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
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 in the last 60 credit hours of study for Admission into MA, Leisure Studies
  • 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 MSc 3.3
Community Health & Epidemiology PhD 3.7
Economics 3.3
English 3.7
French 3.3
Health Administration 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
Physics and Atmospheric Science (including Medical Physics) 3.7
Physiology and Biophysics 3.7
Political Science 3.7
Psychology 3.3
Sociology and Social Anthropology 3.7
Statistics 3.5


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
MET C1-level and 4-skills test required 64 (with no skills area below 53)
CAEL 70 with no band score lower than 60
Dalhousie College of Continuing Education (CCE) A-
Pearson English Test PTE Academic overall score of 65 and nothing below 54

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