Study PhD in Canada – A complete guide in 2021

Study PhD in Canada – A complete guide in 2020

Let’s say you’re hoping to do your PhD soon and Canada cross your mind, but you’re not sure if go through with it as a study destination. Well, you clicked on the right post, this is a complete guide on all you need to know to study PhD in Canada. This also provides information on the cost to study PhD in Canada, scholarships to study PhD in Canada, how to apply for PhD in Canada and available PhD programs in Canada for international students.

I answer this and many other questions that plague your mind about doing your PhD in Canada in this post. It’s going to be worth your time. Welcome aboard!!!


An increasingly attractive and multicultural study destination, Canada is a great option to study PhD for international students. Offering a wealth of research opportunities to help you expand your expertise. More than a third of the country’s overall research is conducted at Canadian universities, and this work contributes billions to the country’s economy.

There are hundreds of world-class Universities to study for a Ph.D. in Canada. Most of them offer postgraduate programs recognized around the world. For study abroad students, Canada is one of the world’s top destinations.

A PhD in Canada will give you the opportunity to work with leading experts and take advantage of modern high-tech facilities. Once you’ve earned your doctorate, you’ll take advantage of one of the world’s most generous post-study work visa schemes.

So if you’re looking for reasons to study PhD in Canada, you will find many. Ranging from geography to quality of education. You just made an excellent choice considering PhD study in Canada.

As you read on, you will discover scholarships to study PhD in Canada!!!

Why should I Study PhD in Canada?

Like earlier stated, if you’re looking for reasons to study PhD in Canada, you will find many. It’s advisable to be convinced, that’s the essence of this post. Here are some reasons to do your PhD study in Canada for international students;

  • Canada is a beautiful country. Its breath-taking beauty draws tourists and people to have their vacation. You can count on the geography.
  • Canada is a home to diverse cultures. Thus gives you an opportunity to learn new cultures while getting your degree.
  • In terms of postgraduate education, we know Canadian universities to offer a wealth of research opportunities. In fact, over 30% of all research in the country is done in universities. This makes a Ph.D. program in Canada an exciting prospect with room to explore diverse interests.
  • You can work as a lecturer assistant if you’re good at what you do. This is open to all international students, regardless of nationality.
  • Canada’s oldest universities date back to the seventeenth century, but the research they carry out continues to be world-leading, with six institutions in the top 150 of all three major global rankings. So you’re sure of studying in internationally renowned universities.
  • PhD study in Canada is cheaper than in the neighbouring USA, with some universities reducing – or even waiving – international fees.
  • Successfully completing your doctorate will entitle you to live and work in Canada for up to three years and perhaps take up a pathway to permanent residency, or even citizenship.
  • From the Great Lakes of Ontario and Québec and the Canadian Rocky Mountains and Prairies of Alberta to the unspoilt wilderness of the vast Northwest Territories: there’s plenty to explore (and perhaps even research) during your PhD.

I know this sounds great, but before gearing into the application process consider cost to study PhD in Canada. We’ve outlined that below!!!

List of top 20 Canadian Universities in 2021 to study PhD

  • The University of Toronto
  • The University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • The University of Montreal
  • The University of Alberta
  • The University of Ottawa
  • The University of Calgary
  • The University of Waterloo
  • Western University ,
  • Dalhousie University
  • Laval University
  • Queen’s University ,
  • Simon Fraser University ,
  • The University of Manitoba
  • The University of Victoria
  • The University of Saskatchewan
  • York University ,
  • Carleton University
  • The University of Guelph

These are the top 20 best schools to study PhD in Canada. Getting into any of them is a plus to your certificate.

Read on to discover scholarships to study PhD in Canada!!!

Check these!!!

What are the Requirements to study PhD in Canada?

If you seek to apply for PhD in Canada, you need to meet up to the entry requirements and any other requirements. Thus is pertinent because you’re not the only one applying. Many international and resident students apply for PhD in Canada each year. To stand a chance, be “good”

The requirements to apply for PhD in Canada vary between universities and courses. Below are the general admission requirements for all PhD programs in Canada. However, aside from them, different universities can need additional requirements from the applicants.

  • A master’s degree in a related field, with strong grades and proven research ability and potential. This must come from a recognized university.
  • Proof of language proficiency, depending on which language your chosen program is taught in. If either language is not your first language and you haven’t previously studied in either language. (Some programs in French-speaking Quebec are conducted in both languages).
  • A strong score in a graduate admissions test such as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • 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.

Attach the following documents apply for PhD in Canada

  • 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 necessary.

This requirement applies for all PhD programs in Canada. Get these requirements ready to apply for PhD in Canada.

How do I apply for a PhD in Canada?

