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10 Cheap Universities in Canada for International Students

affordable phd programs in canada

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: April 28, 2019

10 Cheap Universities in Canada for International Students copy

Studying in Canada is an excellent alternative for those looking for an affordable degree as an international student. Canada offers low tuition rates for international and domestic students. Plus, you’ll be studying in an English (or French!) environment in a highly developed country. The education system in Canada is reputable and comparble to countries such as the U.K. and the U.S.

Many international students choose to study in Canada for the low tuition prices , ease and comfort of living, and great reputation of the universities. For those looking for affordable degrees, here are 10 cheap universities in Canada for international students—plus a bonus free one!

affordable phd programs in canada

Why Study in Canada  

1. it’s affordable..

Compared to top universities in the United States , the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking countries, Canada offers degrees that are much easier on your wallet.

2. The reputation.

Canada has a reputation for one of the best education systems in the world, and its universities are no exception.

3. Ease of living.

Studying in another country can sound daunting, but making that happen in an English-speaking, first-world country makes it easier for international students to get along .

Tuition Fees in Canada for International Students 2022  

Tuition for international students studying in Canada will depend on the type of program and where you choose to study. Bachelor’s degrees will vary from $8,700 up to $54,000 per year in tuition, while yearly tuition fees for Master’s degrees will cost between $4,000 to $30,000 .  

Top Universities  

U.S. News lists the top Canadian universities as University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, McMaster University and University of Montreal. These universities are all recognized internationally as excellent global schools and still offer much more affordable tuition rates than their international counterparts.  

University of Montreal  

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition : $ 27,102 
  • Graduate Degree Tuition: $17,708 – $20,553

McGill University  

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $20,483 – $41,000  
  • Graduate Degree Tuition: $17,708 – $28,362  

McMaster University  

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $40,318 – $45,703  
  • Graduate Degree Tuition: $6,307 – $17,096  

University of British Columbia  

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $41,595 – $44,942
  • Graduate Degree Tuition: $9,500  

University of Toronto  

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $43,620- $62,580
  • Graduate Degree Tuition: $6,210 – $45,310  

Cheap Bachelor Degrees in Canada  

If you’re looking for the most affordable options Canada offers, look no further.  

1. University of the People

  • Location: Online
  • Tuition: Tuition-Free
  • Degree Programs: Associate, Bachelor, Master ( Business Administration , Education, Computer Science, and Health Science )

UoPeople is a US-accredited online university, meaning you can study anywhere and anytime! The application process is simple and the rewards of degree completion are definitely worthwhile.

2. Brandon University

  • Location: Brandon, Manitoba
  • Tuition: $7,203
  • Degree Programs: BA, BBA, BEd, BFA, BM, BN, BSc

International students at Brandon U are invited to apply with the university’s international application process. Brandon University claims to have a long and positive relationship with international students and offers one-to-one professor interactions and research opportunities not available at larger universities.

3. Université de Saint-Boniface

  • Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Tuition: $10,570 – 16,850
  • Degree Programs: Bachelor’s Degrees in Arts, Social Work, Translation, Science, Nursing, Business, and Education. Students may continue studies toward a Master’s degree at the University of Manitoba

International students at Saint-Boniface must expect to be able to speak a certain level of French as this is a French university. Some programs also require a level of English proficiency as well.

4. Canadian Mennonite University

  • Tuition: $10,003
  • Degree Programs: Three- and four-year BA, BSc, BBA, and Master’s Programs

International students at CMU are welcomed and encouraged to apply due to the undoubtedly wide variety of experiences and perspectives that they may bring. International students may choose from over 19 majors for bachelor’s studies.

5. Memorial University of Newfoundland

  • Location: St. Johns, Newfoundland
  • Tuition: $20,000
  • Degree Programs: More than 100 programs for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Certificates

International students at MUN: Memorial University warmly welcome and encourage international applications. The university offers specialized services for international students such as student advising, an internationalization office, and international student groups.

Cheap Master Degrees in Canada  

1. memorial university of newfoundland.

  • Tuition: $6,390
  • Degree Programs: Large variety of Master’s and Doctorate programs both in person and online, in fields of Humanities & Social Sciences, Professional Programs, Interdisciplinary Programs, and Sciences

2. University of Northern British Columbia

  • Location: Prince George, British Columbia
  • Tuition: $7,494
  • Degree Programs: MBA, MSc, MEd, MEng, MScN, MSW, Graduate Certificates, and Doctorate programs

3. University of Calgary

  • Location: Calgary, Alberta
  • Tuition: $4,319
  • Degree Programs: Offers course-based and research-based Master’s and Doctorate degrees in a variety of subjects

4. Simon Fraser University

  • Location: Burnaby, British Columbia
  • Tuition: $6,075
  • Degree Programs: Variety of graduate programs in Applied Sciences, Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Communication, Art & Technology, Education, Environment, Health Sciences, and Science

5. University of Saskatchewan

  • Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Tuition: $3,000 – $5,000
  • Degree Programs: Over 80 Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Specializing in research and medical fields

Tuition-Free Universities in Canada for International Students  

University of the People is accredited by an American accrediting institution and is suitable for all international students including Canadian students. This fully online university offers a variety of tuition-free programs ranging from Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees in Business, Computer Science , Education , and Health Science.  

Canadian universities may have low tuition fees, but you can’t beat the tuition-free rates offered by UoPeople. While the flexibility of an online degree offers the chance to study anytime and anywhere you want.  

affordable phd programs in canada

What is the Cost of Living in Canada for Students?  

As with most large countries, the cost of living varies drastically across the expansive nation of Canada. According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index , many large metropolis areas are unaffordable, however, there are still some areas left in which one can live on a student budget.  

Here’s a breakdown of the average costs a student can expect to find in Canada (in $CAD):  

  • Basic lunch & drink: $23  
  • Monthly rent in 45 sq m furnished studio: $1,729  
  • Monthly utilities: $166  
  • Monthly internet: $56  
  • Monthly public transport: $109  
  • Monthly gym membership: $64  
  • Pair of jeans: $77  
  • Private doctor visit: $115  
  • Toothpaste: $3.47  
  • Cappuccino: $5.13  

Note: The Canadian government requires that an applicant show proof of having $10,000 CAD on top of tuition for a student visa, however, you will likely need more.  

How can International Students find Funding and Support?  

While studying in Canada may save you on tuition fees, you may still want to consider applying for funding and scholarships. There are plenty of scholarships and grants available to international students, and even scholarships exclusively for students from specific countries. Check out these top tips to apply for scholarships for international students .  

How do I Apply to Canadian Universities?  

As an international student, your application to a Canadian university will have special requirements. In addition to the typical student application including letters of recommendation, resume and educational history, you may also be asked to provide the following:  

  • Proof of finances  
  • English proficiency  
  • International application  
  • Passport information  
  • A translated copy of your transcript  

Remember that you will also need a student visa to study for longer than six months in Canada. The application can be done online and costs $150 CAD. The government of Canada will ask for proof of finances, proof of health and general well-being, proof of no criminal record, and your university acceptance letter. It is recommended that you begin your student visa application as soon as you receive acceptance into the Canadian university.  

All in all, studying in Canada as an international student will gain you a reputable internationally recognized degree and you may save money as well! If you are still not convinced and looking to study in the states, check out these 7 affordable U.S. universities for international students .    

Can international students work while studying at these universities?

Yes, international students in Canada can work while studying. They can work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as summer holidays.

What is the student community like for international students in Canada?

The student community in Canada is diverse and welcoming. Canadian universities often have various support services, including international student offices, student associations, and cultural clubs, to help international students integrate and feel at home.

Can international students transfer credits from other universities to Canadian universities?

Yes, international students can transfer credits from other universities to Canadian institutions. The process typically involves submitting transcripts and course descriptions for evaluation to determine credit equivalency.

Are there any cultural integration programs available for international students in Canada?

Many Canadian universities offer cultural integration programs for international students, such as orientation sessions, buddy programs, cultural events, and language exchange programs to help students adjust to their new environment.

What housing options are available for international students in Canada?

International students in Canada have various housing options, including on-campus residences, off-campus apartments, homestays with local families, and shared accommodations. Each university typically provides resources and assistance to help students find suitable housing.

Are there English language proficiency requirements for international students in Canada?

Yes, most Canadian universities require international students to demonstrate English language proficiency. Commonly accepted tests include IELTS, TOEFL, and CAEL. Specific score requirements vary by institution and program.

Are there any specific visa requirements for international students in Canada?

International students need a study permit to study in Canada for more than six months. The application process requires proof of acceptance from a Canadian institution, proof of financial support, and other documents like a valid passport and health insurance.

Can international students bring their families while studying in Canada?

Yes, international students can bring their families to Canada. Spouses or common-law partners may apply for an open work permit, and dependent children can attend school. Family members are required to have proper documentation and visa applications.

What is the process for international students to obtain health insurance in Canada?

Health insurance for international students in Canada varies by province. Some provinces provide health coverage, while others require students to purchase private health insurance. For detailed information, it is essential to check with the specific university and provincial health services.

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.

Related Articles

  • PhD Funding in Canada – A Guide for 2023

PhD Funding in Canada

Written by Mark Bennett

A low cost of living and an emphasis on the importance of support for research students makes Canada a surprisingly affordable place to complete a PhD . The country's excellent research opportunities and international outlook only add to the appeal.

Canadian PhD funding can take the form of government fellowships, independent research scholarships or graduate assistantships offered by universities themselves. We've covered all of the main options on this page and explained how best to find support for your doctorate.

Canadian PhD funding – what you need to know first

Canada is a big place: strictly speaking, it's the world's second-largest country by land mass. Or, if that's not enough to impress you, Canada's largest lake is bigger than several countries, including Denmark, Scotland and Switzerland.

