What is a doctoral student?

USask typically uses Ph.D. and doctoral terminology interchangeably. All Ph.D. students conduct some sort of research and have previously completed a master's (or transferred from a master's) degree. Ph.D. students have strong study skills and have spent time building academic qualifications. To obtain a Ph.D. you have provided a considerable contribution to your respective field, meaning that you are in fact an expert on your topic.

A Ph.D. thesis, based upon original investigation, must demonstrate mature scholarship and critical judgment on the part of the candidate, as well as familiarity with tools and methods of research in the candidate's chosen research field. The length of time your program will take will be dependent many factors and there are differences between students and completion times.


Transferring from a Master’s program to a Ph.D. program can take place.

Recommendation for the transfer must be initiated through a formal meeting of the student's Advisory Committee, which forwards its recommendation through the academic unit to the CGPS using the Graduate Student Transfers eForm in the CGPS Service Desk. The following conditions must be met:

  1. The student shows great promise both in terms of academic accomplishments and in the potential for research.
  2. The student has completed at least 9 credit units at the 800-level, and has achieved a minimum average of 80% and no grade below 70%. 
  3. There is evidence of good writing and oral communication ability.
  4. There is evidence the student has requisite research skills and knowledge to be able to successfully complete a Ph.D. dissertation.
  5. The student has successfully completed the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination prior to being recommended for transfer. This examination for the purposes of transfer can only be taken once. A student failing the Qualifying Examination or any part thereof cannot be recommended for transfer.