There are hundreds of world-class universities in Canada, and most of them offer postgraduate programs recognized around the world. For study abroad students, Canada is one of the world’s top destinations.
Two reasons stand out in making Canada a top destination for international students. The first is the breath-taking beauty of the country while the second is the multicultural diversity of the country.
In terms of postgraduate education, Canadian universities are known to offer a wealth of research opportunities. In fact, over 30% of all research in the country are done in universities. This makes a Ph.D. program in Canada an exciting prospect with room to explore diverse interests.
Duration of Ph.D. in Canada
A typical Ph.D. program in Canada takes between 4 to 6 years to complete.
Cost of Study of Ph.D. in Canada
International students going for Ph.D. in Canadian universities should expect to pay about twice what Canadian citizens are paying for the same program.
Specific tuition varies from one University to the next. The tuition also depends on the particular program you enroll in.
Full details of tuition and other fees can be obtained from the websites of the various universities.
Admission requirements for Ph.D. in Canada
These are the general admission requirements for all Ph.D. programs in Canada. In addition to these, additional requirements might be needed for different universities.
The general requirements are:
- A good master’s degree from a recognized University
- Proof of Proficiency in either French or English Language depending on which language your chosen program is taught in. This is required for students who neither french nor English is their first language.
- A very good score in graduate tests/exams like Graduate Management Admission Test or Graduate Record Examination.
- Exemptions – exceptional students who graduated with a first class bachelor’s degree can be fast-tracked into a Ph.D. program. Students in this category would not need a master’s degree.
However, apart from a first class degree, students must show high levels of intelligence in research by showing evidence of having published quality research in top academic publications.
Steps to applying for Ph.D. in Canada
The following are the general steps for applying for a Ph.D. in Canada. Additionally, steps might be required by various universities.
- You have to decide the Ph.D. program you are interested in and the school of choice
- Visit the university’s website, search for a research topic and identify your supervisor for the given topic.
- Contact your supervisor for a letter of recommendation that would be included in the university admission form (some universities do not need this)
- You can also submit your own research topic if you don’t want to do a university-approved research. State clearly in your proposal why you want to do that particular research.
- Then apply online, attaching the necessary documents and paying the required fees.
The following documents might also be needed by some universities
- Letter of recommendation from at least two people. Your referees should be academics preferably.
- Your academic transcripts, emailed by your home University to the Canadian university you’d chosen.
- A detailed CV
- Language proficiency exam results.
- For arts/humanities Ph.D., a portfolio of creative works could be required.
- Apply for a study permit once you are accepted by your university. The student permit allows you to stay and study in Canada.
Remember to take health insurance and also visit the university’s website for other information like orientation dates and schedule.
Funding and scholarship options
Fortunately, there are many Ph.D. scholarships available for international students. Most of these scholarships are granted based on academic merit. So you stand a chance of getting one if you are academically brilliant.
Places to look for suitable websites are the Canadian government scholarships website and the university’s websites. You are sure to come across one that is a perfect fit for you.
You may decide to explore this option to help fund your studies in Canada. Many universities have vacancies for research assistants.
A research assistant is mostly part-time and paid. The job involves helping your supervisor carry out various tasks related to academic research and other school work.
As a research assistant, you might also be involved in teaching some undergraduate courses, grading undergraduate papers, collating exams scores and so on.
Inquire from your university of choice for more information about this option.
You can explore the option of working part-time to help fund your stay in Canada. International students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week part-time.
During the semester break, the work can be extended to full time until school resumes
You would need a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada. However, the best advice is to fully explore scholarships because a Ph.D. might not give you enough time to work part-time