Frequently Asked Questions

Do I require a supervisor to be admitted? 

Both of our Ph.D. and M.Sc. Thesis based programs REQUIRE students to secure a supervisor to receive an offer of admission. Priority will be given to course-based M.Sc. students who have secured a supervisor. All applicants are encourage to reach out in advance to secure a supervisor.

How do I find a supervisor?

We would recommend reviewing the Faculty Listing page on our website to see what type of research and work our faculty are doing to see who might be a good fit with your own interests and aspirations. After identifying who you might want to work with contact them directly to see if they are taking on any new graduate students. It is helpful to provide them with information about yourself including your academic and/or work background, research interests and academic aspirations. 

Some faculty members have listed possible projects on our Finding a Supervisor page. This might also give you an idea of what is available. This list does not include all of the opportunities so please reach out to faculty members as well. 

Am I required to take an English Proficiency Test?

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.

Do you require the GRE?

No, we do not require the GRE 

Who should I use as a reference? 

A minimum of three references from those persons who are most familiar with your academic abilities.
By entering your referees’ email addresses on the application, they will be sent an online reference form to complete and submit electronically. Two of your referees must be academic; the third may be academic or professional. If you are using a professional reference, they must be from a previously held position related to the earth sciences.

Should I contact a supervisor before I apply?

It is in your best interest to contact and secure a supervisor before you apply. The majority of our programs require a supervisor for admission and/or priority is given to student who have secured this ahead of time. Students may apply without first securing a supervisor but if one is not found they will not be admitted.

I have contacted potential supervisors but haven't heard back, should I still apply?

Applications are circulated to our faculty members in February/March to see if there is any interest in students who have not found a supervisor and ocassionally they are paired up this way. However, the majority of our offers of admission are going to students who have connected ahead of time and secured a spot with a supervisor. You are always welcome to apply. Unfortunately our faculty receive hundreds of emails from potential students and cannot respond to them all. If you have not heard back, they are likely not interested. 

Here is a copy of my transcript can you tell me if my grades make me eligible for your program?

Unfortunately we are not able to pre-assess your application for academic eligibility. All grades are assessed by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (not the department) once the application is received. For your reference our admissions requirements are listed here on our website.

I applied in January, when will I hear back?

We review all received applications in February/March and make offers of admission to eligible students who have secured supervisors as soon as we are able. We continue to make offers thorughout the spring and even into the summer depending on faculty interest and program availability. We appreciate your patience in this process.