PhD in Canada for Indian Students

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PhD in Canada for Indian Students

Home to cross-ethnic communities, lively city culture, and thriving businesses, Canada is a go-to place when it comes to overseas education. In addition to that, the world-renowned educational institutions and multifarious offered avenues of research establish Canada as a sought-after destination when it comes to PhD courses. From Science to Fine Arts, the country offers an immense number of opportunities for research scholars to explore. If you are looking to pursue your PhD in Canada at one of its leading universities, this blog will provide you with the key essentials from eligibility criteria to the application process.

Course Name PhD 
Country Canada 
Duration3-6 years
Universities offering PhD in Canada98
Academic YearSeptember to April
Fees4,000 to 20,000 CAD (INR 2,36,493 – INR 11,82,468)
Funding up toUp to 40,000 CAD a year (INR 23,64,937)
Work-study opportunities10 hours a week
PGWP DurationAt least 3 years

Also Read: Study in Canada

About PhD in Canada

Most PhD programs require at least three years of full-time study and research, although it is common for students to take longer than that to get their degrees. The maximum amount of time you have to do your PhD in Canada is six years. It’s normally performed with the help of at least one academic advisor. You must submit a strong PhD thesis before the end of the semester. This will be sent to a panel of examiners, who will go through your study and provide recommendations. Your PhD will next continue to an oral defence, during which you will be cross-examined on the topic of your study and may be required to prepare a presentation to explain your work to them. Your overall performance as well as your thesis will aid you in acquiring your PhD.

Why Study PhD in Canada?

Studying in Canada is no longer only a novelty; the country’s diversified society and hospitable government standards attract international students to enrol in Canadian universities. The incentives listed below entice students to pursue a PhD program available at one of the top universities in Canada:

  • World-Class Universities: Around 3-4 universities in Canada make it to the top 150 list across the world. These top-ranking universities in Canada offer you cutting-edge research facilities and educators with the best academic knowledge.
  • Post-Study Work Opportunities: You can stay back for up to three years through PGWPP after completing your PhD in Canada. It also paves your path to obtaining a Canadian PR. Not only that but throughout the academic year, PhD students in Canada can work for about 10 hours each week. This enables you to fund and support your everyday costs while also learning and getting experience in the field.
  • Affordable Tuition Fees: The fees of pursuing PhD in Canada range from 4,000 (INR 2.4 lakh) to 20,000 CAD (INR 12 lakh). This is a lot lesser when compared with study destinations like the USA and UK.
  • Scholarships: The number of scholarships for PhD in Canada for international students is humungous. Some of the popular scholarships are Ontario Trillium Scholarships, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Ontario Graduate Scholarships, and more. Some of these scholarships offer 15,000 (INR 9 lakh) to 40,000 CAD (INR 24 lakh) a year.

Canada Education System [Know It Inside-Out!]

Top Universities for Studying PhD in Canada

Choosing to study in Canada is one of the best decisions you will make as it will open a world full of opportunities. The universities offer students ample opportunities to dive into a topic. Further, the best-in-class research facilities, renowned professors and academic scholars, and a diverse group of students help promote a creative culture and innovative thinking. A few of the universities which offer PhD degrees in fields ranging from management, economics, engineering to arts, culture, and society, and everything in between have been listed below.

Name of University QS World University Rankings 2023
University of Toronto34
University of British Columbia47
McGill University31
McMaster University152
University of Montreal116
University of Alberta110
University of Ottawa237
University of Calgary242
University of Waterloo154
Western University172
Dalhousie University308
Laval University433
Queen’s University246
Simon Fraser University328
University of Manitoba651-700

Take a quick look at some of the Best Courses in Canada For Indian Students

Cost of Studying PhD in Canada

The table highlighted below shows the average estimated cost of studying PhD in Canada at the top Canadian universities:

Universities Estimated Average Fees in INR (Yearly)
University of Toronto5 lakhs
University of British Columbia5 lakhs
McGill University10.6 lakhs
McMaster University9 lakhs
University of Montreal4.5 lakhs
University of Alberta5.5 lakhs
University of Ottawa4 lakhs
University of Calgary7 lakhs
University of Waterloo7.5 lakhs
Western University6.5 lakhs

Following is a list of some of the most common courses/fields of study taken by overseas students in Canada while pursuing their PhD:

Intakes for PhD in Canada 

For all those who are planning to complete a Ph.D. in Canada, it is important to target the right semester as per the field and university of your choice. Canada mainly offers 3 semesters during the year and in all three semesters, it allows international students to seek admission to the universities of their choice. Here are the main three intakes in Canada– 

  • Winter- January to April 
  • Fall- September to December
  • Summer- May to August
Intakes in CanadaDurationsAbout the Intake
Fall Intake (Primary Intake)September–December/early JanuaryAmong Indian students, this is a popular intake. The Fall semester begins in September and provides a large number of courses and degrees to foreign students.
Winter Intake (Secondary Intake)January–MayThe winter intake starts in January and is best for those students who did not enroll in September.
Spring/Summer IntakeMay-AugustSummer admission is generally available for a restricted number of programs and colleges and begins in April or May.

