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To view the Fall 2017 Academic Calendar go to http://www.sfu.ca/students/calendar/2017/fall.html

Graduate Admissions

1.3 Admissions

1.3.1 General

A student may seek admission to a graduate diploma, master’s or doctoral program. A student who is not qualified to enter a specific program may seek admission to the University as a qualifying student under the provisions of paragraph 1.3.6.

For admission to post baccalaureate programs, refer to the undergraduate section of this Calendar.

Before applying for admission, the student should obtain information about admission requirements and procedures. This information can be obtained from the websites of departments and faculties, or by contacting the appropriate program’s graduate secretary.

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

1.3.2 Admission to a Graduate Diploma Program

The minimum University requirements for admission to a graduate diploma program are as follows:

    a) a bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University, or its equivalent from a recognized institution;

    b) a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5/4.33, or a grade point average of at least 2.67/4.33 (B-) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses, provided minimally 24 credits of appropriate course content for the program applied for have been completed within those 60 credits;

    c) submitted evidence, usually references from qualified referees, of the student’s ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications than in (a) when there is significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of study.

Students must satisfy any further requirements set by the graduate program committee. Students whose native language is not English may be required to satisfy the University and the graduate program committee as to their capability in English. (See also 1.3.12)

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1.3.2a Admission to a Graduate Certificate Program

The minimum University requirements for admission to a graduate certificate program are as follows:

    a) a bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University, or its equivalent from a recognized institution;

    b) a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5/4.33, or a grade point average of at least 2.67/4.33 (B-) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses;

    c) submitted evidence, usually references from qualified referees, of the student’s ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications than in (a) when there is significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of study.

Students must satisfy any further requirements set by the graduate program committee. Students whose native language is not English may be required to satisfy the University and the graduate program committee as to their capability in English. (See also 1.3.12)

1.3.3 Admission to a Master’s Program

The minimum University requirements for admission to a master’s program are as follows.

    a) a bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent from a recognized institution;

    b) a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0/4.33 (B), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (B+) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses. All graduate work is also considered. Individual graduate programs may set a higher admission grade point average;

    c) submitted evidence, usually references from qualified referees, of the student’s ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest. In addition, some programs also require completion of entrance examinations such as the GMAT and GRE, and/or the submission of other material.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications than in (a) or (b) when there is significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of scholarship.

Students must satisfy any further requirements set by the graduate program committee. Students whose native language is not English may be required to satisfy the University and the graduate program committee as to their capability in English. (See also 1.3.12).

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1.3.4 Admission to a Doctoral Program

The minimum University requirements for admission to a doctoral program are as follows.

a) either

    i) a master’s degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent from a recognized institution;

    ii) a bachelor's degree, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5/4.33, or a grade point average of at least 3.67/4.33(A-) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses. All graduate work is also considered. Individual graduate programs may set a higher admission grade point average. Students admitted directly from a bachelor's degree must complete at least 50% of the course work units required for the relevant department's master's program if no course work is required as part of the doctoral degree;

    iii) completion of at least 75% of the course work units required for the relevant department’s master’s program, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5. All graduate courses, whether completed at this University or at an equivalent post-secondary institution, shall be considered in the calculation. A student wishing to be admitted under this category (transferred to PhD) must have completed all of these requirements and initiated the transfer request within the first 6 semesters at SFU. As per graduate general regulation (GGR) 1.12.1, initial enrollment in the doctoral program will be the initial enrollment as a master's student.

and

b) submitted evidence that the applicant is capable of undertaking substantial original research. Normally, such capability will be judged from letters of reference from qualified referees, and the completion of a master’s thesis or other scholarly work.

Students must satisfy any further requirements set by the graduate program committee. Students whose native language is not English may be required to satisfy the University and the graduate program committee as to their capability in English. (See also 1.3.12)

1.3.5 Admission Under Special Arrangements

Exceptionally able applicants who wish to work for a master’s or doctoral degree outside or between existing programs at Simon Fraser University may apply to work under special arrangements. A student applying for special arrangements must have a well developed plan of studies in an area that can be shown to have internal coherence and academic merit, and in which the university has appropriate expertise and interest among its faculty members.

Graduate students applying or working under special arrangements are required to conform to Senate regulations for graduate students. However, there are additional regulations which concern only those applying or working under special arrangements. For more details, go to the Special Arrangements (SAR) website. 

Students working under special arrangements may be required to complete a selection of courses from existing programs.

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1.3.5a Cohort Special Arrangements

Cohort-based special arrangements programs are designed to meet the educational needs of specific student groups in fulfilling the requirements for a graduate credential (certificate, diploma or master's degree) where these needs cannot be met within existing programs. Each program will be comprised of a curriculum and a set of program requirements recommended by each program’s graduate program committee, approved by the faculty graduate studies committee and by the senate graduate studies committee. Students may undertake this program only through specific admission to the cohort program. Admission criteria, credential requirements and any other special conditions for a particular cohort special arrangements program must be approved in advance by the senate graduate studies committee; these may not be below the minimum admission and graduate credential requirements of regular graduate programs. In some instances, tuition fees may differ from the regular graduate fee schedule published in the Calendar, and will be announced separately.

1.3.6 Admission as a Qualifying Student

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 normally will consist of between 12 and 30 units of specified undergraduate courses and will include the required grade for each course. Applicants who require less than 12 units of undergraduate work to demonstrate their academic preparedness, or to provide the necessary background for the particular area of study should be considered for regular admission. A minimum of 12 units is established to ensure that an adequate amount of work is required. The maximum of 30 units ensures that the required work can be completed within one year.

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.

The minimum University requirements for admission as a qualifying student are as follows.

    a) a bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent

    b) submitted evidence of academic ability, usually in the form of references from qualified referees

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1.3.7 Admission as a Non-degree Student

Normally, a non-degree student at the graduate level has at least a bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, is admitted in order to complete specified courses, but is not seeking a degree from this University. A non-degree student will not be permitted to enrol in undergraduate courses.

Application is through the graduate program committee in the department in which the student wishes to work; applicants are advised to contact the department before submitting an application (see 1.3.1). Transcripts of previous university work (or proof of obtaining a degree) will be required at the time of application, but letters of reference will not necessarily be required.

No credit will be given towards any degree offered by the University for courses completed as a non-degree student except, under unusual circumstances, on petition to the senate graduate studies committee.

1.3.8 Conditional Admission

Conditional admission may be offered to an applicant who does not meet the minimum academic admission requirements but who is deemed to be substantially ready to undertake a graduate program. For example, an applicant who has completed the degree required for admission to the graduate program, but whose academic average is slightly below the minimum required for admission to that program, may be considered for conditional admission. An offer of conditional admission will specify the graduate courses that the applicant must complete and the grades that are expected in order to be granted regular admission. These courses should be completed no later than the end of the second term of enrollment. Graduate courses taken while admitted conditionally may be applied to the student's graduate program requirements.

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1.3.8a Admission to an Accelerated Master's

The minimum University requirements for eligibility for an Accelerated Master's are as follows:

a)   Enrollment in a Simon Fraser University undergraduate bachelor's program and the completion of 90 undergraduate credits with a minimum CGPA of 3.67/4.33;

b)   Submitted evidence from qualified referees of the student's ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest.

Students must satisfy any additional requirements set by the graduate program committee.

A maximum of ten graduate course units, used either as electives or upper division required courses at the bachelor's level, can be applied to the requirements for the master's degree.

1.3.9 Admission as an Exchange Student

Bona fide graduate students at other universities who wish to complete courses at Simon Fraser University, not leading to a degree at this University, will be admitted to complete specific graduate courses on the recommendation of the chair of the department (or equivalent officer) and the dean of graduate studies at the other university, and with the permission of the appropriate graduate program committee and the dean of graduate studies at Simon Fraser University.

