Applying to the Program

Potential applicants should contact the individual members of the faculty with whom they are interested in working, concerning their research interests and potential funding opportunities. This is critical for a successful application.  Please indicate your preferred potential supervisor(s) in your application.

Applications for graduate study in the Department of Geography are usually considered in January of each year, and the vast majority of graduate students enter the program in the Fall semester (September). In the PhD program, entry in the Spring (January) semester is possible under special circumstances. Application deadlines are 22 January (September entry) and 15 September (January entry). Late applications are possible, but access to funding (scholarships, teaching assistant positions, etc.) may be limited or unavailable for late applicants. If it is past the deadline but you are still interested in applying, please contact the faculty member(s) of interest and the Graduate Secretary.

To apply for admission, students should access the online application, indicating the semester for which they seek entry. Application requires a fee of $90 CDN (students with Canadian transcripts) or $125 CDN (students with international transcripts), paid by credit card (Master Card or Visa). Only when the fee has been paid can the Department of Geography consider the application.

Graduate Studies Online Application

In addition to materials submitted via the online application, we require the following:

1. Transcripts:
Digital transcripts, either unofficial digital copies or scans from each post secondary institution you have attended, uploaded to the online application system.

Once candidates receive an offer of admission they will be required to supply official copies of academic transcripts before they can enroll in the program. Transcripts must be in envelopes sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution. Photocopies, scans, etc. will not be accepted. International applicants must provide both original language transcripts and degree certificate, and certified English translations.  

2. CV: An up-to-date curriculum vita, uploaded via the online application.

3. References: Confidential evaluations and letters of reference from three referees who are familiar with and competent to judge the applicant's academic potential. The contact information for three referees must be provided to the online system.  Applicants should contact their referees prior to applying, but do not need to collect the letters of reference. Electronic requests will be sent to referees requesting letters of reference and instructing them how to do so.

4. Proof of English Proficiency: Applicants from countries where English is not the primary language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum requirement for test scores is:

- Paper-based TOEFL: 580 and TWE 5
- Internet-based TOEFL: 93, minimum of 20 in each category
- IELTS (academic): overall band score of 7.0, minimum of 6.5 in all sections
- PTE Academic: 63 overall, minimum 65 in speaking & writing

Full regulations can be found in the General Graduate Regulations 1.3.12.

Individual faculty members identified as potential supervisors may also request additional materials, e.g. writing samples, copies of publications, or other evidence of research accomplishment.

General information regarding graduate admission to Simon Fraser University can be found in the Graduate Regulation 1.3 - Admission.

If you require assistance with the application process, please contact the Graduate Secretary:  email: Graduate Secretary.

Entrance Scholarships

SFU has a very limited number of major entrance scholarships for exceptional applicants. If you wish to be nominated for an entrance scholarship, you are strongly encouraged to submit your application for admission to the Department by mid-January.  (Check the Dean of Graduate Studies website for the exact date.)

International Students

Immigration and Customs

International students considering graduate studies at Simon Fraser University should obtain current immigration requirements from a Canadian Embassy or Consulate [].
Students accepted to undertake graduate studies in the Department will receive a formal letter of admission to the degree program from the Registrar's Office, specifying the annual stipend from research funds and teaching assistantships. They will also receive a letter from the Chair of the Department of Geography's Graduate Studies Committee.

SFU International

SFU International at Simon Fraser University provides initial and on-going support services and programs for international students on campus. International students coming to study at SFU should visit the SFU International website.