The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) programme is a prestigious merit-based scholarship that provides funding to exceptional students pursuing graduate studies at publicly-funded universities in Ontario, Canada. With financial support from the Province of Ontario and participating institutions, OGS recognizes academic excellence and encourages the best graduate students to pursue their education in the province. This guide provides an overview of the OGS program, eligibility requirements, application process, deadlines, and tips for a competitive application.
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Introduction to the OGS Program
The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Programme was established in 1975 to attract and retain high-caliber graduate students to Ontario universities. OGS awards are jointly funded by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the university where the recipient is enrolled. The provincial government contributes two-thirds of the value while the university provides the remaining one-third.
OGS scholarships are available to both domestic and international students enrolled in or applying to an eligible graduate program at an Ontario university. The program provides merit-based scholarships to students in all disciplines of academic study. The scholarship aims to reward excellence and promote equal access to graduate studies for students from diverse backgrounds.
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Programme Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for an OGS award, applicants must meet all the following eligibility criteria:
- Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada)
- International students with a valid study permit can apply for a limited number of OGS awards
- Be enrolled in or intending to enroll in an eligible graduate program at an Ontario university
- Have achieved a minimum overall average of A- (80%) or above in each of the last two completed years of study
- Have not exceeded the maximum government-funded support over their academic career
OGS Award Details
The OGS Programme provides funding for 1-3 academic terms within a 12-month period. The award amounts based on the number of terms are:
|$5||000 per term for 2 consecutive terms|
|$10||000 for 2 terms|
|$5||000 per term for 3 consecutive terms|
|$15||000 for 3 terms|
The maximum OGS award for one academic year (September to August) is $15,000. Recipients cannot receive OGS funding for more than two years at the master’s level and four years at the doctoral level. There is a lifetime maximum of six years of government-funded student awards per individual.
How to Apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Programme
The OGS application process and deadlines vary by university. Applicants must submit the application directly to the institution where they intend to enroll rather than a centralized provincial application.
Below are the typical steps to apply for OGS:
- Review eligibility criteria and application requirements for your program
- Obtain the application form from your department or faculty’s website
- Complete the application and required documents by the internal deadline
- Submit the application through your university’s online portal or graduate studies office
- Applications are reviewed and nominated by the institution
- Nominated applications are adjudicated through a provincial competition
Required documents usually include official transcripts, letters of reference, resume/CV, and a research proposal or statement outlining your research interests and objectives. Some programs may require samples of academic work. Read the application instructions carefully and provide all supporting materials.
OGS Application Deadlines
The OGS application deadline for the 2023-2024 academic year is March 1, 2023 for most Ontario universities. However, deadlines can vary by school and program, ranging from January to March annually. Below are the deadlines for a few major Ontario universities:
- University of Toronto – March 1, 2023
- University of Ottawa – March 1, 2023
- McMaster University – February 1, 2023
- Western University – February 1, 2023
- Queen’s University – February 1, 2023
- University of Guelph – January 31, 2023
Applicants should verify the exact application deadline for their desired program on the university department and OGS program websites. Meeting this internal deadline is essential for consideration in the provincial competition.
Tips for a Strong Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Programme Application
Here are some tips to submit a competitive OGS scholarship application:
- Maintain a minimum A- average – Your grades are a key selection factor, strive for excellence.
- Follow instructions – Carefully adhere to all requirements and requested documents.
- Craft a compelling statement – Explain your qualifications, research interests, and future goals.
- Obtain strong references – Choose professors or mentors who can attest to your abilities and potential.
- Apply early – Have all components ready prior to the deadline.
- Proofread thoroughly – Avoid typos and grammar errors in all submitted documents.
The OGS competition is extremely rigorous. With attention to detail, planning, and a strong academic record, prospective graduate students can maximize their chances of securing this prestigious scholarship in Ontario.
The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Programme is a highly competitive program that recognizes outstanding graduate students across disciplines. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, deadlines, and tips for creating an exceptional application package, students can aim to join the distinguished recipients of this award. The OGS program enables the brightest minds to pursue graduate studies and make meaningful contributions in their fields, advancing education, research, and innovation in Ontario and beyond.
- Government of Ontario. “Ontario graduate scholarship program – Scholarships and bursaries.” https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-graduate-scholarship-program
- Queen’s University. “School of Graduate Studies – Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS).” https://www.queensu.ca/sgs/prospective-students/awards-scholarships-bursaries/external-awards/ontario-graduate-scholarship-ogs
- University of Toronto. “School of Graduate Studies – Ontario Graduate Scholarship.” https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/awards/ontario-graduate-scholarship/
- University of Ottawa. “Ontario Graduate Scholarship.” https://www.uottawa.ca/graduate-studies/students/awards/ontario-graduate-scholarship
- Western University. “School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies – Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS).” https://grad.uwo.ca/awards/ogs.html
- Government of Ontario. “Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program – Policy Guidelines.” https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-graduate-scholarship-program-policy-guidelines
Table: OGS Application Deadlines for Ontario Universities 2023-2024
|University of Toronto||March 1, 2023|
|University of Ottawa||March 1, 2023|
|McMaster University||February 1, 2023|
|Western University||February 1, 2023|
|Queen’s University||February 1, 2023|
|University of Guelph||January 31, 2023|