Admission Requirements

The academic unit in which the applicant intends to pursue graduate study must approve the applicant's proposed program and recommend admission to the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Note: Official admission to any program of graduate studies is in the form of an Offer of Admission from the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, or in the case of seminary students, from the dean of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. Entry into the programs, faculties and schools of the university is competitive. Possession of the minimum requirements for entry does not guarantee admission.

Doctoral Student

For admission to the PhD program in social work, applicants must hold a Master of Social Work degree from a recognized university, with at least an A- average in the master's program. Applicants with other graduate degrees and strong social service experience may be considered under exceptional circumstances.

For admission to a PhD program in the faculties of Arts and Science, applicants must normally hold a master's degree from a recognized university with at least an A- standing in all graduate work.

For admission to the PhD program in management, applicants must normally hold a master's degree (or equivalent) in business or a related field with a minimum B+ average. All applicants must submit scores obtained on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). GMAT test scores of at least 85 percentile are standard. Where appropriate, corresponding Graduate Records Examinations (GRE) scores will be accepted.

For admission to the DMin program, applicants must hold the MDiv degree or the equivalent of such a degree, acceptable as a qualifying graduate degree for a post-degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy of the AAMFT, with at least an average of B+. Further admission requirements include adequate ministry experience (normally three years), completion of basic training in Pastoral Counselling Education (PCE) or equivalent level of clinical training, and a research course in marriage and family therapy and pastoral counselling.

Transfer to Doctoral Program

The transfer option is for exceptional students who, through at least two terms of registration in a master's degree program at Laurier, have demonstrated superior academic credentials and outstanding research promise.

A recommendation for direct transfer must be initiated by the graduate co-ordinator or department chair of the student's academic unit, and must be accompanied by a letter of support from the proposed doctoral advisor. The Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is responsible for approving such a recommendation. Four basic criteria must be met before consideration for such a transfer will be given. The student must:

  • be currently enrolled in a master's program at Laurier;
  • have completed a minimum of 2 terms and a maximum of 3 terms of the master's program, and must normally have completed the program's required coursework;
  • demonstrate the ability for advanced independent research (e.g., an approved thesis proposal, a research outline, publications);
  • be in good standing in the master's program (minimum GPA of 10.5 on all master's coursework completed).

Note: When PhD program applicants are admitted by transfer from the master's program, all PhD degree requirements apply. Applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis. The proposed research interest of the applicant must complement the supervisor's current, active research program.

Students who are permitted to transfer to a doctoral program from an incomplete master's program who subsequently do not complete the requirements for the doctoral degree may be permitted to graduate with a master's degree, if all the requirements for the master's degree are met. A student who obtains the master's degree through this route may not subsequently reregister in the same PhD program.

Students who are permitted to transfer from a master's to a doctoral program without completing the requirements of the master's degree must spend a minimum of nine terms in residence, of which at least six must be at the doctoral level.

Master's Student

An applicant who has graduated with a minimum of second-class honours or B standing in the fourth year of an honours program or equivalent at an approved university, and who is accepted as a candidate by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, may enrol as a graduate student in a master's program. A student who does not meet these requirements may apply for admission as a qualifying student.

An applicant who has completed the qualifying year with a minimum of a B standing may apply for admission to the master's program.

Special or additional admission requirements for a specific program, where applicable, are indicated in the sections of the calendar which describe particular programs.

Probationary Student

A student who does not meet fully all of the admission requirements, but who does not need to complete as many requirements as a qualifying student, may be admitted as a probationary student. If more than two terms following admission will be required to remove the probationary status, the student must be admitted as a qualifying student. A student who is admitted as a probationary student must either complete some missing requirement(s) while registered, or attain a predetermined level of performance in a course or in course work during the first or second term in a graduate program.

A probationary student must be formally reviewed by the department, school or faculty and a recommendation to either remove the probationary status, or to withdraw from the program, must be forwarded to the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies within two terms of the first registration in the program.

Qualifying Student

In order to be admitted to the master's program, a student must meet the general admission requirements as outlined above. An honours graduate with fewer courses in the selected area of graduate study than are required for admission, or a general (three-year) degree graduate, may be admitted as a qualifying student. The same conditions apply to honours graduates who do not have the number of undergraduate courses in their selected area of graduate study required for admission to a master's program.

Applicants who have graduated with a minimum of B or equivalent standing in the final year of a general program at an approved university and who show special competence in the area in which they propose to pursue graduate studies and who are accepted as candidates by the Graduate Faculty, may enrol as qualifying students. Only under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies may graduate courses be included in the qualifying year.

General Graduate Students

General graduate students are students possessing an honours bachelor's degree or equivalent who are taking one or more graduate courses for credit but are not proceeding to a degree or a diploma at Laurier. Such students are admitted at the discretion of the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in consultation with the graduate co-ordinator.* Courses taken by general graduate students are not normally intended to be used for credit toward a degree in a graduate program at Laurier.

In special circumstances, the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, upon the recommendation of a graduate co-ordinator, may approve such courses for degree credit to a maximum of up to one half of the required course work for a specific program. In order to obtain credit for courses completed as general graduate students, students must have been recommended for admission to the program and have requested at the time of application that they receive degree credit for specific courses.

*In the case of the seminary programs, the Seminary Admission Committee would make this decision.