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Dalhousie University

Canada Canada


THE World Ranking: 301



Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University is one of Canada's best research universities. It’s a competitive institution that admits some of the brightest students from around the world, welcoming domestic and international applicants with the same level of enthusiasm. Dalhousie is proud to be diverse and open-minded, and over 16,000 students from more than 130 countries currently attend.


Students must meet minimum entry requirements to gain a place at Dalhousie. Most courses require a minimum IELTS score of 6 or above. The application process will vary depending on the student’s educational and cultural background. In all cases, however, applications will be made online and applicants will need to provide relevant supporting documents (like high school transcripts).


Dalhousie is committed to excellence across its four campus locations, and the university wants to help graduating students be just as employable as they are well educated. In academia and beyond, outcomes after attending Dalhousie are strong.


Dalhousie is in the top 20 Canadian universities when ranked for overall excellence and graduate employability. And when applying for programmes at Dalhousie, students of every background can be happily aware that this university is in the top 200 globally for graduate employability.


For students searching for a school that will prepare them for the future from the moment they’re admitted, Dalhousie University is perfect. There are multiple scholarships and sources of financial aid (including scholarships and sources open to international students), lots of work experience opportunities and many extracurricular activities to get involved with, from sports to arts.


Whether a student’s course is based on one of the three Halifax campuses or at the Dalhousie Agricultural School near Truro, finding accommodation is easy, and so is finding a place. A friendly welcome team can answer any questions that new students have, and lecturers and tutors are always there to help with academic queries as they happen.


At Dalhousie University, teaching is consistently high standard. Award-winning staff members are dedicated to their students, and support services for everything from academic achievement to mental health and wellbeing are easy to access. 


Explore more about studying at Dalhousie:


Teaching quality

Entry requirements

Scholarships & funding

University structure


Student support

Graduate outcomes


Teaching Quality

As one of Canada’s leading research universities, the resources and facilities at Dalhousie are high quality, and they allow for equally high-quality teaching. Quality teaching is the standard at this university, which is no surprise when several staff members have won the Order of Canada Award or the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Medal for Science and Engineering.


Dalhousie is one of the top 150 universities in the world for earth and marine science, geology, geophysics, and petroleum engineering. Researchers at Dalhousie are doing impressive work, but the university doesn’t just aim to develop and innovate. Dalhousie also takes social responsibility very seriously, considering huge and important issues like climate change — working to improve the world.


For students hoping to learn from talented professionals, applying to Dalhousie is the right choice no matter the programme of study. Regular student surveys reflect high levels of student satisfaction and show that the university understands the importance of listening and improving when necessary to keep teaching quality high. These surveys include the CUSC, the NCHA and others.


Dalhousie University’s overall teaching rating is 27.6, with a research rating of 29.7 (putting it in the top 300 globally for both). Times Higher Education ranks its international outlook at 89 per cent, making it an excellent choice of university for students from other countries who would like to study abroad.


Quality teaching at Dalhousie starts with supplying students with a vast library of great resources. It is also community-focused, meaning the lecturers promote respect and cohesion in their approach to education. That means that students can gain experience and education that will truly prepare them to have a global impact.


Entry Requirements

Once a student has found Dalhousie and decided they’d like to apply to study at the university, they’ll need to find out whether they meet the entry requirements. Certain university requirements will apply to all courses, while others will differ from course to course and programme to programme. The general university entry requirements for Dalhousie are:


  • Completion of secondary school (Grade 12).
  • The minimum overall average required for the student's course of interest in five academic Grade 12 courses.
  • A qualifying final grade in Grade 12 Academic English and any other required subject.


These requirements are the minimum, and failure to meet them will mean that an application won’t be considered. However, meeting the general requirements isn’t a guarantee that an applicant will be admitted either. Dalhousie is a competitive university, and there are lots of individual course considerations to think about.


For students who don’t meet the minimum requirements, one of the university’s upgrading or pathway programmes might be the best way into Dalhousie. For postgraduate students, previous university qualifications will be considered, and standards/requirements will change between courses.


English Score Required

To study at the University of Dalhousie, students must show that they understand the English language up to a certain level. Two popular assessment methods are the IELTS and the TOEFL.


International students who aren’t exempt from the test must be able to achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6 for undergraduate courses and 7 for postgraduate courses. They’ll need a minimum score of 90 on their TOEFL for undergraduate courses and a minimum score of 102 for postgraduate courses.


International students should also have a minimum of 70 per cent or a GPA of 3.0/4 to be accepted into Dalhousie University. They’ll need to share their academic records, a statement of purpose and at least two letters of recommendation.


