What will I learn?

Become part of an international movement to decolonize academic institutions and recognize the centrality of Indigenous Knowledge’s as foundations for contemporary Indigenous life.

The first Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program in Canada, this program ensures that the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of Indigenous Knowledge’s are articulated, discussed, documented, recognized and respected within the overall program field of Indigenous Knowledge’s: Peoples, Lands, and Cultures.

Indigenous Peoples, particularly Elders and Knowledge Holders, are central to the program and curriculum. The program features three innovative components including a full year, land-based Indigenous Knowledge course; a three-month practicum field placement with an Indigenous community or organization: option – an exceptional opportunity to apprentice with an Elder or Knowledge Holder in the second year.

  • Learn from faculty members (including Elders and Knowledge Holders) who have connections to Indigenous communities across the country and around the world.
  • Conduct scholarly research, develop innovative theoretical approaches and methodologies and use associated research tools that are appropriate in an Indigenous research context.

​Program Options

  • Ph.D.
  • Full-time studies (A part-time option is available after the successful completion of the Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation Proposal Defense)
  • Thesis-based program
  • 4 to 5 years full-time to complete

Which department am I in?

School of Graduate Studies

Study options

Full Time (4 to 5 years)

Tuition fees
CAD$21,267.10 (US$ 16,960) per year
Total International Tuition (compulsory)

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

January 2022


School of Graduate Studies

1600 West Bank Drive,


Ontario (ON),

K9L 0G2, Canada

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have completed a master’s degree in biology, Environmental Chemistry, Geography, Environmental Science or a related discipline. Minimum B+ (77%) or equivalent in the work of the last four semesters or the last two years. English Language Proficiency Tests: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). A minimum score of 580 PBT, or 93 IBT (with a minimum score of 22 in both speaking and writing); IELTS (International English language Testing Services) - Academic testing - score of 7.0 with no band below 6.0; CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Test) - The minimum acceptable score is 60, with at least 60 in writing Proficiency.

For international students

  • Masters degree or equivalent in Indigenous Studies or other disciplinary-based graduate program
  • Students will normally be expected to have attained an A- (80%, GPA 3.7)

The following tests are acceptable forms of proof of English language proficiency:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) A minimum score of 580 PBT, 237 CBT with a minimum TWE score of 4.5 or 93 iBT with a minimum score of 22 in both speaking and writing is required.; (Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, U.S.A.)
  • CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Test) – alternate test only for applicants who do not have access to TOEFL (Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6). The minimum acceptable score is 60, with at least 60 in Writing Proficiency.
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery). The minimum acceptable score is 85, with no part below 80.
  • IELTS Academic (International English language Testing Services). The minimum acceptance score is 6.5, with no band below 6.0.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Trent University

With a focus on interactive learning, Trent University has been ranked the best undergraduate university in Ontario for ten years running.

  • #1 university in Canada for scholarships and bursaries
  • 96% of graduates employed within two years
  • International students from 79 countries
  • State-of-the-art campuses close to nature and cities

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