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PhD in Canada Guide: Best Universities, Eligibility, Requirements, Fees, Scholarships and Scope

Yocket Editorial Team

Every year close to 7000+ students graduate as PhD holders in Canada. The country has become the preferred destination for students looking to pursue PhD in Canada. In fact, since 2002, PhD graduates in the country is at an all-time high. The credit for such an increase goes to the top universities, affordable fees, and brilliant experts that support the Canadian education system for this study. PhD in Canada for Indian students can be tricky to get started with. Thus to help align your research and admission process well, this blog provides a step-by-step guide to pursuing PhD in Canada for international students.

Table of Contents:

  1. Why Study PhD in Canada?
  2. An Overview of PhD in Canada
  3. Eligibility Criteria & Admission Requirements to Study PhD in Canada
  4. Duration Cost of Studying PhD in Canada for Indian Students
  5. List of Top Universities/Colleges that offer PhD Programs in Canada
  6. Top PhD Scholarships in Canada for International Students
  7. Job and PR Opportunities after Pursuing PhD in Canada

Why Study PhD in Canada?

Before we can proceed further towards learning the PhD requirements in Canada, let’s first understand why should international students choose to study PhD in Canada?

  • Ideal for Research-Based Studies: Canada has been ranked the number 4 in the world for scientific research studies. Since PhD studies in Canada are more research-oriented, the country proves to be the ideal destination to pursue this type of study.

  • Offers In-Demand PhD Programs: Universities in Canada for PhD offer a range of in-demand PhD programs. The most demanded programs from the list are Business Studies, Engineering, Computer Science, Education, and Health.

  • Provides Modern Technologies & Facilities: Canada has always been ahead when it came to enhancing its academic standards. The country uses modern technology to cater to the current needs of international students. Apart from this, all PhD-related research facilities retain the modern touch.

  • Home to QS Ranked Universities 2022: There are close to 10+ universities that offer PhD courses in Canada. These universities are ranked under the QS World Rankings 2022. Apart from this, these universities also stand high on the list of Nobel Prize Winners worldwide. The University of Toronto is one example.

Suggested: Universities in Canada for PhD

An Overview of PhD in Canada

Canada has been honoured with 28 Nobel Prize awards. There is a strong reason why PhD courses in Canada are considered highly. Thus before we can move ahead, let’s give you a quick overview of the PhD studies in Canada.



Study Duration

4- 6 years

Total PhD universities


PhD Admission Intake

Fall, Winter, Spring/Summer

Average Tuition Fees

8,081 CAD- 16,122 CAD/year

Popular PhD Courses

  • Business Management
  • Finance
  • Mathematics
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Engineering
  • IT
  • Social Science
  • Health
  • Education
  • Computer Science

Top PhD Universities

  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Winnipeg
  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Regina
  • University of Montreal

Average PhD Salary

86K CAD/ year

Popular PhD Funding Opportunities

  • Government Fellowships
  • Independent Research Scholarships
  • Graduate Assistantships

No. of PhD Awarded



Eligibility Criteria & Admission Requirements to Study PhD in Canada

There are multiple PhD in Canada for Indian student requirements. Once these are checked, your application process will be conducted smoothly. This is the standard eligibility criteria for all PhD educational institutes in Canada:

  1. A Masters Degree
  2. Official Transcripts
  3. GPA scores
  4. CV/Resume
  5. Research Statement
  6. Writing Sample
  7. Letters of Recommendation
  8. English Language Proficiency Test Scores

1. Masters Degree

International students need to submit a Masters Degree when applying for a PhD program in this country. Most educational institutes expect a score of 80%.

2. Official Transcripts

Apart from the Masters degree certificates, international students need to submit all official transcripts of their previous educational qualifications such as a Bachelors degree, etc.

3. GPA scores

Submission of GPA scores is based on the universities you opt for. At the University of Toronto, they accept a GPA score of A-.

4. CV/Resume

Most universities encourage the submission of a CV/Resume. This is helpful for students who are academically weak or are unable to pass the university cut-offs.

