Frequently Asked Questions

When can I expect to hear back about my application to the graduate program?

  • The first offers of admission are sent out in late February, and all offers will be sent by the end of May. If your application was not successful you will receive notification by the end of May.

Can I enroll in the MA program on a part-time basis?

  • The American Studies MA program is only offered on a full-time basis, with September admission only.

When do I need to arrive at Western for the fall term?

  • Students should plan to arrive before the start of term. There is an Orientation for new MA students just before the first day of class (details will be in your June welcome letter). Classes usually begin the first Thursday after the Labour Day holiday in early September. International students may arrive up to 2 weeks into the new term. Upon their arrival at Western, international students must present their international study permit to the main office of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SSB 4180).

Do all graduate students receive funding?

  • All students admitted to the American Studies MA program receive a funding package which will be outlined in their offer of admission letter.

When will I receive my funding?

  • Most of the funding will be in the form of either a Teaching Assistantship (TA), or a Research Assistantship (RA). TA and RA positions are paid monthly, by direct deposit (account should be set up through My Human Resources), on the second last banking day of the month.The remainder of your funding will be in the form of a Western Graduate Research Scholarship (WGRS). Scholarship funding will be applied directly to your tuition each term.

What is the cost of tuition each term and how do I pay?

  • Tuition bills are available online only. Students are able to view their account via the Student Center by selecting Campus Finances and Account Inquiry. Here, students are able to view any "pending financial aid" and will subtract this from the owing balance. Tuition may be paid via web banking, or by sending or presenting a cheque/money order to the Registrar's Office (Western Student Services Building, Room 1120), or by debit card in the Registrar's Office. Please note: Graduate students pay tuition for all three terms of the MA program. Please refer to the Office of the Registrar website for tuition fees and pay schedule.

When will the course offerings be available?

  • Course offerings for the coming year are usually posted on departmental websites by the end of June. 

How and when do I register for my courses?

  • The Graduate Assistant will contact you in July or August to submit your preliminary course selections, and these will be confirmed during your meeting with the Program Director(s) in late August or early September. The Grad Assistant will register you into all of your courses each term. A schedule of your courses and TA assignment (where applicable) will be provided to you. You must finalize your fall term course selections before the third week of September.

When do I contact or choose an MRP Supervisor?

  • Students should contact the appropriate faculty member early in the first term of study, and a supervisor should be in place no later than October 31. Students are welcome to contact our faculty affiliates by email during the application process or prior to the start of term about the possiblity of supervising their MRP. A list of all American Studies faculty affiliates, their research areas, and contact information can be found on the Faculty Listing page of our website. If you need assistance choosing an appropriate supervisor, please contact the Graduate Assistant or Program Director(s) early in the first term for guidance.

When will I receive my GTA/GRA assignment?

  • Once you have made your initial course selections, the Graduate Chair will make a preliminary GTA/GRA appointment based on the needs of the department, your class schedule, and academic background in late August/early September. The details of your appointment will be available at Orientation.

Additional information for GTA's

  • Most GTAs assist with the instruction of undergraduate courses across campus. Graduate Teaching Assistants must attend lectures in the course, lead tutorial sections in the discussion of lectures and required reading, mark essays and tests, and participate in marking the final examination. TAs are expected to hold office hours each week. Each tutorial section meets for one class hour (50 minutes) a week. TAs also are required to distribute undergraduate teaching evaluations, proctor final examinations, and assume other occasional minor duties. The GTA is held in the Fall and Winter Terms (September-April). Normally it involves responsibility for one or two tutorial sections of an introductory undergraduate survey course. Under the Collective Agreement (Article 15, Hours of Work), a full Graduate Teaching Assistantship is a position that requires an average of ten (10) working hours per week, normally over two Academic Terms.