PhD Prospective Students


Program Description

The PhD in Educational Studies provides an integrative perspective on education by drawing on a range of related disciplines and research orientations. The program has been designed to ensure relative flexibility, providing opportunities for multidisciplinary research as well as opportunities for research that draws on specific disciplinary strengths.

Students develop scholarly and innovative expertise in at least one of three contexts of inquiry and awareness of all three:

  1. the broad context of culture and society;
  2. the international, national, and local contexts of educational leadership and policy studies; and
  3. the more specific contexts of schools and other sites of teaching and learning.

All programs have a common set of courses. Additional courses vary depending on program and dissertation topic.

Program Overview

There are a few options for completing the Doctor of Philosophy: Educational Studies.

For a full list of courses and course descriptions:

NB: Please note that applications are accepted for the fall semester ONLY. There is no intake for the winter and summer semesters.

Information on Tuition and Fees can be found here

You can view current class schedules via the Dynamic Schedule.


Admission to graduate programs at McGill is holistic, meaning that many factors are taken into consideration in the admission decision, including academic credentials and grades. The following outlines the minimum requirements for admission to graduate studies at McGill. These minimum requirements apply to both Canadian and international candidates. Admission to graduate studies is highly competitive. Keep in mind that meeting the minimum admissions requirements does not guarantee your admission. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements must provide a strong rationale for admission. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants normally meet the following requirements:
1. A Master’s degree.
2. For students without an Education degree, the Letter of Intent must articulate a clear rationale for completing a Ph.D. in Education Studies.
3. A minimum CGPA of 3.2*/4.0 in graduate studies.
4. Relevant practical or research experience informing the proposed area of research.

*Please note: The average CGPA of applicants accepted the DISE PhD program has been 3.75 or higher.

Each application is reviewed by the Graduate Program Coordinators followed by an independent review by two faculty members.


Next application deadline: 1st Dec for Fall admission. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered. The uApply system opens mid-September for the following academic year.

Admissions for all graduate level programs are done online, via uApply.  Click on the red "Apply Now" icon to begin the process.

Grade Equivalencies

Required Documents

  • Ph.D. applicants must secure a THESIS SUPERVISOR as part of the application process. The application will require this information to be filled-in in the appropriate field.
  • A current working CV
  • A 1-2 page Personal Statement (Letter of Intent), A 1-2 page Personal Statement (Letter of Intent), identifying the applicant’s reason for pursuing doctoral studies, interests in research and expected research professional directions.
  • A copy of your unofficial transcripts from all previous university level studies (undergraduate and graduate).  Official transcripts are required after the student is officially admitted to the program.
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from a university-level instructor; the other may be from an administrator in an educationally relevant context.
  • Research Proposal. (max 5 pages - Double Spaced, excluding references; Time New Roman font, 1 inch margins)
  • English Language Proficiency Requirement Graduate e-Calendar  (if applicable)
    • Applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the institutional language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), must meet one of the following English proficiency criteria.
      • IELTS with a minimum overall band of 7.0; (with a minimum writing score of 7.0; or
      • TOEFL:iBT (Internet-based test) – total score of 92 with a minimum score of 22 each for the Writing and Speaking sections and a minimum of 20 each for the Reading and Listening sections.

N.B. Applicants are required to submit their test scores electronically. Paper reports are no longer accepted.

Additional Information

Prospective Supervisor

To be admitted to the program, the applicant must have the approval of a prospective supervisor. Relevant information concerning individual professors, their research interests, and contact information, can be found on the Department’s website. The applicant should also submit a CV. Applicants are asked to contact only one professor at a time, rather than sending messages to multiple recipients in search of a prospective supervisor.

Research Proposal

The five-page double-spaced research proposal should clearly state the applicant’s main research questions and should be prefaced by a brief account of the research trends that have led to the formulation of the questions. It should include mention of how the research will be conducted and conclude with a selected bibliography of relevant works. The research proposal allows the applicant to demonstrate the prerequisites for admission to the program, namely, an awareness of current research in an area suitable for doctoral research and the ability to write a research proposal. It is understood nevertheless that the research proposal will evolve to varying degrees during the program. You may choose to format the research proposal using the following headings: Research Problem/Context, Objectives, Methodologies, and Contributions to the Advancement of Knowledge.

Additional Requirements for Concentration in Mathematics and Science Education:

  • A strong content background in mathematics or an area of science is needed for this program. It is recommended that candidates have a Bachelors and/or Masters degree in mathematics, a science discipline, or a related field. Equivalent experience in one of these areas may be considered in place of a degree. If you do not have the specified content background and degree, we ask that you explain, in your application materials, how your experiences have strengthened your mathematics or science content knowledge.
  • Elementary or secondary teaching or experience working in other learning environments (such as after-school programs, etc.) is desirable. This should be described in your application materials.

Language Acquisition Program (LAP)

Applicants cannot apply directly to this program but may request a transfer, upon departmental approval, to the LAP option. Potential students should apply to the general "Educational Studies" program.

Departmental Research

To learn about the research of our current PhD student, please visit the research page here.

Frequently Asked Questions


Contact Info:

michael lariviere – PhD Graduate Program Coordinator
michael.lariviere [at]
514-398-4527 Ext. 09133

Dr. Marta Kobiela - PhD Graduate Program Director
marta.kobiela [at]

Program information is organized for two distinct groups:

Prospective Students    Currently Registered