PSI students interacting

Frequently asked questions

Below are frequently asked questions from students applying to Perimeter Scholars International. Please carefully read through these questions and answers before emailing PSI for any other inquiries.


Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee.

Will I get scholarship funding?

Successful PSI applicants may receive funding as described in the Financial Support section. Applicants are also encouraged to seek out and apply for externally available scholarships.

When are the application deadlines?

There are two deadlines:

  • Deadline for early consideration — December 1st at 11:59 EST
  • Deadline for final consideration — February 1st at 11:59 EST
Why are there two deadlines?

Having two deadlines allows for us to accommodate consistently with graduate schools internationally. Those who do meet program requirements from the early deadline will be moved into the final selection stage in February. There may be a few offers made in December or early January to exceptional applicants.

Which deadline should I apply for?

We encourage all eligible applicants who meet the required criteria to apply for the early deadline. However, applicants whose information may significantly change by the second deadline in February should not apply for the early deadline.

Will applications be considered after the final deadline?

We cannot guarantee consideration of late applications. However, we do accept late submission of the ELP scores (TOEFL, IELTS, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency) if these are unavailable by the deadline.

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 25 available positions. Some offers will be made in December or early January, and some early applicants will be reconsidered at the final deadline.

What courses should I have for PSI?

Students should have completed the following courses and demonstrated a mastery of:

  • Classical mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Statistical physics

Students are expected to have a good understanding of special relativity.

What will I need for my PSI application?

Below is a list of mandatory items to be uploaded with your application.

  • Official or unofficial post-secondary transcript(s)
  • A current curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A statement of purpose (maximum of 2 pages)
  • A minimum of three referee names and email addresses
  • A statement about inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility
  • ELP (TOEFL, IELTS, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency) required for certain international students

Optional items that you may also include with your application: list of publications, additional materials, GRE score (physics or math), and TOEFL/IETS score result. Please see below for details on these items.

How many referees can I list?

Applications must include at least three referee names and email addresses, with space available for an optional fourth referee.

How do my referees submit their reference letters?

Upon completion of the online application, the application system will automatically contact your referees with details on how to submit their reference letters. Referees will NOT be able to access your application or view your private information.

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, IELTS, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency) 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. 

Do I 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.

What documents do I need to mail in hard copy form?

Do not mail hard copies of academic transcripts or any other application item until asked. We will not view hard copies unless they have been requested.

How long is the program?

The program will run for approximately ten months, however, students are enrolled at the University of Waterloo until the end of August.

When will I receive notification of successful completion of MSc program?

Perimeter Institute will be unable to provide any documentation regarding the successful completion of the program. Any official notification must come from the University of Waterloo and this will only be available around the end of August.

What will be or has been the impact of COVID-19?

We are taking direction from Public Health in Ontario, Canada, and will continue to update our website with any changes.