Application Information

The Department of Earth Sciences does not provide funding for international Master’s students. We only consider applications from international Master’s students that are either self-funded and part-time or that receive a full scholarship from their government that covers tuition and living expenses. The Department of Earth Sciences is not currently accepting applications for the course-work MSc program.


The Department of Earth Sciences is now welcoming applications for graduate work in the master’s and doctoral streams. We will consider your application only after you have completed your online application and paid the $125 application fee through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). The online application will open on October 1, 2023. The deadline (closing date) to apply was January 15, 2024, and has now passed. All supporting documents must be uploaded by this deadline. 

Note: The Department will consider applications after the January 15 deadline for domestic applicants only (Canadian citizens or permanent residents). If you wish to submit a late application, please contact the Graduate Administrator.

An Admissions Committee, chaired by the Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs, evaluates applications for admission to graduate studies in the Department of Earth Sciences. You must contact your professor(s) of choice well before you apply to discuss their interest in taking on new students and potential projects. Prospective students must be both: 1) deemed admissible by the Graduate Affairs, Admissions and Awards Committee; and 2) accepted by a faculty supervisor, who is responsible for contributing part of the student’s funding. 

For general admission about graduate studies at the University of Toronto, refer to the School of Graduate Studies website. Information about the application process is in the instructions that follow, but please contact the Graduate Administrator with any questions:

Scott Moore
Graduate/Undergraduate Administrator
Department of Earth Sciences
22 Ursula Franklin Street, ES1066
Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
M5S 3B1


Email the Graduate/Undergraduate Administrator.


Begin by creating your application file using the online admissions application page.

  • If you are a first-time applicant, click the link to Create an Account to begin your application. You will receive a verification code via email as part of the account creation process. After entering your verification code, you will create a password for your account.
  • You may save and return to the application at any point in the process.
  • You will be required to enter information for two referees. Your referees will automatically receive a notification email that they have been requested to complete a reference for your application, along with instructions to submit their reference letter in the application system. 
  • If you need to change your referees, please get in touch with the graduate administrator.
  • If you need to send a reminder email to your existing referees, you can do so through your applicant portal after submitting your application.
  • To view the status of your application, including outstanding requirements, please log in to your account to view your applicant status portal. 
  • You can upload application materials, including unofficial transcripts, statements of intent, writing samples, and more, through your applicant status portal after submitting your application

It is your responsibility to ensure your application is complete, including receipt of all transcripts and recommendation letters, by the January 15 deadline. Please note that it can take up to several weeks for official transcripts to reach us once they are ordered; please do not wait until close to the deadline to request transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Payment of your application fee must be received by the School of Graduate Studies before we will consider your application. You may pay online by VISA or Mastercard. Please note that the payment process requires that popup blockers on your web browser be disabled. If you are unable to pay by credit card, you may print an invoice from the application and mail it with a certified cheque to the School of Graduate Studies.

As part of your application, you are required to enter a proposed area of study. Only list the area, not the detailed title or subject matter of your proposed area of study. Also enter the name of your proposed supervisor in the “proposed area of study” field. Please refer to the Faculty Research Interests page to find an alphabetical list of our professors and their areas of study.

You must submit the following documents online in PDF FORMAT: transcripts, a CV and a research statement. In the case of transcripts they must be uploaded to the online application system. Official transcripts are not required at the time of application. If you receive an offer of admission, you must then arrange for official transcripts to be sent directly to the Department of Earth Sciences c/o Scott Moore by the originating educational institution in an official, sealed envelope. We cannot accept transcripts that are submitted loose in the envelope of documents sent by the applicant. Documents that do not follow the guidelines, including page length listed below, will not be accepted.

Documents submitted in hard copy should be mailed to:

Scott Moore
Graduate/Undergraduate Administrator
Department of Earth Sciences
22 Ursula Franklin Street, ES1066
Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
M5S 3B1

Please submit the following documents online (in PDF):

  • CV up to two pages in length.
  • one page research statement. The research statement should be a statement of research interest or a proposed plan of study. In your statement, indicate potential advisors whom you have contacted and have expressed interest. You are advised to review your research statement with the faculty member who has expressed interest in supervising you.The font size should be no smaller than 12 point.
  • One set of official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended must be uploaded to the online application system. 
  • Two letters of recommendation. Please request referees to submit these letters directly using the online system – you must enter the name and contact information of the referees during the online application process.
  • Proof of English Proficiency (see below).

Applying for Awards

Please note that domestic applicants (Canadian citizens and permanent residents) who are eligible are expected to apply for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII). The deadline to apply is May 1, 2024. Students who are awarded these scholarships will receive a top-up to their funding package.

Applicants to the MSc who are currently completing their bachelor’s degree should apply for the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) if they want to start their research earlier in the summer and their supervisor approves. 

International applicants are encouraged to apply for international awards if they are eligible.

Minimum Academic Requirements

Master’s Programs

  • A four-year BSc or BASc or its equivalent from a recognized university.
  • High academic standing, equivalent to a B or higher (equivalent to a 3.0 on a 4 point scale) at the University of Toronto, normally demonstrated by the average grade in the final two years.

PhD Programs

  • An appropriate, research oriented MSc degree or its equivalent from a recognized university.
  • High academic standing in previous degrees equivalent to a B+ or higher (equivalent to a 3.3 on a 4 point scale) at the University of Toronto.
  • In exceptional cases, students with a high academic standing (equivalent to an A- or 3.7 on a 4-ponit scale) may be considered for admission to a 5-year PhD progam directly from a bachelor's degree.
  • International applicants can check their academic standing by referring to the list of International Credentials Equivalencies for their respective countries.

English Proficiency

If your primary language is not English and you graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, then you must demonstrate your facility in English by completing one of the TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge, COPE or CAEL tests, achieving the minimum scores prescribed by the School of Graduate Studies. For internet-based TOEFL, the minimum acceptable score is 22/30 for both the Writing and Speaking sections with an overall score of 93/120. This is equivalent to 580 on the paper-based TOEFL and a score of 5.0 on the Test of Written English (TWE). However, the Department of Earth Sciences requires a TOEFL score of 100 to ensure that the successful applicant can be a Teaching Assistant. A score of 85 is required on the MELAB, 7.0 on the IELTS (with at least 6.5 in each component), and 76 (with at least 22 in each component and 32 in the writing component) on the COPE. The proficiency requirement should be met at the time you submit your application.

You are not required to complete an English-language facility test if you are a Canadian citizen who studied at a Canadian university where the language of instruction is French.

If you are an international applicant whose primary language is not English, you may not be required to complete an English-language facility test if you have completed a program of study at a university where the language of instruction and examination has been in English. Please consult the Administrator, Graduate/Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Earth Sciences to determine if the test will be necessary. An official statement from your institution may be required, confirming the use of English as the language of instruction and examination.