What does this have to do with PhD study? Well, Canada's size – and the fact that it's split into several substantial provinces and territories – makes it tricky to generalise about funding. Here are a few things to bear in mind before you do:

  • Canada does offer student loans but these are usually only available to Canadian citizens or other students with the right to permanent residence in Canada.
  • Canada is divided into 10 separate provinces (there are also three territories, but these don't host research universities) and each has the freedom to determine its own educational policy. This means that some funding options can vary between universities in different states,
  • Doctoral fees are usually higher for international students but this isn't always the case. Some universities make a point of charging the same fee to all candidates.
  • Some Canadian universities actually impose a baseline funding standard for their PhD students. This means that everyone who is admitted to a do a PhD has to be provided with a minimum amount of support by their department, research group or graduate school.

It may be helpful to take a look at our overall guide to PhD study in Canada , if you haven't already done so.

The cost of a PhD in Canada

Canada is a fairly affordable destination for international PhD students and is generally cheaper than other popular countries like the UK and USA . That said, the cost of studying a PhD in Canada does vary (we've mentioned that it's a big country, right?).

Canadian PhD fees aren't regulated by the central government, or by individual federal governments. This means that universities can charge what they wish for their doctoral programmes. Some also charge extra for international students, but this isn't always the case.

As a rough estimate, you can expect to pay between CAD $2,500 and CAD $17,000 (USD $1,830-12,425) per year for your PhD fees.

It's worth checking whether or not you'll actually need to pay these fees. Some Canadian universities automatically waive PhD tuition as part of a baseline funding arrangement. In practice this is the same as them giving all doctoral students a scholarship or fellowship (and usually means applications will be more competitive).

Living costs

The Canadian Government expects international students to have around CAD $10,000 (USD $7,310) available to support themselves for each year of study (this is one of the requirements for a Canadian study permit). In practice you should probably aim to have a little bit more available, with around CAD $1,000 (USD $730) per month for accommodation and maintenance.

See our guide to living in Canada during a PhD for more advice.

Other expenses

Whether or not you'll need health insurance to study a PhD in Canada depends on which province your university is located in. It's best to speak to them directly; some institutions even provide their own health insurance via their student union.

Most international students will also need a study permit to live in Canada during a PhD. This is effectively a Canadian student visa and normally costs CAD $150 (USD $110).

Canadian Government PhD funding

The Canadian Government recognises the contribution of international PhD students (like you!) to the country's ongoing status as a centre for world-leading research and education. There are a range of international PhD scholarships in Canada, whilst several of its national research centres also provide funding for doctoral training.

PhD scholarships in Canada

Queen elizabeth scholarships.

Named for Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, who is also Canada's head of state, this scheme supports international students from a range of countries (not just the UK).

The most recent call for applicants was intended for students from West African countries and was awarded through individual Canadian universities, with generous funding available for successful applicants.

Deadlines for Queen Elizabeth doctoral scholarship applications are usually set in October. Keep an eye on the QES website , or ask your prospective university if it expects this funding to be available to you.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)

The Vanier scholarships provide up to CAD $50,000 (USD $36,585) per year for doctoral study in Canada. Over 150 scholarships are available each year, specifically for international students.

To apply, you will need to be nominated by your institution and demonstrate excellence in research and leadership potential.

There's more information on the Vanier CGS website .

National Research Councils

The Canadian Government awards funding for research and doctoral training in different fields through a group of federal research and development bodies. These include:

  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
  • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

Most of the doctoral funding offered by these councils, such as their flagship Canada Graduate Scholarships isn't normally available to applicants who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

However, particular awards or funding programmes may be made available to international students in some years.

International Development Research Centre (IRDC)

Canada's IRDC distributes government funding to assist with research into global development challenges.

Opportunities are available for Canadian and international students to apply for support with a PhD through the IRDC Doctoral Research Awards. These typically offer a maximum salary of CAD $48,659 (USD $35,600) for 12 months of PhD research in relevant fields.

See the IRDC website for more details.

Other opportunities

The Government of Canada website features an interactive database of funding opportunities for international students.

Student loans for international students in Canada

Even though federal and provincial loans from the Canadian government are reserved for domestic students, international students are free to take a loan with a commercial banks ot other third-party organisations. These loans have a specific interest rate and you'll have to adhere to a strict repayment schedule.

Sometimes banks offer student-friendly interest rates, however, you must think carefully about how you'll manage repayments so you don't accummulate debt.

Industry and charities

Canada is a large country (as we may have mentioned) with a huge number of independent organisations pursuing and funding research at PhD level. Some of these are trusts and foundations with charitable goals. Others are commercial companies with an interest in producing new products and intellectual property.

It's in the nature of these opportunities to be quite changeable and the best way to spot them is often to chat with a prospective supervisor (they'll usually know who does and doesn't fund research in your field). There are a couple of larger organisations you should be aware of though:

Mitacs Accelerate

Mitacs works to connect Canadian universities with business and industry in order to support the country's knowledge-based economy and research and development goals.

Their Mitacs Accelerate Fellowships provide funding for doctoral students to complete a PhD through collaboration between their university and an external partner. Fellowships provide funding for up to four years of doctoral work, including several internships that develop the candidate's wider skills and employability.

See the Mitacs Accelerate website for more information.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation

Formed in honour of Canada's former prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, the PETF provides scholarships for doctoral research in Humanities and Social Sciences at Canadian universities.

International students are eligible to apply provided their research aligns with the goals of the foundation (to focus on human rights, responsible citizenship, connections between Canada and other countries, and relationships between people and the environment.

You will need to be recommended for a scholarship by a Canadian university which has already accepted you for your PhD. The competition normally opens in September, with a December deadline. Scholarships are selected in March ready to commence in the autumn.

See the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation website for more information.

University grants and assistantships

Canadian universities have a strong commitment to supporting their PhD students.

Some departments and graduate schools actually stipulated a minimum funding amount that must be provided to all their doctoral students. This means that you are guaranteed some funding if you are offered a place on the relevant PhD programme.

It isn't possible to search for this funding across all universities, but you should keep an eye out for it when exploring Canadian PhD projects and programmes. Keep an eye out for terms like baseline funding or minimum funding packages .

Graduate assistantships

It's common for Canadian universities to offer some form of funding in return for doctoral students completing work within their department. Sometimes this is additional paid work, treated like a salary. Other times it may be a condition of a baseline funding package, or PhD fellowship.

There are three common types of assistantship:

  • Teaching assistantships pay PhD students to assist with the delivery of undergraduate (and sometimes Masters) programmes in their subject. You may be asked to teach classes, demonstrate techniques, supervise projects and mark assessments. In return you'll normally receive a salary in line with public sector pay standards. This may count as taxable income, rather than direct funding.
  • Research assistantships are like grants provided by supervisors / principle investigators to support PhD students within their work groups. This money is usually paid as a stipend or scholarship and doesn't always come with additional responsibilities (as your PhD is already a contribution to the group's research).
  • Academic assistantships provide funding in return for additional work that is separate from your PhD, but isn't exclusively related to teaching. This might include carrying out separate data collection and analysis, or simply taking on further administrative and upkeep responsibilities within your lab or department.

The best way to find graduate assistantships for PhD study in Canada is to check with individual universities and departments.

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PhD Courses in Canada

  • Canada Study Levels
  • PhD Degrees

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PhD Degrees in Canada

A PhD is the highest degree awarded at global universities. Study is based on a substantial research project in an area of academic interest, typically up to 100,000 words in length, written as a thesis which must be defended in an oral examination at the end of the program. All PhD students are assigned a supervisor, and the duration of a PhD is typically three years full-time and six years part-time.

Very few research degrees feature taught modules, and as such a student is expected to take more responsibility for their work and schedule. Universities in Canada are known for their academic excellence and state-of-the-art research infrastructure, along with their support for enterprise partnerships.  

PhD Entry Requirements

Canadian institutions are free to admit anyone to a PhD program, with admission generally conditional on the prospective student having completed an undergraduate degree with at least upper second-class honours, as well as a master's degree . English language ability proof is a must, and a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is generally required. There is usually a first-year assessment to remain in study and the thesis is submitted at the end of the completed program.

Once you have decided on an area of research and have looked into how you will fund your study, there are a number of documents required when submitting your application. They include:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Academic references
  • Personal statement
  • Research proposal

- PhD Research Proposal

A research proposal is required by all students when applying to study for a PhD. The proposal should address the research you wish to undertake, how you will do it, and why it is important. A panel of experts must accept the proposal before your program can begin.

How much does a PhD cost in Canada?

Funding and researching a PhD can be expensive. Candidates can cost between $5,000-$20,000 per year, although this is still considerably cheaper than US or UK equivalents. Dedicated scholarships can help support your PhD, and it is rare for a PhD student not to be supported by some form of bursary, grant or scholarship .

Study a PhD in Canada

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PhD programs

Take a deep dive into the topic you love with a phd, at the university of ottawa, you can:.

  • Join a select community of researchers and work in state-of-the-art labs – uOttawa is ranked among the top 10 research universities in Canada.
  • Study in the heart of the nation’s capital, a bilingual and multicultural setting where networks of senior stakeholders take action on major issues and influence decisions.
  • Receive considerable financial support.

Joseph Kim, doctoral student

“One of the reasons I chose the University of Ottawa is for its multidisciplinary or multi-university thesis committees available to students in their first year of doctoral studies.”

Valérie Costanzo, LL.B., LL.M., lawyer, PhD candidate

Explore ways to finance your doctoral studies

The University of Ottawa has many scholarships or financial support options available to you. As a doctoral candidate, there is also the option to earn money while gaining valuable experience through teaching and research assistantships.

