Additional requirements

Candidates for all master’s programs in the School of Health and Human Performance must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. As well, candidates should have earned an excellent academic record during four years of undergraduate study.

Note that entry into Dalhousie's graduate programs is very competitive and not all applicants who meet the minimum requirements are guaranteed admission. Normally, successful applicants have academic records and qualifications that are well above the minimum requirement.

Although Dalhousie's minimum requirement is a 3.0 GPA (B), the School of Health and Human Performance requires a minimum 3.5 GPA. Students with a GPA less than a 3.7 cannot be considered for the Internal Graduate Scholarships but are still eligible to apply for Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships once accepted to the program.

Although the School of Health and Human Performance may accept a student to the program, the Faculty of Graduate Studies makes the final decision on all admissions and there are no appeals on admissions decisions. The official letter of acceptance is sent by the Dalhousie Registrar's Office.

How to apply

  1. Complete the graduate application form (online or print)
  2. Submit supporting documents to the academic department
    a) Required Documents for a Complete Graduate Application (download PDF - 271 KB)
    b) Additional Information Form (download PDF - 253 KB)

To be considered for internal funding, applications must be submitted by January 15th.
The fall term application deadline for international applicants is April 1st and Canadian applicants is June 1st.

Minimum requirements for all programs

  • Completion of a four-year bachelor's degree from a recognized university
  • A 3.5 GPA in the final two years of undergraduate study
  • A reasonable match of research interests between a potential thesis advisor and the student.
  • Completion of an introductory statistics course with a final grade of 'B' or better. (Stats course not required for MA Leisure students).
  • Completion of a research methods course.
  • Completion of a research methods course with a final grade of ‘B’ or better for MA, Leisure Studies.
  • Previous research experience is an asset.

Students are encouraged to apply for external funding.

Program-specific requirements

  • Health Promotion - Candidates must have a sufficient background in health promotion with at least 24 credit hours in health promotion or health-related courses.
  • Kinesiology - Candidates must have a sufficient background in kinesiology, and must hold a four-year honours or honours-equivalent degree in kinesiology or a related discipline.
  • Leisure Studies - Candidates must have a sufficient background in recreation, leisure studies, or a related field.

Applicants to the School of Health and Human Performance should be aware that a prior criminal conviction may render them unable to be licensed in their field of study upon graduation, or to be able to participate in some clinical fieldwork experience in agencies through their course of study. 

Admission types: Length of program

Applicants with appropriate qualifications are normally registered in the one-year master's program. Students from undergraduate programs in related fields (other than Health Promotion, Kinesiology, or Leisure Studies) will be considered for graduate study in the School of Health and Human Performance, but may be required to register in a two-year master's program. Please see additional requirements for each program listed below.

Qualifying work may be required of applicants whose background for advanced studies in Health Promotion, Kinesiology, or Leisure Studies is judged as less than adequate (please see details below).

The one-year program

Students with adequate backgrounds are normally admitted to the one-year program. This program has a one-year residency requirement; students must pay full fees for one year.

Students in Kinesiology normally complete a minimum of 27 credit hours, consisting of a thesis (worth 12 credit hours), 12 credit hours of course work (four three-credit hour classes) plus a three-credit hour seminar class.

Students in Health Promotion or Leisure Studies take five full credits (30 credit hours), consisting of a thesis (worth 12 credit hours) and 18 credit hours of course work (six three-credit courses).

Following the first year, thesis-only fees are paid. Students enrolled in the one-year program should expect to take 18 to 24 months of full-time work to complete the course of study. Normally, the one-year program must be completed within four years of initial registration.

The two-year program

Students with inadequacies in their backgrounds may be admitted to the two-year program. This involves the completion of a combination of undergraduate and graduate classes over a two-year period. Full fees must be paid for two years.

Students should expect to take the equivalent of six three-credit hour classes (18 credit hours) in each of the first two years of the program for a total of 12 three-credit hour classes (36 credit hours). The minimum number of three-credit hour classes required for the two-year program is 10 (30 credit hours) and the maximum is 18 (36 credit hours). These can be a mixture of graduate and undergraduate classes, but the minimum number of graduate classes required for the one-year program must be taken.

The requirements of the two-year degree also include a thesis worth 12 credit hours. Students in the two-year program should expect to take 24 to 36 months of full-time work to complete the program. Ordinarily, the two-year program must be completed in five years.

The qualifying year

A “qualifying year” student is a person with a bachelor's degree or its equivalent who meets normal faculty admission standards and in whom a department has expressed an interest as a potential graduate student, but who is without a sufficiently strong academic background in a particular discipline to be enrolled directly into a master's program. For example, a qualifying year may be used for a student to take an honours equivalency certificate, or to take a year of senior undergraduate classes in an area of deficiency in their undergraduate degree. Only in exceptional circumstances may a student be admitted to a qualifying year to upgrade a below-standard undergraduate degree or academic record.

Qualifying students can be full-time or part-time and can take as few as one three-credit hour class or as many as 10 three-credit classes chosen from undergraduate classes or a mixture of undergraduate and graduate classes. If advanced placement for the graduate classes is anticipated, this information must be specified in the comments section of the application form. Because it is a prerequisite, a qualifying program cannot be used to reduce the length of a subsequent regular graduate program.

Qualifying students are not eligible for scholarship or bursary support and must apply for admission to the appropriate graduate program in the usual way toward the end of the qualifying period. Qualifying students must pass all the classes with no grades below a B- and with an average of at least B, and fulfill any other requirement in order to be considered for admission.


For further information about admission requirements, please contact:

Graduate Program Secretary
Phone: (902) 494-2152