Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Agricultural Sciences


The PhD program in Agricultural Sciences through the Faculty of Agriculture is the first doctoral degree in Agricultural Sciences offered in Atlantic Canada. This thesis-based program will allow students to pursue advanced-level knowledge in agriculture and develop expert skills in their discipline of focus, while producing original, high-quality research that will impact audiences ranging from international scholars to local farmers. Through the PhD program in Agricultural Sciences, doctoral students will become independent, competent, critical thinkers who will be ready for a wide range of career options in academia, private industry, and government.

Students in the PhD in Agricultural Sciences program will join an intellectually and socially vibrant university community of professors, instructors, dedicated staff, undergraduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and fellow graduate students. Students enrolled in the program will conduct research in one of the following broad areas related to agriculture and food systems:

Research Areas:

  • Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics and Rural Studies: Consumer Behaviour; Agribusiness and Management; Food Demand; Production Economics; Resource and Environmental Economics; Rural Development; Agriculture, Food and Well Being; Professional Practice
  • Bioresources and Environmental Sciences: Waste Management, Environmental Microbiology, Ecology, Pest Management, Agricultural Systems, Resource Management, Food Science, Agricultural Chemistry, Soil Chemistry, Nutrient Management, Soil Fertility, Soil Conservation, Soil Management, Bioproduct Science, Environmental Stress Physiology, Entomology, resource economics
  • Animal Science: Nutrition, Animal Behaviour, Genetics and Breeding, Animal Product Technology, Physiology, Animal Management, Aquaculture (Shell-Fish and Fin-Fish culture)
  • Plant Science: Cropping Systems Management, Plant Genetics, Nutrition, Pathology, Physiology, Biotechnology, Horticulture
  • Agricultural Engineering: Precision and Digital Agriculture, Mechanized Systems, Machine Learning, Sensing and Automation, Innovative Processing, Alternative and Green Energy, Biofuels and Bioproducts, Water Management Systems

The Program

The thesis is defended at an oral examination. All doctoral students who have earned a thesis-based MSc degree (or equivalent), will complete a minimum of two required courses: AGRI6700 Advanced Research Methods (Year 1) and AGRI6800 Advanced Graduate Research Seminar (in Years 2 or 3). Additional courses or activities may be required as part of the program of study at the discretion of the Supervisory Committee, as per Faculty of Graduate Studies guidelines. All courses should be completed before the comprehensive exam.

Preliminary exam and Comprehensive exam: Students will prepare and defend their thesis proposal during their preliminary exam within one year of their commencement in the program, and undertake a comprehensive exam within thirty (30) months of entering the program and at least one year prior to the thesis defense.

In addition, doctoral students will complete a teaching assistantship (paid positions) in two half-credit courses at the undergraduate level of study.


Candidates must satisfy the common admission criteria to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, as well as the specific for the Faculty of Agriculture. For full admissions criteria, please review the Faculty of Agriculture Graduate Application [PDF -  97 kB].

* Please note that Confirmed Supervision by a member of the Faculty of Agriculture is REQUIRED to be admitted to our graduate programs.

All additional required documents must be sent directly to:

Graduate Studies Office
Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University
62 Cumming Drive
Truro, Nova Scotia
Canada, B2N 5E3

Specific inquiries related to Faculty of Agriculture admission requirements should be addressed to:

All other graduate studies inquiries should be directed to:

Tuition and Fees

All tuition fee schedules can be found under Money Matters

Health and Dental Coverage
DSU Health and Dental Plan – This is mandatory to all Dalhousie students (Canadian and International) who do not have an alternative medical/dental plan.

DSU International Health Plan
The International Student Health Plan is also mandatory if you do not hold an MSI card or have health coverage from their home country.