1. Admission Requirements
    1. Admission is limited and at the discretion of the Program Coordinator and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR). General, as well as program-specific admission requirements (see individual graduate program descriptions), have been established as a guide to applicants. Possession of these minimum requirements does not establish the right of the applicant to be admitted or readmitted to the University. The University reserves the right to accept or reject any applicant. An acceptance is valid for the starting date and semester identified in the letter of acceptance. An acceptance may be deferred once, for up to one year, upon approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator.  An applicant who does not register for the specified initial semester, unless approved for deferral, must reapply for admission. Admission is not guaranteed.
    2. Once admitted to the University, the student agrees to abide by any and all rules and regulations affecting students officially passed and duly promulgated. The student agrees that failure to abide by such regulations and rules may result in expulsion from the University without refund of tuition or any other fees paid by the student to the University. 
    3. To be considered, an applicant shall hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.3 scale), over the last 60 credit hours or equivalent, from an institution recognized by the Senate and shall have a knowledge of the proposed field of specialization satisfactory to the graduate program concerned. Individual programs may have a higher requirement.
    4. Preference will be given to applicants who hold an honours degree. In addition, admission will be granted only to those students who show a high promise of success in post-graduate study as demonstrated by the results of appropriate tests and their records of previous academic accomplishment. See the regulations listed under each graduate program for specific additional minimum requirements for admission to that program.
    5. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting one of the following documents:
      1. An official transcript showing successful completion of a recognized degree from an accredited institution with a minimum of 3 years1 of full time instruction in English from an exempted country (listed below).
      2. An official transcript showing successful completion of a recognized graduate degree in English from an accredited institution from an exempted country (listed below).
      3. An official transcript showing successful completion of a recognized degree from an accredited institution, from a country not on the exemption list below, with a minimum of 3 years of full time instruction in which the language of instruction for the program is solely English.  In this case a certified letter, from the Registrar or equivalent university official, verifying English is the sole language of instruction for the program is also required.
      4. An official score report for one of the following English Language Proficiency Tests.  The minimum standards for admission to the University are listed below.  The following programs have requirements greater than those listed below (see the individual graduate program descriptions for details):  Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation, MBA, PhD Business Administration (Management), MA and PhD GDST, and PhD Applied Science.
        • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Note: 0958 is the appropriate TOEFL code for Saint Mary's University
          • minimum 550 on paper-based
          • minimum iBT 80, with no band below 20
        • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – minimum 6.5 with no individual score below 6.0
        • Cambridge B2 First, C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency - minimum 176 with no individual score below 169
        • CanTEST – minimum 4.5 with no individual score below 4.0
        • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) – minimum 60 with no individual band below 50
        • Pearson PTE score of 58

In exceptional circumstances, the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research reserves the right to request an official English Language Proficiency Test.

Official test score reports must be sent directly to the University by the testing agency.  Scores older than two years are not acceptable.  All scores must be from one exam date, not to be combined with other exam dates.

Please Note: University English Preparation courses from another institution are not acceptable proof of language ability and will not satisfy the University’s English language proficiency requirement for admission.

Exempted Countries/Regions Include: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, England, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Pacific Islands, American Samoa, Baker Island, Chatham Islands, Cook Islands, Line Islands, Marianas Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Solomon Islands, Panama Canal Zone, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Seychelles, Singapore, St. Helena, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Uganda, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Wales, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Students whose first language is not English should note Regulation 15.
Note: International students on visas, student authorization, student permits, or minister’s letter permits are advised that they are responsible for complying with the Immigration Laws of Canada. Students are responsible for keeping informed of revisions and addenda to these Laws.

  1. Procedure for Admission

    1. Application for admission shall be made online. Applicants shall arrange to have forwarded official transcripts of their entire post-secondary academic record and Recommendation Forms from at least three persons in a position to judge the applicant’s capacity for graduate study. Several programs require additional information. Details may be obtained by consulting the Faculty website at
    2. The submission date for online applications and forwarding of all supporting documents to the FGSR Office varies with program, but unless otherwise stated, is before February 1 of the academic year prior to the one for which admission is sought.  Submission of the application by the required date is particularly important if the applicant wishes to be considered for financial support.

      Applicants should read carefully the detailed description of the individual graduate programs within the Academic Calendar for any additional program-specific admission requirements.  
    3. Successful applicants will be notified by the Dean of the FGSR.
  2. Admission as a Visiting or Upgrading Student

    Students who are enrolled in a graduate degree program at another university, or who hold an undergraduate or graduate degree but are not currently enrolled in a graduate program, may be admitted to take courses within the FGSR as a Visiting or Upgrading student, respectively. Permission to take graduate courses as a Visiting or Upgrading student in the FGSR requires approval from the relevant Program Coordinator. Prospective students should apply on-line at the following link:

  3. Advanced Standing

    1. On the recommendation of the appropriate Program Coordinator and the Dean of the FGSR, a maximum of twenty percent (20%) of the credits required for a graduate degree in Astronomy (M.Sc.), Philosophy, Psychology, and Atlantic Canada Studies can be recognized for graduate courses previously completed at another recognized academic institution and not previously used in the fulfillment of the requirements for another degree. In the case of the MBA program, the maximum number of such advanced standing credits is thirty (30) credit hours; for the Ph.D. in Astronomy program, the maximum number is eighteen (18) credit hours; for the MA in History and the M.Sc. in Applied Science, the maximum number is six (6) credit hours; for the MA in Criminology and the MA in Theology and Religious Studies, the maximum number is three (3) credit hours;
    2. Advanced standing credit will not be awarded for less than a grade of B (or the equivalent).
    3. Credit will not automatically be recognized for university courses completed more than ten (10) years prior to the students’ return to University study. The Dean may request to have university courses reassessed for credit.  The Dean’s assessment of the number of credit hours that students must complete to satisfy their academic program is final.