They should also be aware of the Canadian government's current rules and regulations for travel, particularly surrounding COVID-19 legislation. They must have a valid study permit and attend an institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. It is also advised that they prepare a 14-day quarantine plan in case they’re asked to quarantine at the border.



Dalhousie has a rich history and amazing research facilities. There are lots of great courses and talented tutors teaching at the university, so finding the right programme takes research and thought. When this programme has been chosen, the university admission process will begin. For undergraduates, student admission tends to happen in these steps:


  1. The course is chosen.
  2. The course/university requirements are reviewed to make sure they’re being met.
  3. The application for admission consideration is completed.
  4. The application fee is paid.
  5. The required supporting documents, like transcripts and recommendations, are submitted.
  6. Any non-automatic entrance awards/scholarships are applied for.
  7. The admission team comes to a decision.
  8. The university lets the applicant know if they have been accepted into Dalhousie.


For international students, there will also be language proficiency requirements to think about and different admission deadlines to meet.


For postgraduates, the submission of a CV/statement of research interests/portfolio might be required alongside the rest of the process. Admission to Dalhousie for postgraduate study is even more competitive, so students are urged to prepare well in advance of an application and provide up-to-date, fully relevant supporting documents.


Dalhousie has a bespoke International Centre that provides excellent care and support to international students during admissions, including in-person and online appointments for those needing help. With 73 per cent of Dalhousie’s international students studying for undergraduate degrees, it wants to ensure they're always comfortable and supported when applying for the first time.


Scholarships & Funding

Dalhousie University offers various scholarships and funding support avenues to students, including students from an international background. Scholarships are always based on a student’s academic merit, but some are based on further factors like leadership, community involvement and financial need. Students will be assessed separately if any of the further factors apply.


The highest achievers at Dalhousie, no matter their background, are eligible for the prestigious awards. Scholarships offered through this scheme include the McCall McBain Scholarships, the Rhodes Trust Scholarship, and the 3M National Student Scholarship.


Beyond university scholarships, Dalhousie also provides support in the form of bursaries, to students facing struggles with food or housing. Any undergraduate students in need are eligible, as are students in need studying towards a Diploma of Dental Hygiene or a Master of Social Work qualification.


The Canadian government also offers certain bursaries to international students coming to Canada to study. They will usually need to prove fluency, share transcripts, and offer supporting evidence (such as medical forms and financial records).


Certain external clubs and societies sometimes offer funds to international students, including churches/religious organisations, civic/community organisations, aboriginal bands, foundations, and employers/employers of a student’s parents.


As for tuition fees? They will be different depending on the course a student decides to study, but full-time international students can currently expect to pay around CAD 8,430 per term for undergraduate study, CAD 16,860 per year for masters study (non-thesis-based) and CAD 7,392 per year for masters study (thesis-based).


University Structure

Dalhousie has 13 faculties and offers over 4,000 courses in more than 200 different degree programmes. As well as its undergraduate courses, Dalhousie offers 90 MA programmes and more than 45 doctoral programmes. The schools and departments and split into the following faculties:


  • The Faculty of Agriculture (including business and social sciences, as well as environmental science)
  • The Faculty of Architecture & Planning (including the School of Architecture and the School of Planning)
  • The Faculty of Art & Social Sciences (including language departments and those of philosophy and political science)
  • The Faculty of Computer Science
  • The Faculty of Dentistry
  • The Faculty of Engineering (including civil and resource engineering and biomedical engineering)
  • The Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • The Faculty of Health (including the School of Health and Human Performance, the School of Nursing and the College of Pharmacy)
  • The Faculty of Law
  • The Faculty of Management (including the Rowe School of Business and the School for Resource and Environmental Studies)
  • The Faculty of Medicine (including all medical departments)
  • The Faculty of Open Learning & Career Development
  • The Faculty of Science (including the Department of Biology, Department of Maths and Statistics and the Department of Oceanography)


As of 2021, there are 1,118 teaching professors at Dalhousie, all dedicated to ensuring that the courses they teach are as rewarding and interesting as possible. Dalhousie also has one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios in Canada, which means students are more likely to get personal, focused teaching from some of the country’s leading academics.


There are four Dalhousie University campus locations in total – Studley, Sexton and Carleton in Halifax, and the Agricultural Campus in Truro. More information about all the schools and departments in each faculty and the course-campus split is available on the Dalhousie website.



At one of Canada’s best research universities, students are never bored. They can move from the modern lecture theatre to the huge library to the action-packed student recreation centre easily. In fact, there are multiple libraries and study rooms across Dalhousie’s four campuses, and the Faculty of Agriculture has access to many laboratories and a 250-hectare farm too.


