PhD Degree Overview


If accepted into our Graduate program, PhD students are guaranteed a minimum stipend of $27,842/year for a four year period.

The stipend is made up of funding you receive as a TA (teaching assistant), as well as internal fellowships and bursaries and support from your supervisor.

The amounts cited above represent the minimum; stipends can range up to ~$36,000 if students are awarded external scholarships (NSERC, OGS, etc).

Graduate tuition fees for domestic and international students can be found on the Office of the University Registrar's Tuition & Fees page under the "Graduate and Professional Programs Fee Schedule" section.

Degree Requirements

Research & Thesis

Completion of a research project and presentation of a thesis within four years of initial registration.

An oral candidacy exam will be given early in the PhD program to ensure that students attempting the PhD program have the potential to successfully complete the research for their thesis in a reasonable length of time. A demonstrated ability to initiate and complete independent research is a principal requirement of the PhD. This exam will consist of an oral defence of:

  • A written thesis proposal
  • A report on an assigned research area question


The Departmental requirements for the doctoral program are usually a minimum of six term-length graduate courses beyond the Bachelor's degree level, plus research and thesis. Only two of these six graduate level courses can be jointly offered (double-numbered) with an undergraduate course. The required courses must also include two of the following three term-length courses or their equivalent:

  • PHYS-831 or PHYS-832 (E&M) or an approved substitute from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering or the Royal Military College
  • PHYS-825 (Advanced Quantum Theory)
  • PHYS-870 (Statistical Mechanics)

In exceptional cases, subject to the approval of the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy proficiency in Quantum Mechanics at the level of PHYS-345 will be accepted in lieu of PHYS-825. The requirement of PHYS-825 for Ph.D. level students would thus be waived but the total course work requirement of the Ph.D. is not reduced. Up to four term-length courses may be taken from a department other than Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy, subject to the approval of the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy.

An Engineering Physics doctoral student will be required to take a minimum of three term-length graduate courses (or equivalent) beyond the Master’s degree course requirement. Students promoted from our Master’s program are required to take a minimum of six term-length graduate courses past completion of the B.Sc./B.A.Sc..

In addition to the above-mentioned courses, all PhD students must participate in PHYS-904 (Science Leadership and Management). PHYS 904 will be delivered over twelve 3-hour sessions to Chemistry and Physics students in either of the first two years of their PhD studies (or other graduate students with permission from the course coordinator and supervisor). The first half and last four-week sessions will focus on the development and application of leadership skills, and the second four-week session will focus on the development of management skills, that are useful in scientific positions in industry and academia. To be offered every fall; graded Pass/Fail.