Before You Apply to Graduate School

While SFU has minimum qualification requirements, even if you meet the minimum requirements, you are not assured admission into any graduate program.

Most graduate programs have admission requirements in addition to the minimum. In addition, programs must restrict admission to students whose interests are compatible with available resources and faculty expertise.

The departmental admissions committees and prospective supervisors look very carefully at:

  • Your academic performance in previous degrees
  • Your research productivity at a level appropriate for your level of training (eg.  bachelor-level research production for a student who has completed a bachelor's degree)
  • Your three (3) letters of recommendation to graduate programs from appropriate individuals (tenure track faculty members are ideal for these letters)
  • If appropriate, letters from non-tenure-track supervisors, who themselves have a PhD, to whom you reported directly to while working in industry or on a co-op
  • If English is not your primary language, your test results on the TOEFL or IELTS language proficiency examinations.

Some departments recommend or require standardized tests such as the GRE or GMAT. Please check the department's website before you apply.

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