Dal Alert!

Receive alerts from Dalhousie by text message.



Application deadline

Note: The deadline for applying is January 1 (December 31 of the prior year for students planning to be considered for Killam funding).

The Faculty of Graduate Studies sets the minimum admission standards that are required for entry into graduate programs. Individual departments may require additional qualifications of their candidates, and enrolment limitations usually mean that successful applicants possess qualifications that considerably exceed the minimum requirements. For more information on additional qualifications please see the program you are applying to on the graduate program page.

Common admission criteria

Master's degree

  • Four-year Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B average) in the last 60 credit hours of study
  • Degree granted by university of recognized standing

Please note that programs with a thesis requirement normally require an undergraduate honours degree. There are some occasions where this requirement may be waived where evidence of independent research capacity is present. To read more about degree requirements for admission to Master’s programs, refer to section 3.2 of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.

Doctor of Philosophy degree

  • First-class thesis Master’s degree or its equivalent
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B average) in the last 60 credit hours of study
  • Degree granted by university of recognized standing
  • Most candidates for admission to a doctoral program possess a Master's Degree. Direct entry to some programs is possible for those with exceptional academic standing

To read more about degree requirements for admission to PhD programs, refer to section 3.3 of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.

Department-specific admission criteria

Some departments have individualized admissions criteria--such as a GMAT, GRE, portfolio, or minimum GPA--which may be higher than the Dalhousie standard. See below for a list of departments with non-standard minimum GPAs.

Department-specific GPA requirements

Graduate department Minimum admission GPA
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 3.3
Biomedical Engineering 3.7
Communication Sciences and Disorders 3.3
Community Health & Epidemiology 3.3
Economics 3.3
English 3.7
French 3.3
Health Administraiton 3.3
Health and Human Performance 3.5
Interdisciplinary PhD Program 3.7
International Development Studies 3.7
Microbiology and Immunology 3.3
Nursing 3.3 (MN), 3.7 (MSc & PhD)
Periodontics 3.7
Pharmaceutical Science 3.3
Pharmacology (intern. students) 3.7
Philosophy 3.7
Physiology and Biophysics 3.7
Political Science 3.7
Psychology 3.3
Sociology and Social Anthropology 3.7


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. 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
Written TOEFL 580
CanTest 4.5 (with no band score lower than 4.0)
CAEL 70 with no band score lower than 60
Dalhousie College of Continuing Education (CCE) A-

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

Department-specific English language requirements

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

Faculty of Law

For LLM students

Applicants for admission to the LLM program should hold a first degree in law equivalent to the Dalhousie JD, passed with at least the equivalent of a Dalhousie 3.0 GPA. The ability to conduct independent research is a prerequisite for admission.

Candidates from outside Canada whose native language is other than English will be required to pass an English language proficiency test [PDF-58kB].

For doctoral students

Applicants for admission to the PhD program must have demonstrated superior academic ability during their previous legal education. Normally it will be necessary to have:

(i) attained at least the equivalent of a Dalhousie A- average at the JD level; and
(ii) completed a Master's degree in law.

Preference will be given to applicants with published scholarship of a professional calibre.

In applying for admission:

  • an applicant is required to satisfy the Graduate Studies Committee of the Schulich School of Law that the suggested topic is suitable for development as a doctoral thesis.
  • an applicant must submit a preliminary Thesis Proposal (maximum approximately 3,000 words). The Proposal should outline the proposed research, address existing literature in the area and methodological and theoretical approaches which will be employed. The Proposal should be sufficient to enable the Graduate Studies Committee to assess the suitability of the topic for development of the doctoral thesis, as well as the availability of supervisory resources and the capability of the applicant to undertake the project.