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How to Apply

Submitting Your Application

In order to apply to graduate studies at Western, it is important that you understand the essential elements of the Western graduate school application. No application will be considered until it is complete. The responsibility rests with the applicant to ensure that all documents (e.g., transcripts, letters of recommendation, test results such as TOEFL scores, GRE scores) are submitted by the program’s deadline for application.

Admission Deadlines

Students may apply at any time. Applications for admission in September are considered as early as October of the previous year, and financial resources are distributed to successful applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants are therefore encouraged to apply early.

Department deadlines for all application materials are two weeks prior to the start date of each term. We encourage all applicants to have their application materials in earlier whenever possible, as spaces in the program are limited by available resources.

International students are asked to have all of their application materials submitted a minimum of two months prior to the start of the term, as student visas generally take 6-8 weeks to obtain from the Canadian government.

Admission for the Winter term (January 1st) or the Spring term (May 1st) is also possible, but is limited by available resources.

If you are interested in visiting the department after submitting your application, please contact us to make arrangements. In many cases, some or all of your travel expenses may be paid for by the program on completion of your application.

The Application 

The application process begins with the receipt of the application along with all application requirements. In order to be considered for admission to our graduate program, the following information must be submitted and on file for consideration in the department by the stated application deadline. These documents become part of Western's files and will not be returned to or copied for the applicant. All application requirements, aside from the application, must be submitted directly to our program. Transcripts and test scores must be official.

To apply for admission, a completed application must be submitted, providing Western with the following:

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Additional Application Information and Requirements

Please do not send in application documents until after you have officially applied online.

  • The application fee is $50 CDN
  • Three letters of reference are required
  • Official Transcripts from all post-secondary education, sent directly by the issuing institution
  • Curriculum Vitae, outlining educational and professional experience. Please send this by email to
  • For permanent residents of Canada only, please include a photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card. If you are a Canadian Citizen born outside Canada, please submit a photocopy of your citizenship documents
    • NOTE: If you are applying to be a permanent resident, but have not yet been granted status, you must apply as an international student. If accepted, your status at Western can be changed when PR status is granted
  • We do not require high school transcripts, and we do not require the GRE
  • Minimum acceptable English proficency scores are 92 on the TOEFL with no individual score below 20, or 6.0 on the IELTS test. We do not offer conditional admission based upon English proficiency - all successful applicants whose first language is not English must prove minimum proficiency before being offered admission.

The Graduate Admissions Committee reviews the application and determines whether the student is academically acceptable for program entry. Core faculty are provided with relevant information about students and have access to application files.


To support your application, you must forward one official academic transcript* from each post-secondary institution attended. These documents should be mailed directly to the programs at Western to which you are applying.

  • Past or current students of The University of Western do not need to provide transcripts for their academic history at Western. This information will be obtained internally.
  • If you have attended or are currently enrolled at any Ontario university or college other than The University of Western Ontario you may use the electronic application process in order to request transcripts. These transcripts will be delivered electronically to each of the programs to which you are applying.
  • All other transcripts must be forwarded in hard copy to the graduate program(s) you are applying to at Western to complete your application.

*Western considers a transcript official only if it is received in a university envelope that is sealed and signed on the flap by the official person in the office issuing the transcript. If the transcript and degree certificate are not in English, a certified translation must also be included. (Non-English transcripts from institutions within Canada do not require a translation.)

All documents and transcripts submitted to The University of Western Ontario become the property of the University and will not be returned.

Electronic References

Upon receiving an application from OUAC, our electronic Reference System will obtain referee information and send reference form information directly to your referees. Submission of the reference will, in turn, be collected electronically and distributed alongside the application once it arrives at Western. No paper reference letters are required.

Access to the reference system can be found online. You will require your Login ID and Access Key as provided to you in an email titled "Your Application to Graduate Studies; Important Information," which should arrive 2-3 days after you’ve submitted your application. Accessing the Reference System will allow you to makes changes and updates with regards to your referees.


Students who have voluntarily withdrawn or who have been withdrawn and wish to complete their program must formally re-apply for admission via our application. Credit for previous work completed must be approved by the program and SGPS.

Admission Decision

Applicants who have been offered admission to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies can accept or decline their offers of admissions online through the Western Student Center.

  1. Login into the Student Center with the information provided with your Western Personal Computer Account and locate the Admissions grid
  2. Select "Accept or Decline" to begin the decision process


Western provides the best student experience among Canada's leading research-intensive universities.