Here’s an interesting read on 10 Biggest Culture Shocks for Students in Canada

Eligibility Criteria

Be it Canada or any other country, you need to fulfill certain eligibility conditions to study abroad. Although the eligibility criteria might vary from university to university, given below are general eligibility or admission requirements that candidates must fulfill to pursue their Ph.D. in Canada:

  • A postgraduate degree in a closely-related field with consistent grades. Further, extracurricular activities and prior research experiences are also preferred. For select Ph.D. degrees, such as an integrated masters-PhD program, a high-ranking bachelor’s degree is also accepted.
  • A research proposal and a letter of recommendation from your chosen supervisor at the university.
  • Minimum English Language ability proof in the form of acceptable IELTS/TOEFL scores.
  • Acceptable scores in ability-testing examinations such as the GRE or GMAT depending on the nature of the course.
  • After submitting their exam scores, candidates might be called for a personal interview round by the university as well.

Documents Required 

To help you get started with your PhD in Canada, pillow we have mentioned a list of documents that you will need during the application process- 

Also Read: What are the Requirements to Study in Canada?

How to Apply for PhD in Canada?

Here’s a step-by-step guide given for aspirants that will help them with the application process of pursuing PhD in Canada:

  • Visit the official website of the university you are interested in.
  • Check the course curriculum and the eligibility requirements.
  • Click on the application form of the respective university.
  • First, you need to create an account using your mobile number or email address.
  • You will receive an email or SMS on your registered contact number with login details and verification.
  • Use the login details provided and enter your personal details ( name, gender, date of birth)
  • Enter your academic qualification and upload the required documents.
  • Select the course and pay the application fee.
  • The application fee is different for every university and can be paid through a debit/credit card or Internet banking.
  • Submit your application form, you can also track your application form through your account.
  • Students that have been selected will be required to attend a virtual interview by some universities.

Cost of Living in Canada

Given below is a breakdown of the different expenses which are important to consider while calculating the cost of studying and living in Canada for Indian students. 

Living Cost in CanadaCost
Flight ExpenseINR 1,00,000- 2,00, 000/- per flight
Study Permit Fees$150 (INR 11,123)
Work Permit Fees$155 (INR 11,493) 
IELTS test FeesINR 14,700
AccommodationCAD 5,000 – CAD 10,000
(INR 2,67,000-INR 5,39,000) per annum
Travel CostsCAD 80 – CAD 110 (INR 4,300-INR 6,000) per month
Health InsuranceCAD 300-CAD 800 (INR 17,000-INR 44,000)
FoodCAD 300- CAD 400 [17,508 INR-23,344] (monthly)
EntertainmentCAD 750 [43,770 INR] (monthly)

Get your personalized cost of living calculated for studying abroad with the help of our Cost of Living Calculator Tool!

PhD in Canada with Scholarships

Several scholarship schemes support meritorious students aspiring to pursue a PhD in Canada. From providing full financial support to stipends and accommodation assistance, they help individuals explore research opportunities comfortably. A few scholarship options have been mentioned below.

Know How to Apply for Scholarships in Canadian Universities?

Canadian Student Visa 

For international students looking forward to pursuing a PhD in Canada, it is mandatory to have a Canadian student visa before they enter the Canadian borders. Once they have secured their student visa for the country along with an acceptance letter from the university, candidates are all set to pursue the course. It is important to note that along with the student visa, candidates must have a study permit which is valid as long as the duration of their PhD course. To apply for a student permit under the process of Student Direct Stream, you need to fulfill some prerequisites which are given below:

  • A letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution of post-secondary learning;
  • Transcripts of recent secondary or post-secondary qualification;
  • Proof of payment of first-year tuition fees.
  • At the time of application of obtaining a Canada visa for Indians, the candidate must be living outside Canada.
  • A medical exam before applying (if needed).
  • Police certificate before applying (if needed).
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN $10,000 (INR 8 lakh).
  • ‘Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion-issued ‘Certificate of Acceptance of
  • Quebec (CAQ)’ (if you are planning to study in Quebec).
  • Language Test Scores
    • IELTS 6.0 or higher in each section (reading, listening, writing and speaking), or
    • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) score of 7.0 or higher in each section (reading,
    • listening, writing and speaking) which is equal to the Canadian Language
    • Benchmark (CLB).

