Criminology Master of Arts Program

Note - Degree Requirements and Admission criteria were revised for admissions beginning in Fall 2016. There will no longer be a Course, Practicum and Project Option. Entrants wishing to engage in a practicum experience and/or pursue applied/evaluation research will be able to do so within the Thesis Option.


General Admission Information

Our admissions process is based upon a comparison of qualifications among those who apply. We consider a broad range of information about each candidate.  Our objective is to enroll a cohort each year that is both academically accomplished and diverse in interests, background, and experience.

Our primary considerations for admissions are previous academic performance, research interests and graduate performance potential.  Applications include university transcripts, letters of reference a statement of area of research interest and a writing sample. The cumulative grade point average is a measure of past academic performance and potential performance as a graduate student. Assessments from qualified referees of an applicant's ability to undertake advanced work in criminology is another indicator or future academic performance. The Statement of Interest reflects what an applicant's areas of research interest are and why they want to pursue graduate studies in criminology.  The Writing Sample reflects academic research and writing.

The Graduate Programs Committee values the initiative shown by students to reach out to potential supervisors prior to submitting their application.

Application period: November 1 to February 1 for a September start.  Applicants will be informed by the end of March about the status of their application.

Admission Requirements

From the Academic Calendar

The minimum admission requirements to this Master of Arts (MA) program are stated in graduate general regulations.

Academic Requirements

Students admitted to the program will normally have completed the following before admission to the Master of Arts program in preparation for undertaking graduate course work:

  • Undergraduate degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent from a recognized institution with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.33 scale.
  • One (1) intermediate criminology theory course and two (2) intermediate research methods courses: one quantitative and one qualitative. 
  • One (1) English-language, sole-authored writing sample from the last two (2) years of the applicant’s most recent degree (e.g. academic course papers, research publications, etc.).
  • Submitted evidence that the applicant is capable of undertaking substantial, orginal research.  Sub capability will be reviewed by the Graduate Programs Committee (GPC) from application documents.


Admission Process

Application Period

November 1 to February 1 for a September start.

  • All application documents must be submitted by February 1.
  • Applicants will be informed by the end of March about the status of their application.
  • Note: We do not confirm that documents are received.  Applications are periodically updated as documents are received and applicants are encouraged to check the status via the online system.

The online application process can be access here.

Applications have two components: completion of an online application and submission of official transcripts (hard copy, sealed).

Online Application

  • Research Interests (40 words): A brief listing about your research interest(s).
  • Statement of Interest (400 words): Expansion about your research interest(s).
  • One (1) English-language, sole-authored writing sample from the last two (2) years of the applicant’s most recent degree (e.g. academic course papers, research publications, etc.).
  • English language test scores if applicable
  • References (3): Ideally these should be faculty of people in a related professional field who hold at least a Master's degree.  Referees will receive an email with a link to an online form that they can complete, or they will have the option of uploading a letter in the form of a pdf file. If they are unable to use the online system, they may submit a reference via the address below using this form or by writing on their institutional letterhead. General letter format is acceptable.
  • Note: the initial part of the online application process must be completed and submitted before requests for references are sent out to referees. Allow sufficient time for referees to complete references before the February 1 deadline.

Referees should be made aware of the following: The British Columbia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act allows an applicant to have access to the information contained in his/her letters of reference where that can be done without disclosing the identities of the referees who supply a reference in confidence.  It is understood between Simon Fraser University and yourself that the letter of reference is supplied in confidence unless you state otherwise.

Application Fee

Application fees are set by the Dean of Graduate Studies Office and are subject to change every year.  The application fee is non-refundable.

  • $  90 CAN: applicants with Canadian transcripts
  • $ 125 CAN: applications with international transcripts
  • There will be 7 days to pay the application fee after the initial submission of the application.
  • It takes 1-3 business days to process the payment.  
  • Once the application fee is paid and processed you can upload supporting documents (see below).

Supporting Documents (PDF files)

  • One (1) set of unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.  Official transcripts (hard copy, sealed) are not required at the time of application if the unofficial transcripts include the grade scale.  If the unofficial transcripts do not include a grade scale, the official transcripts will be required.  GPAs cannot be calculated without a grade scale.
  • If only the unofficial transcripts are provided for the application, the official transcripts will be required if an offer of admission is extended.

Mailing Address

Graduate Programs Assistant
School of Criminology
Simon Fraser University
Saywell Hall 10128 – 8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC  V5A 1S6  Canada

Application deadline for the online application and all supporting documentation is February 1.  Late applications will not be accepted unless in exceptional circumstances.

First Nations Students

The School of Criminology actively invites applications from First Nations persons – First Nations persons may self-identify by submitting a letter with the application.

English Language Requirements

English is the language of instruction and communication at the University. Accordingly, an applicant whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. 

Simon Fraser University Graduate Programs accepts the following tests:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing Systems)

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.  Please click here for further details.