What is a cotutelle?

A cotutelle offers you a unique international experience adding significant value to your PhD degree. You will be spending time both at Carleton and the partner institution and the exposure to different cultural and scientific environments will increase your employability after graduation.

A cotutelle is the French term for “Joint Enrolment”. This refers to a bilateral doctoral enrolment/co-enrolment and exchange agreement between two universities (the home university and the partner university) in different countries. Under such an arrangement, a doctoral student completes all of the requirements of the PhD program in both the home and partner university, and conducts his/her dissertation research collaboratively, sequentially, and for roughly equal amounts of time in both universities and is supervised by a faculty member from each of the universities. The dissertation will be examined by a committee whose members are drawn from both institutions.

Students completing a cotutelle will graduate with a single PhD degree from both the home and partner institution. This typically occurs with the student receiving a diploma from each university, each carrying a notation that the degree was obtained through a cotutelle agreement.

Jason Crann on his cotutelle experience

Who can participate in a cotutelle?

Any full-time student registered in a PhD program is eligible for a cotutelle agreement provided his or her supervisor has an active collaboration with an international institution.  Normally, a cotutelle will begin within the first year of your PhD program. At Carleton, a cotutelle agreement proposal must be initiated jointly by the student and their PhD supervisor. If a cotutelle agreement is initiated by a partner institution it will be considered under the guidelines established by the home university. However, in all cases proposals must be submitted to the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs and will be negotiated between both institutions.

Students coming to Carleton as the partner institution must submit an online application via our regular application  procedures and be accepted into the PhD program here.

What is the fee structure of a cotutelle?

Similar to a student exchange agreement, students participating in a cotutelle agreement will be required to pay all tuition and appropriate supplementary fees to his/her home institution. They will not be required to make such payments to the partner institution. Students will be responsible for paying any immigration fees, health insurance fees, and living expenses.

Where can you do a cotutelle?

If you are a Carleton student, the locations where you can do a cotutelle are only limited to where your thesis supervisor has existing research collaborations.  Currently we have have students participating in a cotutelle in Belgium, Brazil, China, FranceGermany, Italy, and Spain with more being established each year.

How can I apply for a cotutelle?

All cotutelle proposals must be initiated jointly by both the student and their supervisor. If you are interested in participating in a cotutelle, you should first talk to your supervisor and find out of this is a viable option for you and if they have existing international research collaborations.Your supervisor can talk to the Associate Dean (Planning) in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs for more information.

Cotutelle Policy

Carleton’s complete cotutelle policy and agreement template can be reviewed on the University Secretariat website.

Contact Information

Questions concerning cotutelle at Carleton can be directed to the Associate Dean, Planning in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.