II. Graduate Programs - 2.3 Program Definitions and Fee Requirements

2.3 Program Definitions and Fee Requirements

At Dalhousie, the academic year for graduate studies is divided into three terms: Fall (September-December), Winter (January-April), and Summer (May-August). Graduate degree programs are based either on a program fee structure  or a per-course fee structure.

Fee schedule can be found on the Student Account’s website at dal.ca/moneymatters.

Program Fee Degrees

Program fee degrees have a pre-determined tuition fee each term, and typically have a set number of terms over which a student is required to pay those fees.  Students are expected to maintain continuous registration in program-fee degrees at Dalhousie even when given permission to take courses or undertake research elsewhere.  Some Masters programs require students to pay their program fees over two terms rather than three.  Students who complete their degree requirements prior to paying the required number of terms of program fees will be required to pay the remaining balance to be approved for convocation.

Master’s students continuing beyond their initial program fee requirement period will be assessed continuing fees on a per-term basis.  Doctoral students are required to pay full program fees for the duration of their degree.

Students entering or switching to a part-time Master’s program are required to pay the part-time equivalent of full-time program fees.  Three terms of part-time fees are typically considered equivalent to one term of full-time fees.  There are no part-time PhD programs at Dalhousie.

It should be noted that under program or continuing fees, students may take only the courses approved by their academic unit and recorded in the Graduate Student Information System (GSIS). If courses are not approved as part of degree requirements, additional fees will apply.

Program fee students include those in the following programs:

  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Master of Applied Science
  • Master of Architecture (Post-Professional)
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Business Administration (Corporate Residency)
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Master of Development Economics
  • Master of Electronic Commerce
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Environmental Design Studies
  • Master of Environmental Studies
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Health Informatics
  • Master of Laws
  • Master of Marine Management
  • Master of Nursing
  • Master of Planning Studies
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Business Administration/Juris Doctor
  • Master of Engineering/Master of Planning
  • Master of Health Administration/Juris Doctor
  • Master of Health Administration/Master of Nursing
  • Master of Information/Juris Doctor
  • Master of Public Administration/Juris Doctor
  • Doctor of Medicine/Master of Science
Per-Course Fee Degrees

Some graduate programs at Dalhousie University are based on a per-course fee, and students pay fees according to the number of courses they take in any given term. All such degrees have a minimum number of courses required to be completed for graduation. Per-course fee degrees apply to the following programs:

  • Master of Applied Computer Science
  • Master of Architecture
  • Master of Business Administration (Financial Services Stream)
  • Master of Business Administration (Leadership Stream)
  • Master of Engineering - Only Internetworking
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Information
  • Master of Information Management
  • Master of Journalism
  • Master of Planning
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Administration (Management)
  • Master of Resource and Environmental Management
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Information/Master of Resource and Environmental Management
  • Graduate Diploma in Public Administration
  • Qualifying, Visiting or Special Graduate Students
Master's/JD Combined Programs

Master’s students in programs combined with the JD are required to submit a Combined Degree Form to each program administrator confirming their admission into both programs. This will ensure the student’s academic record is accurate and combined program fees are charged throughout so early declaration is important.

Master’s/JD combined degrees, have a program fee (as opposed to a per-course fee) based on the typical duration of their program. For example, a four-year combined program requires a student pay four years of combined program fees, including auxiliary fees, where applicable. Upon approval of the Combined Degree Form, combined degree fees are retroactively charged for all appropriate terms. While some combined programs may have reduced degree requirements, the full combined program (and auxiliary) fees are required to be paid.

2.3.1 General Program Definitions - Master’s Level

Master’s programs are usually structured in one of three ways: 1. a thesis plus courses; 2. courses plus a graduate project; or 3. courses only. Some programs also have a work or internship component in addition to coursework and thesis/project requirements, and this usually adds to the time necessary for completion.

Some Master's programd may have minimum residency requirements, during which time students are expected to be on campus.

A thesis-based Master's degree normally consists of a total of at least 30 credit hours of study, where most of the work is dedicated to independent research.

Fee Requirement Thesis plus Courses Courses plus Project Courses Only
One-Year Program: one-year program fee, followed by continuing fees as required; or per-course fees Courses as specified by the program, (normally completed in one year) and a thesis Courses as specified by the program, and a graduate project Courses as specified by the program
Two-Year Program: two years of program fees, followed by continuing fees as required; or per-course fees Courses as specified by the program, (normally completed in two years) and a thesis As above As above

Master’s programs or combined Master’s/Diploma programs exceeding the requirements for a two-year program are considered as three-year programs and fees are applied accordingly.

2.3.2 General Program Definition - Doctoral Level

A Doctoral degree normally consists of a thesis and courses, where most of the work is dedicated to independent research.  

Students are required, as part of their graduate student program, to be on campus for at least four terms in the first two years of their program. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Continuous registration is required.