Criminology Doctor of Philosophy Program


Note: The School of Criminology accepts limited new Doctoral students each year. In order to receive an offer of admission, a member of School faculty must agree to supervise the student. Therefore, to maximize the likelihood of admission, prospective applicants should explore with a faculty member the possibility that shared interests might result in a supervisory relationship. A supportive reference from such a faculty member would provide strong support for an application to the program. Applicants lacking such support will likely have a lower probability of admission.

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, graduate performance potential and research interests.  Applications include university transcripts, letters of reference and a statement of area of research interest. 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 s/he wants to pursue graduate studies in criminology.

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 doctor of philosophy (PhD) program are stated in graduate general regulations.

Academic Requirements

  • Master's degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent from a recognized institution.
  • Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5/4.33 or a GPA (last 60 credits) of at least 3.67/4.33.
  • Submitted evidence that the applicant is capable of undertaking substantial, original research.  Such capability will be reviewed by the Graduate Programs Committee from letters of reference (from qualified referees), completition of a Master's thesis and/or other scholarly work.

Prerequisite Courses

Students admitted to the program without the prerequisite courses (or equivalent) will be required to complete those courses in addition to the PhD degree requirements.

  • The prerequisite courses are: CRIM 800, CRIM 860, CRIM 861, CRIM 862.  (Please see the 'Program Requirements' for full details).

Application Process

Application Period

  • October 1 to January 10 for a September start.  
  • All application documents must be submitted by January 10.  
  • Applicants will be informed by the end of January 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 accessed 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): More information about your research interest(s).
  • English language test scores if applicable.  Please see here for more information.  
  • References (3): Ideally these should be faculty or 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 complete, or they will have the option of uploading a letter (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 must be completed and submitted before referee requests can be sent.  Allow sufficient time for referees to complete the references before the January 10 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 each year.  The application fee is non-refundable.

  • $90 CAN: applicants with Canadian transcripts.
  • $125 CAN: applicants with international transcripts.
  • There will be 7 days to pay the application fee after the initial submission of the application.  
  • Once the application fee is paid you can upload supporting documents (see below).

Supporting Documents (PDF files)

  • CV including scholarly work.
  • Two (2) academic writing samples authored by the applicant in English (e.g. research publications or other academic papers).
  • 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 the grade scale official transcripts will be needed.  GPAs cannot be calculated without a grade scale.  
  • If only unofficial transcripts are provided for the applicaton, one (1) set of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions will be required if an offer of admission is extended.

Mailing Address

Only documents to submit by mail are the official (hard copy, sealed) transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions attended.

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 January 10, 2019. 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. For a list of these countries please click here.

The minimum graduate program admission requirements for test scores:

English Language Test Score
Internet-based TOEFL 93 with 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

All test scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of the test. Some graduate programs may have higher requirements, as indicated in their section of the SFU Calendar. 

* 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.