How to Apply to the PhD in Media Studies Program

Academic qualifications and selection procedures

Applicants must hold at least a master's degree in Media Studies, Communication or a related field appropriate to the interdisciplinary strength of the program. A minimum 78% overall average in the last degree is required.

As part of the admissions process, an interview may be held, either in-person or via teleconference, if the admissions committee desires further information about a particular applicant.

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 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 three 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.  Once the information has been entered into the application, each referee will receive a request via e-mail within 24 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 $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 Media Studies 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 Media Studies 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 (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

  4. An indication of the area of specialization (Media Cultures, Media Industries or Media Technologies) in which you are interested, and the names of up to 3 faculty members in the area with whom you may wish to work

  5. A CV detailing your education and professional experience

  6. 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.

  7. 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
FIMS & Nursing Building, Room 2020
Western University
London, Ontario
Phone: (519) 661-4017