Future Students FAQ



Do I need to have a faculty member willing to accept me before I submit an application?

No, you do not need to have found a faculty member willing to supervise you before submitting an application. Some faculty may not be able to accept a student until an application has been approved by a program and some faculty may not be able to view applications until they are approved.

I would like to accept an offer, how do I do that?

You can now accept your offer through the Western Student Center. Login into the Center with the information provided with your Western Personal Computer Account and select Self Service. To accept your offer simply select the Accept Admission option under Student Admission and select your choice.

My university doesn’t give letter grades. How will my average be calculated?

We will use a conversion scale to calculate your average.


How can I change/update a referee on my application?

There is a School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies generated email after application is received that states: “You may access the graduate reference system in order to check the status of your references, change/update email addresses, request new references in place of existing ones, and alert us of impending delivery of a reference letter by means other than the electronic form. Access to the reference form system is available via the Western Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars website.

  • Login ID; “applicant’s last name”
  • AccessKey”: “unique number available in GEARS under Reference Index”

I submitted my application today, can you confirm you received it?

There is a delay of approximately 3-5 business days before applications are received by the program. Program Administrators will update the checklists online when documents are received. You will receive an email about how to log in shortly after your application is received.

How do referees submit their reference letter?

Letters are submitted electronically. Referees are contacted by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies once your application has been received.

Does the reference letter have to come from a faculty member? Can I get a reference from a Teaching Assistant or an employer?

No you do not have to use a Faculty member. However the person completing the letter should be able to adequately judge your performance in the areas listed on the reference letter (Intellectual ability; Originality of thought; Aptitude for scientific research or scholarly work; Ability to express him/herself orally; Ability to express him/herself in writing; Initiative; Perseverance).

**Please note, Neuroscience only considers letters of reference from University or College Faculty. Letters from Faculty in their capacity as employers are acceptable as well.

I am an international applicant, am I eligible for financial/scholarship assistance?"

International students who meet the minimum academic requirement may be eligible for a Western Graduate Research Scholarship valued up to $10,800 which is directed towards the student’s tuition.


Can I be registered in your program, but have a faculty advisor who is not part of your graduate program?

Currently Faculty supervisors need to have membership in the graduate program the student will be registered in.

When can I start a program?

Program start dates are restricted to January 1, May 1 and September 1. Please note the following programs only accept students once a year.

Program Start Date
Anatomy & Cell Biology – Master’s in Clinical Anatomy
Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Family Medicine - Master of Clinical Science and PhD
September 1
Orthodontics June 1

I am not familiar with the “term” system in Canada. Can you explain?

At Western University the graduate year is divided into three terms:

  • Winter term: January 1 – April 30
  • Summer term; May 1 – August 31
  • Fall term: September 1 – December 31

Language Proficiency Tests

I can provide a letter stating language of instruction was in English. Do I still need a TOEFL score?

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language by a satisfactory achievement within the last two years. Language of instruction is not normally a considering factor. More English proficiency requirements can be found on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Can you tell me the University and Department codes for submitting TOEFL and GRE scores?

The Western University code is 0984. Program codes are:

Program TOEFL Department Codes GRE Department Codes
Anatomy & Cell Biology 32 N/A
Biochemistry 34 0202
Medical Biophysics 36 N/A
Microbiology & Immunology 07 0212
Pathology 56 N/A
Physiology 49 N/A

For other Biological sciences - 30

For other Physical sciences - 60

Is the GRE test required?

The following programs require a GRE score:

Program Type of GRE Score
Biochemistry Biochemistry or Cell & Molecular Biology or Biology or Chemistry