Admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies is granted by the Dean, and only on the recommendation of the program in which the applicant intends to pursue studies. Admission to graduate programs at the University Of Western Ontario is competitive. Thus, applicants meeting or even exceeding minimum admission standards, as described below, are not guaranteed admission to any of the University Of Western Ontario's Graduate Programs.

For most graduate programs at the Master's level, applicants for admission normally must possess a four-year Honors degree or equivalent from a recognized university, college or institute, and provide evidence of promise of scholarly achievement. In research-oriented programs, a usual requirement is specialization in the subject matter of the chosen research area. Ordinarily, at least a 70% average (or the equivalent grade point average) in the undergraduate program as determined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies is required. In exceptional cases, however, where high quality performance in post-baccalaureate work can be demonstrated, admission may be granted without the required 70% average.

For programs at the Doctoral level, applicants for admission normally must possess a Master's degree or equivalent from a recognized university, college or institute, and provide evidence of promise of aptitude and success in research. Ordinarily, at least a 70% average (or the equivalent grade point average) in the Master's degree is required, and applicants must demonstrate evidence of sufficient specialization in the subject matter of their chosen discipline.

In some programs students initially admitted as Master's students may progress to a Doctoral program without completing a Master's degree; such a transfer must take place not later than the beginning of the sixth full-time term of graduate enrolment (i.e., the request for a change of degree status must be received by the Faculty of Graduate Studies during the fifth term). In this situation no more than three full-time terms of study spent in the Master's program may be counted toward the minimum residency period for the Doctoral degree.

Since individual programs often set higher admission standards than the minimum, applicants should contact directly the program of choice to get more information on the admission standing that program requires.

Applicants presenting educational credentials from outside North America will be assessed on an individual basis by the Faculty of Graduate Studies with respect to degree and standing equivalences.

Admission as a Special Graduate Student may be recommended in two different situations. Neither category of special student is permitted to register for a thesis course.

The first category of special student consists of those who are not working towards a graduate degree. These students normally register as part-time students and enrol in no more than 2 graduate courses per term. Such enrolment is normally limited to 3 terms and students so enroled are not eligible for funding. Programs may request advanced standing for courses taken by such students who subsequently wish to enter a degree program. If advanced standing is being requested for these previously taken courses, it must be done at the time that application is made to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for admission into a degree program. Normally no more than 20% of the course requirements for the degree program may be credited from the enrolment as a special student. Furthermore such courses must have been taken in the 3 years immediately preceding admission into the degree program and cannot have been used for admission purposes or for credit towards another degree. No residency credit is given for the time spent as a special student in this category.

Special students in the second category want to work toward a degree but their background preparation is difficult to evaluate. These students may be admitted with special graduate student status to give them a chance to demonstrate their capacity to succeed in the chosen program. Such students are not considered degree candidates until their program formally recommends to the Dean of Graduate Studies a change in their registration status, which usually happens after one or two terms. Retroactive credit toward a degree for courses completed and residence time fulfilled as a special graduate student may be granted only upon recommendation of the program and with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students in this category pay normal graduate fees, receive all the privileges of full standing, but they are not eligible for The President's Scholarship for Graduate Study, Graduate Tuition Scholarships or International Graduate Student Scholarships (i.e., recruiting scholarships).

Undergraduate Upgrading Prior to Seeking Graduate Admission. Students not possessing a four-year Honors degree, or equivalent, who wish to upgrade in order to become eligible for graduate admission consideration may be advised by the graduate program to which they make application to first seek admission as Special Undergraduate Students. A formal application must be made to the Office of the Registrar. Subsequent admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies will then be considered on the basis of achievement in that year of undergraduate study, together with the previous record. The special undergraduate year should normally consist of five senior level (usually third or fourth year) full year undergraduate courses selected in consultation with the graduate program concerned.

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