Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Student engaging with a flight simulator

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is a research-based program leading to the production of a research thesis. Doctoral research at UTIAS is expected to be internationally recognized for its originality, rigour, and importance. Supervised by a faculty member, students select a research topic, develop a plan to address the topic, and implement this plan, leading to a major research thesis and contributions to the academic literature. This is the pinnacle of academic achievement, and holders of the PhD are well prepared for academic positions and leadership roles in industrial research and development.

UTIAS researchers collaborate extensively with all the major companies in the Canadian aerospace industry, and UTIAS PhD students frequently interact with industrial partners.

All PhD students at UTIAS are provided with a stipend to support living expenses, tuition and fees, and are eligible for a range of additional scholarship support.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an MASc degree in engineering, mathematics, physics, or chemistry; or 2) transfer from the University of Toronto MASc program.

Length of study

Four years (defined as the period of time for an academically well-prepared student to complete all program requirements while registered full-time).

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. For international students, degree and grade equivalencies can be found at the International Degree Equivalencies directory.
  • An MASc degree in engineering, mathematics, physics, or chemistry and demonstrated ability to perform advanced research. Applicants require a minimum average grade of B+ in their Master’s program, but most admitted applicants have average grades higher than this.
  • Proof of English-language proficiency is required for all applicants educated outside of Canada whose native language is not English. See the School of Graduate Studies for additional information.

Application Procedures

Please ensure that you meet our minimum admission requirements as stated above.

Before applying, you should learn about the UTIAS course offerings, and read the FAQs about admissions and FAQs about studying at UTIAS.

Step 1. Submit an application on SGS Admissions Management and pay the $125 application fee (non-refundable/transferable, regardless of the circumstance). Applications will not be processed until the application fee is received. You will be prompted for your payment information after you click “submit.” Please note that there is no way to edit your application once it has been submitted.

On the SGS Admissions Management site please submit:

  • Your SGS application (personal information, academic history, etc.), and,
  • Scans of complete (or most up-to-date) academic transcript(s). Applicants must scan and upload each post-secondary institutional transcript as a PDF file. In lieu of a scanned copy of a paper transcript, applicants may upload a PDF file of their academic history from their university’s student web service. Every transcript must include its respective grading scale. You are not required to submit official (paper) transcripts until requested by the graduate office.

Step 2Submit a detailed application on UTIAS Application System.

This is the most important part of the application process. If you do not complete the application on UTIAS Application System, your application will not be reviewed.

Please note:

  • Applicants should monitor their PhD application progress on UTIAS Application System.

Your UTIAS Graduate Admission includes:

  • Personal/general Information
  • Statement of intent
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Academic history and detailed grades*
  • Referee contact information**

Once you submit your application on UTIAS Application System you will not be able to modify it.

*You must include all marks from all years and all institutions that you have attended. If you do not provide these grades on UTIAS Application System, the review of your application will be delayed until you provide these and hence you may miss the review period.

Transcripts: The review process will take place using the scanned/electronic transcripts uploaded to SGS Admissions Management Application and grades submitted to UTIAS Application System. You will be contacted with instructions if you are required to submit official paper transcripts.

**Two reference letters are required. In general, letters of reference from academic sources are preferred. Your referees must submit their letters of reference electronically on the UTIAS Application System. Do not submit more than two referees. Only two letters will be considered. Instructions on how to submit letters of reference will be sent automatically to referees by the UTIAS Application System.

An application is not complete until both letters of reference have been submitted. It is highly recommended that applicants (1) submit their applications well in advance of the deadline and (2) confirm that their letters of reference have been submitted by logging on to the UTIAS Application System. The application status will read “received” when the application is complete including two letters of reference. Please do not forward hard copies of letters of reference to the UTIAS Graduate Office.

Indicate research preference: Applicants must classify their research interest. The UTIAS Application System will permit applicants to indicate a maximum of three areas of interest from a drop-down menu. Visit our Research & Centres page for detailed information.


Degree SGS Fee Payment Deadline UTIAS Application Deadline
PhD January 10, 2024 January 17, 2024

Tuition Fees

Current Fall-Winter Fees
(scroll to bottom of the page and click on Graduate Studies, School of - All Graduate Programs)



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