Admission requirements

A history of excellence

At the Dalhousie Medical School, we're proud of our long history of successful and well-respected alumni and with the right tools under your belt, you could be next in line. Make sure you have everything you need for success by ensuring that you meet our admission requirements.

Our admission requirements are consistent with those of Dalhousie's Faculty of Graduate Studies, with the exception of higher minimum requirements as follows:

MSc program

GPA requirement

Enrolment in the program is limited. If your application is successful, you'll be invited to an interview as part of the admission process. We prefer students whose background includes at least two of the following:

  • Work experience in a field related to community health
  • A demonstrated academic or research record
  • Training in a health profession

PhD program

GPA requirement

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum A-average (equivalent to 3.7/4.3 at Dalhousie) in the most recent two years of graduate study
  • A thesis-based master's degree in epidemiology or a related discipline* and demonstrated research competency**
  • Confirmation from a supervisor who is willing to support the student educationally and, if the student does not obtain outside support, financially

*In addition to the standard program requirements, students who do not have prior course work in advanced biostatistics or epidemiology will normally be required to take additional courses in these areas as part of their program. Exact course requirements will be determined by the admissions committee during the admission process (see Appendix).

** In exceptional circumstances, an applicant completing a Master’s thesis with an intention to submit the Master’s thesis as a demonstration of research competency is eligible to apply. Such an applicant must defend his/her Master’s thesis proposal successfully by December 31 in the year prior to the anticipated admission to the PhD program and defend his/her Master’s thesis successfully by June 1 in the anticipated admission to the PhD program and submit the thesis to the Admissions Committee. The final admission decision will be made after the Committee’s review of the thesis.

Applicants completing a master's program in Epidemiology and Applied Health Research at Dalhousie:

In order to apply for the PhD program, MSc theses must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies by its deadline for graduation in October in the anticipated year of PhD program admission.

Other considerations:

  • Successful completion of a master's degree will not guarantee admission to the PhD program in Epidemiology and Applied Health Research
  • To be admitted to this program, applicants must have demonstrated an ability to proceed through a rigorous academic program in a timely fashion
  • During the admission process, all applicants are expected to describe their plans to finance their PhD studies, including intentions to apply for external funding (e.g. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Awards
  • Self-funded students would not be prioritized at the admission stage and would be admitted on a case-by-case basis


English language proficiency

English is the language of study at Dalhousie; therefore all applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their capacity to pursue a graduate-level program in English before admission (see chart below). The language competency test may be waived if the applicant has completed a degree at a recognized university where the language of instruction is English in a country where English is one of the national languages. The claims must be verified by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was written.

Dalhousie accepts a number of different English proficiency test scores:

Test Name Minimum Acceptable Score
Internet-based TOEFL (Academic iBT) 92
IELTS (Academic) 7
CanTest* 4.5 (with no band score lower than 4.0)
CAEL 70 with no band score lower than 60
English for Academic Purposes Level 2 A-
Pearson English Test PTE Academic overall score of 65 and nothing below 54

* CanTest scores will be accepted until August 15, 2022. 

Please note there are a number of programs that require higher test scores. See below for a list of these programs.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies is accepting the results of at home TOEFL tests and the CAEL ONLINE test as official. The use of these tests for admission to graduate studies at Dalhousie may be reassessed in the future.

Department-specific English language requirements

Department TOEFL iBT IELTS Academic EAP 2
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 100 7.5 A
Biomedical Engineering 100 7.5 A
Business Administration 105 8 A+
Community Health & Epidemiology 100 7.5 A
Electronic Commerce 100 7.5 A
Environmental Studies 100 7.5 A
Health Informatics 100 7.5 A
Information Management 105 8 A+
Interdisciplinary PhD Program 100 7.5 A
Law 100 7.5 A
Medical Neuroscience 100 7.5 A
Microbiology and Immunology 100 7.5 A
Periodontics 100 7.5 A
Pharmacology (intern. students) 100 7.5 A
Philosophy 100 7.5 A
Physiology and Biophysics 100 7.5 A
Political Science 100 7.5 A