Cotutelle | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies


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What is a cotutelle?

A cotutelle is a customized program of doctoral study developed jointly between two universities in different countries for an individual student. A student studying under cotutelle agreement meets the requirements of each university’s doctoral program and, upon successful defense of a single dissertation, is awarded two degree documents.

A cotutelle agreement provides a unique international opportunity for full-time doctoral students to gain exposure to multiple research perspectives and build intercultural competencies. Cotutelle students benefit from the support of two Advisors and two academic communities; as such, these arrangements work especially well where there are existing collaborations between the two Advisors and/or Institutions.

Request to Start Cotutelle Process


Link to Cotutelle Youtube Video

Photo by Cody Thompson (PhD, Environmental Biology)

Cotutelle Agreements at the University of Guelph

The University of Guelph Cotutelle Policy was approved by Senate on November 26, 2018. Please refer to the Graduate Calendar for the principles that enable cotutelle agreements to be established at the University of Guelph.

Cotutelle Approval Process

Step 1: Cotutelle Agreement Request Form

To initiate the process of developing a cotutelle agreement, current University of Guelph doctoral students should work with their Advisor to identify a potential Partner Institution and Co-Advisor there, and to complete and submit a Cotutelle Agreement Request Form to

Likewise, doctoral students at other institutions interested in pursuing a PhD through cotutelle at the University of Guelph are encouraged to work with their Advisor/Supervisor to identify a potential Guelph Co-Advisor and submit a completed Cotutelle Agreement Request Form to

A cotutelle agreement should be initiated within a doctoral student’s first or second semester of study.

Download a Cotutelle Agreement Request Form

Step 2: Cotutelle Agreement Development

Once the Request Form has been received and the agreement has been approved in principle by the Assistant Vice-President, Graduate Studies:

  • The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (in consultation with the Centre for International Programs and Office of Legal Counsel) will coordinate development of the agreement between the two institutions; and
  • Incoming students (for whom the University of Guelph will be their Partner Institution) will be directed to apply to the University of Guelph for admission to the identified doctoral program of study.

The manner in which PhD cotutelle students are to be registered, how they are to pay tuition fees, and other details are established in the agreement.

Step 3: Cotutelle Approval

Cotutelle agreements are finalized upon OGPS receipt of signatures from the PhD student, both Advisors, both Deans (or equivalent), and both AVPs (or equivalent).

Once the cotutelle agreement has been finalized, the doctoral student must remain registered at the University of Guelph for the entirety of their program of study.

Further information

For more information, please contact Nadia Timperio, Manager, Graduate Curriculum.