PhD in Educational Studies

Candidates for admission to the PhD in Educational studies must have demonstrated high academic standing and evidence of ability to conduct original, independent and sustained research. Normally, the basic requirements are:

  • First class standing (e.g., a minimum academic average of 80%, or A-, or a GPA of 3.7) or equivalent, in a Masters program conferred by an accredited university (students with Pass grades must request that former professors complete a narrative assessment form to confirm first class standing equivalence and potential for admission to a PhD program).
  • A Masters thesis. An equivalent research report such as a Masters project, or a substantial research-focused technical report , authored solely by the applicant, may also be considered.
  • Evidence of a minimum of 5 years professional experience in field deemed relevant to the field of educational studies.

Application for admission

All documents pertaining to application for admission are to be sent to the Office of the Registrar. All application materials must be received no later than January 15 of the year for which admission is sought. Late applications are reviewed only if seats are still available after all those meeting the deadline have been considered. (Note: When January 15 falls on a weekend, deadline moves to the first business day following)

Applicants to the UPEI PhD program in Educational Studies would submit the following documents for consideration by the Graduate Studies Committee:

  • Application Checklist
  • Follow UPEI's graduate program application process
  • Statement of Intent
  • Reference Forms (Professional) & (Academic) - 3 references (at least two letters should come from professors familiar with the applicant’s work at the Masters level; one would normally come from the applicant’s thesis advisor. The third reference could be provided by another professor familiar with the applicant’s work or by a relevant employer who is in a position to assess the candidate’s suitability for a doctoral program). Referees are asked to complete the reference form provided on the Faculty of Education website.
  • A portfolio including supporting materials the applicant considers relevant. These materials could include scholarly articles, professional publications, evidence of research-driven professional activities, professional/artistic presentations, performances or exhibits.
  • Applicants may also be invited to an interview (face-to-face or virtual) to discuss the application with the Graduate Studies Committee.

All applications to the PhD program are assessed on a competitive basis. Satisfaction of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Due to the nature of the program, deferral of admission will normally not be possible. The Faculty of Education endeavours to provide some financial support for all candidates admitted to the program.


Official transcripts of the applicant's complete undergraduate and graduate record to date are to be sent to the Office of the Registrar. Applicants from outside North America are strongly urged to attach official statements of the grades obtained and the subject matter included. When such transcripts or statements are in a language other than English, a notarized translation of the document must be submitted, in addition to the original document.

English proficiency

Students are expected to be proficient in the use of English, both written and oral, when they begin their studies at the University of Prince Edward Island. The University requires that certification of such proficiency be presented by applicants whose mother tongue is not English or whose normal language of instruction throughout their education (as recognized by UPEI) was not English. Tests of proficiency acceptable to the University, and the minimum scores that must be obtained, are listed on the English Language Proficiency Requirements page under the Application and Admissions section of the Programs and Courses website. Such students should make arrangements to take the test at least three months before the semester opening date.

Students whose first language is French may complete the PhD dissertation in Educational Studies in French provided a qualified supervisory committee can be established at UPEI.

Refusal of admission

Limitations of funds, space, facilities or suitable faculty supervisor may make it necessary for the University, at its discretion, to refuse admission to an otherwise acceptable applicant.

Tentative admission

Tentative admission may be granted an applicant whose record to date is acceptable but whose application is incomplete. If the documents are satisfactory when received, the student's admission is confirmed. If unsatisfactory, admission is denied.

Apply to the PhD in Educational Studies program

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