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. Transcripts can arrive as either the official hard copy or secured, password protected e-transcripts. Please see below for definitions.

Hard copy transcripts

At least one hard copy original, official transcript showing degree completion and conferral will be required from all applicants who are applying to Dalhousie University. These final transcripts are to be sent directly from the degree issuing institution(s) to the department you are applying to and need to arrive in sealed university envelopes. If you are applying to a graduate program and your degree is not yet complete, you will be required to send another transcript to Dalhousie University once your degree is awarded.

Important transcript details:

  • In the event applicants can only get one original transcript and degree certificate, we will accept verified/attested transcripts/degree certificates from the issuing university. Verified transcripts are photocopies of the original transcripts that the university has attested (stamped/embossed with university seal) to be true. All verified transcripts must arrive in sealed envelopes from the issuing university.
  • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript.
  • Photocopied transcripts or those printed from a university website are not permitted.
  • 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 are to be sent directly from the degree granting institution(s) to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, in sealed envelopes.
  • All hard copy transcripts received as part of an application for admission must be received in sealed envelopes.
  • 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

The Faculty of Graduate Studies will also accept Electronic Official Transcripts (e-Transcripts). To be considered official, the e-transcripts need to be:

  • Secured - password-protected document.
  • Digitally signed and certified PDF documents.
  • Sent directly to Dalhousie by the university, or university appointed e-Transcript delivery service.
  • The degree issuing university’s official website must list the service that will be delivering the e-Transcript.
  • We will not accept transcripts attached as PDFs from a university email address, unless it is password-protected.

e-Transcripts can be emailed to

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 in 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.

Please note that professional reference letters must be submitted in hard copy.

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 either through the electronic reference system in the online application or by paper reference letter.

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. Please note that you cannot edit, add, or omit references if using the e-reference system. If you made an error in the submission of an email address, please contact

Hard copy reference letters

If you are submitting a paper reference letter, it must be 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-277kb]. 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.

Some programs may require additional references.

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.