How to Apply to the PhD in Library & Information Science Program

Academic qualifications and selection procedures

PhD Applicants with an MLIS degree
  • Four-year Honors undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • ALA-accredited Master in Library and Information Science degree
  • Minimum 78% average for the last degree
PhD Applicants without an MLIS degree
  • Four-year Honors undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • Master's degree in another field
  • Minimum 78% average for the last degree

How to apply

General Application Information

Applications for the next intake open on October 1st. Deadline to apply is January 15th.

No application will be considered until it is complete. The responsibility rests with the applicant to ensure that all required supplementary documents are uploaded to the online application before it is submitted.

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, and who have not completed a four year university degree in Canada, the US, or the UK, 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. If several years have passed since the applicant last attended university, professional references can be substituted for academic ones. Within 24 hours of the time that the applicant enters the referee information into the application, each referee will receive a request via e-mail 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 $150.00

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:
  1. A 600-800 word Statement of Academic Intent: Describe your academic interests to date and the research or research creation path you hope to follow in the Library and Information Science PhD. Be as specific as you can comfortably be in outlining your proposed research topic or question, methodology, and contribution to knowledge. A strong statement generally provides clear evidence why graduate study in Library and Information Science at Western is well suited to your research background and scholarly interests, and it shows that you have reviewed the profiles of the relevant supervisory faculty and indicated which you think could serve as supervisors.

  2. A 600-800-word personal statement that introduces you to us by 1) describing your background (eg., academic interests, prior study, work, volunteer, or life experience) that is relevant to the program, 2) discussing how you hope the program will contribute to your post-graduation goals, and 3) addressing how you see yourself contributing to the diversity and inclusivity of the Faculty. If you don’t feel that your grades reflect your capabilities, this is a place to explain why not.

  3. A sample of your writing, which could be a published article or paper, a report, a major essay, a chapter in a master's thesis, or some other substantive evidence of writing ability. Applicants who have completed research (published or unpublished) are encouraged to submit scholarly writing. Research proposals prepared as part of course work or for another degree are also appropriate
  4. A CV detailing your education and professional experience

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

Note: The Graduate Record Examination is no longer an admission requirement for the doctoral program. The Faculty reserves the right to request that an applicant undertake the GRE under certain circumstances.

As part of the process of consideration of applicants, an interview (either in person or by telephone) may be required if the Doctoral Admissions Committee considers it necessary to explore or clarify various aspects of the applicant's submission.

Questions About Applications or Admissions

Questions regarding the application procedure should be directed to:

Shelley Long
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
FIMS & Nursing Building, Room 2020
Western University
London, Ontario
Phone: (519) 661-4017