Admission Requirements

Please Note: Obtaining a supervisor is essential in receiving an offer of admission. It is strongly recomended that perspective students reach out to potential supervisors early in the process. 

The minimum academic standards for admission to our graduate degrees are as follows:

Academic Background

Please Note: The Department is not able to pre-assess your grades prior to receiving your application. All grades are assessed centrally at SGPS once applications are received. 

Master of Science (research-based)

For the regular (two-year) M.Sc. program, we require a four-year Bachelors degree in Earth Sciences or a related field (e.g. biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, math, civil engineering, etc.) from an accredited university. You must have achieved a minimum average of a 78% (Canadian students) or the Canadian equivalent of 78% (international students) over your last two years of your undergraduate degree to be admitted as a fundable student.

Admission is dependent on finding a supervisor.

Master of Science (course-based)

A minimum average of 75%/B (Canadian students) or the Canadian equivalent of 75%/B (international students) is required over the last two years of a four-year Bachelor's degree in Earth Sciences or a related field (e.g. biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, math, civil engineering, etc.) from an accredited university. Applications with an average below 75% will not be considered.

Priority is given to those who have secured a supervisor. See program requirements for more details.

Doctor of Philosophy

For the Ph.D. program, we require a Master’s degree in Earth Sciences or a related field from an accredited university, with a minimum average of 78%/B+ (Canadian students) or the Canadian equivalent of 78%/B+ (international students) over the course of the degree.

International applicants are invited to check WES Credential Evaluation to see how their grades convert to the Canadian grading system.

Admission is dependent on finding a supervisor

English Language Proficiency

If your first language is not English, we require proof of English proficiency as a condition of admission. If you have completed a minimum of two full years of study at an accredited university where English is the medium of instruction, and that university is located in a country where English is the primary language of use in the region in which you studied (e.g. Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, etc.), we do not require a proficiency test.

In all other cases, applicants must complete the TOEFL or IELTS test.

Our required scores are:
TOEFL IBT
: minimum of 92, with no individual score falling below 20, and a minimum of 23 in the speaking component
IELTS
: minimum of 6.0, with no individual score falling below 6.0

Scores more than two years old as of the date of proposed admission will not be accepted. We also can accept MELAB, CAEL or TOEFL PBT scores; please contact the department for more information. A waiver of the English proficiency test may be granted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the graduate committee, in cases where the applicant has studied at an English-language university in a region where English is not the language of daily use, and in which the applicant demonstrates exceptional proficiency in communication with members of the Department. No waiver will be granted in cases where the applicant has previously taken a proficiency test and failed to meet the Department's standard. All decisions of the graduate committee regarding proficiency tests are final.

TOEFL results should be sent electronically using the institution code of 0984 and the department code of 71. IELTS scores can be sent electronically, by uploading a scanned copy as a part of the online application. Your TRF (Test Report Form) number must be legible in the scan so that we can verify the results with the British Council.

For students who fail to meet the minimum required proficiency standard, we can consider conditional admission subject to successful completion of Western's English Language Proficiency Program, but only in exceptional circumstances.