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.

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: October to January for a September start (dates TBA).  Applicants will be informed by early 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), completion 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 Program Requirements for full details).

Application Process

Application Period

  • October to January for the program starting in September.
  • Applicants will be informed by early March about the status of their application.
  • Note: We do not confirm that documents are received. Applicants are encouraged to review their application status via the online system.

Apply Online Via goGRAD

Application requires the completion of an online application form and the submission via PDF upload of supporting documents (see below). If admission to the university is offered, submission of official transcripts (sealed in originating institution envelopes, submitted to Graduate Studies) will be required.

Online Application

  • Research Information (10 words): a brief list of keywords describing research interest(s).
  • Research Supervisor: It is strongly advised that applicants contact potential faculty supervisors prior to applying to inquire as to whether that faculty member would be willing to work with the applicant, should the applicant be offered admission. If the faculty member indicates interest, applicants are encouraged to include this in their Statement of Interest. Applicants provided with a written statement indicating such interest may upload a PDF through the application form process under Academic Program > Supervisory Agreement form. This is optional for PhD applicants. Note: applicants may express interest in working with up to 3 potential supervisors, but statements are not required from each. 
  • English language test scores (if applicable; self-reported English language test scores must be confirmed via offical score submission).
  • 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 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 on institutional letterhead via email to the Graduate Program Assistant or by paper mail to the School of Criminology, attention: Graduate Program Assistant (address below). The email must come from an institutional email address. General letter format is acceptable. Allow sufficient time for referees to complete references before the application 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 their 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 the referee that the letter of reference is supplied in confidence unless stated otherwise.

Supporting Documents (PDF files)

  • CV including scholarly work;
  • Statement of Interest (400 words): Expansion of Research Information keywords into a descriptive research statement. 
  • Two (2) academic writing samples authored by the applicant in English (e.g. research publications or other academic papers).
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. Unofficial transcripts (including the grading scale) can be used at the time of application.* If the unofficial transcript does not include a grading scale, an official transcript including the grading scale must be uploaded. GPAs cannot be calculated without a grading scale.

*If admission to the university is offered and accepted, submission of official transcripts (sealed in originating institution envelopes, submitted to Graduate Studies) will be required. See mailing address for Graduate Studies below.

Mailing Addresses

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

Graduate Studies
Maggie Benston Centre 1100
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6 Canada

Application Fee

Application fees are set by the University Graduate Studies office, and are subject to change each year. The application fee is non-refundable. The School of Criminology does not collect the application fee and cannot provide any applicant with an application fee waiver.

  • $110 CAN: applicants with Canadian transcripts.
  • $150 CAN: applicants 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.
  • Current SFU graduate students can request a fee waiver. Please, email
  • Once the application fee is paid and processed you can upload supporting documents (see below).

Indigenous Students

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

English Language Requirements

English is the language of communication at the University. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. 

International applicants will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a bachelor's degree or higher at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language; see the full list of countries from which an English language proficiency test is not required.

Detailed information on acceptable tests and corresponding minimum test scores are available on the Graduate Studies website. Applications submitted without valid test scores that meet the minimum required by the University will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed and considered for admission. Applicants are discouraged from initiating an application prior to obtaining test scores that meet the minimum requirements as the application fee is non-refundable.