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Financial support

When applying to doctoral programs, most prospective students not only consider academics, they also consider finances: how they plan to cover tuition and living expenses.

Some issues to consider while doing so include:

  • When considering the total cost of studies, note that the total cost of a doctoral degree at Concordia compares favorably to the total cost of studying at other universities in North America—even if other universities offer financial support as part of their offer of admission. 
    That's because our tuition and cost of living are reasonable and, thus, lower the total cost of education.

  • When planning financially, consider the total cost of studies: not only basic tuition and fees, but also housing, food, books and computers, insurance, entertainment and, for those whose family live in other communities, the cost of return visits. Although this increases the amount initially, it provides a more complete and realistic picture.

  • Note, too, that other universities include the Research and Teaching Assistantships as part of the admissions offer. 
    Although Concordia offers many such opportunities but does not include them as part of the formal offer of admission. 
    Therefore, when considering the admissions offer, ours cannot be compared to those of other universities.

Furthermore, the Department of Education and Concordia University offer several work opportunities as well as bursaries (scholarships) and loans for doctoral students.

Graduate studies at Concordia are sustained by an intensive program of faculty research and publication, supported by a healthy level of external funding. We try to offer opportunities to work closely as part of a research team to as many of our graduate students as possible, and through teaching assistantships, some students work closely with professors to further develop their professional skills. The Francis Friedman Resource Center is a space dedicated exclusively to our graduate students, offering them a place to make and call their own.

Many students work while studying for their PhD. Doing so not only provides immediate funds, but valuable experience. We advise students that they can work as many as 10 to 20 hours per week without seriously impacting their studies.

But where are the opportunities? Here are some possibilities:

  • Working as a Teaching Assistant (TA). If you have a prior degree in the area in which you are specializing, and if your program offers undergraduate studies, working as a Teaching Assistant in the first year is a possibility. Jobs for Teaching Assistants are posted between mid-July and early August; applications begin immediately because work starts at the beginning of the academic term. Note that, if you do not have a prior degree in the area in which you are specializing, serving as a TA in the department during the first year is not likely. However, TA opportunities for other subjects exist through e-Concordia, the online teaching unit at the university. (Other academic units reserve their TA positions for their own graduate students.) Typical TA positions offer 8 to 10 hours of work per week.
  • Working as a Research Assistant (RA). Professors who have funded research hire RAs to assist them with one or more aspects of their studies. Because each research project has its own schedule, opportunities often exist year-round. Contact individual professors to learn of their need for RAs, although most cannot hire you until after you arrive on campus.
  • Finding other on-campus employment. Opportunities exist in other parts of the campus community for employment, including part-time and work-study employment. Some involve development of educational resources, others involve teaching English as a Second Language, and still others involve working in one of the student services departments on campus. These opportunities are posted on the Concordia website.
  • Working off-campus. For those entering with professional experience, you might find part-time employment opportunities with private employers off-campus. For example, students might work part-time as editors, instructional designers, adult educators, and consultants to school boards. Because the dominant language of life and work in Montreal is French, many off-campus employment opportunities require French language skills. 
    Caution: Regardless of the source of employment, experience suggests that full-time PhD students should work no more than 10 to 20 hours per week during their academic year.


If you plan to study as an international student and would have a student visa, you are eligible to work (with some restrictions) as many as 20 hours a week during the academic year and full-time during the summer break.

Concordia University offer some bursaries (scholarships) and similar types of assistance. These are competitive (PhD students in all programs compete for most of these) and go to the students with the strongest overall academic records.

We automatically consider all applicants for bursaries as part of the application process.

Several bursaries are also available to current students. We notify students of these opportunities and the application deadlines. Students submit applications for the bursaries of interest.

Read more about available bursaries and the criteria for selecting them.

Everything to do with financing your education: student loans, scholarships, bursaries, work-study programs, and budgeting guides. 

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