How To Apply

Ready to get started?  Here's what to do next.

Step 1

Get familiar with the general research areas of our Faculty members. Contact the Geography faculty member(s) you hope to study with. Please note that only Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors can be supervisors. Find out whether they are interested in supervising your project and are currently taking new students.  Discuss your research interests and potential funding opportunities.

For your application to be successful, a faculty member must commit to supervising your research project before you apply.  You will need to indicate the preferred supervisor in your application.

Do NOT skip this step! 

Step 2

Submit the online application form, indicating the semester you plan to start your studies and your preferred potential supervisor(s).

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).

Applications are reviewed only after this fee has been paid. 

Step 3

Ensure you have submitted all required materials, including:


Digital transcripts, either unofficial digital copies or scans from each post secondary institution you have attended, should be uploaded to the online application system. If you receive an offer of admission you will be required to supply official copies of academic transcripts before you can enroll in the program. Official 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.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

An up-to-date curriculum vita must be uploaded to the online application form

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
Please visit the SFU Grad Studies website for comprehensive details on the language requirements.
  • Additional materials (e.g. writing samples, copies of publications, or other evidence of research accomplishment) may be requested by individual supervisors.

Need assistance with the application process?  Contact the Geography Graduate Secretary.

Application Deadline

  • Jan 22nd for September start

Past the deadline? Check to see whether your intended supervisor is still accepting applications.

Most graduate students enter the program in the Fall term (September), however Spring (January) entry to the PhD program is possible under special circumstances. Late applications may be accepted as space permits, but access to funding (scholarships, teaching assistant positions, etc.) may be limited or unavailable for late applicants.

International Students

Immigration and Customs

International students considering graduate studies at Simon Fraser University should check with the Canadian Embassy or Consulate [] for information on current immigration requirements.

If you are accepted to the Geography graduate program, you will receive a formal letter of admission from the Registrar's Office, specifying the annual stipend from research funds and teaching assistantships. You will also receive a letter from the Chair of the Department of Geography's Graduate Studies Committee.

SFU International Services for Students

SFU International Services for Students (ISS) provides initial and on-going support services and programs for international students on campus. Visit the ISS website for details.