Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Meet Ching-Pao Wang, PhD candidate in Geophysics

“I was an exchange student at Western University in 2006 and I really enjoyed the environment at Western and the city of London.”

Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
After my graduate program finished, I worked in the semiconductor industry for several years, but I still missed Western, so I applied for the PhD program in Geophysics.

Where is “home” for you?
I am originally from Taiwan, but my family lives in London right now. Where my family is, that is my home.

Describe your research.
My research attempts to figure out volatile elements in the deep earth by using high-pressure and high-temperature(HPHT) methods. Compared with the amounts in other planets, it is believed that most light volatile elements are stored in the earth’s interior. However, budget and storage reservoirs are still unclear. By using HPHT experiments with diamond anvil cell and laser heating systems, I can reach the pressure and temperature to lower mantle or outer core conditions to try and understand the geological cycles and reservoirs within the earth.

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
HPHT research is not only useful in geophysics, but also highly relative to other research fields, such as, physics, chemistry, material sciences. Through my grad program, I have many chances to collaborate with people in different research fields, which has allowed me to thrive and be successful.

Have you worked as a TA or RA?
Yes, I worked as a TA and RA. As an international student, TA experiences are useful in order to learn how to communicate with students from different countries and how to present in Canadian classes. RA experiences provide many opportunities to work with people in different fields.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Amy Wickham (

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 objective of the Ph.D. program is to provide the supervision, intellectual environment and resources to permit an aspiring scientist to develop and complete a thesis, involving a significant contribution to knowledge, on a specific project in Geophysics, or in a collaborative project involving one or more related disciplines. The scope of these research projects represents an enormous range of interests, from purely 'academic' to strongly 'applied' industrial and environmental topics.

The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will help you become a career-ready graduate with the skills necessary to excel in your studies and achieve your future goals. By participating in the program, you will assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth, choose what skills you want to enhance during your time at Western, and learn how to articulate the skills you gained in your degree to optimize your future career opportunities. To learn more, visit

Program Length

  • 12 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Thesis-based

Funding Information

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

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee schedules (per term) are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website at

Graduate Student Affordability Calculator

Use this helpful tool to estimate how much money you will need to pay for your tuition, fees, housing, food, and other necessities for a 12-month (three term) academic year.

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree or equivalent from a university, college or institute, and provide evidence of research potential.
  • Achieved at least a 70% average in the Master's degree. An average of 78% in the Master's degree is necessary to be eligible to receive departmental funding.

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