How to Apply to the PhD in Health Information Science Program

Academic qualifications and selection procedures

Applicants must hold at least a master’s degree from a program in Health Information Science, Health Sciences, Information Science, Communications, Media Studies, Health Psychology, Sociology, Computer Science or a related field appropriate to the interdisciplinary nature of the HIS program. A minimum 78% overall average is normally required in the last degree.

As part of the application process, applicants must prepare a two-page Statement of Research Interests, including their relevant professional/academic background.  They should review the list of core and affiliated HIS Faculty to determine potential supervisors, and indicate, in their statement, which faculty members could serve as supervisors; ideally after a discussion with these faculty members and/or the HIS Program Coordinator. If the admissions committee or the potential supervisor(s) desire further information about a particular applicant, an interview may be requested, to be held either in person or via tele- or video-conference.

How to apply

General Application Information

Applications for the next intake open on October 1st. Deadline to apply is February 1st.

No application will be considered until it is complete. The responsibility rests with the applicant to ensure that all documents (i.e., transcripts, letters of reference, test results) are received by the application deadline.

The online application should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the application deadline to allow for the electronic collection of letters of recommendation.

Only a very small number of spaces will be available for highly competitive international applicants to FIMS thesis programs. Please consider this before completing your application and paying your fee.

Completed applications will be evaluated by the program, which makes the admission decision. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies sends out offers of admission.

Admission is competitive and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

English Proficiency

Students born outside Canada whose first language is not English must provide proof of achieving a score of at least 107 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 8.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), taken within the last 2 years.

Information to Include in Online Application

The applicant will provide Western with the following information as part of the online application:
  • Name and personal information
  • Contact information
  • Academic background

  • Transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended
    • Past or current students of Western University are required to upload an electronic copy of their academic record to the online application. An unofficial academic record, available from your Western Student Center, can be used.
    • If you have attended or are currently enrolled at any university or college other than Western, you MUST upload and attach an electronic copy or scanned PDF copy of your transcripts from each institution attended to the online application. Applicants who are offered a space in the program will be required to provide one official* copy of their transcript to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prior to the start of the program.
Applicants who are unable to attach an electronic, or scanned copy of their transcripts to the application must forward one official hard copy* of their transcript by mail to:

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
International and Graduate Affairs Building, Room 1N07
Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7

* Western considers a transcript official only if it is received in a university envelope that is sealed and signed on the flap by the official person in the office issuing the transcript. If the transcript and degree certificate are not in English, a certified translation must also be included. (Non-English transcripts from institutions within Canada do not require a translation.)

  • Proficiency in English Scores (if applicable). Applicant must have testing service send score electronically to Western. Proof of proficiency in English is required from applicants whose first language is not English, and who have not completed a four year university degree in Canada, the US, or the UK.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum score required: 107 Internet-based. Western's TOEFL ID is 0984
    • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). Minimum score required: 8

  • Referee Information
    Applicants are required to enter the names and contact information (including e-mail address) of two academic referees (academic referees are people who have taught the applicant in a university degree credit course) into the online application. Once the application is submitted, each referee will receive a request via e-mail within 24 - 48 hours to complete an electronic recommendation form on the applicant’s behalf. A link to the form will be included in the e-mail. The applicant will receive an e-mail when Western receives the referee's letter of recommendation.

  • Non-refundable application fee of CAD $100.00

Supplementary Documents to include with Application

The following supplementary documents are to be uploaded and attached to the online application in MS Word or PDF format:
  • A two-page statement (600-800 words) of your academic background and research interests. Applicants should review the list of core and affiliated HIS faculty to determine potential supervisors, and indicate, in their statement, which faculty members could serve as supervisors, and who they have spoken with
  • A sample (no more than 20 pages) of your published or unpublished writing, which could be a presented paper, a report, a major essay, a chapter in a master's thesis, or some other substantive evidence of writing ability
  • A curriculum vitae of your education and experience
  • For permanent residents of Canada only, please include a photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card or a photocopy of your Record of Landing. If you are applying to be a permanent resident, but have not been granted landed-immigrant status, you must apply as an international applicant.
  • Proof of name change, if applicable (photocopy of change of name documentation, such as marriage certificate or other legal change of name and a photocopy of photo ID showing your current name)

Questions About Applications/Admissions

Questions regarding the application procedure should be directed to:

Shelley Long
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
Room 240, North Campus Building
Western University
London, Ontario
Phone: (519) 661-4017
slong@uwo.ca