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Chemical Engineering - PhD (Nanotechnology) at Waterloo

Program information

Department/School Chemical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering
Admit term(s)

Fall (September – December)

Winter (January – April)

Spring (May – August)

Application and document submission deadline(s)

February 1 (for admission in September)*

June 1 (for admission in January of the following year)*

October 1 (for admission in May of the following year)*

Delivery mode On-campus
Program type Collaborative, Doctoral, Research
Length of program 48 months (full-time)
Registration option(s) Full-time, Part-time
Study option(s) Thesis

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*NOTE: all relevant documents pertaining to your application must be uploaded within 10 business days of the date of your submission, and before the deadline, as indicated above.

What does it take to get in?

Minimum admission requirements

  • At the time of admission, each student must have an approved PhD supervisor who has agreed in writing to supervise their academic program or co-supervisors, at least one of whom is an approved PhD supervisor. The Faculty of Engineering maintains a list of individually approved research supervisors, known as Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisors (ADDS). Additions to and deletions from this list are made by the Engineering Graduate Studies Sub-Committee upon the recommendation of the Chemical Engineering Department's Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.
  • Applicants must demonstrate excellence of background preparation and academic achievement in prior degrees and, usually, possess a relevant, thesis-based Master's degree. In the Faculty of Engineering, a minimum 80% standing in an applicant's appropriate Master's program is the usual requirement. A Master's degree obtained without a full research thesis is normally an inadequate qualification for admission to the PhD program.
  • The Engineering Graduate Studies Sub-Committee requires objective evidence of English language skills. Technical publications that have been written principally by an applicant and published in refereed English language journals, a thesis written in English, or a personal interview with the Chemical Engineering Department's Associate Chair for Graduate Studies are also considered as evidence.
  • Transfer to the PhD program without completion of the MASc program: A student enrolled in a MASc program at the University of Waterloo may apply for transfer to the PhD program without completing a Master's degree. Transfer from a MASc program to a PhD program will normally be initiated at the Department level. The supervisor shall prepare for the Chemical Engineering Department's Graduate Review Committee a memorandum that summarizes the applicant's qualifications for transfer. At least one additional written recommendation from another Chemical Engineering Department faculty member will facilitate a decision on the transfer request.
  • Admission to the PhD program from a BASc program: In exceptional cases, applicants who have spent at least three years pursuing an appropriate Honours Bachelor's degree may be considered for admission to a PhD program, upon request from the Chemical Engineering Department.


Application materials

  • Resume

  • Supplementary information form (SIF)
    • The SIF contains questions specific to your program, typically about why you want to enrol and your experience in that field. Review the application documents web page for more information about this requirement
    • If a statement or letter is required by your program, review the writing your personal statement resources for helpful tips and tricks on completion
  • Transcript(s)

  • References

    • Three references are required; at least two academic
    • Within the three required references for admission to Graduate Studies, the opinions on academic preparation and research ability must refer to the applicant's demonstrated ability to formulate research problems and execute the research required to solve problems, as indicated by a Master's of Applied Science (MASc) research thesis or published scientific/technical paper. The references should also refer to the applicant having adequate English language skills to pursue a doctoral program, with all of its requirements, at the University of Waterloo
    • Note: The Department reserves the right to request an additional reference
    • Proof of English language proficiency, if applicable
      • TOEFL 80 (writing 22, speaking 20, reading 20, listening 18), IELTS 6.5 (writing 6.0, speaking 6.0)

    How much will it cost?

    What can you expect at Waterloo?

      This program page is effective September 2023; it will be updated annually. Any changes to the program page following this date will be indicated with a notation. 

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