Application Process

Important Notices

  • ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE MADE ONLINE. Please see the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies application website
  • Before applying, please review the Finding a Supervisor page, Admission Requirements and Graduate Opportunities page.

  • INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Due to the high number of applications received, and the competitiveness of our program, spaces are limited. Selection and acceptance of these students will be based on academic potential, availability of summer funding, a well-defined and funded project, and language skills. Therefore, before you apply, you should identify a thesis supervisor and discuss with them potential projects and funding.

  • If English is not your first language, or you have not conducted studies in English (verification needed), then a valid TOEFL or IELTS is mandatory. Our TOEFL standard is 88 and our IELTS standard is 7- click any of the degree links for further details about sub-scores requirements.

Application Submission

We will be accepting applications each year, commencing October.


While we technically receive applications year round, the Graduate Affairs Committee begins review of applicant files for Fall admission as early as December. You are advised to begin preparing your application and contacting potential Advisors/Supervisors and referees in the Fall prior to submitting your application. To be considered for the first-round of graduate offers, your application, and all supporting documents, should be submitted at the latest by February 1. Applications received after February may have a lower chance of success for admission and funding.

Online application process

The online application process will provide the program with the following information:

  • Biographical information
  • Contact information
  • Brief statement of academic/research interests
  • Academic background - CV
  • Electronic transcripts from Ontario universities/colleges (see below for information on transcripts)
  • Referee information - two academic references are required
  • Application fee

Applications are not forwarded to the Department of Geography for review until the application form has been completed and submitted by the applicant, and the application fee has been paid.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by the faculty member(s) you have identified as a potential Supervisor(s) and by the faculty members of the Graduate Affairs Committee. The admission focuses on three points:

  • The quality of the applicant,
  • The extent of shared interest and support from a potential Advisor/Supervisor,
  • Our ability to admit, and adequately fund and supervise in the stated research area.

The review process usually begins in mid December and continues as long as applications are received. Applications received prior to the beginning of the review period will have the greatest chance of success. Following departmental review, applications are sent to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for final approval. The process often takes one to two months. It is imperative that applicants inform us of any changes that may affect their application. For example, a final graduation transcript may permit us to make a firm, rather than conditional, offer. If you receive an offer from another institution, you may request a response from us prior to responding to their offer.

Advice to Applicants

Before You Apply

  • Ask reliable mentors whether a graduate degree is the right thing for you, and is a good way for you to meet your personal or career objectives and ambitions.
  • Contact potential Advisors/Supervisors for advice about courses and your proposed research area.
  • Ask faculty and graduate students at your current university about Geography at Western. In many cases, they will know the Department and some of our faculty members.
  • Contact graduate students in the Department to get their feedback.
  • If possible, arrange to visit us.
  • Return to the application process page to learn more about the deadline.

When You Apply

  • Please review the online application before you start (online application page)
  • Notify potential Advisors/Supervisors that you are applying.
  • Make sure that you have chosen reliable referees - academic faculty members.
  • Take care with the content of your application.
  • Ensure your online application ID number is clearly set out on the additional materials provided to the Department for review.

After You Apply

  • Arrange to visit us, either through your potential Advisor/Supervisor or the Graduate Administrator.
  • Let us know if you receive offers from other programs.
  • Notify us of any address change or any other status change that may affect your application.


Please contact the Graduate Administrator with any questions regarding the graduate program.
Phone: 519-661-2111, Ext. 85033;