Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

International Students

At Western University, our heritage of excellence continues to draw exceptional faculty and graduate students from around the world. International students often choose to study at Western due to our internationally-renowned faculty members, world-class research facilities and infrastructure, excellent graduate-level funding, and the high calibre of our graduate programs. Approximately 20% of our graduate students are from outside of Canada, representing countries from all over the world.

As a Western student, you are part of a diverse community here on campus. The University is committed to providing culturally sensitive and inclusive services to all students, faculty and staff, while embracing the multiculturalism which defines our campus body. There are many opportunities to get involved with international activities on campus, including joining clubs and campus projects, to volunteering with Western's international community and attending seasonal events.


Studying in Canada is an experience like no other. One of the most beautiful and multicultural nations on earth, the people of Canada are extremely friendly and embrace new cultures. We have excellent social services, health care and education systems, and enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. International students looking to experience the wonders of Canada can look no further than London. In fact, in 2008, the city of London won the National Multiculturalism Award from the Enriching My Canada and Yours Awards Foundation, a special recognition for promoting and celebrating its cultural diversity.

Admission Requirements

Outlined below are the minimum admission requirements set forth by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Please review this information to ensure you are prepared with the knowledge necessary to succeed in your educational pursuits. Be sure to visit program-specific websites you are interested in applying to as each graduate program may have specific admissions requirements, including higher averages than the minimum.

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 across courses 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.

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.

English Language Proficiency

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, 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.

Exemptions

Other formal evidence of graduate level proficiency in English may be considered in lieu of these test scores. Students must contact the graduate program(s) to which they have applied in order to determine if test scores will not be required. A decision will then be made at the discretion of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for exemption. For the French and Spanish programs only, evidence of proficiency in English is a degree requirement but not a requirement for admission.

International Student Awards

The following are featured funding opportunities that support international students applying to graduate research degrees at Western.

International Sponsorship and Partnership Programs

Desiring to promote, develop and strengthen the relationship between Western and other countries and recognizing the contribution international graduate students bring to the university, Western has entered into a number of partnership agreements with government organizations and programs around the world to bring in qualified international students to pursue their graduate degree at Western on scholarship and/or grant. Please refer to the list and links below for scholarship and sponsorships opportunities in your country.

Below are a listing of our formalized partnerships:

International Support Services

There are numerous international student services on campus to make your graduate experience at Western both memorable and engaging.

International and Exchange Student Centre

Western University, Graduate Studies - Support Services BuildingInternational students at Western can take advantage of the International and Exchange Student Centre's (IESC) offerings - a full range of services and programs specifically tailored to meet the needs of international students and enhance their academic, social, and cultural experience at the university, including:

  • International Student Pre-Arrival Guide - an online guide to assist students beginning their "Western" journey
  • Reception and orientation service to assist and support newly arrived international students with questions about settling in
  • Peer Guide Program, providing friendly support and assistance with cultural and transition issues
  • Year-round social, cultural and informative events
  • Individual assistance with Canadian immigration and employment regulations, financial, cultural, social and personal concerns
  • English Conversation Program for students (and spouses) who want to enhance spoken English skills
  • International Student Work Opportunities Program (ISWOP) - On-campus work study opportunities
  • Volunteer opportunities to gain valuable experience in a cross-cultural setting

For more information, please visit International and Exchange Student Centre (IESC).

Western English Language Centre

Western's English Language Centre allows academically eligible students interested in pursuing a graduate degree at Western the opportunity to receive a conditional offer of admission to graduate studies without successful completion of an English language proficiency test. The condition is that the student must, in lieu of such a test, successfully complete Western English Language Centre's program. For more information, please visit http://englishlanguage.uwo.ca/.

CultureWorks

Western University, Graduate Studies - Culture WorksThe School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has a partnership with CultureWorks, an English Language training program on campus. This partnership allows academically eligible students interested in pursuing a graduate degree at Western the opportunity to receive a conditional offer of admission to graduate studies without successful completion of an English language proficiency test. The condition is that the student must, in lieu of such a test, successfully complete the CultureWorks English language training program.

The Teaching Support Centre - International Programs

The Teaching Support Centre offers communication and orientation programs for International Graduate Students at Western. These programs are designed to help international students make the transition to living in Canada, and they also allow students to develop English language skills for the classroom.

International Teaching Assistant Day is a half-day conference held in early September, while the other courses are offered at various times throughout the year.

The TSC also oversees Communication Strategies for International Graduate Students: Surviving and Thriving in Canadian Academia (CSIGS), an e-book primarily for international and newcomer Canadian graduate students to familiarize them with the norms of communication in Canada.

Community Legal Services

Western University, Graduate Studies - Community Legal ServicesWestern's Community Legal Services (CLS) offers legal services to assist you with:

Applications for Permanent Residency

  • Federal Skilled Worker Application (for temporary residents with work experience)
  • Canadian Experience Class Application (for Graduates with a Canadian degree)
  • Sponsorship of Member of Family Class (by a permanent resident)
  • Sponsorship of Spouse or Partner in Canada Class (by a permanent resident)
  • Study and Work Permit matters
  • Complications with obtaining or extending a Study Permit or a Work Permit.

Immigration Group Information (IGI) sessions are scheduled monthly, and students can register via CLS Scheduler. Individual appointments with the lawyer or CLS caseworker can be arranged subsequent to attendance at an information session. CLS Immigration services may also include assistance in drafting and swearing affidavits and preparing notarized copies of your documents in preparation for the above services.

For further information, please visit Community Legal Services (CLS) or call 519-661-3352.

Equity and Human Rights Services

Equity and Human Rights Services (EHRS) provides information on the University’s discrimination and harassment policies, employment equity and diversity and other human rights related issues. EHRS are here to help you, whether you are a student, staff or faculty member. EHRS are dedicated to making Western an equitable, safe and supportive environment for all members of the University community. Their service is confidential except in specific circumstances.

Equity and Human Rights Services also oversees Western's Multicultural Calendar.