Joint PhD: Cotutelles/Universitas 21

Program Info: 

Together with select partner universities, McGill offers individualized collaborative programs of study, also known as cotutelles, leading to a single PhD awarded jointly by the two universities.  These partners include universities in France as well as members of Universitas 21, an international network of 23 leading research-intensive universities in fifteen countries. The goal of these partnerships is to enhance student training and experience, and to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between the member universities.

These joint PhD degree programs give students the benefit of carrying out doctoral research at two different universities under the guidance of two supervisors with a pre-existing or emerging collaboration.  Students are expected to spend roughly half their time at each university, and will be awarded a single degree granted jointly by the two universities. Details of the student’s program will be specified in a customized Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) prepared in conjunction with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and signed by all parties.

Information for those interested in considering a Cotutelle or U21 joint PhD program at McGill:

  1. Write to the Graduate Program Director (GPD) of the McGill graduate program (view departmental listing) to which you will apply, stating your intention to apply to a cotutelle or U21 joint PhD degree program.  Ask about the normal departmental procedures for identifying potential supervisors.  In some departments, the GPD will help you find a supervisor while in others you will be expected to contact prospective supervisors yourself.
  2. Get agreement from the potential co-supervisors at each of the two universities at which you want to study that (pending admission) they will be willing to jointly supervise your program. Depending on normal departmental procedures, the GPD may assist you with this step.
  3. Apply to the appropriate graduate program at McGill, starting at the Future Graduate Students website.
  4. If you are admitted into the graduate program, ask your McGill supervisor(s) and/or GPD to contact maggie [dot] docouto [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) to arrange for the completion of the MOA, as well as a cotutelle or U21 joint PhD degree program application form.
  5. Decide, at the time of admission, which university will be the “lead” university, responsible for the overall administration of the student’s work and the examination process. The other university will be the “partner”. One of the co-supervisors (usually from the lead university) must serve as the chair of the student’s supervisory committee.
  6. Consider the research and evidence-based advice about supervision on the Supervision website.

If you have any questions, please contact maggie [dot] docouto [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies)