The Faculty of Graduate Studies sets the minimum admission standards that are required for entry into graduate programs. Students will be considered for acceptance into the PhD in Health program only after completion of a Master’s degree from an accredited program. Applicants who have completed a research (thesis-based) Master’s will be eligible for the two-year residency PhD program and those who have completed a non-thesis Master’s program are eligible for the three-year residency PhD program. Enrollment must be on a full-time basis and there is no distance learning option.  

Please note that we no longer accept mid-year admission to the program. Applicants must be prepared to begin their program in the Fall semester.

Applicants wishing to apply for fall admission are encouraged to review the information found here and contact the Program Administrator at for transcript evaluation.


Program Specific Admission Requirements

Candidates must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. In addition to these, the program has the following requirements:

Students will be accepted into the PhD program only after completion of a master’s degree from an accredited program. Applicants who have completed a research (thesis-based) master’s degree are eligible for the two-year residency PhD program and those who have completed a non-thesis master’s degree are eligible for the three-year residency PhD program. Enrollment must be on a full-time basis and there is no distance learning option.

FGS minimum requirements:

  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B average) in the last 60 credit hours of study
  • For International applicants, a minimum English Language Competency score of TOEFL 92 (Internet) or IELTS 7.

Applicants should note that meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission; admission to the PhD Health program is competitive and applicants are advised to review the criteria by which applications are assessed and in turn how admissions are determined.

Supplemental Documents for PhD Health Application

The PhD Health program strongly encourages students to complete their application together with their proposed supervisor.

Academic Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Applicants must provide an academic CV outlining educational and professional experience and/or community/leadership experience. For example, you might include publications or presentations, relevant projects, awards, knowledge translation activities, creative works, community involvement, and relevant employment.

Proposed Supervisor: Letter of Support and Commitment

To be accepted into the program you must have secured a supervisor who confirms this commitment in a letter of support. Proposed supervisors are asked to comment on the candidate’s research potential as demonstrated by their research history, contributions to communities, interest in discovery, and the proposed research and its potential contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field. Proposed supervisors are also asked to explain how the match between supervisor and applicant is a promising one and outline a mentorship plan that includes a description of the training environment, communication expectations, necessary supports, and funding commitment for the applicant. Please note that supervisors are required to provide minimum funding of $5000/year for four years.

In addition, per the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application process, two reference letters are required. For details on reference letter requirements, please review the Faculty of Graduate Studies criteria.

Proposed Research and Support Plan

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with proposed supervisor(s) about the proposed research, support plan, and seek feedback on a draft before submitting their application. The proposed research and support plan should include the following:

1.      Description of the Proposed Research (1000 words/2 pages):

Describe your proposed research and demonstrate how you plan to complete your research project from start to finish. Please include:

  • Background/context, which positions your research within the field
  • Research aims/objectives and research question(s)
  • Description of proposed methodology and methods
  • Significance and anticipated impact
  • Reference list (not included in the 1000 words/2 page limit)

Please note that reviewers may not be technical experts in your field. Write in clear, plain language. Avoid the use of jargon and highlight the impact and importance of the proposed research.

2.      Research Experience and Suitability for the Proposed Research (500 words)

Briefly describe how previous academic, research or leadership/extra-professional activities have prepared you for conducting the proposed research.

3.      Funding Plan

The yearly minimum funding expectation for PhD in Health students is $12,000 plus fees and tuition each year for the duration of the program. Applicants are responsible for seeking to secure scholarship funding prior to admission to the program. Applicants should provide a list of doctoral scholarships which includes the name, amount, and duration of each award received and applied for (with decisions pending).

Name of Award/Scholarship

Date Due

Amount and Duration

Status of Application

















4.      Evidence of Independent Research (non-thesis master’s degree applicants only) (500 words)

Those applying with a non-thesis master’s degree who wish to be considered for the two-year residency program are required to demonstrate evidence of independent research. Following the guidelines provided by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, evidence of independent research can include a combination of: major research paper or treatise, publications in journals, presentations at scholarly conferences, and research-based practice programming and guidelines where the applicants' contributions are clearly defined. These applicants should include a letter requesting admission to the two-year program and provide a list of contributions and documents of support as appropriate.

