Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is primarily a research degree and usually requires a MASc for admission. It requires at least four courses, two graduate seminars, a comprehensive examination and an original research thesis. The thesis must be a significant and original contribution to the discipline and should include significant material of publishable quality.

Program requirements

The PhD degree requires four graduate-level classes.

All classes required to meet the degree requirements are considered essential classes and will be so designated by the Supervisory Committee. Any classes taken in excess of the requirements are subject to approval by the supervisor. These classes will appear on the student’s transcript as regular classes.

A PhD degree candidate must pass all graduate level classes with a grade of at least B. Graduate students are allowed to repeat only one class during their programme. Graduate students are not eligible to write supplementary examinations. Transfer credits from other universities will be considered on a case by case basis.

All PhD candidates must pass an oral examination of his/her thesis project after it has been submitted in satisfactory form, and in accordance with the Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations.

In addition to meeting the grade requirements, failure to maintain an acceptable academic standing will result in a student being asked to withdraw from the programme. Failure to achieve the minimum mark as noted above shall be considered grounds for dismissal.

PhD candidates are also required to pass a minimum of two written and one oral comprehensive examinations which normally take place within the fourth study term. Students who receive a “fail” on the comprehensive examination will be asked to withdraw.

Length of program

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) typically takes about four years to complete.

Seminar requirement

The purpose of the graduate seminars is to provide graduate students with exposure to a variety of research projects and activities in order to enrich their academic experience. The seminars also provide the department members with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with all graduate students within the department and learn about each student’s research activities. Finally, the seminars provide the students with an opportunity to develop skills in presentation and discussion of research topics in a public forum. It is intended that seminars will be conducted on a continuing basis appropriate to the complement of students within the department. 

PhD students are required to complete at least two seminar presentations during the duration of the residency period.

Admission requirements

  • Research based Master’s degree from a recognized college or university
  • 2 letters of reference
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0/4.3 (Equivalent to B at Dalhousie University)
  • English proficiency minimums:
    - Instruction in English or
    - TOEFL - 580 (paper based) or 237 (computer based) or
    - IELTS - overall band of 7.0

Important: Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Each professor in the department is given the opportunity to review the files of students interested in the professor’s research area to determine whether a supervisor can be found for the student. All students then must be confirmed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Registrar’s Office before acceptance is granted.

Following are the list of the documents that might be added to the application package (not officially required): 

  • Resume or CV
  • GRE Scores
  • Publication Record
  • Professional Experience

The Faculty of Graduate Studies sets the minimum admission standards that are required for entry into graduate programs.

Application forms can be found under Dalhousie admissions for graduate studies.

Contact information

Subject Code: MECH
Tel: 902-494-1288
Email: gsr@dal.ca
Address: Faculty of Engineering, Graduate Studies & Research Office, Sexton Campus, 1360 Barrington Street,
Halifax, NS, Canada, B3J 2X4
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Dominic Groulx
Graduate Coordinator Tel: 902-494-8835
Graduate Coordinator Email: dominic.groulx@dal.ca