Admission Requirements

Applicants meeting the minimum University requirements for admission are not assured admission into any graduate program. Most graduate programs have admission requirements in addition to the university minimum requirements. Also, programs must restrict admission to students whose interests are compatible with available resources and faculty expertise.

Minimum University admission requirements

Most graduate programs have admission requirements in addition to the university minimums listed below.

Admission to a doctoral program requires a minimum of:

  • submitted evidence, usually references from qualified referees, of the applicant’s ability to undertake advanced studies in the area of interest.
  • Proof of English Language proficiency
  • a master’s degree from SFU or its equivalent from a recognized institution

OR

  • a bachelor's degree, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5/4.0, or a grade point average of at least 3.67/4.33 (A-) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses. Students admitted directly from a bachelor's degree must complete at least 50% of the course work units required for the relevant program's master's program if no course work is required as part of the doctoral degree;

OR

  • completion of at least 75% of the course work units required for the relevant program’s master’s program, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5.

Admission to a master’s program requires a minimum of:

  • a bachelor’s degree from SFU or its equivalent from a recognized institution
  • a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.33 on a 4.33 scale (B+) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses. All graduate work is also considered.
  • submitted evidence, usually references from qualified referees, of the applicant’s ability to undertake advanced studies in the area of interest.
  • proof of English Language proficiency

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications when there is significant experience relevant to the proposed area of scholarship.

Admission to a graduate certificate/diploma require a minimum of:

  • a bachelor’s degree from SFU or its equivalent from a recognized institution
  • a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • submitted evidence, usually references from qualified referees, of the applicant's ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest
  • proof of English Language proficiency

International Admission Requirements

If you attended a post-secondary institution outside of Canada, the majority of programs will not require a credential evaluation service to be used.  A guideline of international credential requirements by country can be found using the drop down list on the right.

Most three-year, Bologna-compliant degrees from research intensive universities are acceptable as a basis of admission to graduate diplomas, certificates and master’s programs at Simon Fraser University.

International Admission Requirements
Select your country to view requirements

English Language Requirements

English is the language of communication at the University and instruction in most programs. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. Applicants applying to programs conducted entirely in French will be exempt from this requirement.

International applicants will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language.

University minimum requirements for test scores

Internet-based TOEFL 93 with minimum of 20 in each category. In order to satisfy the requirement, scores must be achieved in a single test. TOEFL MyBest (super-scored) or TOEFL Essentials results will not be used. TOEFL iBT Home is accepted.
Paper-based TOEFL
580 and TWE 5
IELTS (academic) overall band score of 7.0 of the academic (NOT general) test with a minimum of 6.5 in each section
CAEL overall 70; minimum 60 in each section
Pearson Academic (PTE) overall 65; minimum 60 in all of their sections
Cambridge English Qualifications C1 Advanced - minimum score of 193
C2 Proficiency - minimum score of 200

Test scores must be valid at the time of submission. All test scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of the test. Scores that are more than two years old are not able to be verified and cannot be used for graduate applications.

Note

Some graduate programs may have higher requirements than those listed here.

Submitting Test Scores

IELTS and TOEFL

IELTS and TOEFL can be submitted electronically directly from the test centre. Releasing your results electronically to Simon Fraser University will update all current admission applications.

  • For TOEFL, SFU's Institution Code is 0999, a departmental code is not required. 
  • If ETS requires a departmental code please select the most appropriate choice from this list.
  • For IELTS, log in to the website of the IELTS test centre and click 'Apply for additional TRFs' in the left-hand menu of your results page. Fill out the application form online.
  • In India, the British Council is able to transmit electronically to SFU. Please use the following information when submitting your test scores: Organization ID 2036 - Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby BC, V5A 1S6

It can take a minimum of 3-4 weeks for your results to update on your application portal. If you have waited 4 weeks and still do not see your results updated, please send us a ticket that includes:

  • Your GA or student number
  • The date on which you released your results to SFU
  • Your unofficial test results with your name and test information clearly visible
  • Your application deadline for your program of application

Please note our inquiry response time is approximately 3 business days.

CAEL or Cambridge

Cambridge or CAEL testing results should be sent directly from the testing centre in a sealed envelope for processing to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Pearson PTE

Send a scan of your unofficial test results with your name and test number clearly visible to our tickets along with your name and GA or student number. Allow a minimum of 1 week for verification of your results.

Countries from which an English language proficiency test is not required

AIA Anguilla
ASM American Samoa
ATG Antigua and Barbuda
AUS Australia
BHS Bahamas
BLZ Belize
BMU Bermuda
BRB Barbados
BWA Botswana
CAN Canada
CYM Cayman Islands
DMA Dominica
FJI Fiji
FLK Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
GBR United Kingdom
GHA Ghana
GIB Gibraltar
GMB Gambia
GRD Grenada
GUM Guam
GUY Guyana
IRL Ireland
JAM Jamaica
KEN Kenya
KNA Saint Kitts and Nevis
LBR Liberia
LCA Saint Lucia
LSO Lesotho
MLT Malta
MSR Montserrat
MUS Mauritius
NGA Nigeria
NZL New Zealand
SGP Singapore
SHN Saint Helena
SLE Sierra Leone
SYC Seychelles
TCA Turks and Caicos Islands
TTO Trinidad and Tobago
TZA Tanzania, United Republic of
UGA Uganda
USA United States
VCT St Vincent and the Grenadines
VGB Virgin Islands (British)
VIR Virgin Islands (U.S.)
ZAF South Africa
ZMB Zambia
ZWE Zimbabwe

My previous education was in English but not in one of the countries above. Can I be exempt from the language requirements?

In this situation, you should contact the Graduate Program Assistant for the program to which you applied.

Not meeting the minimum requirements?

If after reviewing the university and program minimum requirements, you do not meet the minimum requirements it may be possible to be admitted as a qualifying student or as a conditional admission. Please contact your program of interest to discuss these options further.

Conditional Admission

An applicant may be offered admission to a graduate program, conditional on the completion of certain requirements. Sometimes this may be used for technical purposes (for example, for an international student who needs extra time to have transcripts sent from an overseas institution).

If an applicant does not meet university or program minimum requirements, it is possible that additional graduate course work is required, or the student may be asked to achieve certain results in the first few terms. These conditions and deadlines will be included in an offer of admission.

If these requirements are met, the condition is lifted, and the student remains in their graduate program. If these requirements are not met the student is not able to enroll in future terms and is normally required to withdraw from the university.

Qualifying Admission

Qualifying admission may be offered to applicants who are deemed not yet ready to begin their graduate work. The applicant normally will have completed a bachelor's degree but may have a cumulative grade point average well below the University minimum admission requirements, or may have substantial deficiencies in their academic preparation for direct admission to the program.

Qualifying students will typically be working to make up deficiencies in their background to begin graduate work in their area of interest. An offer of qualifying admission must be accompanied by a set of expected requirements to be completed within one year. The requirements will consist of between 12 and 30 units of specified undergraduate courses to be taken at SFU and will include the required grade for each course.

If these requirements are met within the stipulated time-frame then the qualifying student will be admitted to the degree program for which the qualifying offer of admission was given. If the student fails to complete the specified courses or to achieve the required grades, either additional courses will be required or admission to the graduate program will be denied.