On the more academic side of things, there are multiple institutes, labs and research centres at Dalhousie University dedicated to some really exciting projects. These institutes are:


  • The Atlantic Institute of Criminology
  • The Atlantic Research Centre
  • The Beatrice Hunter Cancer Institute
  • The Black Studies Research Institute
  • The Brain Repair Centre
  • The Canadian Centre for Vaccinology
  • The Canadian Institute of Fisheries Technology
  • The Centre for Comparative Genomics & Evolutionary Bioinformatics
  • The Centre for European Studies
  • The Centre for Research in Sustainable Supply Chain Analytics
  • The Centre for the Study of Security and Development
  • The Centre for Sustainable Soil Management
  • The Centre for Water Resource Studies
  • The Clean Technologies Research Institute
  • The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security
  • The Health Law Institute
  • The Healthy Populations Institute
  • The Institute for Big Data Analytics
  • The Law and Technology Institute
  • The MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance
  • The Marine and Environment Law Institute
  • The Minerals Engineering Centre
  • The Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship
  • The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Research Resource (NMR3)
  • The Ocean Frontier Institute
  • The Trace Analysis Research Centre


There are plenty of opportunities for students to volunteer and participate in research, which ignites their passions and helps them contribute to their futures. Then, when class is over, there are more than 400 active student societies, and each campus hosts regular events.


The largest student activity centre is the Dalplex, on the Studley Campus, which includes an indoor pool and facilities for lots of different sports. The Sexton Campus has the diverse Sexton Gym, another student life centre at Dalhousie, and the Agricultural Campus is where students can enjoy the Langille Athletic Centre.



Finding accommodation at university is often a scary and stressful process for international students, but Dalhousie University aims to make it as simple as possible. Halifax campuses offer a range of traditional and non-traditional student accommodation options, and the university supports students from step one through to finding the right student house or apartment.


The traditional residences are most popular with undergraduate students and include a mandatory meal plan for all students. The non-traditional homes are more like private apartments. Students residing there still have full access to support facilities, faculties and research departments and have the option to purchase a meal plan if they want.


At the Truro campus, students will also find themselves either in residence halls or a more private student-house-style university accommodation. There are plenty of dining options, and the university's meal plan is available again.


The university's Residence Office is on hand to help students Monday–Friday. They can help students with accessibility and other issues connected to accommodation, offering active support, and helping incoming students find a place that suits them.


Student Support

The university's International Centre hosts regular events for international students, covering everything from job fairs to financial literacy seminars and safety and security workshops. Dalhousie takes pride in its international community and works hard to make international students feel as welcome and safe as possible.


There's also the Student Health & Wellness Centre, located on the Studley Campus, to turn to. The Student Health & Wellness Centre is a place for physical and mental healthcare services, including counselling. Dalhousie takes health and wellbeing seriously and always wants students to know that these services are available.


On the academic support side of things, options like writing help, study skills help, tutoring sessions with a student guide and accessibility/organisation services are available. There are two main academic support centres to turn to. If a student is on one of the Halifax campuses, they should visit the Bisset Student Success Centre on Studley Campus. If they’re at Truro, they should visit this campus’s dedicated Student Success Centre.


Graduate Outcomes

Searching for job prospects after leaving university isn’t as worrying when Dalhousie’s career and employment services have been available to students from day one of their studies. The Studley Campus Bissett Student Success Centre is a good place to start, aiming to help students transition into working life more easily and offering:


  • Career advice from a dedicated career guide
  • Peer career support and advice
  • Two career fairs per year, one in September (the Halifax Universities Career Fair) and one in February (The Job & Career Fair)
  • Online and in-person support
  • Listings for all available campus jobs


Dalhousie University ranks in the top 200 institutions internationally for graduate employment rates, according to the 2021-22 Global Employability University Ranking and Survey. Of the over 135,000 alumni, many have become high achievers in the fields of art and technology.


Dalhousie ranks 5th nationally for the number of awards their students win, showing how they use their learning to achieve great results. Consistent career support and lots of opportunities for academic and personal growth come together to create talented, well-prepared graduates who are valuable to employers. From interactive interview workshops to guided exploration of career options, every graduate of Dalhousie leaves ready for the working world.


The University's Third Century Promise, for example, notes employability as its highest priority and focuses on this through work-integrated and skills-based learning. The plan for the future of the university also mentions lots of co-op opportunities, internships and accessible career guides for various departments and courses.



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Key facts and figures at Dalhousie University


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Source: THE


QS World University Rankings 2024
Source: QS


Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022
Source: ARWU


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