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How to finance your studies

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Get the support you need

Dalhousie University knows financial security gives our graduate students the stability they need to focus on their studies. At Dal, you will have the opportunity to access funding through direct support from your supervisor or department, scholarships and bursaries, employment opportunities or student loans. 

Funding for students completing a thesis

If you are accepted into a thesis-based master’s or PhD program you will likely receive financial support from your faculty supervisor or department. Typically, the support covers one to two years of master’s study and four to five years of a PhD program. 

When you have found a supervisor to oversee your program, be sure to inquire about the availability of funding as part of your initial conversations. In cases where you are paired with a supervisor after you are accepted, discuss funding with the department you will be joining. 


A substantial number of Dalhousie’s graduate students receive funding for their studies through scholarships from the university, the governments of Nova Scotia and/or Canada, or other organizations focused on supporting graduate students. As a Dalhousie graduate student, you join peers from just five Canadian universities who are eligible for scholarship support from the Killam Trusts, Canada’s largest philanthropic funder of higher education. There are also a wide range of scholarships open to international students and funding opportunities designed to ensure our diverse scholars receive the support they need to thrive during their graduate studies. 

Research and teaching assistantships  

Every year, there are hundreds of opportunities for employment as research or teaching assistants at the university. These roles span a wide range of functions from supporting faculty members in their research and experiments to teaching tutorials, grading assignments, and guiding undergraduate students in labs. If you become a teaching assistant, you will join a union which helps to determine the terms of your employment, including the rates of pay through a collective agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).  Availability of these position varies by program, so if you are interested be sure to ask your prospective supervisor or department about the possibilities. 

Work on campus

Working part-time at Dalhousie is a great way to supplement your income while building ties in the university community. On campus employers are often very flexible to accommodate your study schedule. Dalhousie has a student employment program that provides funding to administrative offices to hire student employees. The place to start your job search is Dalhousie's Career and Leadership Development Centre which hosts a job bank of on and off campus employment and allows you to submit your resume online. You can view employer profiles, find out what's available on campus, and access support in your job search.

Student loans

Dalhousie’s Money Matters website provides guidance on how to obtain a wide range of student loan support, from loans provided by the governments of Canada and the United States to private loans and lines of credit to Dalhousie’s short-term loan program for current students who need temporary support.