How to Apply

Application deadlines

Standard application deadlines Canadian applicants Non-Canadian applicants
For September admission Many departments continue to accept applications. Please contact yours for details. April 1
For January admission October 31 August 31
For May admission February 28 December 31

Many departments have their own deadlines, which can be much earlier than the above deadlines. See below for a list of programs with non-standard deadlines. 

Department-specific application deadlines

Department Application deadline
Architecture February 1 (CDN); December 1 (INTL)
Business (MSc in Business) February 1 (scholarship applicants); March 1 (all other CDN and INTL applicants)
Business Administration (Corporate Residency) May 1 (CDN); January 15 (INTL)
Clinical Vision Science March 1
Communication Sciences and Disorders January 15
Community Health and Epidemiology MSc in Epidemiology and Applied Health Research - January 31; PhD in Epidemiology and Applied Health Research - December 1
Computer Science CS Deadlines
Economics PhD - January 31, Masters - June 1 (CAN); April 1 (INTL)
English January 15
Environmental Management January 31
Environmental Studies January 31
Health Promotion January 15
Information Management (MLIS) April 1 (CDN); January 1 (INTL)
International Development Studies January 31
Journalism February 15
Kinesiology January 15
Law January 15 and March 31
Leisure Studies January 15
Marine Management January 31
Mathematics December 15
Medical Physics January 31
Musicology December 1
Nursing February 1
Occupational Therapy (Entry Level / Post Professional) January 31
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery August 31 of previous year
Periodontics June 1 of the previous year
Philosophy January 31
Physiotherapy January 31
Planning December 15
Political Science January 31
Psychiatry December 1
Psychology & Neuroscience December 1
Social Anthropology January 15
Social Work November 15
Sociology January 15
Statistics December 15


Application process

1. Complete the graduate application form (Online application or print [PDF - 164kb]).

2. Pay the $115 application fee.

3. Submit supporting documents directly to the academic department to which you are applying. For Engineering applicants, except for Internetworking and Biomedical engineering, all supporting documents must be sent to the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Admissions Office.

Please expand the items below for more information.


Official academic transcripts and degree certificates (if degree conferral not stated on transcripts) are required for each post-secondary institution attended. FGS will not require paper-based documents to support any application between January 2020 and May 2021. Documents can instead be sent electronically. Please see below for more information.

Important transcript details:

  • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript.
  • Notarized copies of transcripts are not permitted.
  • Degree and graduation certificates must be included if the transcript does not indicate the type of degree and date granted.
  • Transcripts submitted with applications become the property of Dalhousie University, are subject to verification, are not available for copying and will not be returned to the applicant.
  • Official transcripts are NOT REQUIRED for any courses or degrees you have completed at Dalhousie University.

Electronic official transcripts

For applications between January 2020 and May 2021, the Faculty of Graduate Studies will accept:

  • Electronic file-transfers from the issuing institution and from services such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, eScript-Safe, or TranscriptsNetwork. Electronic transcripts are to be sent to 
  • PDFs sent by email directly from the issuing institution. These emailed transcripts are to be sent to

If you are unable to have your official transcripts sent from your home university, Dalhousie will allow you to email the department you’re applying to an unofficial copy of your transcripts. You may be required to provide proof of this inability. Transcripts must include your first and last name, degree and program type and name of degree issuing university.

Reference letters

Two letters of reference are required for admission into a graduate degree. These letters are normally required to be from academics familiar with the applicant but may be replaced with relevant professional references for some course-based professional master's programs. If accepted, professional references can be submitted according to the following schedule:

  1. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree within the past 3 years: two academic references.
  2. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree 3 to 5 years ago: a) one academic reference and one relevant professional reference, or b) two academic references.
  3. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree more than 5 years ago: a) two relevant professional references or, b) one academic reference and one relevant professional reference, or c) two academic references.

For professional reference letters contact your department. Contact the department you are applying to with the email addresses of your professional references, so the department can contact your referees. Please also let your referees know that they will be contacted by the department.

Reference letters provided in confidence to Dalhousie University for purposes of determining a candidate's suitability for admission to an academic program, receipt of an honour or award, or evaluating the applicant's research projects and materials will be kept confidential. This confidential reference may be used internally by Dalhousie University for the purposes of considering the applicant for institutional, provincial and federal awards or scholarships.

Reference letters can be submitted through the electronic reference system in the online application.

E-reference submission

If using the e-reference system, make sure to have the email addresses of your referees ready to list when completing the online application. Dalhousie University will only accept university, teaching hospital, and government email addresses (i.e. not Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or business addresses). Please allow 5 business days for your referee(s) to be contacted by our system. If you made an error in the submission of an email address, please contact

Supplementary documentation

Other supplementary documentation, such as English language proficiency scores, GMAT, GRE, CV, statement of intent, statement of research interests, portfolio, etc. as required by your department.

Please check with your department to determine if additional documents are required.

Self-funded students

If you plan to self-fund your studies, please include an original teller-stamped or equivalent bank statement showing that you have sufficient funds for your full program fees (fee calculator) plus $1200 per month for the full term of your studies.


Finding a Supervisor

If you are planning to apply for a thesis or research based Master’s or PhD, you might need to find a supervisor before you begin the application process. To find out if securing a supervisor before applying is required or recommended, please check with the graduate program you applying to.

How to Find a Supervisor

Each program will list their faculty, and give information about each faculty member’s research and publications on their websites. Go to the list of Dalhousie programs, select the program you are interested in, then choose Faculty or Department Members to see prospective supervisors.

What to do when you Identify a Supervisor you want to work with

Once you’ve found one or two potential supervisors, read a few of their publications to make sure you are interested in their research and that they have the right expertise for the project or subject area you plan to do you thesis work on.

If your prospective supervisor looks like a good fit for your research interest, then the simplest way forward is to send a clear and concise email directly to the potential supervisor.

Process of admission

The initial application evaluation process is conducted by the department to which you apply. Once your application package is complete, you can expect to receive confirmation of receipt of your application and an indication of when it will be reviewed within one month. The department will do a formal review of your application, verify your reference letters, and make a recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The Faculty of Graduate Studies performs a final review, verifies supporting documentation such as English language test scores and transcripts, and gives final approval to the application.

When the final decision is made, students will receive an unofficial email from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies followed by an official offer of admission from the University Registrar and may be requested to pay an admission deposit to reserve a seat in their program.

If you apply online, you will be able to track the status of your application online. However, final decisions on an application can only be revealed via the official letter signed by the University Registrar.

Deferred start date

Students may defer their start date up to 12 months from their original start date, provided they receive permission from their department followed by approval from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. If you wish to defer your start date, please contact your department.

Special Student Graduate Studies applicants

It is possible to take a graduate-level course without enrolling in a graduate program. In order to take a graduate-level course as a Special Student Graduate Studies applicant, you will need to meet the general eligibility requirements to apply to graduate studies. You will also need to have the approval of the department that offers the course.

To apply:

  1. Complete and submit the application form (Online application or print [PDF - 164kb]). In the "Program Selection/Field of Study" section, select "Special Student Graduate Studies" as the program you're applying for and list the department which offers the course you'd like to take.
  2. Pay the $115 application fee.
  3. Arrange to have your post-secondary transcripts sent directly from the universities you attended to the department to which you're applying.
  4. Arrange to have your ESL test score, if required, sent to the department to which you're applying. 

Reference letters and other supporting documents are not required unless they are requested by the department.