Your Experience at Western

As one of Canada’s largest research-intensive universities, The University of Western Ontario boasts researchers, teachers and graduate students who are leaders in their fields and conduct innovative research in some of the world’s most exciting and emerging areas.

In choosing Western, you will join a community of scholars in an enriching and collaborative environment, forming intellectual partnerships that will last a lifetime. Some of Canada’s foremost scientists, entrepreneurs, CEOs, academics and public servants have studied at Western, and you too can become a member of our esteemed alumni, joining the ranks of more than 260,000 proud graduates.

  • The University of Western Ontario has produced the most recipients of Canada's coveted Top 40 Under 40 award than any other university.

  • There are more than 60 Canada Research Chairs and a Canada Excellence Research Chair among Western's faculty.

    • With research and teaching in a full complement of disciplines, the University has identified several signature areas for which it has developed an international reputation, including: Imaging, Neuroscience/Brain & Mind, Environmental Sustainability & Green Energy, Materials & Biomaterials, and Wind Engineering & Natural Disaster Mitigation. The concentration of excellence in these fields stands to train the next generation of leaders while addressing critical issues affecting populations around the world.
  • Western has more 3M Award winning faculty than any other Ontario university (second in Canada).

    • Our graduate students have the opportunity to learn from distinguished academics, business leaders and world-renowned experts in several fields. Western's academic leaders provide their students with endless opportunities for in-depth exploration and collaboration. Whether it be presenting your work at academic conferences, teaching your work to undergraduate students, or performing your work for an audience, our graduate programs help foster your development as a scholar.
  • For the tenth year in a row, Western received top marks in the category 'Most Satisfied Students' in The Globe and Mail's annual Canadian University Report.

    • At Western, we recognize that success in today’s careers requires not only a solid academic foundation, but also a range of complementary professional skills. We are proud to offer our graduate students an array of professional development services and programs to enhance their formal education. These professional development opportunities allow students to individualize their experiences and to create a graduate experience that best meets their needs and aspirations.
  • In 2011, researchers at Western and its affiliates generated nearly $20 million in research contracts with industry.

What do you envision for your future?

A graduate education helps advance your knowledge in a particular field, fostering your intellect and enabling you to apply your research to the benefit of society. During your graduate career, we will be with you every step of the way, ensuring you get the most out of your learning experience to help attain the career you have imagined for yourself.

We invite you to share in our tradition of excellence and experience the advantages of a Western graduate degree.

Research Excellence

As one of Canada's largest research-intensive universities, first class research facilities and infrastructure are available to all of our graduate students.

With annual research funding in excess of $225 million and an international reputation for success, Western ranks as one of Canada's top research-intensive universities. The University is committed to providing superior support for both individual scholars and large interdisciplinary groups, while firmly establishing an entrepreneurial research culture that encourages the practice of innovation across the campus.

Prospective students are encouraged to visit Scholarship@Western to see recently published dissertations and examine the ground-breaking work of current Western PhD Students.

Research Institutes

Robarts Research Institute

One of Canada’s leading centres for medical research, Robarts is a tight-knit community of interdisciplinary researchers with the shared goal of improving human health. Home to world-renowned scientists in biological, clinical, and technological research, Robarts provides mentorship and training for a number of Western graduate students.

Lawson Health Research Institute

As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, and working in partnership with The University of Western Ontario, Lawson Health Research Institute is one of the largest hospital-based research institutes in Canada and a major teaching and training environment for tomorrow’s scientists. Its ‘bench to bedside’ philosophy means researchers focus their efforts on the development of new knowledge that can be applied directly to patient care within the hospitals.

Research Centres

In addition to being affiliated with London’s extensive hospital system, Western is home to a number of innovative research facilities and centres that are unique in the world, including:

World Discoveries

Western, including Robarts Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, have formed a technology transfer consortium called WORLDiscoveries that encourages the entrepreneurial research culture in London and seeks to develop small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. Technology transfer initiatives play a significant role in job creation and economic development by turning research and development into practical applications and products that can be commercialized through industry.

International Collaborations

The University of Western Ontario is an international university committed to supporting faculty research around the globe, and to providing students with an education that prepares them to live, work and actively contribute within international economies, cultures and and societies.

Home to collaborations on every continent, and to faculty, staff and students who have been trained around the world, Western is firmly situated within the international milieu. This level of engagement enhances the University's ability to attract the highest calibre of personnel and increases its capacity to develop strong, mutually beneficial collaborative research initiatives that provide benefits to Canada and the broader world.

For more information, please visit Research@Western.

Living in London

A multi-ethnic centre set in the heart of Southwestern Ontario, London is the region’s economic hub. With a population of more than 350,000, London is Canada’s tenth largest city and is an ideal environment to live and pursue your studies. Big enough for a ‘big city’ experience, it provides an extensive health care system, cultural and entertainment centres while providing the safe and clean atmosphere of a small community.

London is called The Forest City in reference to its numerous, beautiful pathways and acres of rolling parkland. Its tree-lined boulevards and green parks invite cyclists and pedestrians to discover the charms of the city, built at the fork of the Thames River. Just down the road from Western, you will find the vibrant Richmond Street in the city centre – a blend of culture and heritage for you to explore.

Cost of Living

Important factors in deciding where to attend graduate school are the location and the cost of living in that community. London offers many benefits of a large city without the high cost of living.


We experience four distinct and beautiful seasons, ranging from warm summers to colourful autumns, crisp, snowy winters, and refreshing springs. Each season brings with it, its own beauty and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Autumn is the perfect time to walk the city’s tree-lined streets and beautiful parks, while skating and skiing are popular pastimes in the winter. Spring and summer is best enjoyed in the sun, with London being close to several beaches including Grand Bend and Port Stanley.

Cultural Vitality

London possesses various locations for activity and culture. Performances like concerts or shows at the Budweiser Gardens or stage productions of various kinds at The Grand Theatre to exhibitions at Museum London, a large assortment of restaurants serving international cuisine, the Forest City is the perfect locale to experience.

Whether you enjoy shopping, movies, theatre, dancing, or sporting events, there is no lack of activities. Year-round, London has numerous festivals and cultural and community events, including Snowfest, Sunfest, Rock the Park, London Film Festival and World Beat and Jazz weekends. Beautiful parks and biking trails are just steps away from the lively Richmond Street – home to a bustling nightlife, niche shops, designer boutiques, cafes and fashionable dining. London is also considered a sporting centre and is home to the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights, a cultural mainstay of the city and its residents.

For an overview of activities and attractions the city of London has to offer, please visit Tourism London and City of London.

Family Life

With several family-friendly services including a variety of schools, health care facilities, after-school and special needs programs, children's camps, and community centres, the city of London provides parents, both current and expecting, a safe and desirable community to raise a family.

For an overview of family programs and services throughout London and surrounding regions, please visit Family Care.


Located in the centre of southwestern Ontario, London is approximately two hours driving distance from Toronto and Detroit. The London International Airport offers direct flights to Toronto, Chicago, Ottawa and Calgary, as well as many other connections to several Canadian destinations. If you want to travel to warmer climates or exotic places, the London International Airport has flights to Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and several locations in Europe.

For directions to London, including city and campus maps, please visit Getting to London.