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1.3.9a Admission as a Visiting Researcher

Simon Fraser University accepts visiting research students under the terms of the Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement. For details, see Visiting Research Students on the Graduate Studies website.

1.3.10 Application for Admission

Application is through the online application system: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/future/application_process.html. Completed applications and accompanying materials must be submitted to the department before the deadline specified by the department. Applicants are advised to check with the appropriate department as to the prevailing application procedures and deadlines for the graduate program in which they are interested. Applicants are advised that deadlines for applications for awards and teaching assistantships may be earlier than the deadlines for application to a graduate program.

All decisions on graduate admissions are made by the senate graduate studies committee, on recommendation from graduate program committees. Decisions on admissions shall be final. Final approval of admission for non-degree students or exchange graduate students is by the dean of graduate studies.

Retention of Documents

The documents which students supply to support admission applications will be retained for three terms following the term to which application is made. Then, application forms, transcripts and other materials related to applications will be destroyed. Irreplaceable documents will be returned to the applicant if requested at the time of application. All other documents become the property of the University

Protection of Privacy

Simon Fraser University gathers and maintains information used for the purposes of admission, enrollment and other fundamental activities related to being a Simon Fraser University community member and to attending a public post-secondary institution in the Province of British Columbia. When submitting an application for admission, all applicants are advised that the information they provide and any other information placed into the student record will be protected and used in compliance with British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (1992).

All British Columbian applicants will be asked to provide their BC personal education numbers (PEN) at the time of application. All others will be assigned a PEN by the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. Its uses are restricted to research and program evaluation. No identifiable personal information will be released.

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1.3.11 Application to Complete a Second Master’s or Doctoral Degree

Students who have a master’s or a doctoral degree (either from Simon Fraser University or another university) can apply to complete a second master’s or doctoral degree under the following constraints.

  1. no course work completed for the first degree shall count towards the second.
  2. none of the research done for the first degree shall be used for the second.
  3. none of the enrollment terms for the first degree shall count towards the enrollment terms for the second degree.

1.3.11a Application to Complete a Non-joint Concurrent Graduate Degree

Students who are currently registered in a master's or doctoral degree at Simon Fraser University can apply to complete a second master's or doctoral degree concurrently under the following constraints:

    a) no course work completed as part of the first degree shall count towards the second degree;

    b) none of the research done in the first degree shall be used in the second degree;

    c) none of the enrollment terms for the first degree shall count towards enrollment terms in the second degree;

    d) to apply to and enrol in a second graduate non-joint degree program concurrently, approval of the original program of enrollment must be obtained and the program being applied to must be informed prior to admission that the student is already enrolled in another degree program at SFU;

    e) the GGR's related to maximum duration for degree completion continue to apply and no extensions will be given due to being registered in more than one program;

    f) annual progress reviews must be completed for each program;

    g) all university regulations apply independently for each program including the application of tuition fees (i.e. fees will be charged for tuition for each program but ancillary fees will only be charged for each term of registration);

    h) a student may choose to apply for a personal leave from one of the programs while completing requirements for the other program (see 1.8.4). (Please note that personal leave terms still count towards the maximum time limit for degree completion);

    i) student financial support may be provided by either department following consultation between the two units.

1.3.12 English Language Competence

English is the language of instruction and communication at the University. Accordingly, an applicant whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. Applicants normally will be required to achieve a minimum score of 7.0 on the International English LanguageTest System (IELTS - the academic NOT the general test) with a minimum of 6.5 in each section. The Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL) may be used as an equivalent test provided a score of 93 or better is achieved 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). All test scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of the test. Some graduate programs have higher English Language Proficiency requirements as described elsewhere in this Calendar.

International applicants whose primary language is not English 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.

An applicant requesting a waiver of the English language proficiency test should do so in writing and submit it with their application. The dean of graduate studies, in consultation with the department, will make determinations in these cases. It should be noted that in order to maintain a high academic standard, very few waivers are granted. Therefore, it is recommended that those applicants whose primary language is not English submit an English language proficiency test with their application.

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