How To Apply Master of Arts

Step 1: Admission Requirements

Outlines the application process and provide information on the main requirements and deadlines.

The requirements for SFU School of Communication:

  • a bachelor’s degree in Communication or an equivalent degree in a social sciences or humanities program.
  • acceptance to the program is based on the School’s Graduate Program Committee ability to find a suitable thesis supervisor.
  • students with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than communication may be required to take up to two additional courses to complete their MA.

The school accepts both full-time and part-time students. However, University regulations require all MA students to complete their studies with 12 full time equivalent semesters or six years, whichever is shorter.

English Language Requirement

English is the language of instruction and communication in the University. Accordingly, an applicant whose primary language is not English or whose previous education has been conducted in another language must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. Applicants normally will be required to achieve a satisfactory score on a standardized English test acceptable to the University. This test must include a writing component. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) including reading, writing, speaking, and listening components, is acceptable for this purpose. The IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) is also acceptable. The minimum university requirements for test scores is TOEFL 88 with a minimum of 20 in each category (internet based exam), or TOEFL 570 and TWE 5 (paper based), or TOEFL 230 (computer based), and IELTS overall band score of 7.0; some graduate programs have higher requirements, as described elsewhere in this Calendar. Some graduate programs have higher requirements, as described elsewhere in this Calendar. Further details about the above tests may be obtained from the following. TOEFL and TWE – Education Testing Service, CN 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151 USA Other acceptable English tests  

The MA program in Communication offers three different options, one thesis based, another project based, and the third based on the submission of two extended essays.

Thesis Based

The thesis option requires students to take four graduate level courses, one of which must be in the general area of communication theory, and another of which must be a research methodology course. The two other courses can be taken at the student's discretion, though at least one of these must be taken within the School. No more than one may be taken with the same instructor, except by permission of the Graduate Studies Committee. The thesis is to be written following the successful completion of the coursework, and is subject to oral examination.

Project Based

The project and extended essay options bear the same course requirements as the thesis option. The project is to be an original work which, because of content or method does not conform to the usual definition of a thesis. This could be a project of an applied nature completed through one of the School of Communications studio or lab facilities. It is also subject to oral defense and is generally to be accompanied by a written component, of a moderate length (standard essay length for a graduate course).

Extended Essays Based

The extended essays option requires the submission of two longer research papers, followed by an oral defense. Procedures used in the supervision and examination of extended essays are the same as those used for theses.

Next Master of Arts Admission Period
Fall 2019 Applications: Accepted October 1 2018 - January 3, 2019

Step 2: Collect and Submit your Documents

Submit online

Upload the following documents to the online application portal

1. A statement of interest (1500–2000 words). Please include:

  • Academic and personal background
  • Your research objectives (research questions, potential research methods, scholarly and/or practical significance, and bibliographic references)
  • How your background and objectives fit with the school and potential research supervisors.

2. A concise abstract describing your research area, including 5 key words (not to exceed 250 words).

3. Two samples of scholarly writing, research reports, or other material.

4. Academic CV.

5. References from three persons (at least two of whom should be familiar with the applicant’s academic work).

*For applicants whose primary language is not English, a satisfactory score on a standardized English test acceptable to the University (SFU's Graduate English language requirements).


Submit in Hard Copy

Original official transcripts for all post-secondary degrees to be mailed to:

Graduate Coordinator
Simon Fraser University
School of Communication
8888 University Drive
Burnaby BC V5A 1S6


Step 3: Fees and Payments

CDN $90 for students with Canadian transcripts

CDN $125 for students with international transcripts

The full application fee is due in 7 days after your application is submitted and your application will not be considered until the full payment has been received.

Pay the Application Fees


Step 4: Submit Your Application and Monitor Results

Application Deadline: January 3rd.

You will receive an application number which you can use to log on and review your status.

All the applicants will be notified before the last week of April. Students will normally be expected to enter the program in the fall semester of the year they apply. The adjudication committee for graduate applications consists of three faculty members, three graduate students, plus the Graduate Chair. The committee weighs applications on the basis of the applicant's proposed research, proof of capability in working at the graduate level (writing samples), grades, and the strength of letters of recommendation. A crucial qualification for admission is the prospective student’s “fit” with the faculty support available through the School. It is important that you take into consideration, when outlining your proposed program of study, the areas of general interest of our faculty. Because admission is contingent upon the School’s ability to provide adequate supervision for the proposed work, you are encouraged to contact members of the faculty whom you consider as potential supervisors to ensure their interest and availability should your application be successful.


Jason Congdon

Graduate Program Coordinator
(MA and PhD)

T: 778-782-3595
Room: K9661