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Policy Studies (PhD)

Part of the Faculty of Arts

Program Overview

Format: Full-time

Degree Earned: PhD

The PhD in Policy Studies is the first and only interdisciplinary doctoral program of its kind in Canada. The program is designed to prepare a new generation of researchers for positions in academe and the public, non-profit and private sectors at the local, regional, national and international levels.

PDF fileDownload the program brochure  

Vathsala Illesinghe

At a Glance

  • Completion of a master’s degree in a social sciences discipline (or equivalent)
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) or equivalent of 3.33/4.33 (B+) in the last two years of study
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Work sample
  • Resumé 

Applicants may be required to provide certification of English language proficiency. For more information, review the Yeates School of Graduate Studies admission requirements.

For detailed fees information visit Fees by Program.

  • Immigration, Settlement and Diaspora Policies
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Social Policy
  • Advanced Qualitative Research
  • Foundations of Quantitative Research
  • Immigration, Settlement and Diaspora Policies
  • Policy Theories and Approaches
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Research Foundations for Policy Studies
  • Social Policy
  • Statistical Analysis of Social Science Research

Downtown Toronto location

Interdisciplinary faculty

Strong government and NGO connections

Admissions Contact

Graduate Studies Admissions Office
11th Floor, 1 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON
Telephone: 416-979-5150
Fax: 416-979-5153

Program Contacts

Dr. Ronald Vogel
Graduate Program Director
PhD, Political Science, University of Florida
Research areas: governance of global city-regions in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and Toronto

Mary-Beth Kraay
Program Administrator
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7869
Fax: 416-979-5153

“The Policy Studies program allowed me to acquire a solid foundation in research methodology, and strengthen my critical understanding of immigration and settlement policies, trends and debates in Canada and beyond.”

Marc Y. Valade, PhD alumnus

Student Profile

Vathsala Illesinghe (policy studies PhD student and Ryerson’s first Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar) investigates how immigration policies can make women more independent and less vulnerable to violence.

student working at a desk

How to Apply

Once you’ve made an informed choice about which program(s) you are going to apply to, preparing your application requires careful research and planning.


At Ryerson, we understand that pursuing graduate studies is a significant financial investment. Funding comes from a combination of employment contracts (as a teaching assistant), scholarships, awards and stipends. There are a number of additional funding sources – internal and external – available to graduate students that can increase these funding levels.

Finding a Supervisor

Students should apply to the program first. Applications that meet the minimum requirements of the program will be forwarded to faculty members in the program for review. Successful applicants will be invited to visit the program and meet with faculty members that are interested in supervising them as a graduate student in their research group. A matching system is used to find the best students/supervisor match (using input from both applicants and faculty members). After a suitable match is determined, an official offer of admission will be sent with the supervisor named in the offer.