Prospective Graduate Students
SGES Graduate Studies
The School of Geography & Earth Sciences offers an exciting range of graduate research opportunities. The School has world class facilities, a multidisciplinary research environment offering field, laboratory and modelling opportunities, and a highly active graduate student community. The School, housed by Faculties of Science and Social Sciences, offers M.A., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees and promotes a culture of research excellence and scholarly achievement.
Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in the School are encouraged to visit the web pages of our faculty members related to their areas of interest. A direct entry to the Ph.D. program from the undergraduate degree for students with the appropriate requirements is also available.
If you would like more information about our graduate programs, contact:
Application Process for Admission in Graduate Program
All students interested in applying for admission in MSc, MA or PhD programs offered by the School of Geography & Earth Sciences are required to submit a formal application using our on-line system.These applications should ideally be submitted before the current posted deadline. However, in some specific cases, the School may accept applications later than this date.
UPDATE: Please note that the deadline for SGES's online application system is now closed for a start date of September 2018. We thank all applicants for applying (both Domestic and Visa)!
The online application system will re-open in late September 2018 for a start date of September 2019.
NOTE: As part of your application, SGES asks that you attempt to contact a potential supervisor directly for the possibility of starting an SGES graduate program in September 2018 (see "Potential Supervisor" below for more information).
- The applicant should submit: An application using our on-line application system. Start on-line application here.
- An application fee of $110.00 CDN. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid in Canadian dollars by means of a credit card payment or a cheque (or world money order) drawn on a Canadian bank made payable to McMaster University.
- A Statement of Research Interest(s). The statement should be up to two pages long and may include your background and past experiences along with your future career goals and interests. SGES also asks that you submit your current CV/Resume with your application. Two letters of recommendation are to be directly submitted online by two academic instructors most familiar with your work. These recommendation letters will be completed by filling an on-line ‘Referee's Report on Graduate Applicant’ form. Hard copies of this form may be downloaded from the Graduate Studies website and sent by mail or via email to the School at the mailing address given at the end of this page.
- All post-secondary official transcripts (with legend). Your transcripts should be downloaded directly online in your application.
- An official copy of your TOEFL score if English is not your native language. The School requires a minimum score of 580 (or 237 on the computer based TOEFL test) 92 on the internet. Alternatively, an official copy of your IELTS (must have a 6.5 minimum score overall) is required.
Applicants should apply as early as possible, as acceptance is on a competitive basis. Applicants with superior academic record will be recommended for University Scholarships.
To be accepted for study, the applicant’s academic record must satisfy the Graduate Committee of the School of Geography & Earth Sciences and the University and there must also be a faculty member to supervise thesis work. A limited number of foreign (visa) students with exceptional academic records may also be admitted to our graduate program.
All full-time graduate students admitted to the School of Geography & Earth Sciences, without any external funding or scholarships, receive basic financial support from the University for two years (M.A./M.Sc.) or four years (Ph.D.). Many of our candidates are successful in obtaining additional external scholarships (eg, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council or Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).
In addition to financial support from the University, students receive a research assistantship or a teaching assistantship in the School's teaching program to a maximum of ten hours per week for each of the 26 weeks of the undergraduate teaching year.
After paying tuition and all other fees, our graduate students receive funding towards living expenses. Tuition fees and incidental fees are listed here.
Our graduate programs are strongly research oriented. The completion of a thesis is the main focus of all our degree programs. We encourage all prospective students to review the websites of our faculty members for current research projects and select an appropriate area of interest and potential thesis supervisor. Please directly contact any faculty member in the School to find out if he or she is willing to supervise, and be sure to send along your resume and statement of your future interests via email.
If you submit your admission application package without contacting a potential supervisor, the School will attempt to find a potential supervisor based on your interests.
Transcripts, letters of recommendation or any other required documents should be sent to the following mailing address:
Academic Program Assistant-Graduate
School of Geography and Earth Sciences
1280 Main Street West (GSB 206/C)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4K1
Phone: 905-525-9140 Ext. 23535
For further details about our Graduate Program, you may contact:
Dr. Altaf Arain
Chair, Grad Committee
School of Geography & Earth Sciences
1280 Main Street West (GSB 206)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4K1