New Students' FAQs

Welcome to your graduate program!

Dear Fall 2023 Cohort, we are working hard on making your graduate program operations as smooth and as rewarding as possible! You will hear from us by the end of August about your Teaching or Graduate Student Assistant assignment and yoru annual fudnign breakdown.

Dates to keep in mind

__dates are subject to change and any changes will be communicated by email__

TA Training Program (TATP) for more information please go to Centre for Teaching and Learning

Early August - Zoom check-in with the graduate chair (invitation will be sent mid-July)

September 1 - The graduate term officially begins. International students should have a landing date of no later than September 1 to avoid complications with Western's Payroll Department.

Early September  - Orientation - various Zoom/in-person sessions will be held the first week of September and more information is to follow by email.

Monday, September 11 - Classes begin 

A graduate student proceeding to a degree must maintain continuous registration in each successive term (Fall/Winter/Summer) from initial registration until all requirements for the degree are completed. Exception: A leave of absence may be granted on medical or compassionate grounds. If a leave of absence is taken during a period when a student is eligible for funding, the period of funding eligibility is extended by the duration of the period of the leave.

How do I complete my offer of admission?  Western's School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' web site will prompt you through the steps required to activate your Western email account and access Western's online Student Center (where you will complete your offer of admission).

Information on Housing. Click here for on- and off-campus housing information. Note that on-campus housing is limited so we recommend applying as soon as you receive your offer of admission.

What is the cost of fees/tuition for each term?
Fee schedules by term are available on the Registrar's website. Fee schedules provide first and second installment due dates.

When and how will I receive my funding?  Your scholarship funding will appear in your Student Center account as 'pending financial aid' each term and will be applied to your tuition and fees before the payment due date each term (this serves as your 'first installment').  Fees not covered by scholarships must be paid by the 'second installment' deadline. If your scholarship is more than the amount of your tuition and fees, you will receive the balance, by direct deposit in your bank account, by about the middle of the first month of each term. Teaching or graduate student assistantship funding is paid monthly, by direct deposit, on the second last banking day of the month. Your first TA, GSA or GF pay will be deposited in your bank account on September 28, 2023. You will be hearing from us by the end of August to confirm your Teaching Assistant or Graduate Student Assistant assignment. 

In the event that you are awarded an External Scholarship (i.e., OGS, SSHRC) , please inform the Graduate Program Assistant. Recipients of External Scholarships will receive their payments in equal lump sums at the beginning of each term.  Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the Terms and Conditions of their award.

How many courses am I expected to take? Students normally take three courses in the Fall term and three courses in the Winter term, with the exception of MA students in the research paper (three-term) stream, who will take four courses (including the MA sociological research course) in the Winter term.
Click here for MA program details.
Click here for PhD program details.

How do I register for courses? Visit our Course Information website for course offerings, outlines, and start dates.  Online registration, through the Student Center - - is available about three weeks prior to the start of each term.

Teaching Assistant duties will be communicated to you in a letter from us in early September. 

TA Training. The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers 2 1/2 day Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP). This training is strongly recommended, especially for anyone who has not held a Teaching Assistantship in the past. For those not able to attend the TATP, a condensed one-day workshop (TA Day) is offered early in September. Visit each respective website for further information and to register.

The Teaching Assistantship is offered in the Fall and Winter Terms only. Teaching Assistants are paid in monthly installments, by direct deposit, on the second last banking day. Teaching Assistantship for 2022-23 is approximately $13,750 (including vacation pay). This corresponds to 280 hours of work (approximately 10 hours per week) commencing on September 1 of the academic year and terminating on April 30 of the academic year. The work assignment may on occasion exceed 10 hours in any one week. Duties are assigned by the Department Chair and may include: conducting one-hour tutorials; holding office hours; marking assignments, essays, and examinations; assisting with teaching aids (i.e., setting up of audio-visual equipment); assisting with preparation of exams; assisting with compilation and recording of grades; proctoring of examinations; conducting teaching evaluations. Under an agreement between the University and the Society of Graduate Students, MA students in the thesis stream are guaranteed continued TA funding (or equivalent funding) in the second year of their MA program, provided the 78% average is maintained and program requirements are met.

Health Insurance while attending Western. Students from outside Canada are required to join the University Health Insurance Plan. International students should make arrangements in their home country for health insurance coverage while travelling to Canada. Canadian students from outside Ontario covered by a provincial plan should contact their plan to advise them of enrolment at Western. Extended health insurance benefits are offered automatically for full-time graduate students through the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS), provided the student is covered by his/her provincial health plan or has an OHIP-equivalent plan (e.g., UHIP). The annual fee for the health plan is included in fall term fees. Students may opt out of this plan if they wish. The Graduate Teaching Assistants' Union also offers extended health coverage to graduate students employed as Graduate Teaching Assistants.

Additional notes for international students. To avoid complications with our Payroll department, your study permit must list a landing date of no later than September 1. It is advisable to arrive at least one week before classes begin. This will allow time to take care of administrative details and to settle in before classes start.

We encourage you to visit Western's International Student Centre web site.  Begin with their page Before You Arrive. They also provide an estimate of the cost of living in London.