Applying for Summer 2023 Admission

Using the Online Application

After you have reviewed and prepared using the steps on the Applying Page, you can launch your application using the button on the left.  Once you start, the application is a 3 step process:

  1. Start and submit the application form
    Can take approximately 45 minutes. Includes identification, academic history. You will also identify referees. Once you submit the application, each of your referees will be sent an email with full instructions for completing their reference.
  2. Pay the non-refundable application fee
    Submit the payment 5–7 days prior to the final deadline to allow for processing time. $90 for applicants with Canadian transcripts, $125 for applicants with international transcripts. Current SFU graduate students can request a fee waiver (email
  3. Upload supporting documentation (Checklist)
    Required documents depend on the program and may include transcripts, curriculum vitae, research proposal…

Watch a video tour of the application process

Note: This video only includes captions; it does not include sound.

Start your online application

Apply online


All applicants are required to submit a list of qualified referees who will submit a reference for their application. Referees should be individuals who can comment on your abilities and potential performance in your graduate program of application. If you are unsure of who to include as a reference, please contact your program of application for assistance. 

  • Most programs require 3 references; some only require 2.
  • When entering your referees' information, you must use their professional or institutional email address.
  • Reference letters should be submitted on professional or institutional letterhead with a signature from the referee.
  • If a referee will be providing references for you on more than one application, they must submit each reference separately.
  • If a referee does not receive the email invitation, ask them to check their junk/spam folder.
  • Once a reference has been submitted, it cannot be changed or removed.

Updating referee information in your application

You cannot update or change your referee information if your document deadline has passed. If you need to change one or more of your referees or correct the email address entered, refer to the following:

  1. In your Application Portal, under Step 3, click the red Upload Documents button
  2. Find the References heading
  3. Find the referee you wish to change or update, and click the 'Edit' button on the right-hand side next to that referee
  4. Update all necessary fields, and then click 'Save'


Your application must include the names of all post-secondary institutions you have attended and you must upload an unofficial transcript for each of those post-secondary institutions.

You cannot upload transcripts until Step 3 (ie., until after your application has been submitted and the application fee has been paid and processed).

  • We do not require copies of degree parchments or certificates. A parchment would only be required if your official transcript does not show the date and title of your credential. 
  • Transcripts must be in English and/or French, or must be fully bilingual including one of these languages (all words and notations must be in French or English, in addition to any other language).
  • For transcripts not in English or French, an official translation must be supplied. An official translator must include, as part of their translation, a declaration that they received an official, sealed copy of the transcripts that they then proceeded to translate.

Transcripts — After offer of admission

If you receive an offer of admission, you will be required to submit an official transcript for each post-secondary institution:

  • If you have a degree in progress, do not send your official transcript from that institution until your degree is awarded and appearing on your transcript.
  • Applicants who completed their former degrees at SFU are not required to submit an official SFU transcript to GPS.
  • Transcripts must be official documents, sealed by the institution of issue, and sent directly to Simon Fraser University. Do not open the envelope - if you open it, it is no longer official.
  • Unsealed (open/loose) transcripts will not be accepted as official, even if they are on institutional paper. Transcripts received by email without secure delivery or sent by an applicant will not be accepted as official.
  • Each transcript is subject to review prior to acceptance.

Official Transcripts

Physical transcripts should be sent to:
Maggie Benston Centre 1100
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Electronic Transcripts

Electronic transcripts must be sent via a secure delivery service (such as Parchment) directly from the official institution to:

Supervisors and supervision

All graduate students at SFU have some form of faculty supervisor, but there are large variations in supervision from program to program. In some programs, a supervisor is assigned to you; in others, you may be responsible for identifying and approaching prospective supervisors.

Most programs provide lists of faculty members/potential supervisors and their research interests on their websites. Contact your program of interest with any supervision-related inquiries. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) cannot answer questions about prospective supervisors.

It is not required by university regulations that a supervisor be in place prior to starting a program.

The following academic units do require that applicants identify one or more supervisors prior to completing their admission application. You should have written confirmation from any faculty members you list on these applications:

  • Biology (including the Master of Pest Management program)
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Sciences
  • Geography
  • Gerontology (PhD)
  • Health Sciences (MSc and PhD)
  • Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
  • Political Science
  • Sustainable Energy Engineering

When investigating prospective supervisors, here are some tips to follow:

  • Check the faculty members on the program website.
  • Email them an inquiry. Include your familiarity with their work, your own research interests, your intention to apply, and whether they might be interested in supervising your research.
  • Include information about your background and research experience.