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PhD in Canada : Top Universities, Requirements & Jobs

Updated on 09 November, 2023

Bulbul Sharma

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

When it comes to choosing a study destination for pursuing a PhD, Canada is most likely to rank high on the list. It is because the country has many benefits to offer, both academically and culturally.

Canada has some of the best PhD programs in the world. Covering subjects all the way from fine arts to science, Canada is the hub for PhD programs that offer the perfect blend of theoretical and research work. 

To delve deeper into the specifics for pursuing a PhD in Canada, read on!

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Course Brief of PhD in Canada

Being one of the best countries to pursue a PhD, Canada has various programs and universities. Here, a student can take a maximum of six years to complete their degree. 

Moreover, you are expected to submit a comprehensive PhD thesis at the end of the course, which an assigned academic advisor will guide. 

Here are some reasons you should consider universities in Canada for PhD. 

  • Affordable tuition fees 
  • Brilliant university choices 
  • A large number of post-work opportunities 
  • Universities offer a great deal of flexibility 

Getting a PhD admission in Canada is not necessarily tricky, but there are certain things you must keep in mind.

Eligibility Criteria of PhD in Canada

The various eligibility criteria and requirements you need to meet for pursuing a PhD in Canada for Indian students are as follows.

  • English proficiency is proof in the form of good scores on language ability tests like IELTS/TOEFL
  • Postgraduate degree in a field that is closely related to the current PhD program in Canada you wish to pursue
  • A Letter of Recommendation (LOR) and research proposal from a supervisor of choice from the university you wish to pursue your PhD from
  • Required GRE or GMAT scores
  • A personal interview round to clear post submission of exam scores and grades

Documents Required for PhD in Canada

Here are the PhD in Canada for Indian students’ requirements for documents.

  • All transcripts from previous courses and degrees
  • Passport photocopy 
  • Resume 
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Research Proposal 
  • Canadian Study Permit 
  • Scorecard for Competitive Exams
  • Other Relevant Transcripts and Certificates

How to Apply for a PhD in Canada?

So, how to apply for a PhD in Canada? The various steps involved in applying for PhD programs in Canada are as follows:

  • Visit the official website for the university you wish to spend your PhD duration in Canada 
  • Check out all the eligibility requirements and documents required
  • Create an account on the university portal 
  • Once you receive your login details via email or SMS, proceed to fill it
  • Submit all the required documents along with all your academic achievements
  • Take your pick from the various PhD courses in Canada
  • Next, you need to pay the application fee
  • Track the application status via your university portal account once the form is filled, submitted, and paid for
  • Most universities will ask you to attend a virtual interview to finalize the selection 

Top PhD. Universities in Canada

Do you wish to know the top universities in Canada for PhD? Here is a comprehensive list of the top five universities in Canada for PhD programs.

1. University Of Toronto 

One of the top-ranked universities for PhD admission in Canada, the University of Toronto offers a four-year PhD course. The university offers over 78 doctorate programs.

With a student acceptance rate of 22.66%, the university has the best scope for post-degree job opportunities. Some of the best PhD programs in Canada offered by the University of Toronto are as follows.


University Times Higher Education Ranking (2022) (THE Ranking)TopUniversities Ranking (2022)U.S. News & World Report Ranking (2021)
University of Toronto182617

2. The University Of British Columbia 

The University of British Columbia is the second-best university in Canada for PhD. Backed by a plethora of research facilities and industrial connections, the university offers the following popular PhD courses. 


University Times Higher Education Ranking (2022) (THE Ranking)TopUniversities Ranking (2022)U.S. News & World Report Ranking (2021)
University of British Columbia 374631

3. McGill University 

McGill University is another top medical/doctorate university in Canada. With a comprehensive PhD program list, the university also makes it to the top three universities in Canada for PhD.

Some of the most popular subjects offered by McGill University are as follows.


University Times Higher Education Ranking (2022) (THE Ranking)TopUniversities Ranking (2022)U.S. News & World Report Ranking (2021)
McGill University 442751

4. McMaster University

McMaster University is one of the oldest universities in Canada and bags a spot in the list of top five universities in Canada for PhD. McMaster University offers the following popular PhD courses: 

  • Biochemistry and Medical Sciences 
  • Biomedical Engineering 
  • Neuroscience 
  • Chemical Biology 
  • Health Research Methodology


University Times Higher Education Ranking (2022) (THE Ranking)TopUniversities Ranking (2022)U.S. News & World Report Ranking (2021)
McMaster University 80140133

5. University of Montreal 

Montreal is placed in the list of top 10 university cities globally. To keep up with this reputation, the University of Montreal offers the fifth-best PhD program in Canada. 

Moreover, to support their reputed PhD programs, their cumulative research revenue surpasses half a billion dollars. Some of the popular PhD subjects offered at the University of Montreal are as follows.


University Times Higher Education Ranking (2022) (THE Ranking)TopUniversities Ranking (2022)U.S. News & World Report Ranking (2021)
University of Montreal 88111140

Average Fees for Pursuing PhD in Canada

After knowing about the various universities and their general eligibility requirements, we move on to the next question, what does the average PhD in Canada cost? 

Here are the estimated fees for the universities mentioned above in Canada for PhD

UniversityEstimated Average Fee ( CAD, Yearly)
University of Toronto8,200 
University of British Columbia 8,200
McGill University 17,500 
McMaster University14,870 
University of Montreal7,500 


Job Prospects after PhD in Canada

On top of delivering top-notch education via some of the best PhD programs globally, Canada is also home to an abundance of post-work job opportunities. 

Additionally, Canada is always looking for people who add significant value to specific fields due to its cultural diversity and accommodating nature. Ergo, they offer quite a generous post-study work-visa scheme, which you should take advantage of. 

Here are some of the top job prospects in Canada post a PhD.

  • Research Scientist 
  • Research Engineer
  • Physicist
  • Principal Scientist

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Expected Remuneration After Ph.D. in Canada

The average remuneration salary in Canada post a Ph.D. is roughly around CAD 88,000, with a freshers salary starting from CAD 58,032.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which PhD stream has the most demand in Canada?

Engineering, business studies, education and health, and computer science happen to be the most in-demand PhD in Canada programs.

Is getting a job after your PhD in Canada easy?

Yes, getting a job after a PhD in Canada for Indian students is relatively easier because of the PGWPP (Post-Graduation Work Permit Program). The average salary after a PhD in Canada is estimated to be about CAD 88,000

How long can you stay in Canada after your PhD?

Thanks to the PGWPP, you can stay in Canada for up to three years after completing your PhD in Canada. 

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Bulbul is a self-driven professional and an expert writer & editor. She has been a part of the ed-tech industry for the past 2 years now and is motivated to provide study abroad aspirants with factually correct and relevant information. Her knack for impactful writing makes her blogs worth a read!

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