Program list & descriptions

Jointly-supervised individual programs ( Doctorate )

The Faculty of Graduate Studies is pleased to offer students an option for completing a PhD degree by a Jointly-Supervised Individual PhD program (also known in some parts of the world as a co-tutelle) with a partner institution abroad.

This type of degree program is different from other doctoral degrees at UVic because:

  • it is co-supervised by faculty members at two different universities
  • the academic program is specific to you and is outlined in a memorandum of agreement

A jointly-supervised (co-tutelle) individual PhD program is different from other doctoral degrees offered at the University of Victoria. It is co-supervised by faculty members at two different universities.

The specific details of each jointly-supervised individual PhD program must be worked out in advance for each student and outlined in a memorandum of agreement signed by the student, supervisors, heads of the academic units involved, and deans of the respective Graduate Studies faculties.

Basic principles

  • It is a single PhD degree jointly awarded by more than one university.
  • Your application, admission and academic program must meet the PhD requirements of each university.
  • It is a collaborative academic program of scholarship and research designed, supervised, and examined by faculty from each university.

How to pursue this PhD option

  • Consult with academic units in the respective universities well in advance as jointly-supervised individual PhD programs can take a significant amount of time to establish.
  • You must meet the admission requirements of each partner university. It is expected that you will spend significant periods of time engaged in academic work at each university.
  • Your academic program must satisfy all PhD requirements at each university.
  • It will be established from the outset that one of the partner universities will be designated the “home” university.
  • A memorandum of agreement (MOA) will be established between the partner institutions. It must have final approval from the deans of graduate studies in each university. 
  • The MOA will be established as close to the first registration as possible. It must be approved and signed no later than by the time you have reached candidacy.
  • The MOA (see template) will include, but is not limited to:    
    • details related to the academic program the student will be required to complete
    • assignment of supervision, required coursework, candidacy examination(s), dissertation requirements including the language, length and format of dissertation, oral defence, and submission of the final dissertation
    • the arrangements among the partners on various responsibilities and regulations including:
      • the administration of student admission
      • registration
      • monitoring of progress
      • funding and student support
      • tuition and fees guidelines*
      • intellectual property guidelines
      • graduation and awarding of parchment(s)

*Students in jointly-supervised individual PhD programs typically pay tuition to the university in which they are resident in each term.

How to apply for this PhD option

  • Contact the graduate adviser in the academic unit you'd like to be admitted to for this degree.
  • Gain approval in principle from the academic unit to admit you into this joint degree.
  • Apply for admission to the PhD program with that academic unit.
  • Find a faculty member in that academic unit who agrees to be your program supervisor.
  • Review the MOA template with your supervisor and with the potential partner-university supervisor.
  • Contact the coordinator in the Faculty of Graduate Studies (contact information below). She will facilitate the negotiations and development of the MOA.
  • Complete the MOA document with your supervisors. Get it approved by each institutions’ graduate advisers and academic unit chairs.
  • Once the above approvals are obtained, submit the MOA to the deans of the respective Graduate Studies faculties for approval.
  • Once all approvals are given, your academic record will be amended to reflect that you have been admitted to a jointly-supervised individual PhD program.

Carolyn Swayze, Coordinator - Information, Research and Communication
Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Victoria
250-472-4939 or

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