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“Supervising doctoral students is a privilege: it allows for the discovery of new research challenges and for the development of sustainable relationships.”

Emmanuelle Bernheim, LL.D., PhD, Full professor, Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section

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Top 10 PhD Programs in Canada for International Students 2022

Archana S Image

Mar 4, 2024 | 8 min read

Know more about PhD programs in Canada with details such as duration, admission requirements, fees & PhD scholarship in Canada for international students.

Top 10 PhD Programs in Canada for International Students 2022

Canada is home to several globally renowned research universities providing PhD programs in Canada for international students. Canada is the most preferred Study Abroad in Canada  for international students, mainly because of its affordability and also due to its multicultural student community and cosmopolitan environment.

PhD programs in Canada offer high-quality research facilities and opportunities to doctoral students. A PhD in Canada is offered in over 500 different graduate and postgraduate academic disciplines such as business, engineering, mathematics, management, etc. The duration of a PhD in Canada is about 4-6 years. The average tuition fees for a PhD in Canada ranges from $10,000- $20,500 per academic year.

International students are required to have high academic scores in addition to high scores in admission tests such as GMAT and GRE for PhD admission in Canada. International students with a PhD in Canada can avail of post-study work visa schemes. All details related to a PhD in Canada, such as top universities in Canada for PhD, admission requirements, fees, and scholarships in Canada for international students are  discussed.

Table of Contents

List of Top 10 PhD Programs in Canada for International Students

Top universities in canada for phd, why pursue a phd in canada, phd in canada course structure, admission requirements to study phd in canada, application process for phd in canada, phd in canada cost for international students, best phd scholarship in canada for international students, scope of pursuing phd in canada.

In the following table, international students can find the best PhD programs in Canada 2022:

PhD in Philosophy

McMaster University 


7th September 2022

PhD Program in Management

McGill University


31st July 2022

PhD in Information

University of Toronto


1st September 2022

Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies

Wycliffe College


1st September 2022

Doctor of Philosophy in Biomolecular Science

University of Lethbridge


1st September 2022

Doctor of Social Sciences

Royal Roads University


11th January 2022

PhD in Conflict Studies

Saint Paul University


1st January 2022

PhD in Communication, New Media and Cultural Studies

McMaster University 


7th September 2022

PhD in Theology

Saint Paul University


1st January 2022

PhD in Administration

University of Montreal


1st August 2022

Canada has nearly 100 research institutions offering doctoral degrees to both domestic and international students. These PhD programs in Canada are offered through dedicated graduate schools and colleges under the respective Canadian universities. Both public and private Canadian universities offer PhD programs in Canada to international students. Online PhD Canada are offered by some universities such as Royal Roads University and Athabasca University . Given below are some of the top universities in Canada for PhD along with their QS World Rankings 2022:


International students in Canada pursuing PhD programs in Canada gain the opportunity to work with leading researchers and avail of top-quality research facilities and opportunities. International students are also eligible for a Canadian work visa post-study in Canada. Online PhD programs in Canada are offered by some of the Canadian universities such as the Royal Roads University and Athabasca University. Online PhD in Canada is offered under various disciplines such as business administration, social sciences, etc. Listed below are some of the reasons for international students to pursue a PhD in Canada:

  • PhD programs in Canada are offered in over 500 different graduate and postgraduate academic disciplines such as management, mathematics, business, engineering and technology, etc.
  • Canada is home to nearly 100 renowned research universities offering high-quality education and research opportunities to students. Six of the Canadian universities are ranked in the top 150 universities in the world by several ranking agencies.
  • Certain PhD programs in Canada do not require a master’s programs in Canada in the respective field. The student pursuing the master’s degree program is provided with the option to switch to the PhD program after the first year.
  • Students pursuing PhD in Canada are expected to start working on their thesis and research soon after starting their PhD program. Students have the opportunity to work with top researchers in the respective fields.
  • Canada offers affordable education as well as the standard of living to international students.
  • International students with a PhD degree in Canada are eligible to apply for a post-study work visa in Canada that could lead to a permanent residence or citizenship in Canada. International students can live and work in Canada for up to 3 years after completion of their doctoral studies.

PhD programs typically require students to pursue a full-time course for a minimum of three years, but it is often found that students require much more time to do their research and complete their degrees. Usually a PhD program in Canada gets completed within a maximum duration of of six years.

The PhD is generally completed under the supervision of one or more academic supervisors in Canada. Students need to submit a substantial doctoral thesis at the end of the course. The thesis is then reviewed and evaluated by a set of examiners.

Additionally, you may be required to prepare a presentation to explain your research to the committee during your PhD oral defense. Your overall performance and the quality of your thesis play a major role in obtaining a PhD degree in Canada.

The admission requirements for international students to study PhD in Canada varies based on the program and the Canadian university. The basic requirement is for the student to have a master’s degree in the respective field of study. A PhD program in Canada takes up to 4-6 years to complete. Some of the PhD requirements in Canada for international students to study PhD in Canada are listed below:

  • International students should have high academic grades in the master’s degree in their respective fields. Students should also have excellent research capabilities and potential.
  • International students are required to submit the proof of English proficiency with test scores such as TOEFL, IELTS, etc. Students pursuing courses in French are required to prove French language proficiency.
  • Applicants should have good GMAT/ GRE scores for admission to any doctoral program in Canada.
  • Specific PhD programs in Canada do not require a masters degree from students. Students enrolled in master’s degree programs have an option to switch to a PhD program after the first year.
  • A PhD student in Canada is expected to start working on their thesis and research work as soon as the start of the PhD program.

In Canada, the process for applying for a PhD may differ from one university to another. However, the common admission requirements of PhD offering universities in Canada remain the same. Let us look at the step-by-step process of obtaining PhD admission in Canada:

Select the Type of PhD Program you want to Pursue

Submit research outline, apply online and upload necessary documents, attend your interview, obtain your study permit.

You have the option to choose structured or open PhD programs in Canada. In a Structured PhD, the research outline is determined by the university. In an Open PhD, you must propose and outline your own research project.

Both courses require students to identify a supervisor who will guide them throughout the process. In addition to your application, some universities will require a letter of support from your supervisor.

If you have decided to pursue an open PhD in Canada, you must submit a research proposal outlining your project and its significance in the present. The research proposal must comply with the research guidelines set by your chosen university.

Fill out the online application form of the university of your choice, pay the application fees, and attach the important documents. PhD applicants are required to submit the following documents:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Proof of English language proficiency (IELTS/TOEFL)
  • Two to three Letters of recommendation
  • Portfolios (for creative fields)

You may be required to sit for an online/virtual interview by some Canadian universities before being admitted. So make sure you do not miss out on the interview date and prepare well in order to secure a seat at the university.

Following acceptance by the university, you need to apply for a Canadian study permit. You need the following documents to obtain your study permit:

  • Health insurance
  • Medical certificate
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Acceptance letter from a DLI
  • Language proficiency scores (IELTS/TOEFL)
  • The intent of returning to the home country

The PhD in Canada cost varies based on the different courses and also the university that is offering the doctoral degree. Generally, the PhD in Canada cost for international students is double the cost for Canadian students. The average fees of a PhD program in Canada for international students range between $8,000 - $25,000 per year. In addition to the tuition fees, international students are required to bear the living costs in Canada for the duration of their PhD program. Tuition fees of different universities offering PHD in Canada are shown in the table below:

University of Toronto

4.9 lakhs

University of British Columbia

4.8 lakhs

McGill University

10.6 lakhs

McMaster University

8.9 lakhs

University of Montreal

4.1 lakhs

University of Alberta

5.1 lakhs

University of Ottawa

3.8 lakhs

University of Calgary

7 lakhs

University of Waterloo

7.4 lakhs

Western University

6.2 lakhs

There are several PhD programs in Canada with scholarships for international students. The PhD scholarship in Canada for international students is awarded based on academic merit and covers the charges for tuition fees, cost of research, and sometimes living expenses as well. A fully funded PhD in Canada will cover most of the costs associated with living, travel, accommodation, insurance, and flight charges. The average tuition fee for international students for PhD studies in Canada is $8,000 - $20,000 per academic year. A range of scholarships, fellowships, grants, and awards are available for international students provided by the respective universities in Canada for PhD. Both government-sponsored and independent scholarships are available to international students based on their country of origin. Listed below are some of the PhD scholarship in Canada for international students:

  • The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships
  • The University of British Columbia Four Year Doctoral Fellowship
  • Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowships
  • University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarship
  • The Graduate Global Leadership Fellowship
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  • University of Calgary Graduate Scholarship
  • The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF)

A doctorate opens up a world of possibilities for a student. Upon completion of your PhD in Canada, you have an array of career options available to you, from teaching to research work with industry giants. You will receive a salary based on the specialization you chose. Even so, we can still take a look at the salaries offered to PhD students at some of Canada's top universities:

University of British Columbia


McGill University


University of Toronto


University of Waterloo


Carleton University


Please note that the salaries shown above are the upper range of salaries offered to students. Some of the top research profiles and salary packages offered to PhD graduate in Canada are tabulated below:

Research Scientist


Postdoctoral Research Associate


Research Engineer


Principal Scientist


R&D Director




Medical Science Liaison



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  • Study in Canada /

Fully Funded PhD Programs in Canada


  • Updated on  
  • Apr 24, 2023

Fully Funded PhD Programs for International Students -03 (1)

Canada has emerged as a popular study destination for Indian students who want to pursue higher studies abroad. It is known for its quality education and employability, which is no wonder why more than 1 lakh Indian students choose to go to Canada for higher education every year. A PhD Degree in Canada is more affordable in comparison to that in popular study destinations like the UK or the US . More than 90 universities in Canada offer PhD Programs to international students, and it takes around 3-6 years to complete. It becomes a lot easier for Indian students to manage their expenses if they receive any kind of scholarship . But most of the scholarships are partially funded, so students tend to look for fully-funded programs. If you are also looking for a fully-funded PhD Program in Canada, then you are at the right place. Read the blog to know about the fully-funded PhD Programs offered in Canada.

This Blog Includes:

Why study phd in canada, are you eligible, banting postdoctoral fellowships, nserc postgraduate scholarships, anne vallee ecological fund, trudeau scholarships and fellowships, mcgill university scholarships and student aid, career opportunities after pursuing a phd in canada.

  • Top-Class Universities : Many universities in Canada have been ranked among the top universities in the world . Canadian Universities are well known for excellent academic and research facilities.
  • Work Opportunities: PhD students are already paid a stipend every year as they contribute to their respective field of study throughout their PhD course. However, not many students know that PhD Students in Canada can do a part-time job for 10 hours a week and stay for up to 3 years through Post Graduation Work Permit after completing their studies.
  • Affordable: The tuition fee of pursuing a PhD in Canada ranges from CAD 6,000 to 30,000 (INR 3-17Lakhs). Compared to other countries such as the UK or the US, it is a lot more affordable.
  • Financial Aid: There is a wide range of financial aid, i.e. scholarships and grants for international students who want to pursue a doctoral program in Canada. 

Have you heard about the popular Leverage Edu scholarship worth INR 5,00,000! CHECK OUT HERE

Also Read: MBA Courses in Canada

To pursue a doctoral degree, you must first be able to fulfil the eligibility criteria set by the Universities offering the same. Eligibility requirements may vary for different courses, given below is the general eligibility criteria you must meet to pursue a PhD in Canada:

  • A postgraduate degree in a related field with good grades.
  • English Language Proficiency proof through English Language Tests such as IELTS and TOEFL .
  • Good scores in GMAT or GRE , if required.

Join Leverage Live to score high in English Language Tests such as IELTS and TOEFL .

Fully-Funded PhD Programs 

The Canadian Government provides international students with a lot of scholarships for every degree. Mentioned below are the fully-funded PhD Programs offered by the Canadian Government:

Also Read: Scholarships in Canada for Indian and International Students

These fully-funded PhD Programs are offered to international students and home students every year. These are offered to students who are pursuing the following:

  • Health research
  • Natural sciences
  • Engineering
  • Social sciences and humanities

Award Grant: CAD 70,000 (INR 41.45 Lakhs) per year

These scholarships are offered to international students for up to 3 years who are pursuing a PhD in the following:

  • Natural Sciences

Award Grant: CAD 21,000 (INR 12.43 Lakhs) per year

This scholarship is offered to international students who are pursuing a PhD program in Animal Research at any of the following:

  • University of British Columbia
  • A recognised Canadian university in Quebec

Award Grant: CAD 1,500 (INR 88,840)

These scholarships are offered to international students pursuing any PhD program in Canada. Every year more than 12 scholarships are awarded to students.

Award Grant of CAD 60,000 (INR 35.53 Lakhs).

These fully-funded scholarships are awarded to international students enrolled in doctoral programs at McGill University .

Award Grant is valued between CAD 3,000 and CAD 12,000 (INR 1.77-7.10 Lakhs).

Also Read: Top Colleges and Universities in Canada

There are a variety of career opportunities based on the chosen field of study after pursuing a PhD in Canada. Mentioned below are some of the popular job profiles along with their average salary for PhD students in Canada:

R&D DirectorCAD 110,757 (INR 65.59 Lakhs)
Research ScientistCAD 69,511 (INR 41.16 Lakhs)
Postdoctoral Research AssociateCAD 48,000 (INR 28.42 Lakhs)
Research EngineerCAD 119,315 (INR 70.66 Lakh)
Principal ScientistCAD 100,263 (INR 59.38 Lakhs )

Some of the popular PhD courses or subjects in Canada for international students are Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Humanities, Medicine & Health, Business & Management, Engineering and Computer Science.

Canadian Universities have 3 intakes i.e Winter- January, Fall- September, and Summer- May.

The acceptance rate at the University of Waterloo is 53%.

If you are looking for a fully funded PhD program in Canada but are confused with the admission process, get in touch with our experienced counsellors at Leverage Edu on 1800572000. They’ll guide you throughout the process of selecting the best PhD program and university that will equip you with the right exposure to kick-start your career.

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Daman is an author with profound expertise in writing engaging and informative content focused on EdTech and Study Abroad. With a keen understanding of these domains, Daman excels at creating complex concepts into accessible, reader-friendly material. With a proven track record of insightful articles, Daman stands as a reliable source for providing content for EdTech and Study Abroad.

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Clinical Psychology PhDs

Hey Grace. Check out these fully funded scholarships for PhD in Clinical Psychology. That is, the Trudeau Scholarships and Fellowships, and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. Several universities also offer scholarships for PhD in Clinical Psychology. Some of them are- Harvard University, Arizona State University, and Fordham University. To know more about courses and university visit the study abroad experts at Leverage Edu

Dear Sister Blessy George, This is Teja from India, Can you please guide me or share some info regarding PHD in Environment or climate change or best one which fit or good to settle in canada after doing PHD.

Hey Teja. Phd in climate change is not available in Canada. However, you can pursue a PhD in Environmental Sciences. Some of the popular universities include the University of Prince Edward Island, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Carleton University. Some of the career options after this course include Environmental Scientist, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst, and professor, among others. To learn more information about this course consult the study abroad experts at Leverage Edu.

I would like to receive guidance on fully funded PhD scholarships in the area of epidemiology in canada. Kindly oblige me this information, I am planning towards admission in January 2024. Thank you.

Hello Blessy I’m currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in international operational law in Sweden. I would like to know of my PhD options in Canada. Please Advise

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PhD in Canada: ...

PhD in Canada: Requirements, Fees, & How to Apply?


Pursuing a PhD in Canada may be the perfect path if you're looking to take your education to the highest level. With world-class universities, brilliant experts, and affordable tuition, Canada has become a top destination for PhD students. In fact, PhD graduation rates have skyrocketed, with over 7,000 students earning their doctorate degrees each year since 2002.

But getting started on the road to a Canadian PhD can be tricky for international students. From aligning your research interests with the right program to navigating the admission process, it pays to have an insider guide. This step-by-step guide breaks down everything you need to know as an Indian student looking to earn your doctoral degree in Canada.

We’ll walk through how to choose the university and program that best fits your academic goals. Learn about available funding and scholarships to make a Canadian Ph.D. affordable. Get tips on acing your application, from tailoring your personal statement to shining in interviews. And see what life is really like as a PhD student in Canada’s vibrant, diverse university cities.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your academic journey, let this guide set you up for PhD success in Canada. Be sure to also check out Yocket Premium for more personalized assistance in getting admitted to your dream Canadian university!

Why Study PhD in Canada?

Before we can proceed further toward learning the Ph.D. requirements in Canada , let’s first understand why international students should choose to study Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. Programs: Universities in Canada for Ph.D . offers a range of in-demand Ph.D. 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 2024: There are close to 10+ universities that offer PhD courses in Canada. These universities are ranked under the QS World Rankings 2024. Apart from this, these universities also stand high on the list of Nobel Prize Winners worldwide. The University of Toronto is one example.

Universities in Canada for PhD

PhD in Canada: Course Overview

Canada has been honored 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.


4 - 6 years


Fall, Winter, Spring/Summer

CAD 8,081 (INR 4,97,770) - CAD 16,122 (INR 9,93,080)/year

CAD 86,000 (INR 52,97,430)/ year

Government Fellowships

Independent Research Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Are you on your journey to study Ph.D. in Canada? Navigating through countless universities can be overwhelming, but fear not! Yocket's University Finder Tool is your compass to discovering the perfect academic destination tailored to your preferences. Say goodbye to information overload and hello to a personalized university search experience.

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:

  • A Masters Degree
  • Official Transcripts
  • Research Statement
  • Writing Sample
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • English Language Proficiency Test Scores

1. Masters Degree

International students need to submit a Master's Degree when applying for a Ph.D. program in this country. Most educational institutes expect a score of 80% .

2. Official Transcripts

Apart from the Master's degree certificates, international students need to submit all official transcripts of their previous educational qualifications such as a bachelor's 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 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:

  • TOEFL - Overall 107/20
  • IELTS - Overall 7.5

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How to Apply for PhD in Canada?

Here is a quick overview of how to apply for a Ph.D. in Canada.

  • Step-1: Choose the project type, new or existing
  • Step-2: Find the ideal supervisor for your project
  • Step-3: Research for funding opportunities for your PhD studies
  • Step-4: Visit the university's official website to submit all related documents before the deadlines
  • Step-5: Attend Ph.D. interview if scheduled
  • Step-6: Apply for a study permit and PhD visa (electronic travel authorization).

: How to Apply for PhD in Canada?

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

Cost of Studying PhD in Canada for Indian Students

PhD programs in Canada have a study duration of 4-6 years depending 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 payments either on an annual basis or per term. The average annual payment for PhD programs is CAD 4000 (INR 2,46,390) - CAD 8000 (INR 4,92,780)/year. On a per-term basis, the PhD fees in Canada ranges between CAD 2000 (INR 1,23,190) -  CAD 8000 (INR 4,92,780) .

Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Canada for international students ranges between CAD 15,000 (INR 9,23,970) - CAD 20,000 (INR 12,31,960)/year based on lifestyle preferences and standard of living. 

