Prospective Students

You must secure a position with a faculty research before applying to the chemistry graduate programApplications will not be considered until a student has found a potential supervisor.

It is recommended that students contact faculty members directly to discuss their research interests, programs, and to confirm the availability of a position within their group as well as their ability to provide the student with financial support.

Although the Department Graduate Committee will review application year round, it is recommended to apply by the following date:

                October 1st for Spring term
                February 1st for Summer term
                June 1st for Fall term

In addition to meeting Simon Fraser University's general admission requirements, graduate students applying to the Chemistry Department must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Students looking to enter the M.Sc. program must have completed a B.Sc. degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent from a recognized institution with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.33 (B) or better and provide evidence of ability to carry out advanced studies.
  • Students looking to enter the Ph.D. program should have M.Sc. degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent from a recognized institution with at minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.33.  In special circumstances, exceptionally able students with first-class B.Sc. degrees may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5/4.33.  Evidence is required to demonstrate that the applicant is capable of undertaking substantial original research (i.e. a copy of your B.Sc./M.Sc. thesis, particulars about research work over the past 18 months, who you have been affiliated with, copies of research reports or papers authored or co-authored).
  • The standard grade system used by SFU is 4.33 = A+.
  • For information regarding international minimum equivalent qualifications and academic standing, and required credential, click here.


The M.Sc. program is expected to be completed in about 2 years.  It is thus a program that offers a graduate-level education in Chemistry that is a somewhat shorter and less comprehensive alternative to the Ph.D. program.  It is an excellent choice for those seeking a thorough preparation prior to embarking on a Ph.D. degree at SFU.

Research Work -- Students must carry out research, write a thesis, and defend it in an oral examination.  The originality, length, and comprehensiveness of the thesis work is less than that demanded for the Ph.D. degree.

Course Work -- M.Sc. students are required to complete 12 credit hours of graduate-level coursework.  An average grade of B or higher is necessary to continue in the program.


The Ph.D. program is expected to be completed in about 4 to 5 years.  During this period, the student must complete a body of original research, write and defend a thesis, and satisfy the coursework requirements.

Research Work -- New students are appointed with a research supervisor during the admission process.  Subsequently their program will be directed by a supervisory committee of three faculty including the research supervisor.  The Ph.D. thesis must contain original publishable work of significance in advancing knowledge in the area of research undertaken, and must be successfully defended in an oral presentation to the examining committee.

Course Work -- Ph.D. students who already hold an M.Sc. degree are required to complete 9 credit hours of graduate-level coursework including CHEM 808 but not including CHEM 801 or CHEM 802.  Ph.D. students without an M.Sc. degree or have transferred from the Chemistry MSc program must complete 15 credit hours of graduate-level coursework including CHEM 808 but not including CHEM 802.  All students must maintain at least a B average to continue in the program.


  • Apply online.  Note that there is an application fee of $90 CAD (for students with Canadian transcripts) or $125 (for students with international transcripts), payable by credit card (MasterCard or Visa).
  • Admitted students can submit an expense claim with a copy of their detailed Student Account Activity, showing the fee.     
English Language Test Score
Internet-based TOEFL 93 with a minimum of 20 in each category*
Paper-based TOEFL 580 and TWE 5
IELTS (academic) overall band score of 7.0 of the academic (NOT general) test with a minimum of 6.5 in each section
  • * In order to satisfy the requirement, applicants must achieve the scores listed above on a single test date. TOEFL MyBest (super-scored) results will not be used.
  • Photocopies will suffice during the application process but in order to be admitted, official copies are be required.  SFU's institution code is 0999 and Chemistry‚Äôs department code is 062.
  • International applicants whose primary language is not English will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language. For a list of these countries please click here.
  • The following supporting materials (in PDF format) are to be uploaded online:
    • Copies of official transcripts from all Post-Secondary Institutions attended
    • Applicants must arrange for the submission of detailed mark sheets and degree certificates with certified English (literal) translations
    • To be official, original language documents and English translations must arrive together in official envelopes which have been sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution.
    • A current copy of your Curriculum Vitae (be sure to include any publications you may have)
    • Three strongly supportive confidential reports on official letterhead from your referees.  At least two of your three referees should be able to comment on your recent academic performance.  The online application system will instruct you on how to request the reference letters.
  • The following supporting materials are to be mailed to the Chemistry department:
    • One set of official transcripts from all Post-Secondary Institutions attended (must be in the original sealed envelope coming either directly from the educational institution or mailed by you)
    • Evidence showing completed of B.Sc./M.Sc. degree(s).  If the degree is not complete at the time of application, evidence of its completion is required at time of registration.
    • An official copy of your diploma (for International applicants)

Until Further Notice, Send Official Transcripts to:

c/o Central Stores Mail Room, for
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Maggie Benston Student Services Centre 1100
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia
Canada V5A 1S6



Tuition information can be found here.

The Department of Chemistry guarantees funding to all incoming graduate students.  The current 2021-22 stipend is:

  •     MSc Students: $23,000
  •     PhD Students: $25,000

These annual stipends are guaranteed for two years to entering MSc students, four years to entering PhD students, and five years (from the point of graduate admission) to students who transfer from the MSc to the PhD program. Student stipends include contributions from major scholarships, graduate fellowships, TA appointments, and directly from Supervisor grant funding. The guarantee is subject to satisfactory degree progress and TA performance.

Prospective students can compete for an NSERC or Major Entrance Award. Exceptional candidates who apply by April 30 will be considered for the Dean's Graduate Entrance Scholarship. The Graduate Dean Entrance Scholarship (GDES) is currently valued at up to $21,000 per annum. A number of one-time Special Graduate Entrance Scholarships  ($4,000 - $6,000) are awarded to promising incoming graduate students. In addition, a large number of internal graduate fellowships are available on a competitive basis so that current graduate students can focus on their dissertation research.

Please refer to the Graduate Awards Guide for more information on various awards, bursaries and scholarships administered either by the University or external sources.

Teaching assistant positions (TA-ships) are offered on a competitive basis each semester to qualified graduate students. A full TA-ship includes set hours per semester for responsibilities that may include class time, course preparation, grading laboratory notebooks or tutorial papers for exams and/or other duties as assigned or required by the Department Chair or the Course Supervisor. See TSSU Collective Agreement for more information.

Graduate students receive invaluable experience in their field. Their responsibilities vary as widely as their fields, but most graduate students will participate in a range of activities from practical research to grant writing to community engagement to presentations of their research.

Full-time international students with a valid study permit do not require a work permit to be a teaching assistant on campus. (Citizenship & Immigration Canada: Working on Campus). A Social Insurance Number will be required.


Students interested in living on-campus should refer to the SFU Residence and Housing website for information on accommodations available as well as application dates.  The Off-Campus Housing website provides a 'hot-list' for current listings in the local, as well as surrounding areas.

There are health & counselling services available for students, as well as a number of professional development opportunities.

The Department also has a Graduate Caucus that organizes social events, including a soccer game against faculty and staff, game nights, holiday parties, Pi day bake-offs, and much more!

Prospective graduate students should visit the Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Fellows website for additional information and resources.


If you have questions regarding the graduate programs we offer or the application process, please contact the Chemistry Graduate Program Assistant at 778.782.3345 or by email <>.

Enquiries regarding research areas/interests should be directed to the individual faculty member.

The Graduate Studies website provides comprehensive information about opportunities, policies, procedures, and regulations at Simon Fraser University.