Cotutelle Agreements at the University of Guelph

A cotutelle agreement entails a customized program of doctoral study developed jointly by two institutions for an individual student in which the requirements of each university's doctoral programs are upheld such that the student is awarded two degree documents. The objective of a cotutelle is to enrich the experience of doctoral students through research collaborations and exposure to a different culture.

Below are the principles that enable cotutelle agreements to be established at the University of Guelph.

  1. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS) may enter into cotutelle agreements with international universities, on behalf of individual PhD students registered in an existing PhD program at the University of Guelph, in accordance with the provisions of this framework. OGPS is responsible for ensuring that individual cotutelle agreements conform to the University of Guelph’s internal doctoral degree requirements. Each cotutelle agreement must be approved by the Assistant Vice-President, Graduate Studies.
  2. Cotutelle agreements are binding on the respective institutions on a reciprocal basis. Agreements must establish the manner in which the degrees are recognized in their respective countries.
  3. PhD students carry out their research in both countries, under the direction of co-advisors who commit to act collaboratively and to their fullest capacity. The co-advisors must sign the agreement.
  4. PhD students carry out their studies in alternating periods at the institutions involved, in a manner established in the agreement.
  5. Details regarding the preparation for, and completion of, qualifying examination(s) are established in the agreement.
  6. The language in which the thesis is to be written is established in the agreement. Where this language is not English, a substantive summary of the thesis in English must be included when the thesis is submitted for examination.
  7. Composition of the thesis examination committee and naming of the committee’s chair is established in the agreement. Where appropriate, examination committees are formed on a balanced basis, with equal membership from each of the institutions involved as well as a member (or members) external to both institutions. The membership of an examination committee shall not exceed eight persons.
  8. The thesis is examined at a single thesis defense. Cost sharing responsibilities related to the defense are established in the agreement.
  9. After a successful thesis defense, each institution awards the candidate a doctoral degree in accordance with its own regulations for conferral of degrees. The official record of the degree(s) shall indicate the candidate’s specialization or discipline, the title of the thesis, and mention of the cotutelle.
  10. The manner in which PhD students are to be registered and how they are to pay tuition fees is established in the agreement. The agreement also sets out the manner in which other applicable fees, including health insurance, are paid in each country.
  11. Issues with respect to official deposits, listing, and distribution of theses, the management of joint research results from laboratories or research teams involved, as well as the publication and the derived uses of such results, are governed by specific rules and legislation in force in each of the respective universities and as established in the agreement.