Educational pathways at the graduate level

Graduate studies are a dream opportunity to build on your knowledge!

The programs are split between two levels: the 2nd and 3rd cycles. The second cycle consists of master’s degree programs, Diploma in Advanced Special Studies (DESS) programs and microprograms. When a same department offers all three program types, these programs can be followed consecutively, allowing you to pursue advanced studies one step at a time.

The third cycle, meanwhile, includes all doctorates (PhD), short graduate programs (doctorate level) and postgraduate fellowships.

Types of programs

2nd cycle microprogram (1 to 4 terms)

The microprogram is a short program of 9 to 18 credits that allows students to acquire the fundamentals of a specialization. It is geared toward students enrolled in a university program as well as toward professionals.

Since enrollment is usually part-time, this type of program is less accessible to international students.



The program usually consists of 30 credits split between two segments: the first focuses on the fundamentals of the specialization while the second aims to integrate and apply the acquired skills. These objectives are consistent with prevalent perspectives on continuing education for working professionals or for those seeking short-term specializations eventually leading to a master’s degree.

See all DESS

Master (around 2 years)

The master’s program usually consists of 45 credits. They can be focused on either research or professional training. The master’s prepares student for 3rd-cycle studies or for the job market. There are three types of master’s programs:

Research master’s

In the research option, students deepen their specialization and are introduced to scientific research. This training entails the writing of a thesis under the supervision of a research director.

See the research master’s

Professional master’s

The professional option seeks to develop the intervention capabilities and aptitudes of future practitioners. The program primarily includes coursework and an internship in a relevant environment or a supervised project.

See the master’s with supervised project

See the master’s with internship

Accelerated pathway to doctorate

UA master’s candidate that presents an excellent file may, upon recommendation by competent authorities, submit a request for admission to the doctoral program without needing to submit the required thesis for the master’s degree. A renewable $7,000 grant is then given to the student.

See all the master’s programs

Doctoral programs (4 to 5 years)

The doctoral programs consist of 90 credits primarily in the form of research, a comprehensive examination, the writing of a thesis and a thesis defense before a jury.

Studies in the 3rd cycle lead to the levels of Doctor (D) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), the highest level in the hierarchy of university degrees. They prepare candidates for the job market or for postdoctoral studies. Two profiles are offered:


This profile allows students to acquire the necessary skills to autonomously conduct original, scientific research projects. It opens the door to careers as professors or researchers and it can be followed by postdoctoral studies.


This profile allows for the pursuit of a specialization begun in the 2nd cycle. The program includes an internship in a relevant environment and a research component focused on the advancement of the profession or the evolution of practices.

See all doctoral programs

It is also possible, at the 3rdcycle level, to arrange a thesis co-directorship: meaning, a partnership between the Université de Montréal and a higher learning establishment abroad to jointly train and support a doctoral student. To this aim, two research directors, with the accord of the institutions to which they belong, design a dual training program for the student, who then undertakes their studies and work by attending, in alternation, both establishments.

learn more about thesis co-directorship

Postdoctoral fellowship (1 to 2 years)

Would you like to further develop your research specialization or explore a complimentary focus? Register for a postdoctoral fellowship at the Université de Montréal. Considered one of the most important institutions in North American, the Université de Montréal is the ideal place to refine high-level, specialized competencies.

Every year, we host more than 400 postdoctoral fellows in the humanities, arts and letters, social sciences, fundamental and applied sciences, and health sciences.

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