How can I get a Ph.D in Canada in 2023?

Written by Michael Nz. on March 8, 2023

8 min read
1 Comment

Be the first to know about a new Scholarship!

Don't miss any Scholarship deadline, sign up for our FREE Scholarships email notifications.

Canada scholarship

Most international students come to Canada for their graduate studies. The reason is that Canada’s education system is world-class and its programs are top-notch. Also, you can work while doing a PhD program in Canada. So, learn about the best universities to study quality PhD programs in Canada.

Are you looking for Ph.D. opportunities in Canada? Do you want to continue your studies by acquiring a PhD in this country? Read below to find out how you can do a Ph.D. in Canada.

Canada is actually one of the best places to travel to for Ph.D. programs. In order for you to earn a PhD there, you will need to complete your original research and defend your thesis. Ph.D. programs here take a maximum of three years to complete. Some students complete theirs in two years, but this is determined by that particular institution, as well as your course of study.  

Once you complete your Ph.D., you will have the opportunity to work with leading experts and take advantage of modern, high-tech facilities. It will also give you the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most generous post-study work visa programs in the world.

So, in this post, we will show you how to get PhD opportunities in Canada, the requirements, the duration, and the cost. This really worked for some friends. We hope it works for you too.

Table of Contents.

  • Why should I study for a PhD in Canada?
  • How long does it take to get a PhD in Canada?
  • What are the requirements for a PhD in Canada for international students?
  • How much does it cost to get a PhD in Canada?
  • Best PhD Programs in Canada?
  • PhD Opportunities in Canada with Scholarship
  • PhD Programs without GRE in Canada
  • How can I apply for a PhD in Canada?
    • Conclusion

Why should I study for a PhD in Canada?

One of the most important reasons why international students choose to come to Canada for postgraduate studies is the high quality of education.

If a student acquires a doctoral degree from a Canadian university, it acts as a mark of trust and excellence. Meanwhile, most of the universities in Canada are ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2023 and around 27 in the World University Rankings 2023.

Canada was the first country to link its institutions and libraries to the Internet through its innovative SchoolNet program. Therefore, almost 90% of Canadian homes are connected to the Internet.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) reports that Canadians rank second in the world for the average number of hours spent online per user (2 hours per month). This will really help you to do proper research online for your PhD thesis.

Canada is very peaceful and that is why it has been consistently ranked as one of the safest countries in the world.

The Global Peace Index in 2018 listed Canada as the sixth most peaceful country in the world. As an international student coming for a PhD program, you will enjoy the same rights as any other Canadian.

International students in Canada are eligible to work up to 20 hours per week during school terms and full-time (30 hours per week) during summer vacation.

In reality, most international students do not need a work permit to work while studying even if their job is on campus or off campus. Your study permit will show if you are allowed to work off-campus.

Finally, education in Canada stands out for its strong focus on research and development. The Canadian government always funds research in the fields of medicine, telecommunications, agriculture, and environmental science and technology.

How long does it take to get a PhD in Canada?

Most doctoral courses require a minimum of three years of full-time study and research. Some students actually study longer but the maximum duration is six years.

In most cases, doctoral universities in Canada require students to have a master’s degree in order to be admitted to the program. On the other hand, some institutions offer Ph.D. stream master’s pathways that begin with one or two years of master’s or master’s degree studies.

What are the requirements for a Ph.D. in Canada for international students?

First of all, the minimum requirement to obtain a Ph.D. in Canada is a master’s degree in a related subject. But in the UK and US, students rarely go directly from BA to PhD.

Some universities may allow you to do this, but will typically extend the length of your PhD to accommodate additional training at the master’s level.

Second, you must provide a grade point average (GPA) instead of submitting just your final result for your degree. To be eligible for any PhD program in Canada, you must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Third, you must provide a score from a Graduate Records Test (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) before applying.

This will give universities the opportunity to assess the suitability of applicants for the doctoral program. It will also help them decide between candidates with equally good academic records.

In addition, you can study for a PhD in exceptional cases if you have “accelerated admission”. What this means is that you can do a Ph.D. without a master’s degree. You will need to have a first-class degree in the last two years of your undergraduate degree and research publications.

Finally, you will have the option of completing your Ph.D. program in English or French.

But this will depend on the province in which you choose to study. The most common language to learn is English, but universities in Québec and some in New Brunswick generally teach in French.

Just keep in mind that you must demonstrate proficiency in the language in which you choose to study in order to complete your PhD. This option is required for students for whom French and English are not their native languages.

How much does it cost to get a Ph.D. in Canada?

Acquiring a PhD in Canada does not cost much. It is not so cheap for international students. This is because they have to pay more than Canadian students.

