UPEI's Doctor of Philosophy in Sustainable Design Engineering (PhD-SDE) program aims to train graduates who have in-depth expertise in applying principles of sustainable design engineering to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research challenges.

Independent research is the major focus of the PhD program-SDE degree, and students will identify a research topic and conduct an extensive body of original research in their field, making a true contribution exemplifying the student’s depth of knowledge, creativity, innovation and proven ability to make significant scientific research contributions. 

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Course Structure
Course requirements

Note: Current UPEI students should refer to Student Planning in myUPEI and the UPEI Academic Calendar governing their entry year, and speak to an academic advisor about course requirements. The course structure presented for this program is a recommended, unofficial progression for prospective students.

Students will be required to take at least four (4) graduate-level courses (equivalent to at least 12 credits) in addition to SDE 8010 (PhD Thesis) and SDE 8900 (Seminar). Normally these courses should be selected from the PhD-SDE Graduate-Level Courses listed below. Upon approval of the student’s supervisory committee, up to two graduate-level courses may be taken from outside the FSDE. All students must complete the SDE 8030 - Contemporary Topics in Sustainable Design Engineering course unless they receive approval from their supervisory committee to take an alternate FSDE graduate-level course. In the case of students who transfer from the MSc-SDE program at UPEI, any PhD-SDE Graduate-Level Courses completed during their MSc degree will count towards their PhD degree. Each student is expected to complete these courses within the first 24 months of the degree, before or in the concurrent semester of their PhD Comprehensive Exam.

Thesis and Seminar
8010 PhD Thesis
8900 Seminar

PhD in Sustainable Design Engineering Graduate-Level Courses
8020 Quality Control and Project Management
8021 Contemporary Topics in Engineering Management
8030 Contemporary Topics in Sustainable Design Engineering
8031 Contemporary Topics in User-Centred Engineering Design
8040 Design of Experiments
8050 Engineering Research Methods and Experiment Design
8060 Modelling, Control, and Design of Energy Systems
8061 Optimization in Energy Infrastructure
8062 Solar Buildings and Neighbourhoods
8063 Contemporary Topics in Sustainable Energy
8070 Novel Engineered Materials for Sustainable Applications
8080 Industrial Machine Vision
8081 Modern Mechatronic Systems
8100 Biofuel and Biomass Technology
8101 Advances in Bioresource Engineering

Admissions Criteria
What's Required for Admission?

Applicants must:

  • hold a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree.
  • hold a thesis-based Master of Science (MSc) or thesis-based Engineering (MEng) or its equivalent from a recognized university, and have achieved at least a second class standing (70-80%) for this degree.
  • provide proof of English language proficiency for those applicants whose first language is not English. Please refer to the English Language Requirements for Graduate Programs page.

For complete admissions details, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

Application Deadline
Apply before March 1

Applicants must submit the following via the application portal (apply.upei.ca):

  • a Graduate Application Form;
  • a personal statement outlining background preparation and explaining why this particular program is a match for the applicant;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • $50 (CDN) application fee.

Applicants must ensure that the following items are forwarded directly to the university:

  • three letters of reference, at least two academic; the third may be academic or may reflect volunteer or professional experience;
  • official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) from all post-secondary institutions at which courses have been taken.

All application materials must be received by March 1st of the calendar year the student wishes to enter the program.

Fees and Funding
Tuition and Scholarships


PhD in Sustainable Design Engineering - $13,815 per 3-year program

For a complete breakdown, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

Scholarships and Awards

UPEI supports you and your educational goals. We administer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards to our undergraduate and graduate students every year. Depending on your faculty or program, and year of study, you may be eligible for available awards.

Search the complete list of scholarships for information and application forms.  

Faculty Members
Your mentors. Our professors.

UPEI has about 250 faculty—exceptional scholars, teachers, and mentors, with more being hired each year as we open new, progressive, and unique programs. But the story isn’t just in the numbers. It’s in the quality of our people. Award-winning faculty from around the globe have made UPEI home. Here, you’ll learn directly from these world-class professors and researchers in small classes where you’ll have easy access to them.