Steps to Apply

So You're Thinking of Applying to Graduate School

Preparing your application to graduate studies at York University and/or other interested universities requires research and planning. Some students start preparing their plan for graduate studies as early as two years before they submit their application. Consider the following timelines to help guide you through a successful application process.

One Year Before
  • Master's Program: Hone your field of interest; if you are still in an undergraduate program, choose your required and elective courses carefully, keeping in mind the topic(s) you’d like to pursue during your graduate studies, and requirements for that program.
  • PhD Program: Attend conferences and events where you can network with students and faculty from the schools you are interested in attending.
  • All:
    • Find out what school(s) are the best fit for you based on programs, faculty members, and various personal factors. Attend Graduate Studies Information Fairs, such as Experience Grad York.
    • Visit and/or contact each school and connect with programs for more information.
    • Take note of requirements for each program.
    • Take any standardized test required for admission (GRE, GMAT, etc)
    • Continue to build strong relationships with both academic and professional contacts, keeping in mind that you will need to ask for letters of recommendation.
    • Research both Funding and Studying in Canada if you are an international student.
Six Months Before
  • Prepare your Statement of Interest. A guide to writing a great statement can be found on our YouTube Channel.
  • Update your Resume/CV.
  • If applicable, update your Portfolio.
  • If applicable, choose a Writing Sample.
  • Contact your potential referees to ask if they would be willing to provide you with a good reference. Ideally, send each referee an updated copy of your resume and transcript.
  • Begin to contact potential research supervisors, if applicable for your program. Note: each program should list on their website whether they require applicants to arrange a supervisor prior to applying, or if this process happens after an applicant is accepted to a program.
  • Begin applying for both Funding and Scholarship opportunities.
Four Weeks Before
  • Perfect your Statement of Interest.
  • Polish off your resume/CV, Portfolio, Writing Sample, or any other miscellaneous supporting documentation.
  • Confirm the letter of recommendation process with your referees.
  • Reach out to the school/programs with any last questions or concerns.
  • Gather transcripts from all universities that you have ever attended (excluding York – if you’ve attended York, we will source the transcript for you). We usually* accept unofficial copies of transcripts at the point of application; if you are accepted, an official copy of a transcript denoting degree conferral will be required.
  • Submit your application early or on time. Do not miss the deadline.

*The Office of Admissions reserves the right to ask for an official transcript at any point.

Ways to connect with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Program Supports

Have a program-related question?

Contact the graduate program assistant:

Have an admission related question? Contact the Graduate Admissions Team

By phone: 416-872-9675

By email:

Upcoming graduate webinars/in-person events for Future Students:

Mail Us

York University
Office of Admissions
Bennett Centre for Student Services
99 Ian Macdonald Blvd
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3