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 18 to January 10 for a September start.  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), 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 18 to January 10 for a September start.  
  • All application documents must be submitted by January 10;  
  • Applicants will be informed in early February 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 via the online application system goGRAD found 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);
  • 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 and using their  official 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;
  • 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)

  • CV including scholarly work;
  • Two (2) academic writing samples authored by the applicant in English (e.g. research publications or other academic papers);
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.  Official transcripts can be sent electronically to or hard copy (mailing address below);
  • Unofficial transcripts can be used at the time of application but if the unofficial transcript(s) does not include a grade scale, you should upload an official transcript including the grade scale.  GPAs cannot be calculated without a grading scale;
  • Please note that all transcripts uploaded by applicants are considered unofficial.  Official transcripts are required after an offer of admission is made and accepted and they should be submitted to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office (see below).

Mailing Addresses

The 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

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

Application deadline for the online application and all supporting documentation is January 10. Late applications will not be accepted unless in exceptional circumstances.

Indigenous Students

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