Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

2. Admission Requirements

The Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) grants admission to graduate students, only on the recommendation of the program in which the applicant intends to pursue studies. Admission to graduate programs at The University of Western Ontario is competitive. Thus, applicants meeting or even exceeding minimum admission standards, as described below, are not guaranteed admission to any of the University of Western Ontario's Graduate Programs. Admission decisions are not subject to appeal.

For purposes of admission and financial support the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies determines accreditation, degree, and standing equivalencies for all non-Western degrees.

For students undertaking a thesis as part of their degree requirements, the Graduate Chair must determine that an appropriate thesis Supervisor is available for the student's declared field of research before nominating the student for admission.

For admission to Master's programs applicants must possess a four-year degree from an accredited university.  The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requires at least a 70% average in senior level academic courses, as determined by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, taken in the last two full-time years of the undergraduate degree.  Equivalent qualifications may be considered based on the standards of the discipline or profession.

For admission to Doctoral programs, applicants must possess a Master's degree or equivalent from a university, college or institute, and provide evidence of research potential. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requires at least a 70% average in the Master's degree, as determined by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. (Note: some Western programs provide for transfers from Master's to Doctoral degree status without achieving a Master's degree; see Section 4.06).

Individual programs commonly have higher admission standards than the minimum. Applicants should contact their program of choice to get information on its admission requirements.

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.
  • Western English Language Centre. The requirement is successful completion of the High-Advanced level.
  • CultureWorks. The requirement is successful completion of the High-Advanced level.
  • Fanshawe College’s ESL Program. The requirement is graduation from Level 5, Advanced Academic Preparation, with a minimum 80% in all components.

*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. Those graduates from CultureWorks or Fanshawe College’s ESL Program must provide official proof of graduation.

Other formal evidence of graduate level proficiency in English (as determined by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) may be considered in lieu of these test scores.

For the French and Hispanic Studies programs only, evidence of proficiency in English is a degree requirement but not a requirement for admission.

Some programs require graduate applicants to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), prepared by the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, New Jersey and Berkeley, California, and administered several times each year at most universities. The applicant pays the cost of taking such examinations. [Western's GRE ID is 0984]

To apply for admission, you should arrange to send the following to Western:

A completed application, providing Western with the following:

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