Joint PhD & Co-Tutelle

Joint PhD / Co-tutelle

  • A Joint PhD is a single PhD degree jointly awarded by two universities. It is not two PhD degrees.
  • A Joint PhD student’s application, enrolment, and academic program must meet the PhD requirements of both universities.
  • Application for a Joint PhD must be supported by the Dean of the relevant Faculty on the basis of a recognized and existing strategic partnership involving multiple students.
  • A Joint PhD is a collaborative academic endeavour of scholarship & research designed, supervised, and examined by qualified faculty from both universities.
  • Joint PhD degree arrangements should be established from the outset or at the earliest possible stage.

To apply for a Joint PhD, you must:

  • Contact with a detailed rationale for the proposed joint PhD focusing on the existing strategic partnership between the proposed universities and why multiple students are expected to benefit from a joint PhD offering. The request, once complete, will be communicated to the Dean of the relevant Faculty for review.
  • If the Faculty Dean approves the proposal, find a faculty member in the relevant UBC program and a faculty member at the partner university to agree to supervise your Joint PhD.
  • Working with your supervisors, develop a draft version of a "Joint PhD Agreement." Submit your draft to for feedback before obtaining final signatures. G+PS will work with you and the partner university to ensure that the agreement is satisfactory. Please note this process often takes 6-8 months or longer, particularly if the negotiation involves changes to the standard terms in the template agreement.
  • If the Faculty Dean and the supervisors agree to Joint PhD study, apply to the PhD program following the normal UBC application process. Follow requirements for enrolment at the partner university. As above, all admission requirements apply as normal for joint PhD students.
  • Once the agreement receives all final approvals, you will begin your joint PhD study.


Normally, the student will pay tuition at only one university which is designated as the "Lead" university. Mandatory student fees will normally be paid at whichever institution the student is in residence in for a given academic term. Financial support for the student is to be worked out between the co-supervisors at the two institutions and reflected in the Joint PhD Agreement.


Funding arrangements are established between the two supervisors and the student, in accordance with policy and set out in the Joint PhD Agreement. 

Special funding sources for Joint PhD/Co-tutelle: