York students in lecture hall with a professor at the front of the classroom

Graduate Studies Preparation Program (GSPP)

Group of students sitting in student loungeThe Graduate Studies Preparation Program (GSPP) will prepare you for graduate studies while also helping you pass the English component of almost any required entrance exam at Canadian or American universities (IELTS, GRE and GMAT) and help you prepare your application. The program runs for eight months, with intakes in September, January, and May, and is divided into two terms of 16 weeks each, with 20 classroom hours per week.


Gain acceptance to graduate school

The Graduate Studies Preparation Program (GSPP) will improve your English language proficiency and help you to enrol in graduate studies at any Canadian or American university.

As part of this academic English program, you will have the chance to visit many local universities to see first-hand what they have to offer. Since 2009, this program has secured admission for Graduate Studies Preparation Program graduates at over 200 graduate programs in Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Students who take the Graduate Studies Preparation Program course consistently outperform students in the IELTS who did not.
  • The program focuses on the English language skills needed for day-to-day graduate-school assignments.
  • Visits by graduate program administrators, professors and graduate students help develop relevant communication skills and new contacts.
  • Seminar discussions, arguments and presentations introduce a broader understanding of the North American university environment.

Since 2010, Graduate Studies Preparation Program participants have earned offers of admission to graduate programs at the following universities:

  • York University (Toronto, Canada)
  • The University of Alberta (Alberta, Canada)
  • The University of Auckland (New Zealand)
  • The University of Bath (U.K.)
  • Bishop’s University (Quebec, Canada)
  • Brock University (Ontario, Canada)
  • Carleton University (Ontario, Canada)
  • Carnegie-Mellon University (U.S.A.)
  • Claremont Graduate University (California, U.S.A.)
  • Concordia University (Montreal, Canada)
  • The University of Essex (U.K.)
  • The University of Glasgow (Scotland)
  • Hofstra University (New York, U.S.A.)
  • Lakehead University (Ontario, Canada)
  • The University of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada)
  • Massey University (New Zealand)
  • McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
  • McMaster University (Ontario, Canada)
  • OCAD University (Ontario, Canada)
  • The University of New Brunswick (New Brunswick, Canada)
  • The University of Northern British Columbia (British Columbia, Canada)
  • The University of North Carolina-Charlotte (U.S.A.)
  • The University of Ottawa (Ontario, Canada)
  • Queen’s University (Ontario, Canada)
  • The University of Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada)
  • The Rochester Institute of Technology (New York, U.S.A.)
  • Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada)
  • St. Mary’s University (Halifax, Canada)
  • The University of Sheffield (U.K.)
  • Sheffield Hallam University (U.K.)
  • The University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada)
  • The University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada)
  • The University of Western Ontario (now Western University)(Ontario, Canada)
  • The University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada)
  • The University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada)

Note: this program was formerly known as the Pre-Graduate Preparation Program (YP3).

Graduate Studies at York University

York University admissions accept certificates from the York University English Language Institute Graduate Studies Preparation Program (GSPP) as equivalent to the following IELTS scores for language proficiency:

GSPP Honours IELTS 7.0
GSPP Distinction IELTS 7.5

Graduate Studies Preparation Program Term I

One key Graduate Studies Preparation Program difference is its approach to preparation for the IELTS test.

Although IELTS preparation is a major goal of Graduate Studies Preparation Program in Term I, our instructors do much more than just give and mark practice IELTS tests. Based on a thorough understanding of how the IELTS exam is constructed and the skills it tests, our instructors will give you detailed and practical strategies for approaching the exam. These strategies can only be successfully practiced and perfected in an English-language university environment.

Term I classes then take these strategies and apply them to tasks you will face in graduate school, in lectures, seminar discussions and presentations, while connecting these strategies to a broader understanding of the North American university environment.

Graduate Studies Preparation Program students consistently outperform the average IELTS candidate in terms of scores achieved for the amount of class time spent in test preparation.

Graduate Studies Preparation Program Term I Courses

  • IELTS Preparation
  • Listening & Speaking
  • Applying to Graduate School I

Graduate Studies Preparation Program Term II

Direct Entry Option: students with an IELTS score of 6.5 or better, or the equivalent TOEFL score, have the option to enter directly into Term II.

Term II coursework focuses on the English language skills needed to communicate effectively with graduate program administrators, professors, and graduate students (people who are frequent visitors to the GSPP) about day-to-day graduate school tasks.

Throughout the Academic Communications course, participants will investigate concepts and language relevant to both academic topics in general and to their specific disciplines or fields of study. They will work to articulate in English the intellectual issues they encounter and relate these issues to other texts, to their own and others’ experience, and to areas of their own and others’ academic and professional expertise.

In addition, the course introduces strategies for surviving the graduate school experience, as well as preparing candidates for future teaching assistant assignments and their future careers.

The Research Writing course familiarizes students with IMRaD research article structure and prepares them to construct research proposals, as well as emphasizing proper citing and formatting of research.

Graduate Studies Preparation Program Term II Courses

  • Academic Communications
  • Research Writing
  • Applying to Graduate School II

GRE/GMAT preparation

For participants bound for graduate programs that require GRE or GMAT for Business Administration, Management, Management Science, and Finance, Graduate Studies Preparation Program also offers test preparation workshops.

As with IELTS preparation, the program’s GRE/GMAT component offers an effective, skills-based approach that is best built at an English-speaking university campus. Graduate Studies Preparation Program graduates have gone on to a variety of graduate programs that require a completed GRE or GMAT test, particularly MBA programs that require GMAT scores of 550 and above for admission.


Jagrati Chauhan, MA, PhD, TESL Diploma

Jagrati-ChauhanJagrati has taught in post-secondary institutions, colleges and universities in Canada and India. She has also presented at various conferences and conducted webinars. She enjoys having the opportunity to further expand her knowledge of technology enhanced pedagogies and introduce a variety of different teaching and learning activities to better reflect the cultural diversity of the English Language Institute students.


Lindsey Gutt, B.A., B.Ed., B.Lit., M.Ed.

Lindsey-GuttBesides writing a number of EFL textbooks, Lindsey has taught ESL / EFL and assisted with curriculum development through teacher training in Asia, the Middle East, South America, Europe, and Canada since 1992.  Lindsey has also presented at a number of conferences in Canada and abroad. One of Lindsey’s favourite parts of teaching at the English Language Institute is that it is in Canada.  Originally an immigrant herself, she has come to learn how wonderfully vibrant, exciting, invigorating, respectful and peaceful Canada is.


Yuliya Miakisheva, M.A., TESOL

Yuliya-MiakishevaYuliya has taught ESL and EFL in Canada, U.S., and Europe at university level. She has also presented at a number of language and education conferences including TESL Ontario, TESL Canada, TESOL, and NAFSA. She enjoys having the opportunity to help English Language Institute students improve their English language skills along with the understanding of North American culture in their pursuit of academic and professional opportunities away from home.


John Quinn, BA Hons., TESL Cert., MA Applied Linguistics

John-QuinnJohn has worked in his home country of England, Australia, and Canada designing, developing, and teaching curricula for students, instructors, and business executives in a wide variety of EAP and ESP programs. John applies his experience and education to foster the academic, linguistic, communicative, and personal growth of students in a creative, interactive, experiential, and challenging way.


Adam Saleh, MA, TEFL

Adam-SalehAdam has worked in different leading universities in Canada and overseas, and he had papers presented in more than 12 local and international conferences. He really enjoys being in a class that is almost a miniature of the United Nations; everyone is different but they all have one goal: to think, work and learn independently, but together.



Kareen Sharawy,  BA, TESL,  MATEFL

Kareen-SharawyKareen has taught in post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations in Canada, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and has presented in multiple international conferences since 2002. She enjoys accompanying her students on the journey of lifelong learning and empowerment through experiential learning. She has a passion for test preparation, university skills, and using technology in a friendly and an enjoyable multicultural environment.


Johanathan Woodworth, BSc, TESL Dipl., MA Applied Linguistics

Johanathan-WoodworthJohan has taught in top post-secondary institutions in Canada and Asia. He has presented in local and international conferences and is published in various journals and magazines in the field of ESL. He enjoys fostering the ‘eureka’ moment in students’ learning process, where everything fits together. He also enjoys nurturing acceptance and tolerance in his classrooms.



GSPP classes will run for 4 hours per day, 20 hours a week, for 16 weeks each in both Terms I and II. *

* Based on program requirements and increased student registrations, some program schedules may need be shifted to evenings and Saturdays.


E-mail account, Internet and library access are supplied.

Class size

The usual class size is approximately 17 students.

Eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements for Term I

All applicants must have proof of successful completion of an undergraduate degree, and must satisfy ONE of the follow criteria:

  • Attained an IELTS score of at least 5.5, or a TOEFL iBT of at least 69 (TOEFL Paper, 525)
  • Attained a suitable grade on the York University English Language Institute placement test
  • Successfully completed Level 7 of the York University English Language Institute Academic Program

Eligibility requirements for direct entry into Term II

All applicants must have proof of successful completion of an undergraduate degree, and an IELTS score of 6.5 or above.





Confidentiality and Financial Security

Given the experiential and practical nature of the courses and the application of Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) to York University, The School of Continuing Studies works to ensure that instructors and participants acknowledge and respect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information that may be presented in the context of instruction. Instructors will limit the amount of personal information that is collected, used or disclosed in their sessions, and will ensure that all identifying personal information (including proper name, address, etc.) is omitted from all written documents in order to protect personal privacy and confidentiality. Instructors should not bring or share personal or other confidential files or records with the class or allow students to do so.
We are committed in protecting your privacy and your financial security, and we do this in several ways:

  • Your credit card information is never received or stored by our system. Only your financial institution has access to your credit card information.
  • Your Student Portal is password-protected. To access any personal and academic information, you must enter your username and portal password.

York University Privacy Policy

How to Register

  • Online: Available sessions
  • Bank Transfers: Please contact the English Language Institute if you intend to pay by bank transfer. Please be aware that most international bank transfers requests will be charged a bank transfer fee. Please ask your bank for details. Students are responsible to ensure the money they have sent to English Language Institute covers any bank transfer fees.
  • Money Order: The Money Order should be made payable to York University. Please mail the original Money Order to our office at the following mailing address:
    York University English Language Institute
    Suite 035 Founders College
    4700 Keele Street
    Toronto, Ontario
    M3J 1P3 CANADA
Please send required documents to our fax number: 416-736-5908 or email at yueli@yorku.ca

Fees & Payment Deadlines

  • English Language Institute Application Fee: $200.00 (one-time only, non-refundable) for new students.
  • Health Insurance (Emergency Medical coverage) is available for an additional cost of $350.00.
  • Deposit of $5,000.00 (non-refundable) is required to complete your registration and receive a Letter of Acceptance.

If you are unable to join the first day of the course, please immediately contact us in order to find out the last possible day to attend the program. Attendance deadlines do apply.

*Fees subject to change


  • Placement Fee: $200.00 (one-time only, non-refundable).
  • Homestay includes three meals a day.
  • You may apply for residence if you are between the ages of 18 and 29.
  • Residence includes a meal plan, except during the summer months (May – August).

Cancellation and Refund

Please refer to the following document for Program Cancellation & Refund Policy questions & answers:

Cancellation, Transfer and Refund Policies and Procedures

University Policy on Student Conduct

  • Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterized by courtesy, collegiality and mutual respect and to refrain from actions that would be disruptive to such a relationship;
  • It is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour; and,
  • The instructor is the best person to decide, in first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class and may at their discretion, take steps that they feel are appropriate to resolve an issue or dispute.

In any case, where a student feels that this policy has been violated, they are urged to: notify the instructor of the course/program as soon as possible. Students may be asked to provide a detailed written description of their complaint to the instructor. The instructor may take measures they feel are appropriate to resolve the issue and/or may forward the complaint to the English Language Institute for review. Please refer to the full policy document on the York University website at: http://www.yorku.ca/scdr/



Apply for this Program