As one of Canada's leading research institutions, we place great importance on helping you finance your education. While at Western, you will want to devote your full energy to the successful completion of your studies, so we want to ensure that stable funding is available to you.There are two main types of funding available to graduate students:
All students in the research-based M.Sc. and in the Ph.D. program who are within their expected completion time are guaranteed a minimum of full tuition plus $12,000 per year, provided the student meets normal progression requirements and maintains a 78% average or higher. Canadian students in the course-based M.Sc. are not funded; international students are eligible for a fee waiver to reduce their tuition to the level of a Canadian student but are not otherwise funded.
The Department currently strives to ensure that all regular graduate students receive a minimum salary of no less than the total cost of tuition plus an additional $12,000 per year, typically composed of monies paid for work as a Teaching Assistant (TA), supplemented by Western Graduate Research Scholarships and funds from the supervisor's research funds. A full-year TA (two terms) is worth $9,100 plus the one-time top-ups negotiated by PSAC Local 610.
All qualifying international students are paid a fee differential to offset the high cost of international tuition. The total payable for international students is set the same as a domestic student.
The course-based Masters in Geology or Geophysics is not funded, apart from the international fee waiver.
An agreement between the University and PSAC Local 610 specifies that students in the M.Sc. program are guaranteed two full years funding, and that Ph.D. students are guaranteed four full years funding, provided satisfactory academic standards and progress are maintained. Students whose studies continue beyond 2 years (M.Sc. program) or 4 years (Ph.D. program) are classified by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as being non-fundable, and as such, will not receive TA funding. International students receiving an international fee waiver, will, upon reaching this point, be required to pay full international student tuition fees.
Supervisors generally 'top up' TA and other funding sources to the Departmental recommended minimum annual salary, and some supervisors provide funding above this level. Summer support for field or laboratory expenses is generally provided through the supervisor's research grants. Note: All scholarship monies are taxable.
All students are encouraged to apply, where applicable, for Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEIIGSST) grants. Ph.D. students in particular are required to apply for these scholarships, not merely because of the financial advantage but also because grant-writing is an essential part of academic training, and success in acquiring grants will be essential to finding employment in the highly competitive academic job market.
The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master’s Program (CGSM) is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies. The CGSM Program supports 2,500 students annually in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada's three federal granting agencies. Successful applicants will win one of the following awards depending on the focus of the research proposed:
Deadline for Application: December 1 of each year
How to Apply: Online Application
Western is listed as “The University of Western Ontario” in the Research Portal options for Primary Affiliation and Proposed Host Organization. Up to 5 universities may be identified as Proposed Host Organizations by an applicant.
NSERC Industrial Scholarships (NSERC-IPS) are valued at a minimum of $21,000 per annum. At least $6,000 per year of this amount will be contributed by a company, and the student will be expected to spend a minimum of 20% of time at that company working on his/her thesis project. Contact NSERC or the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for further details. These scholarships have no deadline, therefore can be applied for throughout the year.
Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEIIgsst), valued at $5,000 per term are awarded to students enrolled in at least their second full-time term. Students may hold the award for a minimum of two, and maximum of three terms (one year). Recipients may not simultaneously hold an Ontario Graduate Scholarship or an NSERC scholarship, and are permitted to hold a half TA per year during the award. All applicants for OGSST must have previously applied for NSERC and/or OGS scholarships, for which they are eligible. If winners are offered both the QEIIGSST and external (NSERC, OGS) awards, they must accept the external award.
Applications for QEIIGSST are automatic when applying for OGS scholarships.