Frequently Asked Questions: Prospective Students

What is the deadline to apply to the Ph.D. program?

The application deadline for the Ph.D. program is January 31, each year.   All applications received by January 31, will be considered for first-round offers.   Applications received after January 31 will be held for second-round consideration, if a second round of offers is required.

Applications are for entry into the fall (September) program each year.

Can I apply for a winter or summer entrance?

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs has only one admission intake per year. The School does not hold an intake session for the winter or summer terms.

Does the NPSIA Ph.D. program have a part-time option?

The NPSIA Ph.D. program does not have a part-time option. Applicants are admitted to the program full time, and remain full time until the completion of their program.

How long is the Ph.D. program?

The Ph.D. program is a 4 to a 5-year program. Students are funded for each of the 4 years while in the program. If a student requires a 5th year to complete the program, a 5th year is available, but the student will not receive funding for this final, 5th year.

What is the residency requirement?

All Ph.D. candidates will be registered full time, for the full duration of their program, including summer registration as required.

What are the prerequisites for applying to the Ph.D. program?

Applicants to the program must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree in social science with at an A- (80%-84%) average;
  • Undergraduate introductory economics (including both a microeconomic and macroeconomic component);
  • Two (2) further economic courses at the senior, undergraduate level;
  • A number of years of work experience are desirable, but not necessarily mandatory.

What are the tuition fees for the program?

The tuition fees for both domestic and international students can be found here.

Will I receive funding as a domestic student?

Domestic students will receive funding for 4 years, in the form of a Teaching Assistantship and a Departmental Scholarship. At the time of application, a student whose grade point average meets the Entrance Scholarship requirement will also receive a one-time payment in the first year of the program.

Will I receive funding as an international student?

International students are eligible to receive funding for 4 years in the form of a Teaching Assistantship.  However, it is important to note that this funding will not cover full tuition and living expenses.  International students will be required to secure their own, external funding to cover remaining fees and living expenses not covered by the Teaching Assistant award.

“What is the language requirement for applying to the program?

Applicants whose initial language is not English must provide one of the following English language proficiency tests, with the required, minimum test scores:

  • TOEFL: 86 (20 in reading and listening; 22 in speaking and writing)
  • CAEL Assessment: 70 (minimum 60 in each band)
  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each band)

Do I need to secure a supervisor before I apply to the program?

Applicants are not required to contact potential supervisors before applying to the Ph.D. program. Applicants only need to identify that there is at least one faculty member at the School, whose area of research is similar to the applicant’s area of considered research.

How do I apply to the program?

Applications to the Ph.D. program are completed online. Please visit,, to complete your application.

When can I expect to receive a decision about my application?

Applicants to the program can expect to receive a decision regarding their application by March 31, of each year.

For further information regarding the NPSIA PhD program, visit the PhD Program page on our website.