October 16 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 26  

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Menu Option #1 Graduate Studies

What: Masters and PhD programs in areas of study ranging from anthropology to zoology.

Who should go: Masters and PhD programs are intensely specified, meaning you need to know exactly what you want to focus on in your particular area of study. This means knowing you want to study English is not enough; you need to know if you want to specialize in renaissance literature or medieval.

Graduate programs offer the opportunity to do individual research and/or a teaching assistantship, allowing some hands-on experience outside of discussions and essay writing.

What you need to do: Each area of study has their own respective application requirements, but it's a safe bet you'll need an honours degree in the area of study you've selected. Next, you need at least two (sometimes more) copies of official transcripts from every post-secondary institution you've attended throughout your education, along with whatever fees the institution you're applying to requires.

Where you can go: It depends on your program of study. Western alone offers 58 options for a Master's degree. Your best bet is to decide what you want to study and where you want to live and then investigate whether the two are compatible.

Cost of applying: Each separate school you apply to will have its own application fee. The cost of applying to Western's English graduate program, for instance, is $75.

Out of province information: Applying to an out-of-province school is a fairly pricey option, as you must take into account the invariably higher cost of living and studying away from home. Studying in another province also means you're ineligible for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. However, there are many other options for financial assistance.

Scholarship info: There is a significant number of scholarships available for people pursuing a Masters degree or a PhD at a Canadian post-secondary institution. Two major ones are the OGS and the Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Application forms for the OGS are available at Western's graduate studies office, Rm. 180 in University College. In order to apply for the OGS (worth $5,000 per school term), you must have at least an A- average (80 per cent and up) in your last two years of university, two letters of recommendation from professors who are familiar with your work and a list of your academic accomplishments. However, if you want a piece of the OGS pie, you'd better act fast, because the deadline is this coming Mon., Oct. 20.

The CGS is a new competitive scholarship recently announced by the government, worth $17,500 for one year for Master's students and $35,000 per year for three years for PhD candidates. Fourth-year students should apply through their home department at Western and applications should include transcripts and letters of reference, along with a two-page proposal on what you plan to study within your specific graduate program. The deadline for the CGS is Nov. 1, 2003.

Deadlines: Deadlines differ by school and program, but you can bet on an early winter deadline of January or February. This year's application deadline for many graduate programs at Western is Feb. 1, 2004.

-Maggie Wrobel





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