5. Research Statement

Submission of a research statement helps experts understand your interest choice in a new or existing project. The research statement is 1500 words long and in essay form. Students can also include their choice of the supervisor to work with during the PhD study period.

6. Writing Sample

A writing sample will help experts determine your skills related to how well you can submit a thesis, research paper, or article. The word limit is between 5000-10,000 based on your university choice.

7. Letters of Recommendation

As per the university choice, students need to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation from their previous educational tutors.

8. English Language Proficiency Test Scores

If your first language isn’t English, international students need to write and pass an English proficiency test. Here is the score list:


Admission Requirements to Study PhD in Canada

Here is a quick overview of how to apply for PhD in Canada?.

  • Choose the project type, new or existing
  • Find the ideal supervisor for your project
  • Research for funding opportunities for your PhD studies
  • Visit universities official website to submit all related documents before deadlines
  • Attend PhD interview if scheduled
  • Apply for a study permit and PhD visa (electronic travel authorization).

Suggested: How to Apply for PhD in Canada?

Now that you’re aware of how to apply for PhD in Canada, let’s understand the PhD in Canada cost in detail.


Cost of Studying PhD in Canada for Indian Students

PhD programs in Canada have a study duration of 4-6 years as it depends on the course program and university choice. The cost of studying PhD programs in Canada is divided into two categories:

Average Tuition Fees

Most PhD universities in Canada ask international students to conduct PhD fee payment either on an annual basis or per term wise. The average annual payment for PhD programs is 4000 CAD - 8000 CAD/year. On a per term basis, the PhD fees range between 2000 CAD - 8000 CAD.

Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Canada for international students ranges between 15,000 CAD- 20,000 CAD/year based on lifestyle preferences and standard of living.


List of Top Universities and Colleges that offer PhD Programs in Canada

Canada is home to prestigious universities that offers versatile and highly standard PhD programs for international students. In fact, there is a total of 98 PhD universities in Canada. We have covered the top ones below:

List of Top Universities and Colleges that offer PhD Programs in Canada


Top PhD Scholarships in Canada for International Students

While Canada has an affordable fees structure, for international students, the PhD fees in Canada move to a higher range. Luckily for the tight-budgeted students looking to pursue PhD programs, the PhD scholarships in Canada are available.

Scholarship Name


Ontario Trillium Scholarship (Western University)

40,000 CAD/year, renewed for up to 4 years

University of Alberta Graduate Entrance Scholarships

21,000 CAD, cannot be renewed

Doctoral Scholarship at University of Montreal

7,000 CAD, renewable once

4 year Doctoral Fellowship- University of British Columbia

18,200 CAD ( annual stipend) also covers full tuition fees up to 4 years

Graduate Entrance Scholarship- University of Windsor

7,500 CAD up to 4 years

As you’ve witnessed PHD fees in Canada for international students is covered with the PhD scholarships in Canada provided. So, what does the real world look like for PhD graduates?


Job Opportunities after Pursuing PhD in Canada

PhD graduates have ample amount of opportunities once they’ve completed their study periods. Here are the top job profiles to consider:

Job Profiles

Average Salary/Year in CAD

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Research Director


Research Analyst


Principal Scientist


Research Engineer


PR In Canada

PhD students are now eligible to apply for PR (Permanent residency) in Canada. The criteria are as follows:

  • Applied for PR via federal skilled work visa
  • Completed at least 2 years of study in PhD program
  • Holds a good academic recognition

PhD graduates as well can apply for PR given that they have applied within one year of their graduation.

Canada has always been a magnet for international students looking to pursue higher education in the country. Graduating after pursuing PhD programs in Canada gives students higher leverage on their career choices and subject knowledge. Now that you have all the PhD requirements in Canada, it’s time to connect with Yocket Counsellors and apply for a PhD in Canada.


Frequently Asked Questions about PhD in Canada

Is PhD in Canada worth it?

Is PhD in Canada for Indian students difficult?

Is PhD in Canada cost cheaper?

Can PhD students work in Canada?

Can PhD in Canada for international students apply for PR?

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