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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:

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.

Ontario Trillium Scholarship (Western University)

, renewed for up to 4 years

University of Alberta Graduate Entrance Scholarships

, cannot be renewed

Doctoral Scholarship at the University of Montreal

, renewable once

4-year Doctoral Fellowship- University of British Columbia

( annual stipend) also covers full tuition fees for up to 4 years

Graduate Entrance Scholarship- University of Windsor

up to 4 years

As you’ve witnessed Ph.D. fees in Canada for international students are covered by the PhD scholarships in Canada provided. So, what does the real world look like for PhD graduates?

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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:

Postdoctoral Research Associate

CAD 48,046 (INR 29,59,540)

Research Director

CAD 77,435 (INR 47,69,840)

Research Analyst

CAD 62,617 (INR 38,57,080)

Principal Scientist

CAD 98,881 (INR 60,90,880)

Research Engineer

CAD 63,699 (INR 39,23,730)

PR In Canada After PhD

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

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

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

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Canada has always been a magnet for international students looking to pursue higher education in the country. Graduating after pursuing Ph.D. 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.

From the Desk of Yocket

In conclusion, pursuing a PhD in Canada offers a promising academic journey for international students, particularly from India. The country's robust education system, coupled with top-notch universities and affordable fees, has made it a prime choice. As the number of Ph.D. graduates continues to rise, this guide aims to simplify the complex process, providing a valuable resource for those navigating the intricacies of securing a doctoral position in Canada. Best of luck with your academic pursuit in the Great White North!

Need help with pursuing a PhD in Canada? Navigate the complexities with Yocket Premium ! Our comprehensive guidance covers the best universities, eligibility, requirements, fees, scholarships, and scope for your doctoral journey. Explore Yocket Premium for a seamless experience in planning and achieving your academic aspirations in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions about Studying PhD in Canada

Is PhD in Canada worth it?

Yes, Pursuing a PhD in Canada is worth all the time, effort, and money as the country is home to bright PhD minds, well-ranked PhD educational institutes, and offers a range of PhD programs in Canada.

Is PhD in Canada for Indian students difficult?

The difficulty level depends on the students pursuing a PhD program. If an international student has sufficient money to survive their PhD program or opts for a funding opportunity, their study period will continue smoothly. PhD programs in Canada are research-oriented and will confidently create a better career path for PhD graduates. 

Is PhD in Canada cost cheaper?

Yes, when compared to other countries such as the USA, Canada is relatively cheaper for PhD studies. Apart from this the country also offers multiple funding opportunities to support tightly budgeted students. To name a few are scholarships, assistantships, and fellowships.

Can PhD students work in Canada?

Yes, PhD students are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week. Once they graduate, they are eligible to live and work for up to 3 years in the country.

Can PhD in Canada for international students apply for PR?

Yes, PhD students are eligible to apply for PR in Canada. The country allows students who complete 2 years in a PhD program to apply for PR as well as graduate students who apply within a year of graduation.


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All you need to know to start your PhD degree in Canada!

If you want to know why you should opt for studying PhD in Canada, check out our top insights on programs, universities, fees, requirements, admissions and more.

PhD degree is often required when you apply for high-level management jobs, government expert positions, and careers like a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields.

Why choose Canada?

In fact, more than a third of Canada’s overall research is conducted at its prestigious universities , which makes the country attractive in terms of facilities availability and work prospects for graduates. Apart from the fact that Canadian Institutions are known for providing consistently high-quality education , Canada offers :

Internationally recognised degrees.

Globally competitive state-of-the-art facilities.

High graduate employability rates.

Post-study work options as you can stay and work for up to 3 years.

Culturally diverse experience for international students.

Low cost of living & tuition fees compared to English-speaking countries.

High quality of life & high living standards.

One of the world’s most peaceful countries.

Top PhD programs in Canada

PhD degrees in Canada are offered in a wide range of studies , including natural sciences, arts, and technical fields:


Biological sciences


Political sciences


How many years does it take to study PhD in Canada?

Programs in the universities of Canada are mostly research thesis-based, and last for 4 to 6 years. Generally, Canadian doctorate programs have more in common with the UK than the neighbouring USA. Unlike the American programs which begin with 1 or 2 years of taught classes and examinations before defining a thesis topic, the Canadian PhD program is often more research focused.

How much does it cost to do PhD in Canada?

There are many scholarships dedicated for PhD programs at the universities of Canada. But generally speaking, the cost of PhDs in Canada varies between CAD 8,000 to 20,000 annually depending on the program, specialisation and the university.

Check out more on the cost of study and living in Canada

How to choose the right university in Canada?

There are several higher education institutions, colleges, and universities in Canada that award internationally accredited PhD degrees. To choose the perfect place for your study, you need to consider some important factors, such as:

Program availability

University ranking

Faculty and staff reputation

Research facilities

Scholarships and funding options offered by the university

Graduate employability rate

Tuition fees

PhD requirements in Canada

PhD admission requirements in Canada vary based on the university and the field of study. But in general, most universities in the country require the below from international students applying for PhD degree there:

Completed application form

Accredited master’s degree in a related field with strong grades and proven research ability and potential

Transcripts for your university degree or courses

Statement of Purpose

GMAT or GRE scores

Recommendation letters

English language test, such as IELTS or TOEFL

Application fee

Can I work while doing PhD in Canada?

You can work in Canada as an international PhD student for as long as you’ve a valid study permit for your PhD degree. Furthermore, doctorate graduates in Canada can enjoy one of the world’s most generous post-study work visa schemes upon graduating. The Post-Graduation Work Permit ( PGWP ) allows you to live and work in Canada after graduation for up to 3 years.

Read more about Canada student visa Kick start your education journey to Canada! Speak with your IDP Education counsellor now to turn your study ambition into action!

Top 10 free phd programs in canada (2023).

Canada is a popular destination for international students looking to further their education, and there are many universities that offer free PhD programs for international students. These programs provide a unique opportunity for students to obtain a high-quality education without the burden of tuition fees.

The top 10 free PhD programs in Canada include Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, IDRC Research Awards, Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship, Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship & Fellowship Plan, Partnership Grants by Social Science & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Trudeau Scholarships & Fellowships, Anne Vallee Ecological Fund, Ontario Trillium Scholarship, and Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Top 10 Free PhD Programs In Canada

1. banting postdoctoral fellowship.

Tuition Fee: Free

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship is one of the free PhD programs in Canada that was open to both international and Canadian PhD students who are making significant contributions to Canada’s economic, social, natural sciences, and healthcare sectors through their research.

The fellowship provides around CA$ 70,000 in taxable funds for two years, and approximately 70 students are selected for the award each year. After being selected for the fellowship, students must identify a specific Canadian university or college where they plan to pursue their PhD as international students and have the scholarship endorsed.

The application deadline for this grant is typically in September, and the results are usually announced by mid-January or February.

2. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is a government-funded scholarship awarded to international PhD students pursuing their doctoral degrees at Canadian educational institutions.

The scholarship provides approximately CA$50,000 in funds for three years, but it’s non-renewable.

The scholarship considers specific application eligibility criteria, such as not being enrolled in certain scholarships before. Therefore, students should ensure they meet all requirements before applying.

3. IDRC Research Awards

The IDRC Research Awards provide research funding to international students from developing countries who have a full-time work permit (37.5 hours a week) in Canada, PhD students in Canadian universities, or students who have completed their master’s program from a recognized university within the last three years from the date of applying for the award.

The students must be actively involved in research in several development fields, such as climate-resilient food systems, inclusive and democratic governance, science and education, ethics of development research, policymaking and evaluation, global health, and sustainable and inclusive economics.

The scholarship provides an annual stipend of CA$42,000 to CA$48,000 for research in any of these fields. The application deadline is usually around February of every year.

4. Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship

The Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship is available to master’s and doctoral students studying in the province of Quebec, with graduate students enrolled in a master’s program also eligible to apply.

Doctoral students can receive grants of up to CA$25,000 per year for three years, while postdoctoral applicants can get up to CA$35,000 for one year, which is non-renewable.

Short-term research and professional development scholarships are also available under the scope of this grant. Students must demonstrate an excellent academic track record to be eligible for the scholarship.

5. Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship & Fellowship Plan

The Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship & Fellowship Plan is designed exclusively for international students from Commonwealth countries who apply to Masters or PhD programs at Canadian universities.

The scholarship recognizes students with exceptional intellectual abilities and awards financial aid to cover all travel and living expenses, along with compulsory tuition fees. The amount of funds provided depends on the program in which the awardee is enrolled.

6 . Partnership Grants by Social Science & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

SSHRC offers grants to PhD students pursuing research in social sciences and humanities at Canadian universities.

Recipients may support existing research or conduct new studies. The amount of funding ranges from CAD 20,000, and the duration varies from 4 to 7 years, depending on each case.

Only international students are eligible for this scholarship.

7. Trudeau Scholarships & Fellowships

Trudeau Scholarships and Fellowships are available to international students pursuing doctoral studies in specific institutions.

The scholarship covers research expenses and travel costs and ranges from CA $20,000 to CA $40,000 per year, renewable for up to three years. The application deadline usually falls in the mid-fall academic session.

8. Anne Vallee Ecological Fund

The Anne Vallee Ecological Fund is a unique scholarship opportunity for international students who are pursuing animal research in their master’s or doctoral degree program in the provinces of Quebec or British Columbia.

The fund offers a scholarship worth $1,500 to each selected candidate to support their research in the field of animal ecology.

The scholarship aims to encourage and support international students who are making a valuable contribution to animal research, with the ultimate goal of advancing ecological knowledge and conservation.

