PhD program admissions

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To begin your application, please visit our Faculty of Graduate Studies Application Portal.

Students enrolled in the Sobey PhD program are subject to all the rules and regulations outlined in the Saint Mary's University Graduate Academic Calendar.


To be considered for admission into the Sobey PhD program, applicants must meet a number of requirements and complete a rigorous application process.

Acceptance into the Sobey PhD Program is highly competitive. Each year we only accept between four and six of the applications received, with an acceptance rate of roughly one in five. In order to be considered for admission, applicants are asked to pay careful attention to all the requirements for a successful application.

Requirements and Deadlines

Decisions regarding admission to the doctoral program will be made based on the applicant's academic qualifications and achievements, fit with the program's areas of specialization and the availability of an appropriate supervisor. To that end, all of the following will be considered:

Qualifications: Students entering the doctoral program must have a Master's degree from a recognized university. Normal minimum requirements for admission are a grade/quality point average of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale (B+ to A-) and GMAT (or GRE) above 600.

Business Studies: At least a minimal breadth in business studies is expected. Ideally, applicants should have an undergraduate and/or Masters degree, which includes at substantial business studies element (e.g., a Bachelor of Commerce, Masters in Business Administration). Students without previous degrees in management education may be admitted as "qualifying" students but could be required to undertake selected management courses in addition to the normal requirements of the PhD program.

GMAT/GRE: Candidates are required to provide scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The minimum requirement is the equivalent of a GMAT score above 600.

Personal Statement: At the time of application, prospective students should submit a personal statement (Maximum 4 pages), including:

  • Potential research interests
  • Potential supervisors
  • Relevant research, volunteer, and work experience
  • Career objectives and long-range goals
  • Academic honours, awards, and/or scholarships.
  • A list of publications, conference papers, and/or technical reports
  • University committee work
  • Any other information that is relevant to your application.


Supervisor: In admitting students to the program, the PhD Program Council will consider the availability of potential dissertation supervisors. Once accepted into the program, students in consultation with the PhD Program Coordinator will be designated an advisor who will assist in the development of the student’s dissertation topic. The assignment of an advisor will occur no later than the successful completion of the student’s comprehensive examination. The advisor will be appointed on the basis of his or her expertise in relation to the student’s dissertation. Where a student in the program has identified an appropriate supervisor, every effort will be made to ensure that he or she is appointed as the advisor/supervisor.

Note: The PhD Supervisor should normally be a tenured faculty member at Saint Mary's University or other post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada. In the latter case such faculty must be recommended by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research as Adjunct Professors at Saint Mary's University.

Letters of Recommendation: All applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation from persons capable of assessing the candidate's academic ability and research potential.

Career Objectives: a statement of career objectives is required.

University Transcripts: Official transcripts from all universities attended (sent directly by the granting institution) are required at the time of application.

English: The PhD program requires a high level of analytical skills and reading ability. To that end, strong English language proficiency is important for success in the program. Applicants who were not educated in English are required to submit official scores on the CanTest, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or recognized equivalent test of written and oral English language proficiency. Normal minimum requirements are TOEFL internet-based (iBT): A minimum score of 100 overall with at least 22 in Writing; 21 in Reading, 27 in Speaking, 20 in Listening. The minimum score on the paper-based TOEFL is 600. Scores must be less than two years old.

These are the normal minimum requirements, but each case will be evaluated on its own merits. However, applicants will not be evaluated for admittance where any of the required elements have not been submitted at the time when the application is being considered.

The deadline for applications is February 15 for a September start.

Start your application now