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How to do PhD in Canada? (Updated 2019)

Source: Stephanie Buttermore

Canada is the second most popular destination in terms of studying abroad in the whole world. The number of students pursuing their masters from Canada is increasing every year exponentially. Canada provides world-class education along with good living standards and easy work visa which gives it its high rank in the study abroad destination list. The courses also are internationally recognized and research-based.

Why Canada for PhD?

Canada is the most educated country in the world and more than half of its citizens have university degrees. The University of Toronto and McGill University are famous all over the world for giving an extreme start to experts in the fields of Journalism, Politics, Medicine, and Technology. Canada also offers a large collection of subjects for you to choose from. You can find a number of Canadian universities in the world’s top 100 college’s list depicting the quality of education in Canada.

Top Universities in Canada for PhD

Some of the best universities in Canada are as follows-

  • Royal Roads University
  • University of Winnipeg
  • Bishop’s University
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of Regina
  • Brock University.

The curriculum in Canadian universities is not the one that is purely theoretical. Their way of teaching is based on research and practical work. Also, they make you think critically. So if you are one of this type then, Canada is the destination for you to take your career and learning experience to another level. The Canadian universities keep in touch with the industries and regularly update their industry definitions so as to make their students acquainted with the latest industry trends and help them grab the best placement opportunities. Canada is a country that is rich in cultural heritage and living there would give you a lifetime experience which is matchless. You can meet people from different countries and cultures in such a place.

Education System In Canada

In Canada, the education system is quite similar to that in the USA and has some aspects of British Education System as well..

Mostly, there are three types of institutions in Canada:

  1. Public Universities- These are run by the government may it be provincial, territorial or federal. They also collect the tuition fee from the students.
  2. Private Universities- They are mostly run at the cost of donations and research grants. They receive no funding from the government.
  3. Liberal Arts College- These colleges are either public or private and have a primary emphasis on courses in liberal arts.

How to select a university for PhD in Canada?

Before selecting a college in Canada, one must keep the following points in mind. The points are as follows-

  1. Facilities in the research field
  2. Availability of internships and thesis work
  3. Industry Associations
  4. Faculty
  5. Location of college
  6. Accommodation
  7. Course structure
  8. Fee structure

Scholarships in Canada for PhD

There are good number of scholarships available while you will be pursuing your doctorate in Canada and these will be helpful in supporting you with a descent lifestyle while you live
there. Some of them are as under :

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • University of Waterloo International Master’s and Doctoral Awards Scholarship
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  • University of Manitoba Graduate fellowships
  • University of Calgary Graduate Awards.

For each of these type of scholarships , you are required to maintain an outstanding academic record and also keep a check on their online application portals on which the information regarding the scholarships are notified periodically.

Ranking of Universities in Canada

Sr. No.UniversityWorld Ranking
1University of Toronto28
2McGill University33
3University of British Columbia47
4University of Alberta109
5McMaster University146
6Universite de Montreal149
7University of Waterloo163
8The University of Western Ontario214
9University of Calgary229
10Queen’s University at Kingston239

Eligibility criteria for PhD in Canada

The admission criteria for admission to different universities in canada for doctorate program may vary from university to university. Few points regarding the doctorate admissions are listed as under :-

  1. Education- Most of the universities in Canada require you to have a master’s degree in the related field of your doctorate , with strong grades and proven research ability and potential.
  2. Proof of language- Language ability is also required which depends upon your choice of modes of instruction , there are different tests designed which you need to clear for admission depending upon the language you choose as the mode of instruction. In some cases you are also eligible to pursue PhD under the “accelerated admission”. That is , without a master’s degree. This requires outstanding grades in last two years of your bachelor’s program and proof of high academic potential such as research papers etc.
  3. Academic Requirements- A bachelor’s degree with one year of study in a master’s program while fulfilling 9 credits at the 500-level or above and of first class standing. While entering the doctoral program after partial completion of the master’s degree the students must , during the first two years of study at the graduate level, complete 12 credits in total with a first-class average of which at least 9 credits must be at the 500-level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first-class standing to maintain registration as a doctoral student.
  4. English Language Test- You also need to provide proof of English language proficiency in terms of score in IELTS or TOEFL examinations. One must have at least 6.5 or 7 in IELTS and 90+ score in TOEFL.
  5. Proof of French Proficiency- There may be some courses that are taught in French. If you plan to take up such courses, you must first provide proof of your English language proficiency in the form of scorecard of Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) or Diplôme d’études en langue française(DELF).
  6. GRE/GMAT- Some of the universities also ask for GRE/GMAT score to provide you admission. You can check the exact eligibility on the universities’ website.
    GRE score is accepted be both type of schools, ie, business schools and other schools providing a master’s degree. GRE judges a candidate on the basis of Quantitative reasoning, Analytical writing and Verbal Reasoning.
    Most of the business schools in Canada will demand you for a good GMAT score in order to take admission in their school. Usually, GMAT score is required for admission in courses like Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy and Master of Finance programs. The GMAT score is valid for a duration of 5 years.
  7. Student Visa- You are required to apply for a student Visa based on your selection at Canadian University. For study permit Visa, the duration of your course must be greater than 6 months. If it is less than that you only require a tourist Visa.

How to qualify for a good Canadian university?

There are some preparation courses which enable degree seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their post-graduate or doctoral programmes. These type of preparation courses act as a booster to make us ready for further programmes of doctorate , be it in any stream. English language is also needed to be improved because while being in the PhD programme , this is quite a fair chance that the medium of instruction will be in English. Also the mode of communication is also English in most of the places abroad so it is always better to have an extra edge on the verbal communication power. So take care of these points and start preparing a way before the admission process starts.

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About the Author

I am a study abroad content expert, associated with the study abroad industry since years. I am a firm believer that study abroad is once a lifetime experience and everyone should get a chance of having this experience.

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