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Individualized Program (INDI) PhD

Only outstanding applicants will be considered. Interested candidates should immediately consult the Individualized Program’s (INDI) website to determine fields of study, potential supervisory committee members and other application procedures. Applicants should take note that entry to this program requires a clearly formulated program of study and the identification of a proposed supervisory committee as part of the application. (Doctoral applicants interested in pursuing a degree in inter-disciplinary studies in the areas of Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture should apply to the Humanities Doctoral Program).

The INDI Program Committee reviews all application material submitted by the applicant.

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree or its equivalent in a relevant disciplinary area.
  • Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.

18 credits – Coursework

Taken from doctoral-level studies INDI courses OR from any regularly scheduled graduate courses with permission of the INDI Director.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 9 credits in regularly scheduled graduate courses, including a research methodology seminar in their first or second year. The latter seminar explores methodological issues relevant to the principal area of the student's research. It is chosen in consultation with the student's principal supervisor from among the numerous courses in methodology offered by different departments at Concordia University.

3 credits – Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

INDI 885 - Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (3 credits)

3 credits – Doctoral Thesis Proposal

INDI 887 - Doctoral Thesis Proposal (3 credits)

66 credits – Doctoral Research and Thesis

INDI 890 - Doctoral Research and Thesis (66 credits)

The Individualized Program exists to promote innovative and creative approaches to issues that are outside the normal boundaries of investigation of existing graduate programs. Students are engaged in individualized research initiatives supported by an integrated program of study drawing on the various resources available at the University both within a Faculty or across Faculties. In most cases, individuals applying to an Individualized Program must propose a program of study involving multidisciplinary scholarship on problems that are not normally the province of disciplines represented by departments in this University. These applicants propose a supervisory committee involving faculty from at least two different departments/units. However, a limited number of students may be admitted who propose programs within a single discipline and involving faculty from only one department/unit. In all cases, applicants include a proposed supervisory committee, courses, and research plan.

Course Requirements for Students with a Pure and Applied Science, Computer Science or Engineering Concentration. Students with a pure and applied science, computer science or engineering concentration have the option of taking up to two directed research courses in fulfillment of their coursework requirements. The primary objective of such a course is for the student to acquire competencies in discipline specific research practices and/or generate useable research data under the direction of their principal supervisor.

Comprehensive Examination. At the doctoral level, students are required to write an examination testing their basic knowledge of the relevant areas of each component discipline comprising their program of study. The comprehensive examination takes place after students have completed the required 18 course credits. For most students, the format will involve three written examination questions. Students who are involved in a research-creation project may include a practice-based component as one of their examination questions.

The student and supervisory committee, comprised of three faculty members, meet prior to the comprehensive exam to determine the format of the exam and the evaluation mechanism, as well as to approve a reading list of approximately 20 titles per question. The student has two weeks to complete the examination (responses are typically 1600-2400 words per question). The student submits the completed exam within the given timeframe to the INDI Coordinator. The student's supervisory committee evaluates the examination, and the principal supervisor submits the evaluations along with the pass/fail grade to the INDI Coordinator. Students who fail their comprehensive exam will be given one opportunity to rewrite the exam.

Following the exam, the student meets with the supervisory committee to discuss the results of the exam and plans for the thesis proposal.

Thesis. A thesis in an Individualized Program represents a unique contribution to scholarship undertaken while the student is enrolled in the program. The doctoral theses offered at this University in cognate areas will normally provide an appropriate guide to the format and scope of the Individualized Program thesis requirements.

In the case of a nontraditional thesis – such as one involving a creative production – the requirement of scholarly contribution still applies. Thus, while a thesis may present a creative work as its central focus, it should nevertheless provide a scholarly discussion placing that work in the context of related ideas and works. As in the case of traditional theses, the nontraditional thesis is submitted to an oral examination where it is exposed to scholarly criticism and where the student is given an opportunity to defend it.

The thesis defence must provide for the inclusion of one external examiner at the doctoral level.

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
  2. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.
  3. Residence. The minimum period of residence is 24 months of full-time study, or its equivalent in part-time study.
  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.


INDI 800-819 Doctoral Level Studies (6 credits)
INDI 820-839 Doctoral Level Studies (3 credits)
INDI 840-884 Doctoral Level Studies (variable credits)
INDI 885 Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (3 credits)

INDI 886 Special Topics (3 credits)
This optional seminar addresses a topic or range of topics of relevance to the research interests of a cross-section of the students enrolled in the program.

INDI 887 Doctoral Thesis Proposal (3 credits)
INDI 890 Doctoral Research and Thesis (66 credits)

INDI 898 Doctoral Directed Research Course (variable credits)
The student conducts research in a lab or another research site under the direction of his/her principal supervisor.
Note: The content will vary from term to term and from year to year. Students may re-register for this course, provided the course content has changed. Changes in content will be indicated by a letter following the course number, e.g. INDI 898A, INDI 898B, etc. These courses will be graded pass/fail.

INDI 899 International Doctoral Level Studies (3 credits)

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