Financial Matters

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Preparing for the Job Search and Finding Employment

Internal Funding 

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA)

Employment of registered graduate students as Graduate Teaching Assistants is governed by the provisions of the Collective Agreement between the University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Through periodic negotiations with the University, the Graduate Teaching Assistants' (GTA) Union established the Collective Agreement which defines GTA working conditions, compensation, and benefits. Click here to view the Collective Agreement and the GTA Handbook on the Union's web site. Teaching Assistants are paid monthly, by direct deposit, on the second last banking day of the month. Click here to Sign In on the Human Resources' web site to view your pay information, update your banking information, or update your mailing address.


Graduate Fellowships and Sessional Teaching

Other funding may take the form of a Graduate Fellowship funded by research grants held by faculty members or a Department Sessional Teaching position, which can provide valuable experience for individuals interested in pursuing academic careers. Normally, students will not be permitted to teach a course before writing their comprehensives. 

Western Graduate Research Scholarship

Western Graduate Research Scholarship funding will be applied directly to your tuition. The balance, where applicable, will be paid by direct deposit in the first month of each term (September, January, May).

Continued Funding

Eligible MA students in our department receive funding for a maximum of three terms (one year) in the research paper stream or for a maximum of six terms (two years) in the thesis stream; eligible PhD students for a maximum of twelve terms (four years).

To be eligible for continued funding from the above sources, students must maintain a 78% or above average in all graduate (and/or make-up undergraduate) courses taken.

For MA students, a departmental eligibility requirement is that students complete six courses by the end of their first two terms in the program (i.e., maintain a full course load). 

For PhD students, it is normally expected that students will complete six courses by the end of their first two terms of the program. Students may work out alternative arrangements for scheduling their course requirements. If such an alternative involves taking fewer than six courses by the end of the first two terms in the program, the full schedule of courses and their timing must be approved in advance by the graduate chair. PhD students are also expected to make regular progress in the completion of coursework and the Comprehensive Examinations in order to maintain eligibility for continued funding.

External Scholarships

Some internal and external funding sources carry restrictions concerning the maximum that can be obtained from other sources of funding. The program must abide by the terms and conditions of external scholarships as well as program and faculty policies regarding allowable funding to external scholarship holders. External award recipients should consult the graduate program assistant for details regarding their personal funding package. Our External Scholarships web site provides information regarding application deadlines and eligibility.

Employment FAQs

How/when will I receive my pay?

Those who are paid monthly (GTAs, GSAs, GFs, OGS and SSHRC recipients) receive their pay, by direct deposit, on the second last banking day of the month. If you have any questions concerning these monthly payments, contact the graduate program assistant (room 5312 SSC).

Those paid by the hour must submit the number of hours worked to the Administrative Officer. 

Direct Deposit Account Information

To enter or change your direct deposit account information, go to the Human Resources web site. You will need your employee user ID and password.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

All employees must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Rather than delaying a person's pay, the University has adopted a procedure that will enable payments to be made to non-Canadians for up to the first 12 weeks of employment, during which time a SIN application should have been processed by Service Canada .  

Income Tax Receipts

Your scholarship receipt (T4A) will be sent to your address in the Student Center; your income receipt (T4) will be sent to your address on the Human Resources' system; your tuition receipt (T2202A) will be available through the online Student Center -

Summer Employment

A limited number of Graduate Fellowships may be available in conjunction with funded research by departmental faculty. These arrangements are often summer projects and are made on mutually acceptable terms between the faculty member and the student.

Both the Federal and Ontario governments often have summer employment programs. These generally have February or March application deadlines. Directors in the Federal government (especially in demography) often call to ask about our students who have applied so they can try to pull their files out of this system. Those who are interested in being considered need to ensure that they apply in time and that they indicate an interest to work in Ottawa (for Federal positions). These applications are available in the Career Centre at Western.

Travel Reimbursement

The program administers a small amount of travel funds for Sociology graduate students presenting papers at professional conferences.  The number of awards is determined by our graduate travel budget each year and the awards are approved on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, students are encouraged to submit requests as early as possible (at the planning stage of the trip) by submitting a travel reimbursement request form to the graduate program assistant.  

The Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) offers travel bursaries each term. Applications are reviewed by a SOGS panel at the end of each term to determine recipients. Application forms are available from the SOGS Office in room 260 UCC or on the SOGS Travel Subsidy link.