprehensive Exam Timeline and Instructions


SKHS master's students begin working on their thesis proposals during the third term of study, while doctoral students begin during or immediately after their comprehensive examination period. For master's and doctoral students, the thesis proposal is typically between 10 and 20 pages, double spaced. The format of the proposal may vary across research areas, but generally it will include the following components: 

  1. Rationale - a brief description of the significance of the study. The rationale should explain why the study is relevant to already existing or ongoing work in the field(s) of research. 
  2. Literature Review - a concise review of relevant literature in the field of research. The literature review should contextualize the proposal's rationale. 
  3. Problem Statement - a clear description of the specific problem to be studied and possible limitations of the study. 
  4. Proposed Methodology - a description of methods for data collection and analysis. For students who intend to engage with human research participants, further ethics clearance may be required. 
  5. References - the proposal should use consistent citational practices and should include references in the style that is most appropriate for the research area.  

Thesis Proposal Meeting

As students prepare their formal Thesis Proposal, they must work with their supervisor to form a Thesis Advisory Committee. The Thesis Advisory Committee should be formed before the student engages in significant research (e.g., data collection and/or data analysis).

The Thesis Advisory Committee includes the student’s supervisor and/or co-supervisor and two other faculty members (one of whom must be an SKHS faculty member, the other of whom may be from another Queen’s department or another university). Community experts or other specialists may be asked to participate when appropriate.

The Thesis Advisory Committee will meet to discuss and approve a student’s Thesis Proposal. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a consultative process for the student to ensure that:

  1. The quantity and quality of the research plan is well defined and feasible. The thesis project is achievable.
  2. The proposed methodology is appropriate.
  3. The student is prepared to undertake the work.
  4. The student, supervisor and committee agree to scope of the thesis project identified.

 Each member of the Committee must be provided with a copy of the student’s Thesis Proposal at least five working days in advance of the meeting date. The supervisor will record the Committee’s discussion using the Thesis Proposal Committee FormThis form must be signed by all Committee members and the student.

Often, students are required to make amendments to their Thesis Proposal. These amendments should be outlined on the Committee meeting form and once made, must be approved by the Committee.

Final Submission

The following documents must be submitted to the SKHS Graduate Coordinator:

  1. The signed Thesis Proposal Committee Form
  2. A PDF version of the approved proposal
  3. If the original proposal required revisions, confirmation by email that the revisions were approved by the advisory committee

These documents will be placed in the student’s file.

The following pages are intended to guide graduate students and their supervisors in arranging their oral thesis examinations and degree completions. Students/supervisors must notify the SKHS Graduate Program Coordinator of oral thesis exams at least 10 working days in advance for master's, and 30 days in advance for doctoral.

MSc Degree Completion

MA Degree Completion

PhD Degree Completion

Pattern 2 Master's Degree Completion

The School of Kinesiology and Health Studies is an interdisciplinary department that aims to promote diverse scholarship on human movement, health, and well-being. The SKHS graduate programs play a crucial role in fulfilling the School's interdisciplinary mission as graduate students and faculty produce a breadth of research showing the interconnectedness of different intellectual approaches and fields of study. The Graduate Seminar Series is a unique opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to celebrate the vast scope of our program and to advance the multi-disciplinary conversation across research fields, groups and labs.


Attendance at Graduate Seminar is mandatory for master's students in years 1-2, and doctoral students in years 1-4. Students must attend a minimum of 80% of the total number of seminars offered during an academic year. The Graduate Program Coordinator will distribute 

2023-2024 Graduate Seminar Schedule

Note: all SKHS staff and students will receive an email invitation to these sessions with information about the time and location of the sessions.

September 13, 2023 – SKHS Graduate Seminar Committee

They will introduce the structure of the series for 2023-2024.

October 18, 2023 – Dr. Courtney M. Cox, University of Oregon

She will present her book project,Double Crossover: Gender, Politics, and Performance in Basketball, which considers how Black women and non-binary athletes maneuver through the global sports-media complex.

November 1, 2023 – Dr. Jennifer Turnnidge, Queen’s University

She has received her PhD in Sports Psychology from SKHS. She will present her research in coaching and behaviour, as well as her journey from the SKHS graduate program to her current role as a Health Education Researcher & Consultant with the Office of Professional Development and Educational Scholarship at Queen’s.

December 6, 2023 – Elaine Power, Samantha King, Mary Louise Adams, SKHS

They will present Violence and Safety on Campus: Historical Roots and Contemporary Contexts. Following the targeted stabbing of a faculty member and two students in a Gender Issues course at Waterloo in the summer of 2023, we will consider how to ensure the safety of instructors, TAs, students and staff.

January 31, 2024 – Gerome Manson, SKHS

He will present “The Way You Move”: Investigating the sensory contributions to action, perception, and learning.

February 28, 2024 – Christopher DeLuca, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University

He, will present research on artificial intelligence and pedagogy.

March 27, 2024 – Mahadeo Sukhai,Vice President of Research for the Canadian Institute for the Blind

He will offer insights as the lead of a research program focused on social determinants of health and inclusion for people living with sight loss in Canada.

April 17 – Jeffrey Wammes, Department of Psychology, Queen’s University

He will introduce their research on the relationship between learning, experience and the shaping of memory. Jeffrey’s research considers the costs of divided attention, the benefits of active learning tasks, and the changes in patterns of brain activity elicited by regularities in our environment.

A Teaching Assistantship (TA) is a contractual agreement between the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies (Queen’s University) and a graduate student to provide a specified number of hours of teaching support during a term. All Teaching Assistants and TA contracts are protected by the PSAC 901 Unit 1 - Collective Agreement.

Teaching Assistantships serve several functions:

  • They provide teaching support to the undergraduate programs of the School.
  • They are a basic source of financial support for graduate students.
  • They are an important part of the professional development of graduate students.

More details can be found in the SKHS Teaching Assistant Handbook

SGSPA Regulations

Students wishing to make changes to their registration status should consult the Admission and Registration of the SGSPA Academic Calendar as it outlines regulations pertaining to:

  • Parental Leave
  • Medical Leave
  • Compassionate Leave
  • Gender Affirmation Leave
  • Transfers from full-time to part-time status
  • Transfers from On-Campus to Off-Campus
  • Extensions of Time Limits

Request forms for registration changes can be found here: SGSPA Forms