Graduate Studies










Summer, Fall and Spring
Program Components: 

 Coursework + Thesis

Registration Options: 



The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is designed to immerse students into further investigation and research, to build and support the programs of research at the University and to enliven the undergraduate learning environment.

The PhD program is thesis-based and offered in a number of areas of study. Depending on the academic background, students may be required to take up to six courses in their area of study; the number and details of the courses are determined at the time of admission to the program. Students are required to secure a potential supervisor prior to submitting an application for this program.​ For further information please visit our Search Supervisors page. ​

The PhD program is administered centrally by the School of Graduate Studies rather than by individual departments or Faculties.

Admission requirements

Applicants normally must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a master's degree in a related discipline
  • Most majors: minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, on a 4.00 scale, on all graded master’s-level courses
  • CSPT and Education: minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50, on a 4.00 scale, on all graded master’s-level courses
  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) for graduate student
  • Secure a potential supervisor
Application process

Step 1: Prepare Supporting Documents

Before you begin an application, review the requirements for your supporting documents:

  • Transcripts
  • Three academic references 
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of Intent (one page)
  • English Language Proficiency (ELP) for graduate students
  • If additional documentation is required, the School of Graduate Studies will contact you

Step 2: Find a Supervisor

To find a potential supervisor, you will need to contact a uLethbridge faculty member with expertise in the your research area. Please visit Search Supervisors page to find a potential supervisor.

Step 3: Submit Online Application by Deadline

Submit your complete application by midnight (MST/MDT) on the deadline date.

Step 4: Arrange for Official Documents

Official documents (e.g., transcripts, ELP test scores) are required prior to registration.
Note: Applicants who have attended or are currently attending an institution participating in ApplyAlberta do not need to arrange for official transcripts to be sent to uLethbridge from the issuing institution. A list of participating institutions is available at

Step 5: Admission Decision Process

The departmental committee reviews your application and makes a recommendation on admission to the program committee. You will be notified of your official admission status by the Registrar’s Office no later than April 1 (February 1 deadline), July 1 (May 1 deadline) or December 1 (October 1 deadline).

Note: Students who are graduates of non-Canadian universities must provide notarized English translations of all documents not in the English language.

For more details please see the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue.

Under exceptional circumstances, academically superior students who are currently enrolled in a master’s program at uLethbridge (excluding MEd and MA in Education programs) and have demonstrated outstanding academic and research performance may be considered for a Doctor of Philosophy transfer from a uLethbridge master's program

Admission criteria

Because the capacity of the program is limited, not all students who meet the minimum admission requirements can be admitted. Criteria used for admission include:

  • your record and letters of recommendation
  • your proposed supervisor’s record of scholarship, completed and current, especially in relation to your proposed work
  • the feasibility of your project in the light of available resources
  • your financial support

If the program committee feels that you are eligible for admission, but are lacking in necessary preparation, you may be admitted subject to relevant conditions. In these cases, candidates may be given one of two options:

  • The required preparation may be undertaken prior to admission, with the permission of the program committee
  • It may be taken after admission and within the maximum time limit of 24 months for full-time students and 48 months for part-time students

In either case, the program committee establishes a definite date by which all conditions must be fully satisfied.


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