Master of Science (MSc)

Meet Alvin Bodi Zhao, MSc candidate in Geophysics

“The Western graduate community has provided me with an amazing opportunity to pursue my dreams in geoscience.”

Supervisor: Robert Shcherbakov

Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
I choose Western because of the strong geophysics program and the excellent supervisor who shares the same research interests as me.

Where is “home” for you?
I was born and grew up in Cangzhou, China and moved to Toronto eight years ago. I consider both Cangzhou and Toronto my home.

Have you worked as a TA or RA?
I have worked as both a TA and RA. Both being a TA and RA has helped me enhance my knowledge in geophysics and has helped me dig deeper in my field.

Where’s your favourite place on campus?
My lab in Biological and Geological building. It is a private, quiet and comfortable space.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Think about what you really want to study in your thesis and find the supervisor who fits your interest.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Jason Cambria (
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 project-based MSc program is designed to meet the growing demand in industry for highly-trained applied geologists. Project-based Master's students are an important component of Resource Geoscience Western, an endeavour that we are pursuing in collaboration with Industry Partners and which places us at the forefront of Earth Sciences in Canada across a broad range of applied Earth Science disciplines.

The thesis-based MSc program is designed 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

  • 3 Terms (Project-based)
  • 6 Terms (Thesis-based)

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Project-based or thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):

Admission Requirements

  • Four-year degree in science, engineering, math, computer science, geography, or a related discipline from an accredited university.
  • For course-based degree: achieved at least a 75% average over the last two years of the Bachelor's degree.
  • For thesis-based degree: 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 a September 1 start date. Please note that students who apply to the thesis-based MSc can also start on May 1. We do not offer January or May admission for the one-year, course-based MSc.

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