Admission Requirements


The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers graduate programs leading to MSc and PhD degrees in both disciplines. In considering Western, you are making an informed choice for your graduate experience. We believe that our people, facilities and research opportunities are second to none.

We encourage applications from students with undergraduate and/or Master's degrees in physics, applied physics, applied mathematics, astronomy, or other disciplines where students have taken upper level undergraduate and/or graduate level courses in the fundamental areas of physics. 

Applicants to our program are not required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). However, International students and domestic students with degrees from offshore Universities or Engineering degrees are strongly urged to write the GRE-Physics examination. Students who receive a mark with a rank in the upper third of those sitting the exam will be at a decided advantage over their peers for consideration of admission.

Applicants for our MSc programs must have completed a four-year, BSc degree (or equivalent) in either Physics, Astronomy, or Engineering with at least a 70% (or B) average taken over the third and fourth year level undergraduate courses. Students applying for the MSc Astronomy degree are not required to possess an undergraduate degree in Astronomy. A Physics (or possibly Engineering) degree is also acceptable.

Applicants for our PhD programs must have completed an MSc degree (or equivalent) in either Physics, Astronomy or Engineering with at least a 70% (or B) average taken over all MSc graduate courses.

Meeting the minimum standard does not guarantee acceptance. We receive many more qualified applications than our Department can support, hence you are urged to complete your applications as soon as possible.

  • International Students: March 1, 2019 including the receipt of reference letters and transcripts.
  • Domestic Students: We can accommodate complete applications on a first-come, first-served basis up to August 31, 2019.


All student acceptances are made by the Graduate Admissions Committee in concert with the student's potential supervisor. Interested students are strongly encouraged to contact potential supervisors in advance of their application. The Research Overview page of the Department of Physics and Astronomy ( is an excellent place to start identifying candidate supervisors.

In addition to the above requirements, non-native English speakers must demonstrate their English proficiency.

One option is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score is 90, with no individual score below 22 for the internet based version, or 550 for the paper and pencil version. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].

Another option is the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). The minimum acceptable score is 7 out of 9.

For more options see the SGPS web site (

All graduate courses offered by the Department are in English.

All graduate applications must be submitted through Western's online application system:

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies 'applying' web page

Any enquires about admission requirements should be made to:
  • Brian Davis at bdavis66 [at] (519-661-2111 ext 86639).