Application Process

Applications are open from October 9th to March 31st for the next academic year.  

Application processing will be conducted by SFU and the Graduate Program Committee for this program. 

Note: Applications will be assessed by the Graduate Program Committee during two review dates, early January and again following the closing of the application process. To enhance your opportunity for a seat in the program, we encourage you to apply before January 1st as all seats may be filled following the first review of applicants.

Email or for help, if needed.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants applying for entry into the program require:

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree in ecological restoration, ecology, plant science, animal science, soil science, environmental science, resource science (land, water, fish and wildlife, forestry), physical geography, environmental engineering, or a related program from a recognized post-secondary institution.

  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0/4.33 (70%; B average), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (77%; B+ average) based on the last 60 credits/units of undergraduate courses. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower academic qualifications when there is significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of study (as evaluated through a review of the applicant’s resume and letters of reference).

  • One introductory course each in ecology and statistics.

  • Two upper-level courses in any combination of: biology, ecology (plant, fish, wildlife, restoration/reclamation, etc.), statistics, plant science, soil science, physical geography (hydrology, geomorphology, limnology, etc.), forest science, natural resource management, environmental science, or related courses.

  • If an applicant has not studied in an English-speaking country, the applicant will need to demonstrate skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening by completing one of the following options: IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE (Academic) (described below). For more information about these tests, please see: SFU English-language Requirements
  • Applicants are required to:

    • Achieve a minimum score of 7.0 on the International English Language Test System (IELTS—the academic, NOT the general test) with a minimum of 6.5 in all sections,

    • Achieve 93 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum of 20 in each section (TOEFL-internet based exam), or TOEFL 580 and the Test of Written English (TWE) 5.0 (paper-based),

    • Achieve a minimum overall score of 63, and a minimum of 65 in speaking and writing for the PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic Test.
    • Note: Any equivalent test must include a writing component and all test scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of the test.


  • Provide names and e-mail addresses for three references (academic or professional). The referees will each receive an e-mail with instructions on how to log into SFU’s application system and complete an electronic reference. At least two references should come from faculty members at universities. This requirement may be waived for mid-career applicants with professional experience. In this case, references from employers may be substituted for references from university faculty.

  • Resume and official transcripts:
    • The transcripts will be used to confirm grade point averages and the strength of the academic background of applicants.

    • The proposed program has been designed both for applicants just entering the ecological restoration (ER) workforce and for experienced restoration practitioners wanting to upgrade their academic credentials. Applicants with extensive experience in ecological restoration but with lower academic qualifications will also have their work experience assessed, through a review of their resume and letters of reference. In some circumstances, an applicant may be accepted into the program based upon their academic performance in combination with their work experience.

    • Applicants may be required to complete bridging courses to strengthen their academic background prior to admittance into the master’s program.
    • Applicants that have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, the United States, or England should refer to our minimum equivalent qualifications and academic standing page. This site provides general guidelines, by country, for minimum entry requirements for graduate programs at SFU and BCIT.  Applicants will also require a comprehensive evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES). Credential evaluation reports from other Canadian services may be considered. These reports must include course-by-course evaluations and GPA calculations.

    Applicants with previous courses in ecological restoration would be classified as strong candidates for entry into the master’s program.

Apply to the program

The unique qualifications of applicants will be assessed individually by the Graduate Program Committee (a six-member committee comprised of BCIT & SFU faculty). All applicants meeting the minimum entry requirements will be assessed by the Graduate Program Committee. Most applicants will be contacted with our decision within three weeks following the review process. In some cases it can take longer to make a final decision. Please be patient. All applicants will be contacted via e-mail as soon as a decision is made.

All documents must be uploaded into SFU’s online application system. Only those applicants who have been offered admission into the program will be required to submit original paper transcripts.

SFU has some great resources about asking for reference letters. Please see their Award Application Resources for some helpful suggestions.

Application Summary:

  • Step 1: Fill out SFU's Online Application Form & pay the application fee.  
  • Step 2: Upload all transcripts and resume into the application system
  • Step 3: Provide names and e-mails for three referees. They will receive an e-mail which will allow them to log into SFU’s application system and complete an electronic reference.

Application Fees: There is an application fee of $90 (CAD) ($125 (CAD) for applicants submitting any transcripts from a non-Canadian University) which needs to be paid by credit card (MasterCard or VISA) to complete the online application. Applicants without access to a credit card can pay these fees in person, through online banking or by wire transfer. It is very important that the applicant's name and student number is received with the wire transfer. Review How to pay your fees for details.

English Requirements: Applicants whose native language is not English must arrange to have IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE test completed prior to applying and submit your test scores with your application (see entry requirements above).

International Students: Send ICES, IELTS, PTE or TOEFL results to SFU. For more information see SFU's International Student Website.

All information provided for application to the MSc in Ecological Restoration will be held in a file in the applicant’s name. All documents submitted will remain on file and will not be returned to successful or unsuccessful applicants.

Through this assessment by the Graduate Program Committee, the committee will identify areas of strength and weaknesses. If weaknesses have been identified, applicants may have the opportunity to strengthen their application through bridging courses or by completing a qualifying semester or year. Bridging courses may require completion prior to entry into the program.

Upon your acceptance to the program, please mail your official transcript to:


Attention:  Giti Abouhamzeh


3700 Willingdon Avenue

Burnaby, BC

V5G 3H2

Please note:  Official transcript should be received in a envelope sealed by the institution and signed by the registrar.

Scheduled Intakes

September each year.

All applicants starting the program in September will move through the program as a cohort.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) lets you use knowledge and skills learned outside recognized programs—including volunteer work, hobbies, on-the-job experience, or independent study—to gain exemption for particular courses in the program of your choice.

Your knowledge and skills will be assessed, course by course, by the Applied Research Committee and the associated faculty members. In general, applicants should be prepared to demonstrate working knowledge of the majority (>80%) of the material within a course. The Applied Research Committee will assess the applicant’s level of knowledge (conceptual and applied) and provide details of the evaluation criterion (e.g., challenge an exam, demonstrate working knowledge of applied concepts, or complete an assignment).

Please see BCIT's Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition page for further details.