The fact is that the cost is cheaper than acquiring a PhD in countries like the US and the UK. The cost of a PhD differs between different universities and changes periodically. The scholarship, on the other hand, can help make it cheaper.

The average cost of a PhD in Canada is around CAD 10,000-20,000 (USD 7,500-15,000) each year. With the exception of fees, students may also have to pay for other things like accommodation, living expenses, etc.

For example, the cost of a PhD at the University of British Columbia is CA$7,641 (US$5,760) a year for Masters by Research or PhDs. The University of Manitoba charges CA$ 10,240 (~US$7,700) in years one and two.

Best Ph.D. Programs in Canada?

Canada is a country rich in cultural heritage with a very good standard of living. A PhD opportunity in Canada offers the student a high-quality education at renowned institutions.

The rate at which international students come to Canada to pursue PhDs is mind-boggling.

Some PhD programs in Canada have all the facilities for research and their curriculum is top-notch. They are also offered by some of the best universities in Canada. Graduates from these PhD fields have better job prospects around the world.

Below are the best PhD programs in Canada:

  • Francophonie and Diversity (PhD)
  • Theological Studies (PhD)
  • Management (PhD)
  • Information (PhD)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering (PhD)
  • Social Sciences (PhD)
  • Theoretical and Computational Science (PhD)
  • Management – Accounting and Control (PhD)
  • Ministry (PhD)
  • Education: With a Focus on Educational Sustainability (PhD)
  • Philosophy (PhD)
  • Communication, New Media and Cultural Studies (PhD)
  • Civil Engineering (PhD)
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering (PhD)
  • Materials Engineering (PhD)
  • Mining Engineering (PhD)
  • Mechanical Engineering (PhD)

PhD Opportunities in Canada with Scholarship

There are several PhD scholarships available in Canada for international students to make study more affordable. The Canadian government runs a useful website with a search tool to find scholarships based on your country of origin.

Another platform that you can get is the official websites of Canadian universities. These websites may provide their own scholarship search tool to help you find one that fits your needs.

Some of the Ph.D. scholarships available for international students in Canada include:

PhD Programs without GRE in Canada

There are a couple of doctoral programs at various Canadian universities that do not require GRE scores. The following universities in Canada offer doctoral programs to international students without a GRE:

  • Brock University
  • Carleton University
  • Concordia University
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Lakehead University
  • Laurentian University
  • University of Laval
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Royal Roads University
  • Trent University
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of Manitoba
  • The University of New Brunswick
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Prince Edward Island University
  • University of Regina
  • Fraser Valley University
  • University of Winnipeg

How can I apply for a Ph.D. in Canada?

The two ways you can apply for a PhD program in Canada include:

  • Find an advertised project and apply to it. Many projects already have a scholarship or financial aid that entails. Unlike a conventional job opportunity, these types of projects look for the ideal candidate.
  • Apply to a doctoral program at a university with your own research project. The first step here is to identify a suitable supervisor and choose a research topic.

Depending on the Ph.D. course you are applying for, you will need to provide the university with the following documents:

  • Evidence of your previous study, grades, confirmation of your final result, and GPA. Universities in Canada may require transcripts of your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as information about your specific modules and qualifications.
  • Information about the details and plans of your project. If you choose your own topic, you will need to submit a research proposal for it. But if you apply for an advertised opportunity, you’ll be asked to provide a personal statement explaining your interests and academic ambitions.
  • Two letters of recommendation. These will serve as academic references. Its referees should preferably be academics.  
  • Evidence of test scores from any language tests or graduate admission exams you are required to complete.

Deadlines for PhD applications in Canada are usually set by the institutions. We recommend that you apply in the spring to start in the fall or vice versa.


Of all the many options available to students, Canada always comes first. In fact, the number of international students coming to Canada for PhD opportunities has increased dramatically in recent years.

Universities in Canada that offer doctoral programs are among the best in the world. Ph.D. holders from institutions in Canada are always in high demand from various top companies around the world.

International students wishing to pursue a Ph.D. in Canada have much to gain. Benefits include world-class education, Canada’s tech wave, work-while-study, research opportunities, and security.

Frequent Questions

Does Canada pay for Ph.D.?
It is common for Canadian universities to offer some form of funding in exchange for Ph.D. students completing work within their department.

Sometimes this is additional paid work, treated as a salary. Other times it may be a condition of a referral funding package or Ph.D. scholarship.

Who is eligible for a Ph.D. in Canada?
Requirements to study in Canada at the Ph.D. level vary between universities and courses, but you generally need the following: A Master’s degree in a related field, with strong qualifications and proven research ability and potential.

One thought on “How can I get a Ph.D in Canada in 2023?

  1. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for more Scholarships