New Students' FAQs
Welcome to your graduate program!
You will hear from us, around mid-summer, to confirm your Teaching or Graduate Research Assistant assignment.
__dates are subject to change and any changes will be communicated by email__
TA Training Program (TATP) sessions begin in June (see TA Training, below, for more information)
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.
September 6 - Orientation (Part 1) - Attendance is required. For PhD students, this will begin at 10am and end at about 12noon. For MA students, this will begin at 11am and end at about 1pm. Students should come to this session prepared to make their course selections for the fall term. Sessions will be held in room 5220 Social Science Centre. Click here for campus and building maps. Light refreshments will be provided.
Wednesday, September 5 - Graduate Student Conference on Teaching (TA Day) (9am-4pm) – This a condensed version of the TATP (see below for more information)
September TBA - School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' Graduate Student Orientation (9am-1pm) - Attendance is optional. Click here for a schedule of events and to register.
Monday, September 9 - Classes begin - All classes will be on the fifth floor of the Social Science Centre. Click here for the schedule.
Friday, September 13 - Orientation (Part 2) - Attendance is required (1-3pm in room 5220 Social Science Centre).
Friday, September 13 - Welcome New Students! - Following Orientation, there will be an informal get-together to welcome you to the program! This event provides an opportunity for you to mingle with faculty members, continuing students, and staff from our department. 3pm in room 3036 Social Science Centre.
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).
How do I ensure that the conditions on my offer of admission are met? Please see details in the New Student Information April 2019 in the left sidebar.
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?
check for updated schedules on the Registrar's web site
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 research assistantship funding is paid monthly, by direct deposit, on the second last banking day of the month. Your first TA or GRA pay will be deposited in your bank account on September 27, 2019. You will be hearing from us again (about mid-summer) to confirm your Teaching Assistant or Graduate Research 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 - student.uwo.ca - 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 mid-summer.
TA Training. The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers 2 1/2 day Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP) sessions during June, August, and September. 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. The value of a full Teaching Assistantship in 2018-19 is approximately $12,699 (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.