Admission and program requirements

Admission

Admission to Master's Programs

Admission requires a Bachelor's degree. The minimum GPA required for entry is 6.5 (B+ to A-) in the last two years of undergraduate study. In practice a higher GPA may be required to ensure entry. Some exceptions may be made, in extenuating circumstances, such as with mature applicants who have achieved significant work experience who have shown evidence of ability to complete major projects in a competent and timely manner, and who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities expected of highly accomplished undergraduate students.

Initial inquires should be made to individual faculty or the Graduate Adviser, School of Environmental Studies. Applications are made directly to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Applicants whose native language is not English must write the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and submit the scores to the Graduate Admissions and Records Office together with their application forms. Even with passing TOEFL scores, students may be required to take English language courses as well as their other course work.

There are no pre-requisites required other than a Bachelors degree with a GPA of 6.5 (B+ / A-) or greater over the second half of courses. We do not require a GRE however, in addition to the materials required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (official transcripts etc.), applicants to the School of Environmental Studies must also include in their application package:

  • statement of research interest (1-2 pages; identifying the faculty member(s) you wish to work with)
  • brief essay highlighting your past accomplishments, evidence of creativity and research potential (1-2 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae / resume

Please consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies for more information regarding admissions requirements.

Admission to PhD Program

Admission requires a master’s degree, preferably in an area of study related to your proposed graduate program, with a minimum overall average of A-, 7.0 on the University of Victoria 9-point scale. In practice a higher GPA may be required for admission.

All applications will be reviewed by the School’s Graduate Program Committee and students will only be accepted into the program if there is at least one faculty member able, interested, and available to supervise the proposed topic of research.

Application deadline

The graduate program admission deadline is January 15th for admission in September of the same calendar year for all applicants.

Program requirements

The MA and MSc degree programs are similar in overall program requirements but will vary in the type of elective courses and thesis research.

The graduate program is primarily research based and the final outcome of the program is the presentation and defense of a thesis. All students are required to attend a 3-day field camp at the beginning of their program (late August-early September) as part of ES 500. An additional course fee will be charged for the field camp.

There is no formal residency requirement. However, in practice all students should be in residence in their first term of study, and residency during the first year is encouraged.

Courses

ES 500 Perspectives on Environmental Theories, Methods and Skills I
ES 501 Perspectives on Environmental Theories, Methods and Skills II
ES 503 MA/MSc Research Colloquim
ES 570 Field Study
ES 580 Seminar in Political Ecology
ES 581 Seminar in Ethnoecology
ES 582 Seminar in Ecological Restoration
ES 590 Directed Studies
ES 593 Thesis Proposal Preparation
ES 599 MA, MSc Thesis
ES 600 Advanced Perspectives on Environmental Theories, Methods and Skills I
ES 601 Advanced Perspectives on Environmental Theories, Methods and Skills II
ES 603 PhD Research Colloquium
ES 670 Field Study
ES 680 Seminar in Political Ecology
ES 681 Seminar in Ethnoecology
ES 682 Seminar in Ecological Restoration
ES 690 Directed Studies
ES 693 PhD Candidacy Examination
ES 699 PhD Dissertation

Course requirements

A MA/MSc student must successfully complete 18 units of course study. Of this 7.5 units are taken as course work and 7.5 units are taken as thesis.

Core Courses (required):

  • ES 500 (1.5) Perspectives on Environmental Theories, Methods and Skills I
  • ES 501 (1.5) Perspectives on Environmental Theories, Methods and Skills II
  • ES 503 (3.0) MA/MSc Research Colloquim
  • ES 593 (1.5) Thesis Proposal Preparation

And at least 3.0 elective units to be taken from within, or outside, the School with the permission of the student's supervisor. Up to 1.5 units may be taken at the 400 level. A student's advisory committee may stipulate additional courses to be taken.

Core and elective courses contribute 10.5 units toward the 18-unit minimum degree requirement.


The PhD degree program is primarily research based and the final outcome of the program is the presentation and defense of a dissertation.

All students are required to attend a 3-day field camp at the beginning of their program (early September) as part of ES 600.

Core courses (required):

  • ES 600 (1.5) Perspectives on Environmental Theories, Methods and Skills I
  • ES 601 (1.5) Persepctives on Environmental Theories, Methods and Skills II
  • ES 603 (3.0) PhD Research colloquium
  • ES 693 (3.0) Candidacy Examination

Elective courses may be taken at the discretion of the student and committee.

Core courses contribute 9.0 units toward the 30 unit minimum degree requirement.

Thesis

The thesis proposal and thesis are prepared under the direction of the supervisory committee. The committee normally consists of 3 members: a supervisor and 2 committee members (one of the committee members may be outside the School but all three must be members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies).

Adjunct faculty members are eligible to serve on supervisory committees. It is also possible to have outside members from other institutions, government etc, with the approval of the supervisor and Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The thesis carries 7.5 units of credit.

Oral examination

Once the thesis is judged ready to defend by the supervisory committee, then an application is made for an oral defense. There are deadlines set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the timing of this defense.

The supervisor will recommend an appropriate external examiner. This member of the examining committee comes from another department or institution, normally has no input in the creation of the thesis, and is an arms-length knowledgeable member. A neutral faculty member from a separate department, appointed directly by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, chairs the oral examination.

PhD programs in the School of Environmental Studies

Our PhD program is research-based. A faculty member, along with an advisory committee, supervises all students. A typical PhD program takes 4-5 years to complete.

Entry into the program can be flexible; however, typically, students begin their program in September. Current tuition for domestic and foreign students is also provided on the Faculty of Graduate Studies home page.

INTD and SA are not usual programs in ES.  Specific details pertaining to Interdisciplinary and Special Arrangement PhD programs can be found by selecting these links.