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Program Admission

Doctor of Social Sciences

Students must have the following:

  • Master’s degree in one of the Social Sciences, or related field, normally required;
  • Evidence of experience related to the degree program. Normally a minimum of 10 years with senior level decision-making authority. 
  • A competitive, interdisciplinary, applied research proposal that reflects current research foci in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at Royal Roads University; 
  • English language skills and competency:

For applicants whose primary language is not English, competency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  • TOEFL (paper-based) 600; TOEFL IBT (Internet-based) minimum score of 20 in each section for an overall minimum score of 100 or better. (Institution Code: 9054)
  • International English Language Testing Services: 7.0 overall with no individual item score less than 6.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: Minimum score of 68.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): International English Language requirement with Verbal 560, Quantitative 740, and Analytical 4.0.
  • Evidence of competence in English through other standardized tests or education experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Flexible Admission

No Flexible Admission process for this program. All applicants must have a recognized master's degree.

Application Process

Application documents to the DSocSci program are to be submitted to the RRU Admissions Office where files will be prepared for review by the DSocSci Adjudication Committee. Admission selection will reflect a number of factors, including the applicant's academic skills and ability, the alignment of the proposed dissertation topic with the applied and academic goals of the degree, available faculty expertise to supervise the proposed dissertation, and the desire to balance topic areas within the cohort across areas of research expertise within the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences. A telephone interview may be required. 

Application Requirements

All applications to this program require submission of the following information and supporting documents before your file can be assessed for admission:

Application Form

In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. An application fee will be required. If your application fee(s) are being paid for by a sponsoring organization, please contact Student Accounts. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.

Official Transcripts

Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs. Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations.

Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution's original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.

All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.

Three written letters of reference

  • The three letters of reference should consist of two letters from individuals qualified to speak specifically to the applicant's academic qualifications and ability to conduct research at the doctoral level and one letter from a professional in the applicant's career field qualified to assess the applicant's professional expertise.

Program Proposal

The applicant’s three to five-page program proposal which includes:

  • Statement of proposed dissertation topic, its relevance to the workplace, community, or society, and a rationale of the need for doctoral level study of the proposed problem or topic;
  • A description of the social science fields of inquiry that contextualize the dissertation topic; and
  • Statement of career goals and how the program links to those goals as well as the impact the program may have.

Structured Resume

The applicant’s structured resume, which includes:

  • Education (all post-secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates)
  • Professional Experience (demonstration of progressively senior-level appointments with increasing levels of decision-making authority)
  • Voluntary/Unpaid Work Experience (including organization title, length of service, and a brief description of duties)

Writing Sample

Thesis chapter, academic or professional report/publication.

Additional Admission Information

Doctoral level courses from other institutions may be transferable. All transfer credit must be approved by the Dean and Registrar consistent with Royal Roads University policy. Such credit must demonstrate a high level of competency. No more than six credit hours (two courses) may be granted in total, and the courses must be assessed as direct equivalents of the courses contained in the DSocSci program of study. Royal Roads University is a member of the Western Canadian Deans of Graduate Studies and participates in the Western Canadian Deans of Graduate Studies Agreement.

If applicable:

  • Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada, must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
  • Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
  • An official English Language Proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
  • Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.

For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.