Although the admissions process can vary between Canadian universities, you must follow the following steps to apply for a PhD:

  1. Decide which PhD course you’d like to apply for, identifying your supervisor and chosen research topic. This may be an advertised, structured PhD in which the research is outlined by the university (particularly in the sciences), or (particularly in arts and humanities) you could suggest and outline your own research project with an open PhD. Once you’ve found a supervisor, some universities may ask for a letter of support from your chosen supervisor to be included in your application documents.
  2. If applying for an open PhD, you must submit a research proposal following the guidelines set by your university and outlining what you want to research, and why this is a worthwhile project.
  3. Apply online, paying the application fee and attaching these documents to your application.
  4. Submit these documents
    1. A statement of purpose
    2. Two or three letters of reference (including one from your intended supervisor). Your referees should be academic, where possible.
    3. Academic transcripts and degree certificates
    4. Writing sample (most likely for arts and humanities PhDs)
    5. Your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    6. Language test results, if needed
    7. Portfolio of creative work (if applying for arts/humanities PhD)
    8. Some Canadian universities may also ask you to attend an admission interview.
  5. Once accepted, the next step is to apply for your study permit, which acts as your student visa for your stay. You should also take out health insurance and check your university’s website for orientation advice.

With this, you will sure get in into any PhD programs in Canada.

Do you seek scholarships to study PhD in Canada? See some you can apply for below!!!

Read Also!!!

How much does it cost to study a PhD in Canada?

Tuition fees for a PhD in Canada for international students vary between universities and courses. It is usually twice that of the fees for Canadian students. You get to pay higher than Canadian residents.

An exception to this is the University of Toronto, where tuition fees for a PhD in Canada are the same for both international students and residents. This started from fall of 2018.

Like earlier started, there is no specific cost. But here’s what the cost to study PhD in Canada is like; the University of British Columbia charges CA$7,641 which is about US$5,760 per year while the University of Manitoba costs CA$$10,240 which is US$7,700.

The discrepancy in the cost to study PhD in Canada is one reason many international students seek other alternatives. One sure bet is that their quality of education is commendable.

Check out the available PhD programs in Canada below!!!

What PhD scholarships and other funding opportunities are available?

There are many scholarships to study PhD in Canada available for international students. These PhD scholarships are available to make studying in Canada more affordable. They base most of these scholarships 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 scholarship website and the university’s websites. You will come across one that is a perfect fit for you.

Some PhD scholarships to study in Canada include:

In addition, you can visit our homepage as there are a lot of scholarships to study PhD in Canada available for you.

Available PhD programs in Canada for international students

Below is a list of PhD programs in Canada for international students in 2021. Be the first to apply to any of these PhD programs in Canada and stand a chance to get admitted.

  • PhD Computer Science
    • University of Calgary, Canada

To discover more PhD programs in Canada, check Canadian school website.

Quick Read!!!

Frequently Asked Questions About PhD Study in Canada

How long are PhDs in Canada?

Most PhDs in Canada take about four to six years to complete.

Do I need an Interview to qualify for a PhD in Canada?

It’s not a must. Some universities in Canada may arrange a PhD interview to test your application and potential or get to know you better. If so, they may give you the opportunity to conduct your interview via Skype, or a similar video conferencing platform.

Can I work in Canada during my PhD?

Yes, you can. The option of working while studying is open to all international students. The option of working part-time will help fund your stay in Canada. They allow international students to work for up to 20 hours a week part time.

However, during the semester break, the work can be full time until school resumes.

But know that you would also need a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada. Notwithstanding, the best advice is to fully explore scholarships because a Ph.D. might not give you enough time to work part-time.

Can I work in Canada after my PhD?

Yes. As a PhD graduate you’ll be a great candidate for a range of jobs in higher education, research and other areas. Also, Canada will be very keen to keep you, and its post-study visa system makes that option as attractive as possible.

Canada’s post-graduation work permit (PGWP) allows international graduates from its universities to live and work in Canada for up to three years after completing a doctorate.

You must have studied for your PhD full-time and have successfully completed your programme. The fee is normally CAD $255 (USD $195) and the processing time is approximately 56 days for an online application. Once you have a PGWP, you may apply for permanent residence and eventually even Canadian citizenship.

When is the deadline for application for PhD in Canada?

Graduate schools will often set specific deadlines for Canadian PhD applications. Actual dates will vary, but apply in the spring for an autumn start, or vice versa. Allow enough time to put together all of your application materials (and sort your visa, if you need one).

What’s the average cost of living in Canada?

They require international students in Canada to have at least CAD $10,000 per year as part of their visa requirements, but the total cost of living in the country is likely to be higher than this. Your own expenses will vary depending on your needs, your lifestyle and, to some extent, the city or province you live in during your PhD.


There are many PhD programs in Canada for international students, start by checking the website of the school of yours. Then follow the procedures we gave on how to apply for PhD in Canada to secure one. If the cost to study PhD in Canada is high for you, consider scholarships to study PhD in Canada.

Once you secure a spot to study PhD in Canada, do well to get back to us and share your experience. We hope to hear from you.

Good luck!!!

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