Frequently Asked Questions
Am I required to submit transcripts from post-secondary programs I have not completed or which are in different disciplines?
YES. Transcripts are required for all post-secondary institutions attended (even if programs were not completed or are in progress).
My current degree is in progress – can I apply for admission prior to completing my current program?
Yes. The committee will assess your eligibility based on grades available to date. Your transcript must show grades from the fall session prior to the application deadline. If you are offered admission, it will be on the condition that you have completed your degree program with the minimum required GPA prior to the start of your graduate program (September).
Can I apply to both the geography and planning programs?
Students considering studies at the master’s level may apply to both programs.
Students considering studies at the PhD level may apply to both programs but are not encouraged to do so. PhD applicants should review the program details and available courses in the Geography and Planning program handbooks, and should also consult with their potential supervisors, before deciding which PhD to apply to.
Do I need to mail the department official transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions attended?
For the purposes of the application, a scanned copy of the transcript must be uploaded to the online application by the applicant. A printed official transcript is required ONLY if you get admitted, in which case we will contact you and request that you send your official transcript/s. Applicants who attended universities outside North America must provide notarized English translations to accompany all foreign documentation not written in English or French. Academic records must be enclosed in an envelope provided by the institution(s) and sealed or signed across the back of the envelope. Faxed and photocopied records are not considered official. Documents will not be returned to the applicant.
Can I provide more than three reference letters?
We will only accept three reference letters from referees listed on your online application. Additional letters will not be reviewed.
Are there reference letter forms?
The Department of Geography and Planning does not have special forms for the reference letters. Once you have confirmed your application information by moving to payment, the system will email your referees and ask them to complete an online reference form. If, in the rare case that your referee does not have email or they do not have an institutional email address accepted by the online system, their letter can be mailed/delivered directly to the department. Mailed letters should be written on institutional letterhead. Their letter should include a) description of how they know you, b) how long they have known you and c) descriptive comments that will assist in providing a complete picture of your abilities and potential as a graduate student, focusing on research experience, capabilities and/or potential.
How can I change one of my references?
References can only be changed by the university. Send an email to the department with the following information and we can change the reference for you: (a) name of referee to be removed (b) name and contact information of new referee (university, telephone and email), and (c) their relationship to you (e.g. former professor, master’s supervisor, internship supervisor, etc.).
Can I provide additional materials (copies of publications, etc.)?
No. The admissions committee will only review the application documents outlined in the instructions. We do not review any additional materials.
Do I upload my supporting documents before I pay the application fee?
NO. You cannot upload documents until after you have paid the application fee. This also includes letters of recommendation. Your referees will receive an electronic invitation to submit an academic reference in support of your application only once the application fee has been paid.
I have previously submitted an application/I have applied to more than one program – can the department reuse previously submitted reference letters or other supporting documents toward my current application?
No. Applicants must submit new supporting documents, including reference letters, for each application.
Do you require GRE scores?
No. GRE scores are not required or reviewed if submitted.
My first language is not English, but I am currently completing a degree at a university where language of instruction and testing is uniformly in English. Do I need to submit an English language facility test score?
If you have (or will have) completed a degree program in English you are not required to submit an English language facility test score with your application. For example, international students studying in Canada, USA, UK, Australia, Ireland, etc. where the official language is English are exempted from submitting a test score. Applicants from other countries/regions may also be exempted provided that their transcript confirms that the language of instruction and testing for the program they completed is uniformly English. See the SGS website for further information.
If I do not meet the minimum requirements for English language facility can I be admitted on condition of improving those scores?
No. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for English language facility prior to the application deadline. If your score falls below the minimum requirements at that time, the admissions committee will not consider your application. There are no exceptions to this policy.
When will I hear if I have been accepted?
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis with offers going out through late February and March. If necessary some offers may go out in April.
For answers to other frequently asked questions about the application process, please see the School of Graduate Studies’ FAQ page for Prospective Applicants or contact us by email.