Master of Science (MSc)

Meet Elise Harrington, MSc candidate in Geology

“The Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration at Western is a world-renowned interdisciplinary research group, and provides one of the best graduate programs in planetary science in Canada.”

Supervisor: Catherine Neish

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
The Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration strongly encourages and promotes professional development outside of research. I have had many opportunities to travel and attend conferences and workshops and this has greatly improved my professional network and strengthened my knowledge of space-science as a whole.

Where’s your favourite place on campus?
For work, I spend most of my time in my office because it has a nice window and is quiet. However, for study-breaks I really like to spend time outside, near Middlesex College or the art museum. Western has a gorgeous campus, especially in spring when all the flowers and cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Contact a faculty member you are interested in working with directly, and talk with them about a potential project that best fits your research interests.

Do you serve on any Department, Faculty, or University committees?
I am the Earth Science Representative on the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration Graduate Council. Since we are an interdisciplinary program, I serve as the liaison between the council and earth science students in the program.

What idea, suggestion, or comment would you like to share with the Western graduate community?
I find that it is beneficial to go out and explore London outside of your campus network. Find local clubs or groups in the city to grow extracurricular hobbies and external friend-groups.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Amy Wickham (
Academic Program Coordinator

Department of Earth Sciences

Western University
Biological & Geological Sciences Building Rm 1026
London, Ontario N6A 5B7

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 84523
f. 519-661-3198

The primary function of our M.Sc. program is to prepare young scientists for independent research, through the formulation of a research problem, the collection of data, development of analytical methods, review of literature, to writing of the final thesis. This process is the principal means by which our students learn the process of research. Learning through independent investigation is supplemented by instruction in a variety of graduate courses that may include formal lectures and laboratories, and various projects, research papers and seminars.

Program Length

  • 6 Terms (2 years)

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants (domestic and international) are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships:

Admission Requirements

  • Four-year degree in science, engineering, math, computer science, geography, or a related discipline from an accredited university.
  • Achieved at least a 70% average over the last two years of the Bachelor's degree. An average of 78% over the last two years of the Bachelor's degree is necessary to be eligible to receive departmental funding.

Note: Equivalent or professional qualifications may be considered based on the standards of the discipline or profession.

Additional Requirements

  • Scans of transcripts from all post-secondary study completed.
  • A CV or resume.
  • Statement of Intent for graduate study.
  • Contact information for three referees, who will be asked to complete confidential letters of reference online.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

We can offer a waiver of the English proficiency test when the applicant has completed at least one year of study at an accredited university where English is the medium of instruction. Waivers are not guaranteed and are judged on a case-by-case basis.

Application Deadline

Domestic and International Applicants:

  • Deadline is January 24 for the May 1 or September 1 start date.

Students can be accepted who apply after the January 24 deadline in exceptional circumstances. Please visit the department website for more information.

Acceptance notifications are processed on a rolling basis throughout the year beginning in March.

Fields of Research

  • Earth and Planetary Systems
  • Earth Evolution: Surface, Life and Climate
  • Resource Geoscience
  • Tectonic Processes and Crustal Dynamics