Admission normally requires graduation from an Honours (or 4-year) Bachelor’s program at an accredited institution, with a specialization (major) in philosophy and with a minimum average of 78% in the 3rd and 4th years of the Bachelor’s degree. In special circumstances, students whose specialization is not philosophy may be admitted, depending upon how relevant their discipline of training is to their intended program of study in philosophy. For example, a student with training in Physics might be admitted to study philosophy of science, or a student with training in Political Science or Law to study social and political philosophy.
Admission to the M.A. program is competitive. Prospective students who meet only our minimum standards should not expect to be admitted necessarily on this basis.
Admission to the Ph.D. program requires either an Honours (4-year) Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree from an accredited institution. Student seeking direct entry to the Ph.D. from a Bachelor’s program must have a strong background in philosophy (equivalent to at least a major in philosophy), with a minimum average grade of A in their philosophy courses and B in their other courses. Students seeking admission to the Ph.D. from a Master’s program should have a minimum average grade of A- in that program. Although normally admission is granted only to students with a Master’s in philosophy, in special circumstances, admission will be offered to students with a Master’s in another discipline, depending on whether their program of study for the Master’s is appropriately related to their intended area of research in philosophy.
Admission to the Ph.D. program is competitive. Prospective students who meet only our minimum standards should not expect to be admitted necessarily on this basis.
Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language by a satisfactory* achievement within the last two years in one of the following:
- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score is 86, with no individual score below 20 for the internet based version; 213 for the standard electronic version; or 550 for the paper and pencil version, although some programs require a higher minimum score. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
- The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) of the British Council. The minimum acceptable score is 6 out of 9. The IELTS is offered in 6 test centres in the US and 3 in Canada.
- The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) of the University of Michigan. Students must have at least 80 on each of the sections and an overall score of at least 85. Arrangements to write MELAB may be made online.
- The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment). The minimum acceptable score is 60. The CAEL Assessment is offered in several countries throughout the world as well as Canada.
*Programs at Western may require a higher minimum score than those listed above.
Students who are required to present evidence of proficiency in English must make their own arrangements to write the TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB or CAEL and to have the official results sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by the testing agency.
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