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Software Engineering (PhD)

Program overview

The PhD in Software Engineering program leads to the highest degree offered by the Faculty and is designed to provide students an opportunity to obtain the greatest possible expertise in their chosen field through intensive research. Advancement of analytical and/or experimental knowledge through a combination of specialized courses and a research thesis under the supervision of an experienced researcher forms the main component of the doctoral program. Where possible, research of interest to industry is encouraged.

The objective of the PhD in Software Engineering program is to educate highly qualified researchers required for the expansion of fundamental knowledge and technological innovation through research and development, as well as the needs of institutions of higher learning.

Program details

Admission Requirements

Admission on a full-time basis

  • Master’s degree or equivalent with high standing in engineering or computer science, or in a cognate discipline.
  • Holders of a bachelor’s degree will, in general, be considered for admission to a master’s program only. After completion of a minimum of one term of full-time study in the Master's degree, they may, upon application, be recommended by the Department and approved by the GCS Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies for admission to a PhD program.

Admission on a part-time basis

  • Master’s degree with high standing in engineering, computer science or a cognate discipline.

Proficiency in English

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 English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.

(90 credits)

Doctor of/Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD)


credits of coursework chosen from the list of Engineering Courses and Computer Science and Software Engineering Courses.



  ENCS 8501 Comprehensive Examination (0.00)
  ENCS 8511 Doctoral Research Proposal (6.00)
  ENCS 8011 PhD Seminar (2.00)


credits chosen from one of the following Research and Thesis courses:

  ENGR 8911 Doctoral Research and Thesis (70.00)
  COMP 8901 Doctoral Research and Thesis (70.00)
  SOEN 8901 Doctoral Research and Thesis (70.00)

Please apply online. Read the how-to guide for application procedures. 

1. Submit your application and pay a $100 CAD application fee. A student ID number will be issued

2. Upload your documents online. You can also upload your documents by logging in to the Student Hub and going to My CU Account

3. A completed file that is ready to be assessed will include:

4. An admission offer will not be issued until a supervisor match has been made. Students are encouraged to review the list of faculty members' field of interests and directly contact those with whom you would like to work.  

For initial assessment purposes, scanned and uploaded copies of documents are accepted.  To finalize a file, once admitted, Concordia University will require official documents.

  Degree Fall
Software Engineering        
Canadian / International /
Permanent Resident
PhD June 1 Oct. 1 Feb. 1

Core and advanced courses that are typically offered include:

  • Software engineering development process
  • Mining large software system data
  • Software re-engineering
  • Software comprehension and maintenance
  • Software architecture and design
  • Software requirements, verification, testing and validation
  • Human computer interface design
  • Software project management
  • Services computing: Foundations, design and implementations

Students generally receive bursary funding for each of the first three years of doctoral studies which could cover their living expenses. International students, who pay higher fees, may receive more funding.

Please consult the School of Graduate Studies to keep up-to-date with all funding initiatives from internal (Concordia University and its donors) and external (government and industry) sources as well as Financial Aid and Awards.

Faculty members have a wide range of collaboration with universities as well as industry partners (e.g., Defence R&D Canada, Ericsson, Marinvent, Opal-RT).  Learn  about this research synergy taking place in research groups

The department is housed in a custom-designed facility equipped with state-of the-art laboratories and research centres, including:

This program prepares graduates for faculty positions in software engineering, for research positions in industrial research and development (e.g., application areas, distributed networks, embedded/critical systems), and for leadership positions in development in both computer industry and application shops.

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