9. Ontario Trillium Scholarship

The Ontario Trillium Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship opportunity for international PhD students who wish to study in Ontario, Canada.

This scholarship is highly competitive, with only 75 students being selected each year based on their academic merit. Each scholarship recipient is awarded $40,000 per year, which can be renewed for up to four years.

The scholarship committee selects candidates based on their academic excellence, research potential, and leadership abilities. The scholarship is intended to attract the brightest and most talented international students to study in Ontario, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the province’s reputation as a leading research destination.

10. Ontario Graduate Scholarship

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship is available to international students who have valid study permits and are enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program at a public university in Ontario, Canada. The scholarship is one of the free PhD programs in Canada.

The scholarship is awarded based on academic excellence, research potential, and leadership abilities, with each recipient receiving $1,500 per year. The scholarship is renewable, with the duration varying based on the awarding committee.

The scholarship aims to support and encourage international students who are making valuable contributions to their field of study, with the ultimate goal of advancing knowledge and innovation in Ontario.

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Pursuing a PhD in Canada can be a life-changing experience for students.

However, the free PhD programs in Canada discussed above, offer students the opportunity to receive a high-quality education while focusing on their research, free from the burden of financial obligations.

These universities are committed to supporting students in their academic journey and contributing to the advancement of knowledge in various fields.

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  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
  • Graduate School
  • Prospective Students
  • Graduate Degree Programs

Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Go to programs search

Psychology is a diverse discipline that attempts to understand the basis of behaviour, thoughts and emotions. Psychology at UBC was introduced as a single course in 1915 and was initially offered by the Department of Philosophy. Over the years, the number of courses and instructors grew until we officially became the Department of Psychology in 1958.

Information on research areas offered in the department, as well as admissions-related information, can be found on the department website . Read the department program website carefully before contacting the department with specific questions that are not addressed on the website.

For specific program requirements, please refer to the departmental program website

What makes the program unique?

UBC’s Department of Psychology is a top ranked research department in Canada and in the world. Our 58 faculty members and 130 full-time graduate students and postdoctoral fellows conduct research across the spectrum of psychology, representing seven sub-disciplinary specializations: Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, Quantitative Methods, and Social/Personality.

The strength of our graduate programs lies in the highly productive research faculty, well-organized programs of study, extensive opportunities for student-faculty interaction, and rich offering of research specializations. Our faculty are well known for their research expertise in health, happiness, language acquisition, gambling, child development, gender roles, environmental behaviour, neuroscience, and many other areas of psychology. Our research programs are well funded by major national granting agencies, and our faculty are committed to research excellence and interdisciplinary collaborations within UBC’s Faculties of Medicine, Science and Arts, the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and many other institutions around the world.

UBC has one of the best psychology departments in the world and maintains a friendly and generous environment for graduate students! The Psychology Department at UBC offers a strong research emphasis and encourages collaboration between labs, which is in line with my career goals (research in psychology) and plans for graduate studies.

affordable phd programs in canada

Julia Nakamura

Quick Facts

Program Enquiries

Admission information & requirements, program instructions.

Please refer to the department website for all admissions-related information.

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum academic requirements.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

  • Canada or the United States
  • International countries other than the United States

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement : 90

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement : 6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior degree requirements.

A thesis-based MA or MSc in Psychology is required for applicants applying for the PhD program.  Applicants with only a BA/BSc degree must aply for the MA program as they are ineligible for the PhD program.

Other Requirements

GRE requirements vary depending on the area of research and/or intended research supervisor. Please visit the respective Research Stream page on the department website for area-specific GRE requirements.

2) Meet Deadlines

3) prepare application, transcripts.

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest , sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.


Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Applicants will not be admitted without identifying a faculty member as their intended supervisor.  Admissions decisions are made by prospective research supervisors; applicants are encouraged to reach out to them directly for further inquiries after reviewing the information on the department's website.

Criminal Record Check

Citizenship verification.

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Research Information

Research focus.

We offer research-intensive graduate studies in seven sub-disciplinary specializations: Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, Quantitative Methods, and Social/Personality.  Please refer to the department's Research Streams page for more information.

Tuition & Financial Support

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition $1,838.57$3,230.06
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year ( ) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
(yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Estimate your with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

From September 2024 all full-time students in UBC-Vancouver PhD programs will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $24,000 per year. Please refer to the department's Funding page  for additional information on funding opportunities.

Average Funding

  • 32 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 32 students was $10,912.
  • 37 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 37 students was $7,725.
  • 18 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 18 students was $2,366.
  • 51 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 51 students was $16,504.
  • 22 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 22 students was $32,136.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union .

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans .

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement .

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

112 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 5 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 106 graduates:

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Sample Employers in Higher Education

Sample employers outside higher education, sample job titles outside higher education, phd career outcome survey, career options.

The PhD in Psychology is designed to prepare students for employment in academic or private sector settings. Recent graduates have taken positions as tenure track faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, practicing clinical psychologists, biostatisticians, and public policy quantitative analysts.

Alumni on Success

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Zak Witkower

Job Title Postdoctoral Researcher

Employer University of Toronto

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Kristina Uban

Job Title Post Doctoral Researcher

Employer Children's Hospital Los Angeles

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Julie Belanger

Job Title Director, Research and Evaluation

Employer Education Partnerships Group

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Kirsten Dalrymple

Job Title Research Associate

Employer University of Minnesota

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.


New Registrations2714111416
Total Enrolment9585829088

Completion Rates & Times

Upcoming doctoral exams, tuesday, 23 july 2024 - 9:00am, wednesday, 24 july 2024 - 12:30pm - room 200, wednesday, 31 july 2024 - 12:30pm - room 200, wednesday, 31 july 2024 - 1:00pm, thursday, 1 august 2024 - 12:00pm - 4001, douglas t. kenny building, 2136 west mall.

  • Research Supervisors

Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

affordable phd programs in canada

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Alden, Lynn (Cognitive processes in the anxiety disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder, adult-onset Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, cognitive-behavior therapy)
  • Baron, Andrew (cognitive development, infancy, childhood, adolescence, racism, race, stereotypes, cooperation, bias, innateness, science education, multiculturalism, gender, ethnicity, neuromarketing, attitudes, preferences, psychology )
  • Biesanz, Jeremy (personality, Personality, interpersonal perception, accuracy, personality coherence, quantitative methods)
  • Birch, Susan (Social perspective taking, social learning, social cognition, imitation, nonverbal behavior, confidence, communication, decision-making, impression formation, child development My primary area of expertise is the study of children and adults’ social perspective taking abilities (i.e., their abilities to reason about other peoples’ mental states–their intentions, knowledge, and beliefs) and how their abilities to take another person’s perspective impacts how they form impressions of others, learn from others, communicate with others, and informs a range of socials. Of particular interest is a) how children make inferences about what is credible information to learn (e.g., how they decide whether someone is a credible source of information based on how confident that person seems) and b) how a widespread bias in perspective taking referred to as ‘the curse of knowledge bias’ (a difficulty reasoning about a more naive perspective as the result of being biased by one’s current knowledge) can impair communication (both written and in person) and decision-making across a range of fields (politics, law, education, economics, medicine, etc.)., Development of language, learning, and social understanding in infants and children)
  • Chen, Frances (Health psychology; social connection; social support; stress; coping; conflict and negotiation; hormones; Neuroendocrinology)
  • Christoff, Kalina (brain, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, prefronal cortex, fMRI, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, executive functions, problem solving, reasoning, thinking, mind-wandering, attention, consciousness, real-time fMRI, trauma and PTSD, Cognitive and neural basis of human thought, reasoning and problem solving)
  • Clark, Luke (Gambling, Problem Gambling, Addiction, Decision-Making, Reward, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms involved in gambling behaviour and disordered gambling)
  • Dawson, Samantha (Psychology and cognitive sciences; Interventions for sexual dysfunction; Sexual function and dysfunction in individuals and couples)
  • DeLongis, Anita (Psychology and cognitive sciences; social determinants of health; chronic illness; coping; couples; families; health; Health Psychology; marriage; social support; stress)
  • Dunn, Elizabeth (Happiness, money and spending decisions, self-knowledge)
  • Emberson, Lauren (Learning, Perception (audition, vision, crossmodal or multisensory), Language development, Face/object perception, Impacts of premature birth, Neural connecitivty, fNIRS, Neonatal and Infant development , Early adversity / Risk and resilience , Increasing diversity and representation in the neurosciences , Naturalistic neuroimaging recordings)
  • Enns, James (Behavioural neuroscience of reward and motivation; attention; action kinematics; social perception; perceptual development)
  • Floresco, Stanley Bogdan (Neural circuits subserving learning and executive functions, behavioural and electrophysiological analyses of limbic-cortical-striatal interactions involved in decision making and behavioural flexibility, animal models of schizophrenia and drug addiction)
  • Goetz, Friedrich (Psychology, social and behavorial aspects; Geographical psychology; Causes and consequences of regional personality differences; Mobility and migration; Wanderlust; Courage; Entrepreneurship; Personality development; open science)
  • Hall, David Geoffrey (Lexical and conceptual development, semantic development, language acquisition)
  • Hamlin, Kiley (Psychology and cognitive sciences; Cognitive development; Moral Judgement and Duty or Obligation Morals; Infant / Child Development; Foundations of Religious, Mystical, Mythical and Moral Thoughts; Infant moral cognition; infant social cognition)
  • Handy, Todd (aging and cognition, aging and exercise, cognitive neuroscience, attention, migraine, fMRI, Cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, attention and its impairment in clinical populations, mind wandering, and real-world human behaviour)
  • Heine, Steven (Culture and human nature in psychology, culture, how people strive to maintain a sense of meaning in their lives when they encounter anomalies which they are unable to make any sense of, how people understand essences and genetic foundations for human behavior )
  • Hewitt, Paul (perfectionism, Therapy Perfectionism, personality vulnerability, depression, suicide in adults and children)
  • Hoppmann, Christiane (Psychology and cognitive sciences; Aging Process; Social Aspects of Aging; stress; Health Promotion; social determinants of health; Health and well-being across the adult lifespan and into old age; individual differences in goals)
  • Kerns, Connor (assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD); childhood anxiety and stress-related disorders; trauma-related disorders; Autism; Anxiety; Comorbidity)
  • Kim, Eric (Health psychology; Psychosocial, sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health; Epidemiology (except nutritional and veterinary epidemiology); psychological well-being; Purpose in life / Meaning in life; resilience; Optimism / Hope; Health Psychology; Social Epidemiology; Aging)
  • Kingstone, Alan (Cognitive sciences; Brain mechanisms of human perception, attention, and behaviour in experimental & everyday situations)
  • Klonsky, Elisha (Clinical psychology; Suicide (theory, motivations, transition from suicidal thoughts to attempts); emotion; personality.)
  • Laurin, Kristin (Social psychology; Psychology of social class; Political psychology; Rationalization and system justification; Morality)

