Dual degrees are becoming increasingly popular internationally, particularly in Europe with the Bologna Process, but increasingly also in other countries including the US, China and others.

Dual PhD degrees are issued when:

  • one doctoral dissertation is used to fulfil the requirements for a doctorate in two different universities in two different countries
  • one single final defence occurs, which includes participants from both universities
  • as a student, you fulfil ALL the other requirements for the degree at BOTH institutions (required coursework, residency, comprehensives, milestones, etc)

Each University issues a final diploma.  Each final diploma specifies that the degree was conferred under a dual supervision arrangement (cotutelle) with the other university.

Details and benefits of a dual PhD

  • These programs work best where there are existing collaborations ongoing between the two supervisors or two institutions.
  • They provide you with a credential that has additional value, because you have worked in two different environments and adapted to two different educational systems.
  • This arrangement is more popular than joint degrees (where two institutions have a combined program with one set of requirements to get one degree issued jointly by both partners), because it allows greater flexibility and does not require separate approvals.
  • If you fulfil the requirements of only one of the two universities, you can still receive one degree upon completion.

More information

For further information contact the Manager, Graduate Admissions at gradadmissions@uwaterloo.ca.