5.      Training Expectations and Mentorship Plan (500 words)

Describe agreed upon expectations, supports, and resources necessary to facilitate the applicant’s program trajectory, research and/or leadership development. What plans do you have in place to foster a generative student-supervisor relationship? What does the applicant need to be successful? How will you meet those needs?

Funding and Support

At Dalhousie, you can find many opportunities to fund your graduate education. Students are generally supported financially by a combination of scholarships, supervisor research funds and teaching assistantships. The yearly minimum funding expectation is $12,000 plus tuition and fees for the duration the student's program. Please note that PhD in Health students pay program fees as opposed to per course fees.

Applicants to the PhD in Health program are eligible and strongly to encouraged to apply for funding opportunities even before receiving acceptance into the program. In the case of the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship students who are already enrolled in the program are no longer eligible to apply for this scholarship so we recommend you be proactive. The Faculty of Grad Studies has harmonized the process for these applications.  

Please note that the Harmonized Scholarship deadline for students is January 16, so early submission of application materials to the program is highly recommended for those who wish to be considered eligible.

Scholarship application forms and all supporting documents must be submitted to the Program Administrator by the indicated deadlines to be considered for nomination to the university-level competitions.  

Additional Provincial and National level funding opportunities typically available for PhD in Health students include:

Students who are accepted into the PhD in Health program will also be considered for internal funding packages which include scholarship funding and opportunities for employment as Teaching Assistants. Please contact us at for more information.

How to Apply

Step 1 - Determine eligibility

Contact the Program Administrator at to determine eligibility based on GPA. Please provide electronic copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts at this time. Transcripts should include a grading legend (often found of the back page of official transcripts).  You will be contacted directly with the results well before the application deadline.  If deemed eligible, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 - Apply online

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies' website and follow the Graduate Studies application process.

Step 3 - Submit required supplemental documents

Please refer to the application checklist for details and submission instructions.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: The program application requirements are being reviewed and updated. Please check back for updates before submitting the application.

Admission Process

The Governance Council of the PhD in Health Program will be responsible for making recommendations regarding admissions, including whether a two or three year residency is required.  Recommendations for admission will be made to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Final admission decisions are made by the Faculty of Graduate Studies who will provide official letters of admission.

Admissions Selection Criteria

The evaluation of PhD Health program applicants will draw on the criteria used for CGS D applications in addition to an overall applicant score. Examples of indicators are provided.



Research ability and potential


Examples of indicators of research ability and potential:

  • quality of research statement
    • specific, focused, and feasible research interests
    • significance and expected contributions to research
  • relevant training, such as academic training, lived experience and traditional teachings
  • research experience and achievements relative to the applicant’s stage of study, lived experience and knowledge systems
  • quality of contributions and extent to which they advance the field of research—contributions may include publications, patents, reports, posters, abstracts, monographs, presentations, creative outputs, knowledge translation outputs, community products, etc.
  • demonstration of sound judgment and ability to think critically
  • demonstration of responsible and ethical research conduct, including honest and thoughtful inquiry, rigorous analysis, commitment to safety and to the dissemination of research results and adherence to the use of professional standards
  • enthusiasm for research, originality, initiative, autonomy, relevant community involvement and outreach
  • ability or potential to communicate theoretical, technical and/or scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats

Relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia


Examples of indicators of relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia:

  • scholarships, awards, and distinctions (amount, duration and prestige)
  • academic record
    • transcripts
    • duration of previous studies
    • program requirements and courses pursued
    • relative standing in program (if available)
  • professional, academic, and extracurricular activities as well as collaborations with supervisors, colleagues, peers, students and members of the community, such as
    • teaching, mentoring, supervising and/or coaching
    • managing projects
    • participating in science and/or research promotion
    • participating in community outreach, volunteer work and/or civic engagement
    • chairing committees and/or organizing conferences and meetings
    • participating in departmental or institutional organizations, associations, societies and/or clubs

Overall Applicant Score


  • Consideration of application package as a whole
  • Consideration of any unique or extraordinary aspects/circumstances not captured in criteria 1 and 2
  • Mentorship plan and letters of support
  • Overall fit with program


For questions about the application process and to submit documents, please contact:
PhD in Health
PhD Program Specialist
(902) 494-7809

Program Office:
Office of the Dean, Faculty of Health
Suite 316, Burbidge Building, 5968 College Street
Dalhousie University
PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2