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.
  • Many PhD programs outside North America that require candidates to complete their thesis/dissertation in three years are research only degrees.  When negotiating an MOA between UVic and institutions with this model, it is recommended that course work and comprehensive examinations are completed at the home institution prior to the start of the jointly-supervised individual PhD program.
  • 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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