Doctoral Citations

Year Citation
2024 Dr. Yip's thesis examined how our human tendency to mind-wander impacts our negative moods, and how this tendency helps to explain the clinical challenges of depression and ruminative thinking. Her insights show how regulating our emotions may impact our awareness, intention, and control over our thoughts.
2024 Dr. Heltzel finds that people typically like political allies who engage constructively with opponents. And yet, US Senators' social media posts get more likes and shares when they dismiss opponents because active extremists prefer such content. For this and other reasons, people incorrectly expect backlash for engaging with opponents.
2024 Dr. De Souza developed a theoretical framework locating allyship as a social phenomenon. In several empirical studies, Dr. De Souza compared reactive and proactive efforts to improve women's workplace experiences, illustrating the importance of a multiple-dimensional view of allyship that prioritizes the desires of disadvantaged group members.
2023 Dr. Nutini examined the association of self-compassion with emotional and biological markers of stress in youth. Evidence showed that greater self-compassion was associated with less negative emotions across a variety of stressors.
2023 Dr. Khalis examined how social media usage and psychopathology impact one another. He found that certain aspects of social media usage can increase risk for depression, anxiety, and ADHD symptoms, and that psychopathology can also influence how we use social media. This research underscores the importance of mental health in the online context.
2023 Dr. Lee explored how engaging in prosocial behavior, including acts of kindness and helping others, can help individuals restore their social connections. Her research suggests that an intervention promoting prosocial behavior is a promising approach to address loneliness and social isolation, particularly for individuals experiencing chronic loneliness.
2023 Dr. Dramkin investigated how we map number words to perceptual magnitudes. Her work shows that by understanding the shared logic between number words and perceptual scales, young children can readily attach number words to their perception of number, length, and area, and even perform intuitive mathematic computations (e.g., division).
2023 Dr. Stewart's thesis investigates how the perception of mind in inanimate entities affects moral judgments. His studies suggest that perceiving the 'mind' of such objects, ideas, and emotions can shape our moral decisions and emotional regulations. These insights have implications for advancing our understanding of human moral psychology.
2023 Dr. Schmalor's research shows that subjective SES and economic inequality influence self-centeredness. High inequality and high SES both make people more self-centered, and the gap in self-centeredness between high and low SES is bigger when inequality is high. This suggests that the selfishness of the rich depends on their economic environment.
2023 Dr. Mercadante's research provides evidence to suggest that one reason why greedy people always want more and are never satisfied with what they own is because they feel a brief boost of pride upon acquisition, such that the act of acquiring something is a highly positive emotional experience, but owning the item afterward does not elicit pride.

Sample Thesis Submissions

  • Examining the relationship between children's theory of mind and social-emotional functioning
  • When people do allyship : a typology of allyship action
  • Understanding hoarding clean-outs : a public scholar approach
  • Sociocontextual factors impacting the biological embedding of major transitions during adolescence
  • Social values and social motivations as vulnerability factors for excessive acquisition
  • Cognitive and affective dimensions of inattention
  • Actual and anticipated reactions to engaging with and dismissing political opponents : who and where they come from, and why they matter
  • Mechanisms underlying the interface between number words and perceptual magnitudes
  • Trust and social class : the complex relationship between explicit stereotypes (about dispositions and situations), implicit stereotypes, and trust
  • Memory network of social anxiety
  • A cognitive framework of nudge and sludge
  • Reward sensitivity and emotionally biased cognition in depression
  • Seeing mind in all : subjective panpsychism and moral psychology
  • Prosocial behaviour as an antidote to social disconnection : exploring the links between prosocial behaviour, loneliness, and social contact in daily life
  • Bidirectional associations between social media use and psychopathology

Related Programs

Same specialization.

  • Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

At the UBC Okanagan Campus

Further information, specialization.

Psychology covers most major areas of the discipline, including: behavioral neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognitive science, developmental psychology, health psychology, personality and social psychology, and quantitative methods.

UBC Calendar

Program website, faculty overview, academic unit, program identifier, classification, social media channels, supervisor search.

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update contact details for application inquiries, please use this form .

affordable phd programs in canada

UBC offers a lot of opportunity for interdisciplinary research at least in the context of my work. The Department of Psychology has ties with, for example, the Centre for Brain Health and Sauder School of Business. I really look forward to collaborating with folks outside of the department so that...

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Talia Morstead

My decision to study at UBC was driven in large part by my desire to work with Dr. Anita DeLongis, a foremost expert in the field of stress and coping. After coming across Dr. DeLongis’ work during my undergraduate studies and having the opportunity to volunteer in her lab, I saw that our research...

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Bronwen Grocott

I applied to UBC because I wanted to work with my present supervisor, Dr. Joelle LeMoult. I was especially interested in researching social stress and depression using a mixed-methods, experimental approach and working with Joelle has made this possible.

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Leilani Forby

Before I decided to pursue a graduate degree, I worked in the film industry and was required to do a lot of international travel. The business trips to Canada were always my favorite --- I fell in love with the cities and the people. When I decided that I would study how to support autistic...

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Curious about life in Vancouver?

Find out how Vancouver enhances your graduate student experience—from the beautiful mountains and city landscapes, to the arts and culture scene, we have it all. Study-life balance at its best!

  • Why Grad School at UBC?
  • Application & Admission
  • Info Sessions
  • Research Projects
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affordable phd programs in canada

5 affordable Canadian universities int’l students should consider in 2022

International students in Canad

International students in Canada choose to study in the country for many reasons, from its accommodating immigration policies to supportive measures for international students. According to the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE), there was a 135% increase in the number of international students in Canada, from 2010 to 2020.

If you’re planning on studying in Canada, you’re probably aware that tuition fees and the cost of living can cost students a pretty penny.

According to data released by Statistics Canada last year, in 2021-22, the average tuition fees for international undergraduate students in Canada rose 4.9% from a year earlier to CA$33,623 .

To put things into perspective, undergraduate international students in Canada enrolled in business, management and public administration paid on average CA$32,460 in tuition fees in 2021-22. Meanwhile, just over 12% of international undergraduate students were enrolled full-time in engineering and paid on average CA$37,377 for tuition fees in 2021-22.

“Very few international students (0.4% annually on average) enrolled in professional degree programmes, for which the average tuition fees for international students were among the highest of all programmes, ranging from CA$38,110 for law to CA$66,503 for veterinary medicine,” said Statistics Canada.

It’s clear tuition fees in Canadian universities alone can be eye-watering, and this doesn’t include the cost of living, including accommodation, transport, and groceries.

While  scholarships can offer you some breathing space , they can be highly competitive. Another option is to consider applying to affordable Canadian universities that still provide quality education without the hefty price tag.

Below, we list five relatively affordable universities for international students in Canada, along with the approximate cost of pursuing an undergraduate and graduate degree there:

5 affordable universities for international students in Canada

affordable phd programs in canada

Source: University of Prince Edward Island/Facebook

University of Prince Edward Island

Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$6,450 per year

Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$4,344 per year

Formed in 1969 as the provincial university, the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) honours its proud legacy through academic excellence and research innovation. It offers a wide range of programmes and degrees for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students.

With international students from 98 countries comprising almost 30% of the university’s total enrolment of students, they have the opportunity to experience other cultures while they’re studying abroad and earning credits toward their UPEI degree.

affordable phd programs in canada

Source: Memorial University of Newfoundland / Facebook

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$11,460 per year

Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$6,654 per year

Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is known to be one of the cheapest Canadian universities around. As one of the biggest institutions in Atlantic Canada, MUN holds seven faculties in the Arts, Education, Medicine, Engineering, Business, Nursing, and Science and offers six schools in the fields of Pharmacy, Music, Human Kinetics, Social Work, Recreation, and Graduate Studies.

MUN has seen a surge of students from all around the globe due to its affordable tuition fees. To date, 20% of its enrollees come from over 100 countries.

affordable phd programs in canada

Source: University of Manitoba/Facebook

University of Manitoba

Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$16,600 per year

Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$6,614 per year

Founded in 1877, The University of Manitoba (U of M) is a public research university with campuses in Fort Garry and Bannatyne. The university offers numerous programmes through the schools of Agriculture, Environment, Rehabilitation Science, Architecture, Art, Education, Engineering, Kinesiology, Science, Social Work, Human Ecology, Business, Music, and Graduate Studies.

U of M currently has a student population of almost 28,800. While most are indigenous students, 18% of the total population of students are international.

affordable phd programs in canada

Source: University of Saskatchewan/Facebook

University of Saskatchewan

Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$18,394 per year

Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$8,096 per year

University of Saskatchewan (USask) is one of the top research-intensive, medical doctoral Canadian universities. Guided by their University Plan: The University the World Needs, USask aims to work together across disciplines to find creative solutions to Earth’s biggest challenges.

USask students come from around the world and are weaved into the communities throughout Saskatchewan, where they are offered a range of programming, from introductory classes through full degree programmes in some disciplines, notes the university’s website.

affordable phd programs in canada

Source: Concordia University/Facebook

Concordia University

Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$19,812 per year

Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$15,467 per year

Concordia University is a comprehensive public educational institution in the French-speaking region of Montreal, Quebec that primarily uses English as its teaching language. As one of the top-rated universities in Canada, Concordia is well-known for its prestigious John Molson School of Business, but they also offer Fine Arts, Arts & Science, Engineering & Computer Science, and Graduate Studies.

With 31% of Concordia’s more than 31,000 students are of foreign descent, the university’s faculties seek to help and fill the needs of students from different cultures and educational systems.

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Canada improves fairness for applicants by ending post-graduation work permit “flagpoling”

From: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

News release

A safe and secure flow of goods and people across the Canada–United States border is critical to North America’s economy and the close person-to-person ties that Canadians and Americans enjoy. That’s why we continue to look for ways to make it easier and faster to cross the border without compromising the integrity of our immigration system.

June 21, 2024—Ottawa— A safe and secure flow of goods and people across the Canada–United States border is critical to North America’s economy and the close person-to-person ties that Canadians and Americans enjoy. That’s why we continue to look for ways to make it easier and faster to cross the border without compromising the integrity of our immigration system.

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that foreign nationals can no longer apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) at the border, effective immediately. This measure will help reduce what is known as “flagpoling.” Flagpoling occurs when temporary residents of Canada bypass the normal wait times involved in applying for a work or study permit online by leaving the country and then immediately re-entering to receive same-day immigration services.

Flagpoling uses significant resources at the border, taking officers away from enforcement activities, causing delays for travellers and slowing down the movement of goods. From March 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024, PGWP applicants represented about one fifth of the foreign nationals who attempted to flagpole.

The Government of Canada is taking measures to encourage applicants to apply in Canada rather than flagpole. We continue to improve processing times, and are moving toward a more integrated, modernized and centralized working environment to help speed up application processing globally.

The change announced today increases fairness amongst applicants and is another step that the Government of Canada is taking to reduce flagpoling. We’ll continue to look for ways to reduce flagpoling so our shared border with the US runs smoothly and efficiently, benefitting both our nations.

“While we continue to support and recognize the contributions of international graduates to Canada’s labour market, ‘flagpoling’ is unnecessary. The time and effort required to process applications from ‘flagpolers’ takes officers on both sides of the border away from their crucial role in protecting the safety, security and prosperity of Canadians and Americans. This measure will help prevent this practice, while maintaining the integrity of our immigration system.” – The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“Flagpoling places an undue burden on our border services officers. With this change, we’re taking a measured approach to combatting the issue and putting an even greater focus on maintaining the integrity of our shared border with the United States.” – The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Quick facts

In most cases, a study permit expires 90 days after the expected completion of an international student’s study program. When an eligible graduating student applies online for a PGWP before their study permit expires, they can work full-time while they wait for approval on a work permit and receive an automated letter that can be shown to employers. When a work permit is approved, it’s mailed directly to them. 

Flagpoling hours were recently reduced at 12 ports of entry across Canada to allow border services officers to efficiently process the large volume of travellers in peak periods and to focus on other key priorities, including high-risk travellers and trade facilitation.

Other recent measures to address flagpoling have included

  • speeding up processing times for in-Canada work permit applications
  • simplifying online application forms and processes so foreign nationals can continue working while they wait for a decision on their new application
  • authorizing workers to start working for a new employer right away, rather than waiting to have their new work permit application processed before changing jobs

Associated links

  • How to apply for a post-graduation work permit
  • Work or live in Canada after you graduate
  • Changing jobs or employers
  • Check processing times

Contacts for media only:

Aïssa Diop Director of Communications Minister’s Office Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [email protected]

Media Relations Communications Sector Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 613-952-1650 [email protected]

Media Relations Canada Border Services Agency [email protected] 1-877-761-5945

Page details

Facility for Rare Isotope Beams

At michigan state university, investigating the conditions for a new stellar process.

A scientific research team studied how the barium-139 nucleus captures  neutrons in the stellar environment in an experiment at  Argonne National Laboratory ’s (ANL)  CARIBU facility using FRIB’s Summing Nal (SuN) detector . The team’s goal was to lessen uncertainties related to lanthanum production. Lanthanum is a rare earth element sensitive to intermediate neutron capture process (i process) conditions. Uncovering the conditions of the i process allows scientists to determine its required neutron density and reveal potential sites where it might occur. The team recently published its findings in  Physical Review Letters   (“First Study of the 139Ba(𝑛,𝛾)140Ba Reaction to Constrain the Conditions for the Astrophysical i Process”).

Artemis Spyrou , professor of physics at FRIB and in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University (MSU), and Dennis Mücher , professor of physics at the  University of Cologne in Germany, led the experiment. MSU is home to FRIB, the only accelerator-based U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) user facility on a university campus. FRIB is operated by MSU to support the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics as one of 28 DOE-SC user facilities.

Combining global collaboration and world-class educational experiences

The experiment was a collaborative effort involving more than 30 scientists and students from around the world. Participating institutions included the  University of Victoria in Canada, the  University of Oslo in Norway, and the  University of Jyväskyla in Finland. 

“The collaboration is essential because everyone comes from different backgrounds with different areas of expertise,” Spyrou said. “Together, we’re much stronger. It’s really an intellectual sharing of that knowledge and bringing new ideas to the experiment.”

The international collaboration also included five FRIB graduate and two FRIB undergraduate students. FRIB is an educational resource for the next generation of science and technical talent. Students enrolled in nuclear physics at MSU can work with scientific researchers from around the world to conduct groundbreaking research in accelerator science, cryogenic engineering, and astrophysics. 

“Our students contribute to every aspect of the experiment, from transporting the instrumentation to unpacking and setting it up, then testing and calibrating it to make sure everything works,” Spyrou said. “Then, we all work together to identify what’s in the beam. Is it reasonable? Do we accept it? Once everything is set up and ready, we all take shifts.”

Measuring the i process 

Producing some of the heaviest elements found on Earth, like platinum and gold, requires stellar environments rich in neutrons. Inside stars, neutrons combine with an atomic nucleus to create a heavier nucleus. These nuclear reactions, called neutron capture processes, are what create these heavy elements. Two neutron capture processes are known to occur in stars: the rapid neutron capture process ( r process) and the slow neutron capture process ( s process). Yet, neither process can explain some astronomic observations, such as unusual abundance patterns found on very old stars. A new stellar process—the i process—may help. The i process represents neutron densities that fall between those of the r and s processes.

“Through this reaction we are constraining, we discovered that compared to what theory predicted, the amount of lanthanum is actually less,” said Spyrou. 

Spyrou said that combining lanthanum with other elements, like barium and europium, helps provide a signature of the i process. 

“It’s a new process, and we don’t know the conditions where the i process is happening. It’s all theoretical, so unless we constrain the nuclear physics, we will never find out,” Spyrou said. “This was the first strong constraint from the nuclear physics point of view that validates that yes, the i process should be making these elements under these conditions.”

Neutron capture processes are difficult to measure directly, Spyrou said. Indirect techniques, like the beta-Oslo and shape methods, help constrain neutron capture reaction rates in exotic  nuclei . These two methods formed the basis of the barium-139 nucleus experiment.

To measure the data, beams provided by ANL’s CARIBU facility produced a high-intensity beam and delivered it to the center of the SuN detector, a device that measures gamma rays emitted from decaying  isotope beams. This tool was pivotal in producing strong data constraints during the study.

“I developed SuN with my group at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, the predecessor to FRIB,” Spyrou said. “It’s a very efficient and large detector. Basically, every gamma ray that comes out, we can detect. This is an advantage compared to other detectors, which are smaller.”

The first i process constraint paves the way for more research

Studying the barium-139 neutron capture was only the first step in discovering the conditions of the i  process. Mücher is starting a new program at the University of Cologne that aims to measure some significant i  process reactions directly. Spyrou said that she and her FRIB team plan to continue studying the i process through different reactions that can help constrain the production of different elements or neutron densities. They recently conducted an experiment at ANL to study the neodymium-151 neutron capture. This neutron capture is the dominant reaction for europium production.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation.

Michigan State University operates the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) as a user facility for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), supporting the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics. Hosting what is designed to be the most powerful heavy-ion accelerator, FRIB enables scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society, including in medicine, homeland security, and industry.

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of today’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit .


  1. 33 Affordable PhD programmes in Canada

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    In most cases, a study permit expires 90 days after the expected completion of an international student's study program. When an eligible graduating student applies online for a PGWP before their study permit expires, they can work full-time while they wait for approval on a work permit and receive an automated letter that can be shown to employers.

  25. Investigating the conditions for a new stellar process

    A scientific research team studied how the barium-139 nucleus captures neutrons in the stellar environment in an experiment at Argonne National Laboratory's (ANL) CARIBU facility using FRIB's Summing Nal (SuN) detector. The team's goal was to lessen uncertainties related to lanthanum production. Lanthanum is a rare earth element sensitive to intermediate neutron capture process (i ...