Admissions & Funding


To qualify for admission to the IDPhD program, you must:

  • have completed a masters degree which includes a significant, research-based thesis as part of the program. Alternatively, you may hold a non-thesis-based masters degree and present evidence of substantial, independent research experience, such as first-authored and peer-reviewed papers in the research literature. Work you have submitted as such evidence MAY be sent out for review by a relevant Dalhousie expert.
  • have a combined GPA of 3.70 or higher, taking into account your Master’s degree and undergraduate coursework
  • have a high level of English proficiency.  If you speak English as an additional language, we will ask that you demonstrate your abilities through a language competency test.  
    • See "English Language Profficiency" section below for minimum test scores.
    • This requirement maybe waived if your degree is at a recognized university where the language of instruction is English and in a country where English is one of the official languages.  

The IDPhD program has admission requirements that exceed the general minimum requirements for doctoral degrees at the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). Exceptions to these requirements will only be made under extraordinary circumstances and such applicants will be required to show that they are highly likely to be successful in completing the IDPhD Program.  The committee will also take into account the experiences you have had since your degrees were awarded.


The IDPhD Program permits students to begin their studies in any term (Fall, Winter or Summer).  There are two phases in the IDPhD admissions process.  Phase 1 is the Initial Eligibility Review, and phase 2 is the Full Review.  For more information on what to expect, please go to the Application Checklist.

Planned Start of Program Phase 1: Initial Eligibility Review Documents Due Date Phase 2: Full Review Documents Due Date Full Review Date
November 24th, 2023 March 22nd, 2024 1st week
of April 2024
June 14th, 2024 August 9th, 2024 3rd week
of September 2024
September 2nd, 2024 October 25th, 2024 Middle
of December 2024
November 22nd, 2024 March 21st, 2025 1st week
of April 2025
June 13th, 2025 August 8th, 2025 3rd week
of September 2025
September 5th, 2025 October 24th, 2025 Middle 
of December 2025

This will allow time for the IDPhD Admissions Committee to review your complete package, make a recommendation to FGS and, if admission is recommended, for your admission to be processed. Failure to meet this deadlines may mean that you are not accepted for your preferred term. However, it would be possible then to start at the next available term.

You should note the Faculty of Graduate Studies deadlines; the IDPhD must submit any applications we recommend for acceptance to FGS by these deadlines. Note also the different deadlines for Canadian and non-Canadian applicants.

English Language Proficiency

The IDPhD program requires students to have a high level of English proficiency.  To this end, potential students maybe required to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) test scores as part of the admissions process.  The minimum test score varies by ESL program.  Below are the minimum test score requirements for common ESL programs:

ESL Program IDPhD Minimum Test Score
Dal English for Academic Purposes (Level 2)  A
IELTS (Academic) 7.5

Additional Considerations

Once you have received confirmation from the IDPhD assistant that your introductory admission requirements have been met, you will be asked to provide supporting documentation directly to that includes your research proposal and supervisory committee. See our Application Checklist for more information.

  • The research program proposed in the Statement of Interdisciplinary Research Interests (SIRI) must be truly interdisciplinary, drawing significantly on a minimum of two disparate areas of academic endeavor. It must also be established that the proposed program could not be carried out successfully within the framework of another existing PhD program at Dalhousie.
  • The proposed supervisory model must be suitable and robust, with a high likelihood that the proposed advisory committee can see you from admission through completion of your program.  In our program the supervisor and the committee must be built entirely around the needs of each student and their research.
  • You must have one supervisor (or two co-supervisors) and at least two committee members, all of whom should hold a PhD, and the majority of whom must be faculty members from Dalhousie University. You must find these members yourself, although IDPhD staff can advise.
  • The proposed committee must demonstrate significant experience in supervising doctoral students to successful completion of their program, including experience at Dalhousie.
  • All proposed supervisory committee members must have research interests and experience that support the proposed research plan laid out in the SIRI.  At least two of the disciplines represented in your proposed research should be represented on your committee.
  • There must be clear evidence that you will have sufficient financial resources over the duration of the program for fees, research costs, and personal support.  Here is a guide [PDF-114kb] on what to expect in terms of cost; this program is categorized under 'Doctoral (All Others).'
  • It must also be demonstrated that you will have access to the resources necessary to carry out the research work, including space, equipment, administrative support, data, subject access, travel funding, etc.
  • It must be very likely that you will complete the proposed interdisciplinary research program successfully, perform at the scholarly level expected of a doctoral student and make an original contribution to knowledge. This judgement will be informed by your academic preparedness, three academic reference letters, the SIRI, the supervisory model, the financial plan, the resources available, committee support, etc.

There are no appeals on application decisions, and the review by the Admissions Committee of the complete application package is not released to candidates.

Ready to Apply?

Get started by reviewing what’s required in your application package.