How to Get into Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University is where innovation, cutting-edge research and community engagement intertwine.

SFU stands 24th among universities less than half-century old (Times Higher Education) and is the first Canadian recruit to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA is the world’s largest post-secondary sports association. SFU has won over 40 fellowships to the Royal Society of Canada and a Pulitzer Prize. Of its three unique campuses in the Greater Vancouver Area, the University’s most distinctive is majestically located on Burnaby Mountain. So, you might be wondering how to get into Simon Fraser University.

As it is my undergraduate alma mater, my opinion may be subjective. That being said, SFU offers dynamic opportunities to skyrocket your personal and professional development. One fond experience I can recollect is moving to the cozy and very progressive Denmark, where I experienced Euro-life as a student at the Copenhagen Business School; another incredible opportunity was interning in a city of beautifully organized chaos, the vibrant Mumbai in India. Evidently, SFU lays the groundwork for you to select game-changing experiences which build character and drive. Ultimately I graduated Valedictorian and am very aware of the SFU admission process and life on campus.

SFU and its recently well-endowed Beedie School of Business (Beedie) have a seamless and effective university application process. I have broken down the process into this simplified SFU application guide. Follow these steps on how to get into Simon Fraser University to ensure you move with your best foot forward.

Quantitative

Admission to SFU is competitive. Although admission averages vary by program of application, acceptance GPA – calculated on relevant course work – can reach upwards of 90% (i.e. business or engineering programs). An internationally represented student body has required the implementation of English language and literacy requirements. International students, you require TOEFL of 88 or better; otherwise, a minimum of 60% in a senior level English course. The admission to Fall 2015 comes this October. You can begin to self-report grades December 15th. For consideration of early admission and scholarships, apply online early.

Qualitative

Admission to the Beedie School of Business requires a supplementary broad-based application. Divided into three sections, you are asked to (1) describe extra-curricular activities and achievements, (2) write an essay and (3) provide references. Unfortunately, you may only submit one application, corrections and re-submissions are not accepted, you cannot save to complete later, and there is an application fee of $75. I strongly advise writing your responses elsewhere, to be ready for input into the appropriate fields.

At SFU, you will learn many of your hardest lessons through experiential education. Thereby, you are required to describe, in 300 words, your contribution to extra-curricular activities in the last four years:

“The extra-curricular areas include: athletics, arts (performing, visual, music, and writing), work experience, community leadership and/or involvement, and/or entrepreneurship. You may include information about more than one activity in each section (i.e. if you played multiple sports). Also, please include information about any awards or recognition you received while participating in those activities.”

If it is difficult to select an activity to discuss, keep in mind that not all those who wander are lost. The drive, commitment and dedication to a goal is what you need to describe. These are the characteristics which Beedie seeks. As an example, I’m including an excerpt of my supplemental application to Queen’s Commerce in 2011, where I completed my Master’s in International Business:

“…From my participation in seven academic competitions, came extensive experiential learning. The learning objectives of these competitions include identifying core business issues and providing recommendations for firms facing business uncertainty. Additional responsibilities comprise aesthetic and structural organization of content, ensuring effective communication to the targeted audience of business professionals.

I can distinguish two memorable achievements in my competition experiences: participation in Queen’s Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC) and the International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC). The former was my first international level business competition; our team took home a third place finish in the debate category. I advanced my capabilities in formulating a strong and persuasive analysis within a time-sensitive environment. Driven to improve this skill-set, I was selected to compete in IBECC. IBECC is an opportunity to understand ethical issue analysis in conjunction with the legal and financial dimensions of an organization. Here, our team garnered a first place finish in the ethics essay category with a second place finish among the international case division.”

Extra-curricular involvement and achievement are valued. Remember though, there is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. This is how you learn and SFU understands that. In the second portion of the application you should describe, in 300 words, the following: “We all make mistakes. Tell us about a recent mistake you made and what you learned from it.” You need to brainstorm. This experience can come from absolutely anywhere.

The final requirement is to provide references. Simply put, make friends with your teachers and counselors – they can provide a credible recommendation which can make or break the status of your acceptance to SFU.

And that is how to get into Simon Fraser University!

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