How to Apply

Application deadlines

Standard application deadlines Canadian applicants Non-Canadian applicants
For September admission June 1 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 (MFA June entry) February 28 (CDN); December 31 (INTL)
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. Please note, some departments may have different requirements for admission documents as part of your internal application. Please contact the department that you are applying to for their specific requirements. 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.


For application purposes, unofficial academic transcripts and degree certificates (if degree conferral not stated on transcripts) are required for each post-secondary institution attended. Please email the department you are applying to an unofficial copy of your transcripts. Transcripts should include your first and last name, degree and program type and name of degree issuing university. 

Should you be accepted for admission to your program of choice, all official and final transcripts will be required for each post-secondary institution attended. They will be required within 90 days of the start of your program. Ways to provide official transcripts for newly admitted students are described below. If you only completed a course(s) at a university or post-secondary institution, official transcripts are required as well.

Transcript submission from newly-accepted students:

For students that have been accepted to Dalhousie University for September 2021 and January 2022, you can send your final and official transcripts, stating degree completion, to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in any of the ways provided below:

  • 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  
  • While official e-copies of your transcripts are preferred, as of August 30, 2021, official paper copies can be mailed to:

    Faculty of Graduate Studies
    Room 314, Henry Hicks Academic Administration Building
    6299 South Street
    PO Box 15000
    Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4R2

If you are unable to have your official transcripts sent from the issuing institution, you may email an unofficial copy of your transcripts to This email should be sent from your official Dalhousie email account. You may be required to provide proof of the inability for the issuing institution to send documents directly. Transcripts must include your first and last name, degree and program type, name of degree issuing university and date of degree completion. Degree and graduation certificates must be included if the transcript does not indicate the type of degree and date granted.

Your final transcripts will be required within 90 days of the start of your program.

*Note that FGS reserves the right to verify the validity of all documents provided, as well as the inability of an issuing institution to issue documents.  

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.

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.

If you are using a professional reference for your application and are unable to use the graduate online e-ref system, please contact the program you are applying to, as they may have a preferred method for reference delivery.

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. You may also submit a paper reference letter in a sealed, stamped envelope which is endorsed across the back seal by the referee and mailed to the address indicated on the paper reference form [PDF - 160kb]. To assist your reference, you may consider providing a stamped envelope, addressed to the department to which you are applying, and have them mail the letter directly. If the reference is given to the student directly, do not open the envelope.

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.

How does the Faculty of Graduate Studies want to receive my ESL test results?

  • Applicants must send verifiable ESL test results as PDF documents to
  • The applicant must request their testing centre make their results available to Dalhousie University.
  • FGS will contact the testing centre to verify the results provided.
  • You will not be able to register for classes until your ESL scores are verified.

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.


Deadlines for scholarship consideration

Funding opportunities for new graduate students in thesis-based programs must be applied for separately from admission, with many of the major awards being managed through the Faculty of Graduate Studies Harmonized Scholarship Process

If you intend to apply for scholarship support, you must contact your department early to discuss the scholarship application process and deadlines. Departmental deadlines for major scholarship applications typically occur in November/December, before the application deadlines for admission. Late applications for major scholarship competitions are not accepted, and eligibility for many awards are limited to students who have not yet started their 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 email from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies that includes an attachment of the official offer of admission from 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.