Application Process

The online application system is for use by applicants applying to Graduate Diplomas, Master's and Doctoral programs, and direct-entry Graduate Certificates.

  • Applicants who wish to take one or more courses as non-degree students should contact the department to which you wish to apply.
  • Students who wish to take courses through the Western Deans Agreement should complete the WDA form (available from their home university) and submit it first to their home university.

High School students and Post-Secondary Transfer Students applying for Bachelor's degrees should go to Apply BC.

Application Steps

STEP 1 - Plan and Prepare

  • Check the university admission requirements
  • Check the website of the department of your choice of study for the application deadline, supporting documents and any requirements that must be fulfilled prior to submitting an application.
  • If you are applying as an international student, check the academic requirements for international applicants
  • What you will need to apply online
    • Credit card (MasterCard or Visa) to pay the application fee
    • Test scores (if required by department)
    • List of referees who can comment on your academic and/or professional skills and prior experience.
    • Specific items required by the program to which you are applying into (see the departmental website)

STEP 2 - Submit your online application

  • An application that is not submitted within 28 days or by the application deadline — whichever comes first — will be cancelled.
  • If you are applying as a non-degree or exchange student, or would like to reinstate your previous program of study, please contact the department to which you intend to apply.
  • The referee system is online. Your referees are emailed a secure link where they are able to enter or upload a confidential reference for your application.

STEP 3 - Pay the application fee

IF YOU ENCOUNTER AN ERROR AFTER SUBMITTING YOUR CREDIT CARD PAYMENT, DO NOT PAY AGAIN. Please check your inbox to see if you have received an emailed receipt and confirm whether or not your card has been charged. Please note that you will not be able to upload your supporting documents until your payment has been received and processed. Please allow for 2 to 3 business days for payment processing.

  • You will need to pay a non-refundable application fee of $90 CAN (students with Canadian transcripts) or $125 CAN (students with international transcripts) by credit card (MasterCard or Visa).
  • 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. 
  • To make an online payment, log onto your account and click on Self Service > Campus Finances > Make a Payment.
    • You must have the 'pop-up blocker' on your web browser turned off (disabled) in order to make a payment.
  • If you are unable to pay the application fee by credit card, see How to Pay Your Fees for alternative payment methods. If you would like to pay in person, go to Student Services at the Burnaby campus. Please specify that your payment is for your application fee (otherwise it may end up in your student account).

NOTE: If you are currently in a graduate program at SFU (i.e., Master's, PhD, Graduate Certificate, or Graduate Diploma) and you are applying to a different graduate program, you will not be required to pay the application fee. The system will automatically waive this fee.

STEP 4 - Upload any supporting documents by the document deadline
(this may be different than the application deadline)

  • In order to upload supporting documents to the online application system, you will need to pay the non-refundable application fee.
  • Your uploaded transcripts will be considered unofficial copies.

STEP 5 - Submit any official documents required

  • Some departments require Official transcripts at the time of application.  Some only require Official transcripts if you receive an admission offer.  Please refer to the program website for the most up-to-date information — see list of all SFU graduate programs.  Transcripts are only considered Official if they are received in sealed envelopes directly from the institution(s) you attended. If you have up-to-date sealed transcripts in your possession, you may send them directly to your destination department of enrollment
  • Supporting documents to support admission applications will be retained for three terms following the term to which application is made.
    • If you are admitted, application forms and supporting documents are retained for the duration of your graduate program.
    • If you are not admitted, your application forms, transcripts and other materials related to applications will be retained for three terms.
    • Irreplaceable documents will be returned to you if requested at the time of application.
      • The office which holds the irreplaceable material will return the material as soon as possible, upon request, and no later than six months after your degree completion or last registration. 
    • All other documents become the property of the University.
NOTE: Students who were admitted with the condition of completing an SFU degree do not need to forward their transcript once the degree has been completed. This condition will be verified by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

NOTE: Recently there was a technical issue in the application system that caused the English language test score item to disappear instead of update to "received" after the scores have been loaded in the application. This issue has been resolved for all applications, which include an English language test, submitted before February 19th. For applications where a test score was uploaded after February 19th, the issue should be resolved shortly. We apologize for this inconvenience.

After Your Completed Application

Once you've applied: Status of your application

  • To check the status of your application, login to our application portal with your User ID and password and select 'View Application Status' from the Application Services page. Through the Application Services page, you can also update your personal information and review the status of documents that are required for evaluation of your application (eg. test scores, transcripts, references, etc.). The information displayed here is updated as items are received.
  • After you have submitted your application, please review your checklist for your document due dates.
  • You will also be notified in writing by the Dean of Graduate Studies if you have been accepted into a program and the conditions of your acceptance.
  • Please accept or decline the offer as soon as possible by informing us in the online application system and/or contacting the department in person.
  • Note: Official letters of acceptance are only valid for the academic year indicated in the letter. If you are unable to accept in the term offered, the department reserves the right to reconsider your acceptance.

Technical problems? Check your computer settings

Windows Users:

  • Internet Explorer with the following browser settings:
    Turn off Pop-up Blocker
    Internet Explorer -> Tools -> Pop-up Blocker -> Turn off Pop-up Blocker.
  • Google Chrome
    Chrome menu -> Settings -> Show advanced settings -> in the "Privacy" section Content settings -> in the "Pop-ups" section click Manage exceptions
  • Mozilla Firefox with the default browser settings.

Mac Users:

  • Safari with the following browser settings:

    Set browser cookies to "Always"

    Safari menu -> Preferences -> Security -> Accept Cookies -> Always

    Turn off Pop-up Blocker
    Safari menu -> unselect Block Pop-up Windows

Residences

If you're planning to live in SFU's Residences, please apply to Residence at the same time as you apply to your graduate program.  For more information, please visit the SFU Residence and Housing website.

Current SFU Students

If you are a current SFU Master's student who is applying to an SFU PhD program, the application fee will automatically be waived. 

Note: This waiver applies only if the graduate student is applying for admission to an additional graduate program while currently in an active graduate program. Alumni are not eligible for this waiver.

Application Fee Waiver

In our commitment to support those students who are affected by the U.S. travel ban, SFU is waiving the application fee for graduate admissions for citizens from the eight countries affected by the travel ban: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, and Yemen, who do not have permanent residency or citizenship status in Canada.

In order to receive this waiver, please first submit your application online then send an e-mail to gradap@sfu.ca with the following information:

- First and Last Name

- SFU Student ID number or GA ID number

Once we receive this information and have confirmed your eligibility, we can then process the application fee waiver.