Applicants for the Cultural, Social and Political Thought graduate program are expected to already have a strong background in the theoretical problems within their field of research, and are wishing to pursue a rigorous research agenda on a topic of theoretical importance in their field. 

CSPT is not a stand-alone program. Instead, interested students are required to be admitted to one of the participating departments or an interdisciplinary degree program. 

Participating departments include Anthropology, English, Environmental Studies, History, Political Science, and Sociology. 

Application Process

You should apply to the CSPT program at the same time that you apply for entry into your chosen MA or PhD program.

Ready to start your application? Apply here.

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The CSPT admissions committee usually reviews applications in April. The committee will contact you as soon as they make their decision, and official university notification will arrive shortly afterwards.

Program Entry Options

You have two options for applying to the CSPT program depending on your graduate program:

Option A: concentration in one of the participating department graduate programs.

If you are applying to a graduate program with a participating department, you apply for CSPT program at the same time. The option to apply for the CSPT concentration is available when submitting the online application for your home department. 

Note: you must be accepted by one of the participating departments before you will be considered for admission to the CSPT Program.

Option B: concentration in an individual interdisciplinary graduate program

For students whose proposed fields of research fall entirely outside of the areas covered by the four home departments, submit an application directly to the Faculty of Graduate Studies as an individual interdisciplinary student

Note: you must be accepted into an Individual Interdisciplinary program before you can be considered for admission to the CSPT Program.

Required Documents

Whether you are applying under option A or option B, your application must contain the following documents in addition to the requirements of your home department:

MA program

  • a one- or two-page statement of intent, indicating your specific interests and prospective thesis topic;
  • a sample of academic writing in English demonstrating your ability to produce high quality theoretical work and reach beyond the limits of your own discipline.

PhD program

  • a two-page statement of intent, indicating your specific interests and prospective dissertation topic;
  • a sample of academic writing in English demonstrating your ability to produce high quality theoretical work and to reach beyond the limits of your own discipline.

Note: all applicants are expected to have some background in theory.

Application Documents 

All application documents are required to be uploaded during the application process. Please do not submit any documents to the department directly.

We can begin the initial evaluation of your file based on the unofficial documents you submit as part of your application.

Before you are offered admission to your program you are required to submit official documents to receive a final full offer of admission. Official documents will not be returned and become the property of the University of Victoria. If your originals are irreplaceable, you should submit copies for evaluation purposes and be able to provide the originals for comparison.

Application Dates

Application deadlines vary depending upon your home department. Visit your department's admissions website to find the deadline to apply.

After Applying

Acceptance into a particular department does not guarantee entry into the CSPT Program. The CSPT Admissions Committee is interdisciplinary. We look for students who (1) have a strong interest in and aptitude for theoretical work within their own disciplines, and (2) want to reach out beyond those disciplines to make better sense of the world.

The CSPT admissions committee generally meets in April to review applications. Applicants are notified of the committee’s decision as soon as it is made, and hear officially from the University shortly after that.

In some cases, we delay our final decision on a student’s case until after the first term of graduate study. In these instances, we grant a student probationary status, which allows the student to enroll in a first term CSPT seminar as a matter of right. All CSPT seminars are open to other students with permission of the instructor. You may be interested in a particular seminar even though you do not want to become a regular student in the CSPT program. You are most welcome to take part on that basis. You may decide that you are interested in CSPT after you become a student at UVic, in which case you can apply for admission at that time. Make an appointment to see the CSPT Director if you are in that position, but remember that only students in Anthropology, English, Environmental Studies, French, German and Slavic Studies, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Interdisciplinary programs can presently qualify for the CSPT designation.

Further Information

If you have further questions about applying to the CSPT program, please contact program director  or program assistant

For department-specific inquiries, consult the relevant admissions information:

Address any general graduate admissions inquiries to:

Graduate Admissions and Records
University of Victoria
PO Box 3025 STN CSC
Victoria, BC V8W 3P2
Telephone: (250) 472-4657
Fax: (250) 472-5420