Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions from students applying to PSI. Please feel free to contact PSI if you have any other questions. 

IS THERE AN APPLICATION FEE?

There is no application fee.

WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF BEING ACCEPTED INTO THE PSI PROGRAM?
We are unable to tell you via email what your chances are of being accepted into the PSI program. Each year, we receive several hundred applications for approximately 30 available positions.

WHAT COURSES SHOULD I HAVE FOR PSI?

Students should have taken the following courses:

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Statistical Physics

Through these courses students should have a good understanding of Special Relativity.

WHAT ARE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY EXAM REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRANCE TO PSI?
The University of Waterloo requires an English language proficiency (ELP) exam (such as the TOEFL or the IELTS) unless you have attended one of the international universities on the University of Waterloo's ELP exemption list. For accepted ELP examinations and required minimum scores, please visit the University of Waterloo's Graduate Studies Academic Calendar. If your exam scores are below the listed minimum requirements, your application will still be considered and, if accepted, you will be required to take an English language course.

WILL APPLICATIONS BE CONSIDERED AFTER THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE?
We cannot guarantee consideration of late applications. However, we accept late submission of English language proficiency exam scores (such as the TOEFL or the IELTS) if not available before the submission deadline.

DO YOU REQUIRE GRE RESULTS FOR ADMISSION TO PSI?
Although the Physics GRE is not required for applying to PSI, we will take your GRE score into consideration if you submit it with your application.

HOW LONG SHOULD MY PERSONAL STATEMENT BE?
Your personal statement should be one page or shorter.

WILL I GET SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING?
Successful PSI applicants receive funding as described in the Financial Support section. Applicants are also encouraged to seek out and apply for externally-available scholarships.

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO MAIL IN HARD COPY FORM?
Applicants must mail paper copies of official final transcripts and English language proficiency exam scores. The official final transcripts must be received directly from the issuing institution in signed and sealed envelopes. All other documentation can be uploaded to the online application.

HOW MANY REFERENCE LETTERS CAN I SUBMIT?
Applications must include at least three letters of reference, with space available for an optional fourth reference.

HOW DO MY REFEREES SUBMIT THEIR REFERENCE LETTERS?
Upon completion of the online application, we will automatically contact your referees with details on how to submit their reference letters.