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Doctorate (PhD)


How does the Doctorate (PhD) in Aging and Health Program Work?

Program Overview

The PhD in Aging and Health has been designed to be completed at a distance by working professionals. The program is offered full-time (48 months), through a blended format of online learning and short onsite sessions in Kingston. The blended format of onsite intensives and online components couples networking and experiential opportunities with the flexibility of distance learning. 

PhD in Aging and Health graduates will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast research methodologies and methods in Aging and Health
  2. Design and carry out independent research in Aging and Health
  3. Understand general and specialized discipline specific knowledge of Aging and Health in Canadian society
  4. Develop the knowledge base of Aging and Health across multiple academic discipline

PhD in Aging and Health students are required to take 2 core courses (6 credits), 2 elective courses (6 credits), a comprehensive examination and a written thesis with an oral defense over 48 months (4 years). The program schedule is mapped out in the graphic above. The elective pattern that appears is one stuggestion of how a student may complete the 2 electives. Depending on elective availability students may consider an alternative sequence.

The core course are (all courses are 3-credit-unit courses):

  • AGHE 901 – Knowledge Translation and Uptake
  • AGHE 903 – Critical Analysis of Theories of Aging 

The 900 level elective courses are (all courses are 3.0 credit-unit courses):

  • AGHE 900 – Qualitative Research Methods
  • AGHE 902 – Statistical Methods for Aging Research
  • AGHE 904 – Foundations of Quantitative Research

PhD in Aging and Health students are also able to take 800 level Aging and Health elective courses. Names of these electives are available in the Course Description section.

Courses listed in the Aging and Health Graduate Calendar represent the range of Aging and Health (AGHE) graduate course offerings in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. 

The PhD in Aging and Health program is unique in that it is truly multi-disciplinary and offered in a blended on-site/on-line learning format. There are two on-site sessions annually (3-4 days each) and the remainder of the program is completed through online coursework and interaction with the professors and fellow students. Registered students are not required to actually live in Kingston. Onsite session attendance is mandatory for PhD in Aging and Health students.

  • Onsite session in August
  • Onsite session in late March/early April

All other learning throughout the PhD in Aging and Health Program is online, mostly asynchronous. In addition, students are in regular contact with their faculty supervisor(s), especially in the later part of the program when they are conducting their research for their dissertation.

These onsite sessions are held at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre, a conference facility on the Queen’s University Campus.

PhD in Aging and Health students will pay an annual program fee that covers the cost of accommodation and meals during the onsite session, as well as some course-related learning materials throughout the program. For more information on the program fee please go to the Admission & Fees section

PhD in Aging and Health students are expected to successfully complete their comprehensive examination prior to the fourth term of study in the program.

The examination will be composed of a written examination that evaluates the student’s knowledge of the broad field of aging and health, and interdisciplinary perspectives on a particular topic relevant to the student’s research focus.

The thesis will be publicly defended. The final thesis will consist of a scholarly document that complies with the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies regulations.

To learn more about the thesis topics our students and alumni are doing, go to Our Community

Admission & Fees

Please note that the application portal for fall 2024 entry is now open.  

  • Applications are due no later than February 15, 2024 

Please contact the Graduate Assistant ( if you have any questions.


For admission to the Aging and Health PhD program, applicants must have a master's degree in a related discipline. Admission standards will be upper second-class standing (B+) or above for previous degree(s). Please be aware that official transcripts from each university previously attended are required.

At the time of application, official transcripts for all current and previous universities attended can be uploaded to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA) online application site.

Note: If you receive and accept an offer of admission to the program, we will require you to make arrangements for us to receive an official hard copy transcript that shows that the degree has been granted and the date of graduation, for each degree completed, from the university’s Registrar’s Office (or equivalent).

The transcripts should be mailed directly from the issuing institution to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA), Queen’s University, Gordon Hall Room 425, 74 Union Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6.

Two reference letters are required. At least one of these reference must be an academic reference for applicants who have graduated from university less than five years prior to application. Applicants who have graduated from their most recent degree more than five years prior may submit exclusively professional references if they wish. Referees should be either previous or current supervisors of the applicant's work (professional or academic). An applicant's relationship to a professional referee could be collaborative in nature (e.g., having worked on a project or team together); however, the relationship should not be personal in nature (e.g., a family member, friend, or any other conflict of interest).

Your referees will be contacted by the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs via email, and asked to provide their reference using an online reference form. The referees listed will NOT be contacted until your application has been successfully submitted and the application fee has been received.

Applicants are required to send their resume to the Graduate Assistant ( 

Please include any skills and abilities that you feel are relevant to your area of study, as well as any leadership experience, continuing education, community involvement, etc.

Additionally, applicants can provide employment information in order of relevance to your area of study.

The statement of interest should outline career goals, how a PhD in Aging and Health will help achieve those goals, and general area of research interest. If an applicant has reached out to a faculty member in the department for potential supervision, this information should be included.

Satisfactory results in an accepted English language proficiency test must be confirmed as part of the application process. The list of accepted tests of English language proficiency and the minimum score(s) required for admission into graduate programs can be found on the Queen's School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs web site.

Tuition and Fees

PhD in Aging and Health students will pay to cover the costs of accommodation and meals during the on-site intensives. Students are required to fund their travel to and from Kingston.

Information on tuition and other fees are available through Queen’s University Office of the University Registrar website

How to Apply?

Complete applications are reviewed and offers are made on an on-going basis by the program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

When you have completed all the sections, you can submit your application. At this point, you are asked to pay the non-refundable application fee on-line (currently $110 CDN). Remember, you must be able to pay the fee on-line with a Visa or MasterCard number, in order to complete your application on-line.

To continue your application process please proceed to
» School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs website.