Also Read: Canada Student Visa IELTS Band Requirements

Post Study Work Permit in Canada

You need to pursue a course for a minimum duration of 8 months to be eligible to stay back in Canada. Courses with a duration of fewer than 8 months do not allow a student to stay back and apply for Post Graduation Work Permit. If you pursue a course that is of duration less than 2 years, he/she is eligible for a post-graduation work permit of equivalent duration as the course. For Example:

  • 8 months course = 8 months Post Graduation Work Permit;
  • 2 years course (master or diploma) = 3 years Post Graduation Work Permit 
  • PhD in Canada = 3 years Post Graduation Work Permit 

Also Read: Canada Student Permit Guide 2023

Student Life in Canada

Canada invests a huge amount of money in education and its facilities. This makes the country among the most caught-after study abroad destinations. Let’s briefly go through the dynamic student life in Canada.

  • Canada is known to have a multicultural environment that gives students a global perspective and also helps them build a stronger network. 
  • The country is also known for welcoming the majority of immigrants which contributes to the progressive nature of the people.
  • Students can explore endless leisure activities in  Canada. Being home to many world heritage sites and lively festivals, students can engage in various activities.
  • Canada is also known to have the lowest crime rates in the world. Canadians experience fewer violent crimes and fewer break-ins, and police officers follow strict ethics which makes it safe for students. 

PR After Study in Canada

After earning a degree from a prominent Canadian university, obtaining permanent residency and immigration becomes simple. The government offers a variety of options to help international students become permanent residents. The Post-Graduate Job Permit (PGWP) is an alternative for fresh graduates who want to obtain work experience in the business.

International students can also apply for Permanent Residency in Canada through the following avenues:

  • Students must have completed two years of study and one year of work experience following graduation to be eligible for this class.
  • Students must have a working knowledge of the French language and have completed a CEGEP programme at a Quebec-based university.
  • Students who participate in the Provincial Nomination Program can obtain PR more quickly.

Also Read: Best PR-Friendly Courses in Canada 2023

Scope of PhD in Canada

After earning your PhD in Canada, you have a variety of alternatives, ranging from teaching to conducting research with industrial giants. The occupations you pick or the research field you choose will be determined by the specialties of your project; as a result, the pay you will receive will vary depending on your choices.

Also Read: PhD Scholarships in Canada

Jobs and Salary

The following are some of the most common research profiles in Canada, as well as the wages associated with them for PhD graduates:

PhD in Canada
Scope of PhD in Canada
Job Prospects Average Estimated Salary in INR 
Principal Scientist58.5 lakhs 
R&D Director79.9 lakhs 
Physicist46.7 lakhs 
Medical Science Liaison58 lakhs 
Research Scientist40.8 lakhs 
Postdoctoral Research Associate31.3 lakhs 
Research Engineer37.2 lakhs 


Is a PhD free in Canada?

No, a PhD in Canada costs between 4,000 and 19,000 Canadian dollars. However, you can study for a PhD in Canada if you can get a scholarship that covers your tuition and living expenses.

In Canada, is the GRE necessary for a Ph.D.?

To pursue a Ph.D. in Canada, you may need to take the GRE. This criterion is strongly reliant on the university of choice.

Do Ph.D. students in Canada get paid?

Yes, Ph.D. students in Canada are eligible for a small stipend. However, the stipend mostly provides basic assistance, and the amount is modest. As a result, if you plan on relying on your stipend, it’s time to reconsider and consider other options.

If you are looking to pursue a PhD or any other higher education degree but feel uncertain as to its suitability and prospects, get in touch with our experienced counselors at Leverage Edu on 1800572000. They’ll guide you throughout the process of selecting a suitable program and university that equip you with the right knowledge and exposure to kickstart your career.

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  1. Hi , I am looking for a PHD in Canada preferably funded . My details are : Bachelor in science in 1999, MBA in marketing and international business with First class in 2002, Bachelor degree in Eucation in 2017 , International travel and work exposure in areas of marketing of education programs

    1. Hello Amol,

      PhD in Canada is a great academic choice! Thank you for providing your academic details. Our experts will the best ones to guide you with the best universities, eligibilities, application processes and the cost. Please connect to them at 1800-572-000 and book your first counselling session for FREE!

  1. Hi , I am looking for a PHD in Canada preferably funded . My details are : Bachelor in science in 1999, MBA in marketing and international business with First class in 2002, Bachelor degree in Eucation in 2017 , International travel and work exposure in areas of marketing of education programs

    1. Hello Amol,

      PhD in Canada is a great academic choice! Thank you for providing your academic details. Our experts will the best ones to guide you with the best universities, eligibilities, application processes and the cost. Please connect to them at 1800-572-000 and book your first counselling session for FREE!