Requirements to Consider for a Successful Application

Academic Average

Most graduate, professional and post degree programs (in Ontario) realistically require a B+ (77%) to an A (82%) average for acceptance (some much higher than that). Check with the individual departments to determine how they will be determining your admission average.

Admission Tests

Your program may require you to take standardized tests such as the GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, or DAT.

Click here to view a summary of Standardized Testing information.

Letters of Recommendation

Most programs will ask for 2 or 3 letters of recommendation (at least one from a professor). It’s difficult for most students to get to know their professors to a point where they feel that they can ask them for a letter of recommendation. Don’t worry, many professors have been asked to be references for students that they don’t know very well. The key is to ensure that your professors can act as GOOD references. Provide instructions for them, a resume, transcript, copy of applications as well as bring with you things that you have done in their class – copies of midterms, papers etc. This way, they will be able to be informed about your qualifications and make a more personal recommendation. Letters of recommendation may take different formats.

Click here for useful tips on how to ask professors for letters of recommendation.

Personal Statements/ Autobiographical Sketch

Think of the personal statement as your “written interview”. Some suggestions for your personal statement/autobiographical sketch:

  • Past volunteer and employment experience
  • Courses taken in your undergraduate program, including marks
  • Significant events in your life 
  • Special projects taken on in your undergraduate program
  • Plans after completing further study (employment, further education to a PhD program)
  • Why you want to attend this particular institution and study this particular program

Letter of Intent

You may need to indicate your course of study/plan for research. If this is the case, research the institution, the department and faculty of the department and demonstrate how you and the program are a good 'match'. Many schools will require that you select a professor to work with whose research interests you.

Suggested examples of content for your letter of intent;

  • Past research you have completed

  • Your thesis topic

  • Proposed or confirmed faculty advisor at the institution that you would like to work under

  • Further research that you would like to conduct while at the institution

  • Plans after completing further study (employment, further education to a PhD program)


Some programs have an interview process. If this is the case, research the structure of the interviews and who will be on the interview panel. Will there be a written component? Case scenarios? A group portion? Each institution develops the content and structure for their own interview process.


The key point to remember when looking into funding alternatives is that deadlines for funding are often earlier than the application deadlines. Therefore, check with each institution as to the scholarships/bursaries that are available through their institutions as well as other funding options (OGS, NSERC etc.).

Click here to learn tips and tricks on applying for SSHRC funding. 

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