University of Victoria

Guidelines & Regulations

Before you apply for a PhD by Special Arrangement with IGOV, please see our policies and procedures.


Step by Step Instructions For Special Arrangement Programs.

  1. Determine that you are admissible to Graduate Studies at the University of Victoria by reviewing the admission requirements in the calendar.
  2. Determine that your program could not be undertaken in any established graduate program at the University of Victoria by reviewing the calendar and speaking with graduate advisors in the appropriate departments.
  3. Prepare as detailed a draft as possible of your research proposal to give to potential supervisors. This is your marketing tool. If you seem vague or lack direction, you may not be able to find a supervisor who is ready to support your application. Students indicate that this is a critical step in the process. You are asking faculty members to take considerable time working on your program. Spend some time to let them really know what it is you intend to do.
  4. Identify potential supervisors using the faculty listings in the calendar. If you have not researched the field sufficiently to identify who may or may not be interested, you have not demonstrated your ability to research anything else. If you wish to complete a PhD by Special arrangement under the auspices of the IGOV program you should be researching IGOV faculty  listed at as potential supervisors.
  5. Once you have identified a potential supervisor you must submit a cover letter, one printed copy of your thesis and any other examples of academic work along with a three to five page proposal of the research you plan to undertake to the IGOV program Management committee. The deadline for this submission is February 28th for consideration for September entry.
  6. The IGOV program will review all submissions and notify students regarding their submissions by March 30th.
  7. If the IGOV program accepts you and a supervisor has been secured, you must then submit your completed application to the Faculty of Graduate Studies to Graduate Admissions and Records no later than April 30, for September entry. Arrange for official transcripts and references to be sent directly to Graduate Admissions and Records. Please note that acceptance of your proposal by the Indigenous Governance Program does not guarantee acceptance into the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

    You may access the Application package and procedures at:

    Required documents:

    • Application
    • Application fee
    • Official Transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions
    • Two assessment reports (or letters of reference)
    • Completed (and signed) Special Arrangement Program Proposal Form (.pdf)
    • TOEFL score if required
    • Rationale for your proposal (including research topic)
    • Letter of support from your proposed supervisor

  8. You will work with the supervisor to choose potential committee members and complete the Special Arrangement Program Proposal Form. Keep the Faculty of Graduate Studies' requirements in mind.
  9. Contact the potential committee members with your proposal.
  10. Once you have an appropriate committee established, meet or consult with your supervisor and committee to determine the appropriate courses for your program that you will list on the Special Arrangement proposal form.
  11. Prepare the Special Arrangement proposal form and have it signed by your committee members to indicate their approvals.
  12. Interdisciplinary students will also require a "home" department (typically your supervisor's department), indicated on the form by the graduate advisor's or chair's signature.
  13. Submit your Special Arrangement proposal form, your proposal rationale, and a letter of support from your supervisor along with all other required documents to Graduate Admissions and Records. Graduate Admissions and Records will then review your proposal and make a final acceptance decision.

Our Programs

Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance (MAIG)

The Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance (MAIG) is an interdisciplinary program focused on traditional structures and ways of governance and encompassing the values, perspectives, concepts, and principles of Indigenous political cultures. Through teaching and research that respects both western and Indigenous traditions, methods, and forms of knowledge, students are provided with a strong foundation of basic and applied scholarly research with an emphasis on the nature and context of Indigenous governance and Indigenous-State relations in Canada and internationally.

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PhD Degree by Special Arrangement

The Faculty of Graduate Studies along with the Indigenous Governance Program (IGOV) offers the selected opportunities for students to pursue a PhD degree by Special Arrangement. The Special Arrangement degree program is available for Indigenous Governance students, as the program does not currently offer a regular Ph.D. degree program. For more information about this program.

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IGOV is a part of the Faculty of Human and Social Development (HSD).

For more information on the faculty, see:

To learn more about research in HSD, please click here.

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