Joint PhD Program & Co-Tutelle

Applying to a Joint PhD program or Co-tutelle

UBC invites outstanding doctoral students to apply to undertake PhD study at UBC in collaboration with another international university. At UBC, this is called a "Joint PhD".

  • 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.
  • A Joint PhD is a collaborative academic program of scholarship & research designed, supervised and examined by faculty from both universities.
  • The academic and research program of a student enrolled in a Joint PhD should be based on ongoing or developing research collaboration between research groups in the two participating universities and may also reflect an active collaboration between two universities that are part of a network, such as U21.
  • Joint PhD degree arrangements should be established from the outset or at the earliest possible stage.

To apply for a Joint PhD program, you should:

  • Contact the UBC graduate program in which you would like to be a Joint PhD student. You will need to find a faculty member in the UBC program to agree to Joint PhD supervision.
  • Investigate the partner university and determine whether they support Joint PhD (or co-tutelle) enrolment. You will need to find a faculty member at the partner university to agree to Joint PhD supervision.
  • If the UBC program agrees to Joint PhD study, apply to the PhD program following the normal UBC application process.
  • Follow requirements for enrolment at the partner university.
  • Working with your supervisors, develop a draft version of a "Joint PhD Agreement" . The partner university may also require a similar form. Submit your draft to  the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) for feedback before obtaining final signatures.
  • G+PS will work with you and the partner university to ensure that the agreement is satisfactory.
  • Once the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies AND the proper authority at the partner university approve the agreement, circulate the final document for required signatures.
  • Fill out any other paperwork required by the partner institution. 
  • Once the agreement receives all final approvals, you will be admitted to 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. 

Special funding sources for Joint PhD/Co-tutelle: