All graduate students are accepted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). See also Degree Regulations and the program entries.
1 Organization of the School of Graduate Studies
2 Categories of Students
3 Application for Admission to a Degree Program
4 Admission Regulations and Procedures
5 Structure of Academic Programs
6 Registration and Enrolment
7 Good Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress, Time Limits, Supervision, and Candidacy
8 Thesis and Graduate Student Supervision
10 Academic Appeals Policy
11 Policies and Guidelines
Exemptions: The Graduate Education Council of the School of Graduate Studies has the power to waive the application of a regulation in individual cases. Such exemptions are granted only in exceptional circumstances and require the favourable recommendation of the graduate unit and of the School of Graduate Studies.
1 Organization of the School of Graduate Studies
The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is responsible for the oversight of all graduate programs in the University of Toronto and for developing and implementing appropriate regulations and operating procedures for admissions, programs of study, and completion of degree requirements.
According to its constitution, the School of Graduate Studies has a council and is organized into four divisions. Each of the departments, centres, institutes, schools, and Faculties (referred to generally as "graduate units") belongs to one of the divisions.
1.1 The Divisions
Division I — Humanities
Division II — Social Sciences
Division III — Physical Sciences
Division IV — Life Sciences
1.2 Graduate Education Council
The Graduate Education Council is an academic advisory and regulatory body. It exercises powers and duties, subject to the approval of Governing Council, as required, under the provisions of the University of Toronto Act. The Graduate Education Council consists of 35 elected members and numerous ex-officio members. Each division elects five faculty members and three graduate students to the council; a senior representative of the Graduate Students’ Union is a voting member. There are three administrative staff seats. The Graduate Education Council is chaired by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education.
The Graduate Education Council is primarily responsible for determining policies and regulations affecting the administration and operation of graduate studies, and for advising Governing Council on initiatives in graduate studies. The Graduate Education Council is concerned with the quality of graduate education across the University.
1.3 Graduate Units
A graduate unit offers degree programs or graduate diplomas, courses, and research. It may be a department, centre, institute, school, or Faculty.
Each graduate student is enrolled in one of the units that offer graduate study. The graduate unit is responsible for ensuring that each student is admitted and enrolled in an appropriate program of studies and is responsible for thesis/research supervision in conformity with the policies and procedures of the School of Graduate Studies.
The unit’s chair, dean, or director is responsible for the graduate affairs within the unit. The administrative duties may be delegated by the unit’s chair or director, as appropriate.
1.4 Graduate Programs
Graduate programs are listed alphabetically in the Programs by Graduate Unit section of this calendar.
1.4.1 Degree Programs
A diverse range of both research-oriented and professional degree programs is offered at both the master’s and doctoral levels.
1.4.2 Collaborative Specializations
Collaborative specializations (CSs) emerge from cooperation between two or more graduate units and their graduate programs. The student has a broader base from which to explore a novel interdisciplinary area or some special development in a particular discipline.
The student must be admitted to, and enrol in, one of the collaborating graduate units (known as a “home” unit) and must fulfil all the requirements of the degree program in the home unit and any additional requirements of the CS. On successful completion of the program, the student receives a transcript notation indicating completion of the collaborative specialization, in addition to the degree.
1.4.3 Combined Degree Programs
Combined degree programs (CDPs) allow a student to study in two approved degree programs at the same time and to complete the requirements of both, providing a distinctive academic benefit to the student either through academic enrichment or academic acceleration. CDPs build on a strong academic rationale or synergy between the programs in the combination.
CDPs may embody the following combinations: undergraduate/graduate, second-entry undergraduate/graduate, or graduate/graduate. A CDP is an entity; the student is registered in a CDP as well as in the two participating degree programs. On successful completion of the CDP, the student receives two degrees.
1.4.4 Graduate Diploma Programs
Graduate diplomas may be offered at the master's, post-master's, and doctoral levels. They consist of approved graduate courses or other graduate academic activities appropriate to the diploma level. The University of Toronto offers graduate diploma programs in conjunction with a master's or doctoral degree and also graduate diplomas as a standalone program with direct admission.
1.4.5 Conjoint Programs
The University of Toronto and the Toronto School of Theology, in accord with the Memorandum of Agreement between the two institutions, offer specific and approved conjoint programs, some of which are graduate degree programs. Students in a conjoint program are students at the University of Toronto; however, they are not registered at the School of Graduate Studies.
1.4.6 Joint Programs
A graduate joint degree program is a program of study offered by two or more universities, or equivalent institutions, in which successful completion of the requirements is confirmed by a single degree document.
1.4.7 Dual Degree Programs
A dual degree program is a program of study offered in partnership by the University of Toronto and an international peer university, or equivalent institution. In a dual degree program, a student’s successful completion of the program requirements of two existing degree programs is conferred with two degree documents or parchments. Dual degree programs build on a strong academic rationale between the programs in the combination and provide a distinctive academic benefit to students. Dual degree programs are governed by a memorandum of agreement.
1.5 Graduate Faculty
Responsibility for directing all elements of graduate teaching and supervision of students rests with members of the graduate faculty.
Graduate faculty membership is initiated by the chair/director of the graduate unit. With the approval of the School of Graduate Studies, the chair confirms graduate membership to the faculty member. Membership is offered in the following categories:
1.5.1 Full Members
Full members may
act as the sole or major supervisor of a doctoral or master’s thesis for students in the graduate unit;
act as a member of thesis committees of students in any graduate unit, as appropriate;
serve as chair or voting member of a Final Oral Examination committee;
assume responsibility for the setting and marking of comprehensive (general) examinations;
teach, set, and mark examinations for a graduate course;
give such other graduate direction as may be required.
1.5.2 Associate Members
Associate Members may be permitted to undertake all the duties of a full member but shall not serve as a sole or major supervisor, whether formally or otherwise, of a doctoral student nor act as the chair of a Final Doctoral Oral Examination.
1.5.3 Associate (Restricted) Members
Associate (restricted) members may be permitted to undertake the duties available to an associate member, but only as specified in writing at the time that the graduate membership is offered.
1.5.4 Members Emeriti
Members emeriti may perform all duties of a full member, but may only take on new supervision with the approval of the graduate chair, dean, or director of the graduate unit.
2 Categories of Students
The University offers admissions to three categories of graduate students:
degree or diploma student;
special (non-degree) student;
2.1 Degree or Diploma Student
A degree or diploma student is registered in a graduate degree or diploma program in the School of Graduate Studies.
A student who has completed all requirements for the doctoral degree exclusive of thesis research is deemed to have achieved candidacy and will be designated as a "doctoral candidate" in the School of Graduate Studies.
2.1.1 Degree or Diploma Student Conditionally Registered
Admission conditions enable a graduate unit to offer admission, and in some cases even allow registration, conditional upon satisfying some outstanding admission requirement(s) such as conferral of admitting degree. When credentials are from a university where the program of study cannot readily be appraised by the graduate unit, the applicant may be required to register conditionally (i.e., conditional upon demonstrating satisfaction of one or more admission requirements) for a period not to exceed one academic session (four months). Applicants must hold a recognized degree with appropriate standing.
Failure to satisfy the condition by the registration deadline will result in the withdrawal of the offer of admission, at the request of the graduate unit.
2.2 Special (Non-degree) Student
Two categories of special students are described below. Special students are not registered in a program of study which may lead to a degree or diploma. All special students must be enrolled in at least one graduate course; some may be enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Special students must submit an application for admission for each academic year of study.
2.2.1 Special Student, Full-Time
Students who are changing disciplines or require preparatory work may be admitted as full-time special students and enrol in a full-time program of study not leading to a degree or diploma. Full-time special students are enrolled in more than 1.0 full course equivalent (FCE) per session.
2.2.2 Special Student, Part-Time
Students wishing to take 0.5 or 1.0 full course equivalent (FCE) may be admitted as part-time special students. Part-time special students may take a maximum of 0.5 or 1.0 full course equivalent (FCE) in any session as approved by the graduate unit. Coursework does not count for degree/diploma credit.
2.3 Visiting Student
Visiting students are registered under special arrangements in the School of Graduate Studies and are not admitted to a degree. For more information, visit the web pages on Visiting and Exchange Opportunities and International Visiting Graduate Students.
Students registered at Canadian universities can apply through the Ontario Visiting Student (OVGS) program, the Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA), or the Canadian Association for Graduate Students (CAGS) research mobility agreement. For further information on all three programs, students should consult their home university.
Students registered at international universities can apply to conduct research as a visiting student through the International Visiting Graduate Student (IVGS) program. Students must secure a U of T supervisor. They must also obtain approval from their home institution.
For all categories of visiting student, students must be registered in a graduate degree program at a recognized institution. Students in diploma or certificate programs, undergraduate students, and students on leave from their degree programs are not eligible.
3 Application for Admission to a Degree Program
Application for admission should be submitted using the Graduate Admissions Application. The exceptions for using the SGS Admissions Application are:
All master's programs offered through the Rotman School of Management.
MScPT, MScOT, and the MHSc in Speech-Language Pathology, which participate in a common provincial application for professional rehabilitation medicine programs (ORPAS).
Applicants needing accommodation for accessibility reasons may request a paper application from the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants submitting a paper application form should consult with their graduate unit for advice on submitting supporting documents. Paper applications may take longer to process, and should be submitted as early as possible in the application cycle.
Applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee of $125. Some graduate units have set higher application fees. Payment is made online at the time of application using a credit card. Application will not be processed until the application fee is received.
Applicants are required to provide a copy of their complete academic record issued directly from all of the universities attended. Letters of reference are also required. Individual graduate units may require further documentation.
Certified English translations of all international documentation written in a language other than English or French must also be submitted.
3.2 Application Deadlines
The graduate unit determines the deadline date for applicants to submit their applications, supporting documentation, and at least two letters of reference to be assured that they will be considered for a place in the program of their choice and for financial support.
For specific information on application and financial support deadlines, contact the graduate unit offering the program to which you are applying.
International applicants are encouraged to initiate their application early in the cycle to ensure timely submission, particularly where special documentation (and/or translation) and proof of English-language proficiency are required.
Most programs commence in Fall session. Some commence in Winter or Summer session. Applicants should consult the graduate unit to confirm program start times.
3.3 Acceptance to Program
Admission decisions are made by the graduate unit. The official acceptance letter is issued by the School of Graduate Studies. Admission decisions are final and cannot be appealed.
Applicants who are offered acceptance pending receipt of final transcripts must submit one official copy of their final transcripts for all post-secondary study to the graduate unit before final acceptance can be approved. If final transcripts do not indicate that the expected degree has been conferred, official documentation indicating the anticipated date of degree conferral must be submitted before registration.
Normally, students accepted to the School of Graduate Studies must commence their program of study on the date specified in their letter of acceptance. If circumstances prevent a student from starting study on the specified date, the graduate unit may approve to defer admission for a period not to exceed 12 months from the original commencement date. In such a case, official transcripts will be required to document any new study completed in the interim. If the period exceeds 12 months from the original date of expected commencement, the admission will be withdrawn and a new application must be submitted.
With the approval of the graduate unit, students accepted to begin their programs in September will be permitted to start the preceding summer. Students taking courses during the summer will pay the Summer session fees (academic, incidental, and ancillary), which is additional to the Fall and Winter session fees. Students engaged only in research must register but do not pay Summer session fees. International students may only begin studies, including research, if they hold a currently valid study permit.
4 Admission Regulations and Procedures
The University’s admission regulations and procedures are designed so that students entering a graduate program may normally have the capacity and preparation necessary to meet the challenges of the program effectively.
The School of Graduate Studies regulations for admission specify minimal requirements only. Graduate units may have additional requirements and/or set higher than SGS minimum admission requirements. Meeting the minimal requirements of the graduate unit and the School of Graduate Studies does not guarantee admission.
The University reserves the right to determine whether credentials of other degree-granting institutions meet the standards for admission to University of Toronto programs. Admission decisions are final and are not appealable. The University also reserves the right to verify the accuracy of any documentation submitted as part of an application.
4.1 Academic Requirements for Admission
All applicants will be considered on their individual merits for admission to any graduate program at the University of Toronto. See Degree Regulations for further information.
4.1.1 Master’s Programs
An appropriate bachelor's degree with high academic standing from a recognized university, that has appropriate breadth and depth in a discipline deemed appropriate for the intended field of study.
An average grade equivalent to at least mid-B or better, normally demonstrated by an average grade in the final year or over senior courses.
At least two letters of reference.
Other qualifications as specified by the graduate unit.
4.1.2 Doctor of Philosophy Programs
An appropriate master's degree, or in some programs an appropriate bachelor's degree with high academic standing, from a recognized university in a discipline deemed appropriate for the intended field of study.
An average grade equivalent to a B+ or better in a previous master's degree program. Where relevant, demonstrated research competence equivalent to at least a B+ grade will be considered.
Direct entry from a bachelor's degree to a PhD program may be available when permitted by the graduate unit. For direct-entry applicants, an average grade equivalent to A– or better in courses in the relevant discipline is required.
At least two letters of reference.
Other qualifications as specified by the graduate unit.
4.1.3 Other Doctoral Programs
Normally, an appropriate master’s degree with high academic standing from a recognized university in a discipline deemed appropriate for the intended field of study is required. See appropriate graduate unit entry for details about specific minimum admission requirements.
4.1.4 Graduate Diploma Programs
Graduate diploma programs involve concurrent or standalone registration with a graduate degree program. Applicants to graduate diploma programs should complete the SGS Online Admissions Application.
A bachelor's degree in a discipline deemed appropriate for the intended field of study is an appropriate degree for a graduate diploma.
Other qualifications may apply, as specified by the graduate unit.
4.1.5 Special Students
Before applying, applicants should identify the courses they wish to take and obtain approval from the graduate unit offering the course. With the approval of the graduate unit, they may serve to satisfy prerequisite requirements. Special students' programs must include at least one graduate course. Any tuition fees paid as a special student cannot be transferred to a subsequent degree program.
Full-time special students must have obtained an average grade equivalent to mid-B or better in the final year (or over senior courses) of an appropriate bachelor's degree program.
Part-time special students who are accepted with less than mid-B standing are not normally considered admissible to a master's degree at a later date.
At least two letters of reference are required for full-time special students.
Other qualifications as specified by the graduate unit.
4.2 Regulations and Procedures
4.2.1 Advanced Standing
Advanced standing refers to academic credit awarded upon admission to a program of study that enables direct entry to an identified higher academic achievement level of the program. Students are eligible for advanced standing if they meet a clearly articulated set of objectives and/or course requirements for an advanced-standing option as defined in the graduate program calendar entry. Not every program offers an advanced-standing option.
4.2.2 Eligibility of Students for Second Graduate Degree of Same Title
The University may confer upon a student a graduate degree having the same title as a previous degree, if that initial degree was obtained at a different institution. For students who already have obtained a University of Toronto degree, a second degree of the same name will not be conferred unless it is undertaken in a different field of study from the first.
4.2.3 Mature Students
Applicants who graduated five or more years ago but without achieving sufficiently high standing for admission to a graduate program may be considered for admission if, since graduation, they have done significant intellectual work and/or made a significant professional contribution that can be considered equivalent to a higher academic standing. This means that the mere passage of time in a profession is not sufficient. Graduate units must submit recommendations for admission to the School of Graduate Studies for approval.
This contribution and its impact on the profession must be detailed, documented, and presented as part of the application. Such applicants may be considered for admission if they can document that they have achieved qualifications at least equivalent to those stated in the preceding sections and if a graduate unit so recommends. Applicants should explain why they think their professional development activities or work experiences should be viewed as equivalent to academic work conducted at a university.
Examples of evidence may include but are not limited to:
publications and/or research which is professionally relevant (including published papers, technical reports, or patents)
a record of outstanding advancement in one's profession (e.g., progressive leadership roles, management of projects and personnel, professional or scientific citations, and awards)
professional designations, diplomas, or certificates
training or courses taken subsequent to the undergraduate degree and/or being an instructor of professional development courses to others in one's profession
development of new skills over and above what would normally be expected in one's profession.
4.2.4 Eligibility of Members of Teaching and Administrative Staff
Members of teaching or administrative staff of the University or its federated or affiliated colleges who are engaged in graduate instructional and/or graduate administrative activities within the graduate unit offering the graduate program to which they are seeking admission are normally not eligible to be graduate students within that graduate unit at the University of Toronto.
Exceptions may be granted by SGS when it is confident that the graduate program is sufficiently remote from the faculty or staff member's usual work that academic impartiality is not compromised.
220.127.116.11 Master's to Doctoral
A student may be recommended for transfer from a master's program to a doctoral program. In such cases, the student will transfer to a five-year doctoral program with the years in the master's program being counted as part of the doctoral program. Courses may be excluded in the transfer. The total number of courses required for the doctoral program is the sum of the normal master's and doctoral course requirements, unless otherwise specified by the graduate unit. Where flexible-time is an approved option, a student may also be recommended for transfer to a flexible-time doctoral option with the years in the master’s program being counted as part of the doctoral program. Such a transfer must occur within 24 months of initial registration.
18.104.22.168 Doctoral to Master's
Students transferring from the doctoral to the master's program must complete all of the normal master's degree requirements, or their equivalent, in order to be awarded the master's degree. These transfers are made on the recommendation of the graduate unit and must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies.
A second University of Toronto master's degree of the same name will not be conferred unless it is undertaken in a different field of study from the first. Students who transfer from the doctoral to the master's program will not be permitted to transfer subsequently to the doctoral program within the same graduate unit unless approved by the School of Graduate Studies.
4.3 English-Language Proficiency
Students must be able to communicate effectively in English to study at the University of Toronto. Proficiency in the English language must be demonstrated by all applicants educated outside Canada whose primary language is not English. This is a requirement of admission and should be met before application, but must be met before the deadline to register.
This requirement may be satisfied using one of the English-language proficiency tests below. Test results that are older than two years at the time of application cannot be accepted. In these circumstances, the applicant must retake the English-language proficiency test. Minimum scores are indicated; however, many graduate units require a higher score.
4.3.1 Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Educational Testing Service (ETS)
The TOEFL examination is offered in two formats:
the Internet-based format (iBT) offered year-round
the paper-based format (PBT) only offered on specific dates in a limited number of countries
The iBT TOEFL must include the writing and speaking sections.
The PBT TOEFL must include the Test of Written English (TWE) component.
All applicants must satisfy the minimum TOEFL score requirements set by each of the four SGS academic divisions listed in the following chart.
TOEFL Minimum Score Requirements
Consult the graduate unit to which you are applying to determine if a higher minimum score is required.
Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) Including Writing and Speaking Sections
Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT) and TWE
Overall score: 93
Overall score: 580
II. Social Sciences
Overall score: 93
Overall score: 580
III. Physical Sciences
Overall score: 93
Overall score: 580
IV. Life Sciences
Overall score: 93
Overall score: 580
4.3.2 International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Required score: 7.0 (Academic) with at least 6.5 for each component.
4.3.3 Academic English Level 60
School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto
Required score: B
4.3.4 Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Online
Required score: 70 minimum total with at least 60 in each part.
4.3.5 The Certificate of Proficiency in English (COPE)
English Language Diagnosis and Assessment (ELDA)
Required score: 76 minimum total with at least 22 in each component and 32 in writing
4.3.6 Cambridge Assessment English
C1: Advanced and C2: Proficiency
Required score: minimum 185 overall with at least 176 in each component.
5 Structure of Academic Programs
5.1 Academic Year
In the School of Graduate Studies, the academic year begins in September and ends in August. The academic year is divided into three sessions:
Fall (F) session (September to December)
Winter (W) session (January to April)
Summer (S) session (May to August)
5.2 Academic Programs
Academic programs leading to graduate degrees and diplomas are defined by the units that offer them and by the degree regulations. Consult the Degree and Diploma Programs by Graduate Unit section of this calendar.
5.3 Program Length
Program length is established at the time of initial approval of the program. Program length refers to the period of time (in sessions or academic years) for an academically well-prepared student to complete all program requirements while registered full-time. The program length is the period of time upon which the minimum degree fee is based (for master’s programs only).
The typical registration sequence for full-time master’s programs is shown in individual graduate unit entries: for example, the F/W/S abbreviation is used for Fall/Winter/Summer.
Actual time to complete a program may vary for individual students and across disciplines. Doctoral program length is established through the Doctoral Degree Regulations. All requirements for the degree must be completed within the time limit (see 5.5).
5.4 Period of Residence
Many programs specify a period of residence whereby students must be on campus full-time and consequently in geographical proximity to be able to participate fully in the University activities associated with the program. Residence provides the student with an opportunity to become immersed in the intellectual environment of the University. Exceptions to the residency requirement must be approved by the graduate unit.
5.5 Time Limit
All program requirements must be completed within a specific period of time. The time limit for a degree is the maximum period of registration permitted for the completion of the program. The time limit for all graduate degrees and combined programs are as follows:
|Degree Type||Time Limit|
6 years (except for the Dentistry PhD: 7 to 8 years depending on specialty)
Flexible-time PhD program option
6 to 8 years (depending on program)
5 to 6 years (depending on program)
3 years (except for the MArch: 4 years; Dentistry MSc: 3 to 5 years)
Combined degree programs
Time limit is established for each combined degree program. The time limit will be set at one year (or two for doctoral programs) beyond the established combined program length.
6 Registration and Enrolment
Registration is the process by which a person has established, for an academic period, an active association with a program of study.
Enrolment is a separate process from registration. It is the approved engagement by a student in a course or other academic activity or component of a program of study.
See the complete policy on Association, Admission, and Registration.
6.1 Registration Policies and Procedures
6.1.1 Registration Procedures
Students are required to register at the beginning of each session they wish to attend. The first step to registration is the payment of fees or arrangements to pay such fees. A student is considered to be registered once any conditions of admission have been satisfied and academic, incidental, and ancillary fees are paid or a fees arrangement has been made. New students who have received a conditional offer of admission should make arrangements with their graduate unit to clear conditions as soon as possible.
New graduate students will receive registration instructions prior to the registration dates listed in Sessional Dates. Students may access registration instructions from the SGS website and the graduate unit.
Registration material is posted online and students should consult the SGS website or their graduate unit's website for detailed registration information. Students are asked to check their ACORN account to view their invoice online. Every effort is made to ensure that only students who are eligible to register receive registration material. However, receiving such material does not override any other notification students receive about academic status and eligibility.
6.1.2 Full-Time Studies
Students registered as full-time students in the School of Graduate Studies must be engaged in their studies on a full-time basis, as required by government regulations for full-time graduate studies.
Full-time graduate students are defined according to government regulations as follows:
They must be pursuing their studies as a full-time occupation and identify themselves as full-time graduate students.
They must be designated by the University as full-time students.
They must be geographically available and visit the campus regularly.
They must be considered to be full-time students by their supervisors.
If an academic program requires an absence from the University, students must apply through their graduate unit for permission to be off campus.
A full-time student may be absent from the University for an extended period or may participate in a program offered by another university if, and only if, the student has received written permission from the graduate unit in which they are registered. A graduate student who, in a given session, is absent from the University without receiving prior approval may lose good academic standing. In exceptional cases, a graduate unit may recommend to the School of Graduate Studies the termination of the student's registration and eligibility.
6.1.3 Extended Full-Time (EFT) Studies
The EFT option permits an additional year of full-time studies to complete the program where the option is offered in a program.
The EFT registration option is available in professional master’s or professional doctoral programs where offered. Registration is full-time. A prescribed path to completion over the extended period is set out in the graduate unit’s calendar entry.
Full-time time limits apply to this option; the extended period may not exceed the time limit for the full-time program.
Students are charged the equivalent of the minimum degree fee which is spread out over the extended period; full-time incidental fees apply for each year of registration.
Students who do not complete the program in the prescribed period may apply for an extension and will be subject to the usual extension regulations.
Transfers between the EFT registration option and any other registration option are not permitted.
Students in this option are subject to the rules and conditions of full-time studies as set out in the Full-Time Studies section above.
6.1.4 Part-Time Studies
The option to undertake studies on a part-time basis is available in some master’s programs.
A student enrolled in part-time studies may, over the course of each academic year, normally take a maximum of one-third of the annual program requirements, as defined by the graduate unit; enrolment each session by part-time students is subject to graduate unit approval.
A prescribed path to completion may or may not be provided for part-time studies; where provided, it will be set out in the graduate unit’s entry in the SGS Calendar.
A student who is registered in part-time studies is subject to the minimum degree fee (see section 14.4 Minimum Degree Fee).
Transfer from part-time studies to full-time studies requires the approval of the graduate unit and may not be permitted in some programs.
Transfer from part-time studies to the extended full-time registration option is not permitted.
Time limits for part-time studies are outlined in section 14.4 Minimum Degree Fee.
Part-time special (non-degree) students may take a maximum of 0.5 or 1.0 full course equivalent (FCE) in any session as approved by the graduate unit; work does not count for degree credit.
6.1.5 Flexible-Time PhD Studies
Some PhD programs are approved to offer flexible-time studies.
Students in a flexible-time PhD program option will register full-time during the first four years and will switch to part-time registration during subsequent years in the program.
Students are required to be registered for every successive session, including summers, following the first session of registration unless granted a leave of absence.
The time limit, between six and eight years, will be established through the departmental regulations.
Transfers between the full-time PhD program and the flexible-time PhD program option are not permitted.
6.1.6 Summer Session Courses
Students enrolled in courses or engaging in research or project work in the summer must register for the Summer session. Doctoral, MSc, and MASc students are already registered for the Summer session when they first register in:
September for the September-to-August period or
January for the January-to-August period.
In addition to a large program of research supervision and independent study, the School of Graduate Studies offers a limited number of graduate courses for credit towards higher degrees during the summer. Summer courses are equivalent to those offered during the Fall and Winter sessions but vary in duration and thus in frequency of meeting. Some courses will last 12 to 14 weeks while others will meet for 7 weeks.
For students enrolled in the May-to-August session, the maximum possible load is 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs). The maximum load in the May-to-June or July-to-August period is 1.0 FCE.
6.1.7 First Registration
Students beginning their degree programs normally register for the first time in the Fall session. In some cases, graduate units may give permission for new students to register for the first time in their program in the Winter or Summer session.
6.1.8 Continuity of Registration
Students in a thesis program (doctoral or master's) or in a coursework-only master's program with other requirements to complete, such as a project, major research paper, or recital, must be continuously registered or have an approved leave of absence.
22.214.171.124 Master's Students: Continuous Registration
Once they have first registered, full-time, part-time, and extended full-time master's students in programs that require continuous registration must register annually until all degree requirements have been completed. Full-time master's students who have completed the program length defined for the program may not register as part-time students.
126.96.36.199 Master's Students: Coursework-Only
Full-time master's students in coursework-only programs must register initially for the program length defined for the program and thereafter for each session in which they are completing requirements for the degree.
Master's students in coursework-only programs proceeding to their degree on a part-time basis register in those sessions in which they are completing course requirements for the degree. When all course requirements have been completed, part-time master's students must register annually until all other requirements have been completed. A switch from full-time to part-time status is not permitted once the program length defined for the program has been completed.
Prior to completing all courses in a coursework-only program, and with the permission of their graduate unit, master's students admitted to a full-time or part-time program may “stop out" between sessions for up to 12 months. However, no change is made to the time limit for completing the degree.
Master's students are advised to consult their graduate units for further information on continuity of registration requirements, particularly with regard to the Summer session; many graduate units expect their students to be registered for all three sessions.
188.8.131.52 Doctoral Students
All doctoral students must register continuously until all degree requirements have been fulfilled.
6.1.9 Late Registration Fee
Since it is the student's responsibility to ensure that proper registration is completed on time, late registration will be subject to an additional fee as specified in the Fee Regulations section of this calendar.
6.1.10 Failure to Register
Students will not receive credit for work completed during a session in which they have not registered.
Students who fail to register during a program requiring continuity of registration and who do not have an approved leave may only apply to re-register if, at the time of application, they are still within the maximum allowable time for the degree program (normal time limit plus maximum extension years). A student wishing to re-register must apply to the relevant graduate unit.
Re-registration requires approval from both the graduate unit and SGS. The program's normal requirements and time limits (as defined by regulation 5.5 Time Limit) will apply to reinstated students as if they had been continuously registered; reinstated students must pay fees owing for any session(s) in which they did not register. Non-registered students forfeit any funding that would have been available had they been registered.
6.1.11 Extension of Time for Completion of Degree Requirements
184.108.40.206 Master's Students
In exceptional circumstances, a master's student who did not complete all the requirements for the degree within the time limit specified in the degree regulations may be considered for a maximum of three one-year extensions provided that the graduate unit concerned so approves. The first two extension requests require departmental approvals; the third requires departmental and School of Graduate Studies approvals.
To apply for an extension, the student must complete the Program Extension form and present to the graduate unit concerned the causes for the delay. If an extension request is made for a third and final extension, the student and the department must each provide confirmation that the degree requirements can be met within the time limits of the final extension. No registration beyond the extension period will be permitted.
220.127.116.11 Doctoral Students
In exceptional circumstances, a doctoral student who has not completed all the requirements for the degree within the time limit for the doctoral degree is eligible to apply for four one-year extensions. The first two extension requests require graduate unit approvals; the second two require graduate unit and School of Graduate Studies approvals.
To qualify for an extension, the student must complete the Program Extension form and present to the graduate unit concerned the causes for the delay. If an extension request is made for a fourth and final extension, the student, the supervisor, and the department must each provide confirmation that the degree requirements can be met within the time limits of the final extension. No registration beyond the four-year extension period will be permitted.
6.1.12 Joint Educational Placement (JEP) for Doctoral Students
A Joint Educational Placement (JEP) is an opportunity for individual students to pursue their doctoral degree program under the joint supervision of faculty at the University of Toronto and a partner Canadian or international university. The JEP is intended to allow exceptional doctoral students to pursue research opportunities and acquire research experience in two institutions at an early stage in their doctoral studies.
At the time of application to the JEP, the applicant designates one of the participating institutions as the lead institution, the other as the collaborator. For students who designate the University of Toronto as the lead institution, the agreement must be completed prior to achieving candidacy. Regardless of whether the University of Toronto is the lead or collaborator institution, all U of T course requirements for the doctoral degree must be met as defined in the graduate unit entry in the SGS Calendar.
Applicants must meet the admission, registration, and degree requirements of both SGS and the partner institution. To be considered for this option, an applicant must complete the Joint Educational Placement agreement, must be recommended for admission as a full-time doctoral degree student, and must be deemed admissible by both institutions. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the graduate unit in consultation with SGS.
The academic and research program of a student enrolled in a JEP should be based on ongoing or developing research collaboration between supervisors and/or research groups in the two participating institutions. The academic and research program of a student enrolled in a JEP should be based on ongoing or developing research collaboration between supervisors and/or research groups in the two participating institutions. Students enrolled at the University of Toronto who successfully complete the requirements of the program receive a U of T degree with the parchment and transcript noting that the degree is “Awarded as a single degree under a Joint Placement arrangement (with the collaborator institution)” and may participate in a U of T convocation ceremony. The partner institution may also issue a parchment.
For the JEP agreement template and additional information, visit the SGS web page on Joint Educational Placement Students.
6.1.13 Dual Registration
A student in a master's program at this University who has been offered admission to a doctoral program conditional on completion of the master's program may be a dual registrant for only one session in both programs under the following conditions:
A minimal amount of work remains to complete the requirements for the master's degree. A student may enrol in a maximum of 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE; one half course) for the master's program in the one session of dual registration with the approval of the graduate unit.
Permission has been granted by the graduate unit.
The student will be engaged in full-time doctoral studies and will be registered full-time in the doctoral and part-time in the master's program. Only the appropriate doctoral fees will be charged.
The period of dual registration will be either September 1 to December 31 or January 1 to April 30.
In order to receive credit for the doctoral program for the period as a dual registrant, the student must be recommended for the award of the master's degree by the deadlines in the SGS Sessional Dates. Otherwise, the doctoral registration will be cancelled, no credit for the doctoral program will be allowed, and the student will continue to be registered as a master's student only. An appropriate fees adjustment will be made so that the student will be charged fees only as a master's student.
Doctoral program course credit will be retained for courses completed in the period of dual registration, provided the graduate unit has informed the School of Graduate Studies.
Students who are not recommended for the master's degree by the deadline and whose enrolment in the doctoral program is thereby cancelled may not apply for dual registration a second time. They must successfully complete the requirements for the master's degree before registering in the doctoral program.
6.1.14 Simultaneous Registration
Simultaneous registration in two full-time programs is not permitted. With the consent of both graduate units concerned, or of the graduate unit and another Faculty or School, and written notification to the School of Graduate Studies, simultaneous registration in a full-time program and a part-time program may be permitted. Two part-time registrations in different programs also may be permitted. Students are responsible for the fees charged for both programs.
6.1.15 Leave Policy
Graduate students may apply to their graduate unit for a one-session to three-session leave during their program of study for:
health or personal problems which temporarily make it impossible to continue in the program; or
parental leave by either parent at the time of pregnancy, birth or adoption, and/or to provide full-time care during the child's first year. Normally, parental leave is completed within 12 months of the date of birth or custody. Where both parents are graduate students taking leave, the combined total number of sessions may not exceed four.
Once on leave, students will neither be registered nor will they be required to pay fees for this period. In general, students on leave may not make demands upon the resources of the University, attend courses, or expect advice from their supervisor. Students on an approved leave of absence may opt in to paying compulsory non-academic incidental fees and receive continued access to campus services offered by Student Life (Academic Success Centre, Career Centre, Centre for International Experience, Centre for Community Partnerships, Health and Wellness, Housing Services, Indigenous Student Services, Multi-Faith Centre, Student and Campus Community Development, etc.), Hart House, and the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education during the leave of absence. Students on leave for parental or health reasons who wish to consult with their supervisor or other faculty are advised to make special arrangements through their graduate unit.
Students on leave will not be eligible to receive University of Toronto financial assistance. In the case of other graduate student awards, the regulations of the particular granting agency apply. Master's students whose programs do not require continuous registration may "stop out" as an alternative to taking a formal leave — see section 18.104.22.168 Master's Students: Coursework-Only.
Students may make application for a leave by completing the Leave of Absence form and submitting it to their graduate unit for approval. The form is then sent to the School of Graduate Studies for processing.
The time limit of the degree program will be extended by the duration of the leave taken, i.e., one, two, or three sessions as appropriate. Except for parental leave or in exceptional circumstances, it is not expected that a student will be granted more than one leave under the terms of this policy.
It is expected that leaves coincide with sessional start and end dates. In exceptional circumstances, students may request special arrangements, which require the approval of both the graduate unit and the School of Graduate Studies.
6.1.16 Personal Time Off Policy
The Personal Time Off Policy applies to all full-time graduate students (i.e., research stream and professional stream) registered in a degree program in the School of Graduate Studies. The policy applies only to those programs that are over 12 months in duration.
Graduate students can take up to 15 business days per academic year in personal time off, in addition to statutory holidays and days designated as University closures or holidays. The time off is not mandatory.
Personal time off does not result in any changes to registered student status or funding status; students remain registered and continue to receive any funding to which they are entitled as well as pay all fees during the academic session.
All graduate units are responsible for communicating the Time Off Policy to their students and academic supervisors via orientations, handbooks, and other communication channels as appropriate.
Sick leaves or absences for health reasons do not fall under the category of personal time off. Students who need extended time off for personal or medical reasons should consider the option of requesting a leave of absence.
The policy pertains only to the individuals in their student role, not in any employment role they may hold at the University. Graduate students who have any kind of employment relationship with the University, e.g., Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, Graduate Student Library Assistants, etc., should speak with their employment supervisor and consult the applicable collective agreement(s), if any, on all matters and questions pertaining to their employment, including for obtaining approval of any time off work.
There are expected differences in the application of this policy depending on the type of the program — research-stream versus professional-stream. Programs and units have flexibility in implementation of this SGS Policy to serve their specific needs.
For students in research-stream programs (Master's and PhD):
Time off should be planned in a clear and transparent manner with consultation between the student and the supervisor. Students should meet with their supervisors to seek input on the appropriate times within an academic year to take time off.
Personal time off must be requested and discussed with as much advance notice as possible.
Time off should not compromise student research, coursework, and overall progression through the curriculum. Time-sensitive deadlines (e.g., award applications, abstract submissions) must be taken into consideration while planning time off.
Personal time off must be approved by the student’s graduate supervisor. Any dispute or disagreement over planning the time off should be referred to a unit’s graduate coordinator/program director.
Time off cannot be carried forward or accumulated across academic years (September 1 to August 31).
Professional development activities and scientific meetings (i.e., conferences, symposia) do not fall under the category of personal time off.
Students are solely responsible for documenting time off information and keeping the annual record for the duration of their program.
For students in professional-stream programs (Master's and Doctoral):
Due to the structure of these programs, the time off is expected to be taken by student cohorts rather than by individual students.
Units are required to identify designated personal time off periods as appropriate within their program’s curriculum. Reading weeks can be used in lieu of time off.
Time off should not compromise coursework, requirements for placement hours, and the overall progression through the curriculum.
Students completing academic requirements at third-party sites (e.g., placements or internships) should ensure requirements in those settings are met.
Graduate units are not required to keep individual records of times off in the professional programs.
Units are expected to review and align their curriculum with respect to personal time off policy within two academic years from the time of policy approval.
6.1.17 Withdrawal from a Graduate Program
A student may withdraw voluntarily from their program at any point. To withdraw from a program, a student first must submit a Program Withdrawal Form to the graduate unit and then to SGS. The withdrawal is recorded on the student academic record and reflected on the transcript; the University determines fee rebates, if applicable. Should the student wish to return, they must reapply. An application for re-admission by a student who has withdrawn will be made in competition with all other applicants.
6.1.18 Graduate Courses and Other Academic Activities
See the guidelines on Graduate Courses and Other Academic Activities.
22.214.171.124 Graduate Courses
All graduate programs are composed of a number of academic requirements that include graduate courses and other academic activities. A graduate course is a discrete, time-delimited unit of instructional/learning activity identified by a course code in which students enrol. Graduate courses must be approved as minor modifications. All graduate courses must have an instructor in charge who has a graduate faculty membership in the graduate unit(s) responsible for the course.
Graduate courses may vary in timing, weight, delivery mode, and format. Course codes may serve as markers for Other Academic Activities. See the guidelines on Graduate Courses and Other Academic Activities including Program Examinations.
If a course is not offered for more than five years, it becomes inactive; SGS will archive the course in ACORN. See the SGS guidelines for De-activating/Archiving and Re-activating Graduate Courses.
126.96.36.199 Course Code and Weight
All graduate courses have course codes consisting of:
a prefix associated with the academic unit or program (three letters);
a four-digit course number; and
a suffix associated with the course weight (alpha character).
Normally, course weight is measured in full-course equivalencies (FCEs) and is indicated using a Y or H suffix:
Y (full course): 1.0 FCE, normally taken over two sessions
H (half course): 0.5 FCE, normally taken over one session
A full graduate course (course weight of 1.0 full-course equivalent [FCE]) should involve a minimum of 48 to 72 hours of organized activity (e.g., two lectures or three hours of laboratory work a week over two sessions). A half course (0.5 FCE) should require approximately half this time commitment.
Normally, the beginning and end dates for courses should coincide with the beginning and end dates of University sessions. Graduate units may offer modular courses which have enrolment deadlines that do not conform to the beginning and end of the sessions.
188.8.131.52 Other Academic Activities Including Program Examinations
Graduate programs may have a variety of requirements that are not courses but constitute other academic activities that have been approved according to SGS policies and procedures. Some common non-course academic activities are theses, major research papers, placements (including field work, clinical placements, and internships), and program examinations, etc.
Included in the category of program examinations are examinations such as comprehensive, qualifying, and field examinations. See individual program requirements in the Programs by Graduate Unit section of this calendar. Individual program requirements will identify the:
different components of each examination;
format of each examination and its components, if any;
deadlines and timelines associated with required completion of examinations; and
consequences for failure of a required examination and/or its components, including information about the number of attempts permitted to satisfactorily complete the examination.
6.2 Enrolment Policies and Procedures
Students enrol with their graduate units and arrange programs of study (courses, research topics, supervisors, etc.). Students should contact the graduate unit regarding enrolment procedures. Enrolment should be completed by the deadline noted in the Sessional Dates.
Most formal classes and seminars in the:
Fall session begin in the week of September following Labour Day
Winter session begin during the first week of January
Summer session begin in May.
However, starting dates are determined by the graduate units; students are urged to contact the relevant graduate unit for information.
Not every course will be offered in any one year. Consult the graduate unit concerning course availability.
6.2.2 Deadlines for Enrolment Changes
Graduate units may establish earlier deadlines for course changes. Courses must be dropped by completing an Add/Drop Course(s) form or by using ACORN, if the graduate unit permits access.
In order to avoid academic penalties, courses must be dropped by the following deadlines:
|Deadline||Type of Enrolment Change|
|September 26, 2022||Final date to add full-year and Fall session courses.|
|October 31, 2022||Final date to drop Fall session courses without academic penalty.|
|January 23, 2023||Final date to add Winter session courses.|
|February 27, 2023||Final date to drop full-year and Winter session courses without academic penalty.|
|May 8, 2023||Final date to enrol in May-to-June or May-to-August session courses.|
|May 26, 2023||Final date to drop May-to-June F section courses without academic penalty.|
|June 26, 2023||Final date to drop May-to-August session Y section courses without academic penalty.|
|July 10, 2023||Final date to enrol in July-to-August courses.|
|July 28, 2023||Final date to drop a July-to-August S section courses without academic penalty.|
Students enrolled in coursework-only programs who drop all courses by the deadlines must withdraw from the program.
Some graduate units offer modular courses which have enrolment deadlines that do not conform to the deadlines in the above chart. All modular courses with non-standard start/end dates require the graduate unit to establish suitable drop dates.
6.2.3 Exceptional Circumstances Affecting Student Performance
Students with health problems or other personal circumstances which may adversely affect their performance in, or their ability to complete coursework, examinations, or other departmental or graduate program assessments may request special consideration. Students with long-term needs are encouraged to register with Accessibility Services.
Written requests, supported by a medical certificate or other appropriate evidence, must be submitted to the instructor or the graduate unit as soon as possible. If a medical certificate is submitted, it must confirm the student was adversely affected by health problems and must show the dates of illness and that the physician was consulted at the time of the illness.
If a student is affected by health problems or other personal circumstances during an examination that affect the completion of the examination, the student must notify the instructor or invigilator immediately; that is, the student should not wait until the end of the examination. Such notification must be followed up with a written request for special consideration as above.
6.2.4 Completion of Coursework and Grade Submission
Coursework must be completed and grades submitted by the following dates:
|January 13, 2023||Coursework must be completed and grades submitted for Fall session courses.|
|May 12, 2023||Coursework must be completed and grades submitted for full-year and Winter session courses (except for extended courses).
*For students receiving degrees at June convocation, grades must be submitted by April 14.
|July 14, 2023||Coursework must be completed and grades submitted for May-to-June F section courses.|
|September 8, 2023||Coursework must be completed and grades submitted for July/August Summer session courses and extended courses.|
Graduate units may establish earlier deadlines for completion of coursework and may prescribe penalties for late completion of work and for failure to complete work, provided that these penalties are announced at the time the instructor makes available to the class the methods by which student performance shall be evaluated.
6.2.5 Coursework Extensions
Students are expected to meet the course deadlines, both of the School of Graduate Studies and of the graduate units in which they are registered, and are advised to plan their research projects accordingly. Students who find themselves unable to meet SGS deadlines for completing coursework can, under certain conditions, receive extensions for completing the work after the date set by SGS. Students must be registered in the session in which they are completing coursework extensions.
184.108.40.206 Petitions for Course Extensions
The authority to grant an extension for the completion of work in a course beyond the original SGS deadline for that course rests with the graduate unit in which the course was offered, not the instructor of the course. Students will petition the graduate unit for extensions, using a standard form provided by SGS.
The deadline for requesting an initial extension is the deadline for completion of coursework and grade submission for courses offered in the relevant session, as specified in this calendar.
A student on extension who is unable to complete the required coursework in the extension period specified by the graduate unit may apply to the graduate unit for a continuation of the extension (subject to the time limits and deadlines for extensions, set out below); however, the student must make such a request before the expiry date of the extension period in place.
220.127.116.11 Grounds for Course Extensions
Legitimate reasons for an extension can be academic in nature (e.g., unexpected problems of research in a course) or non-academic (e.g., illness). In order to ensure as much uniformity and fairness as possible in the granting of extensions (or continuations of extensions), the relevant graduate unit must be reasonably certain that:
the reasons for the delay are both serious and substantiated: the student must provide a statement detailing the reasons, together with a physician's letter in the case of illness;
the student would not be granted an unfair academic advantage over fellow students in the course;
the student would not be placing in jeopardy the normal and satisfactory completion of new coursework; and
the student does have a reasonable chance of completing outstanding requirements within the time to be allotted.
18.104.22.168 Deadlines for Course Extensions
If a graduate unit grants a petition for a course extension, it must specify an extension period which is not to run beyond the SGS deadline for completion of coursework and grade submission following the original SGS deadline for the course. Thus, the deadlines for course extensions are as follows:
|May 12, 2023||Fall session (Y, H) courses|
|September 8, 2023||Fall/Winter session (Y) and Winter session (Y, H) courses|
|January 12, 2024||Summer session courses and extended courses|
A graduate unit may grant a continuation of an extension that is already in place provided that it does not extend the total period of the extension beyond the foregoing deadlines.
Extensions beyond these deadlines will require the approval of both the graduate unit and the School of Graduate Studies.
22.214.171.124 Grade-Reporting Procedures
The graduate unit will assign the temporary course report of SDF (Standing Deferred) to a student on an approved coursework extension, pending receipt from the instructor and graduate unit of a final course report. The final course report is due no later than the SGS deadline for completion of coursework and grade submission in the subsequent session.
If, by that date, the student has not submitted the outstanding coursework, the submitted grade should be the actual grade earned in the course, calculated with zero assigned to any coursework that is still incomplete.
If there are compelling reasons for a further extension, and a graduate unit-supported request is approved by SGS, then the temporary report of SDF will be maintained until either a final course report is received by SGS, or the relevant deadline has expired.
Use of non-grade course reports such as WDR or INC, and amendments to submitted grades, must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies. Grade and non-grade notations appear in transcripts and are governed by the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.
126.96.36.199 SGS and Graduate Unit Notification
Graduate units are to notify SGS of extensions no later than the original deadlines for submitting grades for the relevant courses or, in case of continuations, no later than the expiry dates of the original periods of extension, providing in each case the new deadline for completion of coursework.
In addition, a graduate unit should notify the graduate unit in which the student is registered when it is not the same as the one granting the extension.
6.2.6 Extra Courses Not Required for the Degree
Graduate units may permit students to enrol in additional courses not required for the degree. Such courses must be so designated on the student's enrolment form.
These courses are subject to the same regulations regarding withdrawal, failure, and failure to complete work as are courses required for the degree, except that repetition or replacement of failed or incomplete courses may be waived by the graduate unit.
6.2.7 Prerequisite Courses
At least B– is required in all prerequisite courses but some graduate units may require a higher average; students should consult the graduate unit in advance.
6.2.8 Auditing a Graduate Course
Graduate units determine if they wish to allow auditing of their courses and which groups of students and non-students specified in the University of Toronto's Policy on Auditing of Courses they wish to allow. When auditing is allowed, the final decision to permit an individual to audit rests with the instructor of the course. In all cases, students registered in the University who wish to audit courses have priority over others.
An auditor may attend lectures and other class meetings, take part in class discussions, and, when the appropriate fee is paid, receive written confirmation of attendance. An auditor will not receive evaluations of participation and will not be allowed to submit assignments or write examinations and tests except by special and express permission.
Audited courses are not recorded on the student's official transcript. The following University of Toronto codes apply to auditors:
Further information about access, certificates of attendance, and fees for auditing may be obtained from Student Services at the School of Graduate Studies.
6.2.9 Transfer Credit and Exemptions
Transfer credit for graduate work completed in another program or as an SGS special student is limited to 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) or 25% of the course requirements for any degree, whichever is greater, provided that the courses have not been credited towards another degree, diploma, certificate, or any other qualifications. Such credit may be given on the recommendation of the student's graduate unit and with the School of Graduate Studies' approval, normally upon admission. Exceptions to the limit are allowed when approved for specific degrees.
Students participating in an approved exchange program on the recommendation of their graduate unit may receive transfer credit for up to 50% of the course requirements for their degree. They may also complete language requirements while on the exchange. When recommended by the unit and approved by SGS, that percentage may be exceeded by doctoral students.
In all cases, transfer credit arrangements for exchange program participants must be approved in advance by SGS.
Transfer of credit and course exemptions include the following categories:
Transfer Credit: Course Equivalent Credit received for course completed in a prior program is considered to be equivalent to course offered by the graduate unit, thus reducing the overall course credit requirements for degree.
Transfer Credit: General Equivalent Unassigned credit for course not identifiable with course offerings but which is evaluated as being appropriate for academic credit on transfer, thus reducing overall course credit requirements for degree.
Course Exemption: The graduate unit may exempt a student from a specific course requirement permitting the substitution of another course to meet degree requirements. Overall course credit requirements for degree are not reduced.
6.2.10 Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR)
Degree students in the School of Graduate Studies may not normally select any degree credits to be assessed on a Credit/No Credit basis. Graduate units may identify specific graduate programs in which students may elect to be assessed on a Credit/No Credit basis in specific courses on a limited basis. This information appears under the entry of the graduate unit offering the program.
In graduate programs where this option is enabled, students can choose or remove this mode of assessment on ACORN; the deadline to do so is the last date to drop the relevant course without academic penalty. Once the deadline has passed, students may not reverse this decision.
Eligibility for CR or NCR
To achieve a status of CR (Credit), a student must achieve a final mark of at least B–. Marks below that will be assessed as NCR (No Credit).
Students taking a course on a CR/NCR basis will not be identified individually to the instructor teaching that course; they will be assessed in the same way as all other students in the course, i.e., will have the same assignments and tests and will be evaluated with the same expectations.
This option is not available to SGS non-degree students.
Note to graduating students: The CR/NCR option is only open to degree students. Once students have graduated, they become non-degree students and they may not complete courses on a CR/NCR basis, even if they enrolled in the course before their graduation. For example, if a student is graduating in June and they select the CR/NCR option for a Summer course, or if a student is graduating in November and they select the CR/NCR option for a Fall or Winter course, the CR/NCR option will be removed upon graduation and a refined letter grade will appear on the student’s record.
The CR/NCR option cannot be selected for a course if there is an allegation of academic misconduct. If a student has specified the CR/NCR option for a course in which an academic offence has been committed, the CR/NCR option will be revoked and the refined letter grade will stand as the course grade.
Important Notes and Limitations of CR/NCR
The underlying mark of a course completed on a CR/NCR basis will not be released or reported in any way. However, the School of Graduate Studies cannot determine how an external body may read or interpret the CR/NCR on a transcript. If a specific mark may be required in a course for professional or graduate school applications or for other reasons in the future, students should not choose the CR/NCR option. Students may wish to seek advice of their Graduate Coordinator when considering the use of CR/NCR.
7 Good Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress, Time Limits, Supervision, and Candidacy
7.1 All Degree Students
To be in good academic standing, a student registered in a degree program in the School of Graduate Studies must:
comply with the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies as well as with the Degree Regulations and program requirements governing that degree program; and
make satisfactory progress towards the completion of the degree.
All degree students are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies, described in this section of this calendar. The degree regulations for the various doctoral and master's degrees offered by the School of Graduate Studies are specified in the Degree Regulations section of this calendar and in the Programs by Graduate Unit section, under the entry of the graduate unit offering the graduate program leading to the relevant degree. The specific requirements for the various graduate programs offered in the School of Graduate Studies are described under the entry of the graduate unit offering the program.
Each student is required to satisfy the program requirements found in the SGS Calendar (see Programs by Graduate Unit) of the academic year in which the student first registered in the graduate program. Failure to maintain good academic standing may result in various sanctions, including ineligibility for financial assistance, lowest priority for bursaries and assistantships, and even termination of registration.
The School of Graduate Studies may terminate the registration and eligibility of a student
who fails to comply with the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies, the relevant Degree Regulations, or the specific degree requirements of the graduate unit in which the student is registered; or
who fails to maintain satisfactory progress in the degree program in which the student is registered, as measured either by the general standards of the School of Graduate Studies or by the specific standards of the graduate unit.
7.2 Full-Time Students
Students must meet the full-time studies requirements to be in good academic standing—see General Regulations, section 6.1.1 Registration Procedures.
7.3 Timely Completion of Graduate Program Requirements
Each graduate unit establishes specific requirements for degree programs, in addition to those of the School of Graduate Studies, as well as standards of satisfactory performance and progress. These requirements and standards are described in the appropriate entry in the Programs by Graduate Unit section of this calendar and in material published separately by graduate units.
Continuation in a degree program requires satisfactory progress towards the completion of that program. A student's progress in a degree program will be considered satisfactory only if the student satisfies and completes the various requirements for that degree in a manner consistent with the SGS General Regulations and Degree Regulations and the graduate unit's timeline for completion of the degree program.
A graduate unit may recommend to the School of Graduate Studies that a student's registration and degree eligibility be terminated when a student fails to maintain satisfactory progress towards the completion of the degree.
7.4 Satisfactory Completion of Graduate Courses
Satisfactory performance in a degree program requires the completion of every course taken for graduate credit with a grade of at least a B–; some graduate units may require a minimum grade above a B– for some or all courses.
If a student fails to complete a graduate course in a satisfactory manner (i.e., receives a grade report of FZ or NCR in a course or receives a grade report below the minimum acceptable by the graduate unit), then the graduate unit in which the student is registered may recommend to the School of Graduate Studies the termination of registration and eligibility of that student.
If the student is permitted to continue, the student must repeat the relevant course, or take an alternative course recommended by the graduate unit and approved by the School of Graduate Studies, and obtain a satisfactory grade. The report for the course that was not completed in a satisfactory manner as well as the report for the repeated or alternative course will appear on the student's academic record.
7.5 Doctoral Students
7.5.1 Achieving Candidacy: Requirements and Time Limit
A degree student who has completed all requirements for the doctoral degree exclusive of thesis research will be designated as a "doctoral candidate" in the School of Graduate Studies.
To achieve candidacy, students in doctoral degree programs must:
complete all requirements for the degree exclusive of thesis research and courses such as ongoing research seminars that run continuously through the program; and
have an approved thesis topic, supervisor, and supervisory committee.
Candidacy must be achieved by the end of Year 3 for all doctoral programs, except for the five-year doctoral program, flexible-time PhD program option, and professional doctoral programs begun on a part-time basis. For those exceptions, candidacy must be achieved by the end of Year 4 of registration (see chart below).
Note: The foregoing time limits do not apply to courses that run continuously throughout the program.
Doctoral Degree Program Categories
Time Limit to Achieve Candidacy
|Doctoral, four-year program||by end of Year 3|
|Doctoral, five-year program (direct-entry)||by end of Year 4|
|Flexible-time PhD program option||by end of Year 4|
|Professional doctoral program, full-time||by end of Year 3|
|Professional doctoral program, part-time||by end of Year 4|
In exceptional circumstances, a student who has not met these requirements may be permitted to register in the program for up to 12 months (3 sessions) at the discretion of the graduate unit in which the student is registered. Continuation beyond 12 months will require the approval of both the graduate unit and the School of Graduate Studies.
Completion of the program requirements identified above will signal the achievement of candidacy. Successful completion of candidacy is recognized by a notation on the transcript.
See also requirements and deadlines in the Degree Regulations and unit entries in the Programs by Graduate Unit section of this calendar.
7.5.2 Supervision and Satisfactory Progress
All doctoral students must have an identified supervisor and supervisory committee as early as practicable in their program. The supervisory committee should consist of the supervisor chosen from among the graduate faculty members of the graduate unit in which the student is registered and two other members of the graduate faculty.
Where appropriate, the graduate unit should assist in selection of the supervisor. Both student and supervisor should be involved in the selection and approval of other supervisory committee members.
Unless the graduate unit has specified earlier deadlines, supervisory committees should be established no later than the end of the fourth session in all doctoral programs, except in five-year (direct-entry) doctoral programs, flexible-time PhD program options, and part-time professional doctoral programs, where the supervisory committee should be established no later than the end of the seventh session (see chart below).
Doctoral Degree Program Categories
Time Limit for Constituting Supervisory Committee
Doctoral, four-year program
by end of first session in Year 2
Doctoral, five-year program (direct-entry)
by end of first session in Year 3
Flexible-time PhD program option
by end of first session in Year 2
Professional doctoral program, full-time
by end of first session in Year 2
Professional doctoral program, part-time
by end of first session in Year 3
The student's choice of supervisor and supervisory committee is subject to the approval of the graduate unit in which the student is registered. A student who encounters difficulties setting up a supervisory committee should consult the chair, director, or graduate coordinator of the graduate unit in advance of the relevant deadline.
A student who fails to constitute a supervisory committee by the required time may lose good academic standing.
A student is expected to meet with this committee at least once a year, and more often if the committee so requires. At each meeting, the supervisory committee will assess the student's progress in the program and provide advice on future work. In each of two consecutive meetings, if a student's supervisory committee reports that the student's progress is unsatisfactory, the graduate unit may recommend to the School of Graduate Studies the termination of registration and eligibility of that student.
A student who encounters difficulties arranging a meeting of this committee should consult the chair, director, or graduate coordinator of the graduate unit in advance of the relevant deadline for doing so.
A student who, through their own neglect, fails to meet with the supervisory committee in a given year will be considered to have received an unsatisfactory progress report from the committee.
See also General Regulations, section 8 Thesis and Graduate Student Supervision; Degree Regulations, section 12 Doctoral Degrees; and specific program requirements in the Programs by Graduate Unit section.
8 Thesis and Graduate Student Supervision
8.1 Thesis Topic and Supervision
A thesis is a piece of scholarly writing. In those degree programs for which a thesis is part of the requirements, the work upon which the thesis is based must be conducted under the direction of one or more members of the faculty of the School of Graduate Studies.
Students must choose a thesis topic for which the graduate unit in which they are registered is able to provide adequate supervision.
A student's choice of thesis topic, as well as their choice of supervisor from among the graduate faculty members available in the graduate unit and supervisory committee, is subject to the approval of the Graduate chair, director, or dean in the graduate unit in which the student is registered.
8.2 Doctoral and Master's Supervision
While the special, collaborative relationship between student and supervisor serves as a foundation for graduate education, particularly at the doctoral level, the primary responsibility for graduate programs and their supervision rests with the graduate unit. The chair, director, or dean of the graduate unit has the principal obligation and authority for exercising these responsibilities, in accordance with the Constitution of the School of Graduate Studies, and, therefore, for implementing the academic and procedural standards established in the School of Graduate Studies.
Although this calendar outlines procedures to be followed in the supervision of doctoral and master's students, it is clear that these have general applicability for all graduate students to some degree. It is essential that students have access to information relevant to their graduate program of studies, in all domains.
Thus, each graduate unit will provide students with documentation that provides details of all procedures involved with graduate training, a list of members of the graduate faculty with relevant information concerning their participation, fields of expertise and supervision, and access to the SGS Graduate Supervision Guidelines.
In addition, updated statements must be made available to students on a regular basis. These will include the availability of financial assistance, and relevant information to affected students about the expected absences of their supervisor(s) and/or advisor(s).
Any graduate student who believes that their graduate unit is not following the supervision guidelines may inform their graduate unit or the School of Graduate Studies.
The academic experience is greatly enhanced if members of the academic faculty, in addition to the direct supervisor, are readily and formally available for consultation and discussion with the graduate student. Therefore, an individual thesis supervisory committee or, as an alternative, an area supervisory committee, should be struck as early as possible for each graduate student, and certainly from the commencement of thesis supervision.
The graduate unit is responsible for adopting a procedure for monitoring the progress of doctoral students registered in its programs. Consistent with the SGS Graduate Supervision Guidelines, the procedure must contain, at minimum, a supervisory committee that:
consists of the supervisor, chosen from among the graduate faculty members of the graduate unit in which the student is registered, and at least two graduate faculty members who hold a graduate faculty membership;
if a co-supervisor is identified, must also hold a graduate faculty membership in the student’s graduate unit;
meets with the student at least once per year to assess the student's progress in the program and to provide advice on future work; and
submits a report detailing its observations of the student's progress and its recommendations.
Further, the student must be given the opportunity to respond to the supervisory committee's report and recommendations and to append a response to the committee's report. Copies of the report must be given to the student and filed with the graduate unit.
8.3 Doctoral Final Oral Examination
All doctoral students must defend a thesis at a Final Oral Examination organized by the graduate unit with the cooperation of the School of Graduate Studies, as follows:
The candidate shall defend the thesis at a Final Oral Examination organized by the graduate unit with the cooperation of SGS. The process of scheduling the examination, allowing time for professional appraisal, can be expected to take at least eight weeks, and candidates should discuss the timing with the graduate administration of their unit. Candidates should also ascertain whether their unit imposes regulations over and above the minimal conditions required by SGS.
The graduate unit will notify SGS eight weeks prior to the examination when the thesis is ready to go forward for examination. In the absence of any particular local procedure, the candidate's supervising committee will advise SGS that the thesis is ready to proceed. In rare cases, a thesis may proceed to examination without the approval of the supervising committee; candidates who wish to proceed without such approval should contact SGS.
The thesis will be sent to an appraiser external to the University of Toronto, appointed by SGS on the recommendation of the graduate unit. (The supervisor of the thesis will propose a list of names of possible external appraisers to the graduate coordinator or chair, who will choose one and send the recommendation to SGS for approval. The graduate unit will certify that the external appraiser has an arm's-length relationship to the candidate and supervisor.) The external appraiser must be a recognized expert on the subject of the thesis and must be external to the University as well as to its affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutes. Such an individual must be an associate or full professor at the home institution or, if the individual comes from outside the academic sector, must possess the qualifications to be appointed to an academic position at this level. Arrangements with external appraisers are the responsibility of the graduate unit. In particular, the graduate unit must allow the external appraiser sufficient time to act. The graduate unit must have a copy of the thesis delivered to the appraiser at least six weeks, and preferably longer, in advance of the examination date. Appraisals must be submitted to SGS at least two weeks in advance of the examination date; if they are not, the examination may have to be rescheduled. The graduate unit must also ensure that copies of the thesis are made available to all other voting members of the examination committee at least four weeks in advance of the examination date.
An examination committee, appointed by SGS on the recommendation of the graduate unit, will conduct the Final Oral Examination. The examination committee must include at least four, but no more than six, voting members: one to three of the voting members will have served on the candidate's supervisory committee, and at least two voting members will not have been closely involved in the supervision of the thesis. Eligible for inclusion in the latter group are the external appraiser, members of the graduate faculty of the candidate's graduate unit, and members of the graduate faculty of other departments, centres, or institutes of the University. The examination committee may include, in addition, up to two non-voting members, who will be members of the graduate faculty of the candidate's graduate unit or members of the graduate faculty of another graduate unit of the University. A quorum is four voting members, two of whom must not have been closely involved in the supervision of the thesis. Graduate units must ascertain in advance the willingness of the persons named to act. SGS may modify the composition of the examination committee to fit exceptional circumstances.
SGS will appoint a non-voting chair to the examination committee. The chair will be a full member or member emeritus of the graduate faculty, holding no appointment to the graduate faculty of the candidate's graduate unit.
The graduate unit is responsible for scheduling the examination, booking a room, and making appropriate technical arrangements.
The graduate unit must submit to SGS, via ROSI, a nomination form; an abstract of the thesis, in English, not longer than 350 words; and a copy of the examination program.
The graduate unit will send a copy of the external appraisal of the thesis to SGS as soon as it is received. The graduate unit is responsible for the distribution of copies of the external appraisal to the candidate (two weeks before the examination) and members of the examination committee. It should not be distributed beyond that group and the relevant administrative officers before the examination. The candidate is to be instructed not to communicate with the external appraiser/examiner until the examination is under way.
Members of the graduate faculty are entitled to attend the examination, and with the permission of the chair, they may ask questions of the candidate, but they must withdraw before the committee's discussion and vote. A qualified observer may attend, subject to the same restrictions, if the graduate unit has received approval for such attendance in writing beforehand from SGS. Otherwise, the examination is closed to the public. The vote at the examination takes into account both the thesis and the oral defence itself.
The examination committee represents the SGS Graduate Education Council and through it the University. It is therefore responsible for the standard of the doctoral degree in this University. Graduate unit examinations held immediately in advance of the final oral must not therefore interfere with attendance at, or thoroughness of, the final examination. The committee must evaluate the external appraisal of the thesis, which is to be considered only as an individual opinion to be employed as the committee sees fit. It must examine the candidate on the content and implications of the thesis. Where someone other than the candidate is a co-author of any portion of the thesis, the examination committee must be satisfied that the candidate's personal contribution to the thesis is sufficient to fulfil the requirements of the doctoral degree. In addition to determining the adequacy of the thesis, the committee must satisfy itself that the thesis document meets the proper standards of scholarship. The committee possesses the full authority of the School of Graduate Studies with respect to the examination.
A quorum for the final examination is four voting members, two of whom must not have been closely involved in the thesis, plus the examination committee chair, who has no vote. Voting shall be by signed ballot, and the names of the examiners and their respective votes shall be read to the examination committee by the chair. If a quorum is not present, the chair must delay the examination to obtain a quorum or may postpone the examination to another date.
The candidate passes on the first examination:
a. if the decision is unanimous;
b. or if there is not more than one negative vote or abstention.
If there is more than one negative vote or abstention, adjournment is mandatory. In the event of adjournment, the examination committee must provide the candidate, as soon as possible, with a written statement that indicates the reasons for adjournment and the committee's requirements for the reconvened oral examination. In addition, the examination committee must decide the approximate date of the reconvened examination. The time between the adjourned examination and the reconvened examination should be as short as circumstances will permit and in no case shall exceed one year.
At the reconvened examination, no new committee members shall be added, except for necessary replacements. It is the obligation of the examiners to attend the reconvened examination.
The candidate passes on the reconvened examination:
a. if the decision is unanimous;
b. or if there is not more than one negative vote or abstention.
No further adjournment will be allowed. If a candidate is not recommended for the degree by the committee in charge of the second examination, the candidate is ineligible for further doctoral candidacy at the University. The examination committee must provide the candidate, as soon as possible, with a written statement that explains clearly and directly why the examiners found the candidate's performance unsatisfactory on the written and/ or oral components of the examination, as may be relevant. The candidate’s registration in the graduate program will be terminated.
If editorial corrections are a condition of acceptance of the thesis, the candidate must complete the corrections within one month of the date of the examination, and the supervisor will inform the candidate of the necessary corrections. The supervisor must notify the School of Graduate Studies directly in writing that the required corrections have been made by the candidate, with a copy of the correspondence sent to the graduate coordinator of the graduate unit, before the candidate is recommended for the degree.
If minor revisions are a condition of acceptance of the thesis, the chair of the examination committee will appoint a subcommittee of the examination committee (to be approved by the examination committee) to supervise the proposed revisions. One member of the subcommittee is designated by the chair, with the approval of the examination committee, as the convenor. The convenor will be responsible for the preparation of a statement detailing the revisions required. Revisions must be completed within three months of the date of the oral examination. The members of the subcommittee will report on the acceptability of the completed revisions to the convenor. If all members of the subcommittee approve the completed revisions, the candidate will be passed without the necessity of reconvening the examination committee. The convenor of the subcommittee must certify in writing to the School of Graduate Studies, within three months of the original examination, that the revisions have or have not been satisfactorily completed. If one or more members of the subcommittee do not approve the completed revisions, the Final Oral Examination must be reconvened within a year of the date of the original examination.
The examination committee must decide the nature of minor revisions, but it is intended that minor revisions should be more than corrections in style and less than major changes in the thesis. A typical example of minor revisions might be clarification of textual material or qualification of research findings and conclusions.
For further details, students should consult the Producing Your Thesis section of the SGS website.
8.4 Submission of Theses
One electronic copy of the final approved version of the defended thesis (master's or doctoral) must be submitted to SGS through the digital research repository for the University of Toronto community.
The format of the submitted thesis must comply with the School of Graduate Studies guidelines.
SGS requires that every doctoral thesis be published substantially as it is accepted. The preservation and public dissemination of original dissertation research is a principle to which the University, as a publicly funded institute of higher education, is strongly committed. Unrestricted release of theses means permanent worldwide access through the Internet. Students retain copyright on the thesis as the thesis author. However, in exceptional cases, the author, in consultation with the thesis supervisor and with the approval of the chair of the graduate unit, shall have the right to postpone distribution and publication for a period up to two years from the date of acceptance of the thesis. In exceptional circumstances and on written petition to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, the period might be extended, but in no case for more than five years from the date of acceptance of the thesis unless approved by the SGS Graduate Education Council.
All theses will be submitted to ProQuest, which in turn makes theses available for purchase on its ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global Database and includes the catalogue records in its bibliographic services. Following submission to ProQuest, theses will be made openly available on TSpace, the University of Toronto’s research repository, and submitted to the national thesis program at Library and Archives Canada.
Thesis submission initiates the request for graduation. A bound printed copy of the doctoral thesis in its final form may be required by the candidate's graduate unit. Candidates should consult their unit to determine the format, number, and distribution of such copies.
Students must agree to the Library and Archives Canada Theses Non-exclusive License when making an electronic submission; any necessary copyright permissions will be uploaded to the digital research repository at this time.
Specific formatting guidelines must be followed so that theses conform to the requirements of SGS and for the publication of the thesis. Theses that do not conform to these formatting guidelines will not be accepted. For more information about required fees, forms, copyright, thesis formatting, and other related matters, visit the Producing Your Thesis section of the SGS website.
8.4.1 Doctoral Thesis
Prior to the Final Oral Examination, required copies of the doctoral thesis must be submitted by the candidate to the graduate unit. The candidate should consult the graduate coordinator regarding requirements and deadlines for submission of material.
The graduate unit is responsible for ensuring that a copy of the thesis is available at the Final Oral Examination.
Following successful completion of the Final Oral Examination, an electronic copy of the final approved version of the thesis and the required form(s) must be submitted to SGS (see section 8.4 Submission of Theses).
Confirmation in writing that any corrections or revisions deemed necessary after the defence must also be received by SGS (see General Regulations section 8.3 Doctoral Final Oral Examination).
8.4.2 Master's Thesis
Students should consult their graduate unit for additional local format requirements, submission deadlines, and procedures concerning master's theses.
An electronic copy of the thesis must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies only after the thesis has been successfully defended and any final corrections have been made. The School of Graduate Studies also requires a copy of the letter from the student's supervisor confirming completion of any required corrections.
Students may also be required to submit a bound copy or copies of the thesis to the relevant graduate unit.
9.1 Degree Recommendations
When all requirements for a master’s degree program or graduate diploma program have been fulfilled, the graduate unit is required to submit a degree recommendation or diploma recommendation to the School of Graduate Studies indicating that the program has been satisfactorily completed by the student. Students should note that in the case of thesis master's programs, degree recommendations are only approved after the thesis and required supporting documents have been submitted to SGS.
When all requirements for a doctoral program have been fulfilled and a final copy of the thesis, as well as required supporting documents, have been submitted to SGS, the student will be recommended for graduation by SGS.
Master's and doctoral students must graduate at the convocation immediately following the completion of their degree requirements.
9.2 Convocation Ceremonies
Convocation ceremonies are held twice a year, in the spring and fall. Students who choose to attend a ceremony must attend the ceremony which directly follows the completion of their degree requirements. SGS Student Services submits the names of the graduands to the Office of Convocation, which is responsible for the procedures for the convocation ceremony and the issuance of diplomas.
Students who complete degree requirements by the January deadline can choose to have their degree conferred in absentia in March (there is no ceremony) or attend the ceremony in June.
The School of Graduate Studies will not release the official diploma to students who have outstanding debts or obligations to the University in accordance with the Policy on Academic Sanctions for Students Who Have Outstanding University Obligations. See section 11.9 Access to Official Student Academic Records.
Graduation information is available at governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/convocation.
10 Academic Appeals Policy
Graduate students may appeal substantive or procedural academic matters, including grades, evaluation of comprehensive examinations and other program requirements; decisions about the student's continuation in any program; or concerning any other decision with respect to the application of academic regulations and requirements to a student.
Decisions related to admission to an academic program, including admission to the doctoral program for current master's students, are not subject to appeal.
Appeals (except those under 10.1.1) must be initiated within the student's home graduate unit unless the appeal relates to a course outside the graduate unit, in which case it must be initiated in the graduate unit in which the course was taken, with notification to the student's home graduate unit. In the case of collaborative specialization core courses, the appeal is pursued through the student's home graduate unit where representation from the collaborative specialization will be included in the constitution of an appeal committee or hearing.
The process of academic appeal described in this policy must be followed for all disputes except appeals related to failure of a Final Doctoral Oral Examination or related to termination of registration in a program. Such appeals must be made directly to the SGS Graduate Academic Appeals Board (GAAB).
These appeals begin at Graduate Appeal Step 3 (section 10.3.3). In some such cases, the chair of GAAB may refer the appeal to the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC) for prior consideration and a recommendation to GAAB. The GDAAC does not have the right to overturn a failed Final Doctoral Oral Examination result or a termination of registration, but may recommend that such a decision be considered further by GAAB.
10.2 Informal Mediation
At any stage before filing and until the hearing of any appeal with the SGS Graduate Academic Appeals Board, a student may consult SGS for advice and/or informal mediation. With the consent of both parties, a representative of SGS will serve as informal mediator, attempting to resolve the dispute or clarify issues. Timelines are not affected by mediation. Consultation with SGS at an early stage is encouraged.
In cases where SGS has approved the termination of a student's registration or in cases where perceived or actual conflict of interest is identified, the student will have access to an alternate informal mediator.
The overall graduate appeals process is set out in the table below. Students should note the timelines for each stage carefully.
10.3.1 Step 1: Informal
In the case of dispute, students must first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor or other person whose ruling is in question. Should the matter not be resolved with the instructor, and should the student wish to pursue the matter, the student must discuss the matter with the graduate coordinator/chair/dean of the graduate unit.
10.3.2 Step 2: Department Appeal
Should such discussions fail to resolve the matter, the student may make a formal appeal in writing to the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC).
The student must complete a Notice of Appeal to GDAAC; a copy of this notice is available from the graduate coordinator/chair/dean in every graduate unit. This form must be completed and delivered to the chair/dean of the graduate unit or the chair of GDAAC within the specified timeline of eight weeks from the date of the decision under appeal.
The chair of the GDAAC will determine, at their sole discretion, whether the appeal will proceed by way of an oral hearing and/or written submissions. In either case, at the conclusion of the hearing and/or review of the written submissions, the GDAAC will make a recommendation to the chair/dean of the graduate unit regarding the merits of the appeal. The chair/dean of the graduate unit will then render the department-level appeal decision. GDAAC guidelines for chairs/deans are made available to all parties in an appeal.
10.3.3 Step 3: Appeal to GAAB
The student may appeal the decision of the chair/dean of the graduate unit by filing a Notice of Appeal to the SGS Graduate Academic Appeals Board (GAAB) within eight weeks of the decision of the chair/dean of the graduate unit.
Filing a Notice of Appeal to GAAB is the first step for a student who is making an appeal regarding the failure of the Final Doctoral Oral Examination or termination of registration in a graduate program.
10.3.4 Step 4: Governing Council Appeal
A decision of the SGS Graduate Academic Appeals Board (GAAB) may subsequently be appealed by a student to the Governing Council's Academic Appeals Committee, in accordance with its guidelines and procedures. An appeal to this committee shall be commenced by filing a notice of appeal with its Secretary no later than 90 days after the date of the GAAB decision under appeal.
Steps and Timelines
Timeline for Student Action at Each Stage
See Note A below
See Note B below
Timeline for Decision/Action by University Body at Each Stage
See Note C below
a. Student to instructor
b. Student to graduate coordinator/chair/dean
8 weeks from date of decision being appealed
2. Graduate-Unit-Level Appeal
Notice of Appeal to GDAAC1
Note: Appeals related to failure of the Final Doctoral Oral Examination or to termination of registration in a graduate program must be made directly to GAAB2; see Step 3b below.
8 weeks from filing of Notice of Appeal to GDAAC1
a. 8 weeks from decision of graduate unit chair/dean
b. 8 weeks from written notification of failure of the Final Doctoral Oral Examination or termination of registration in a graduate program
3. SGS Appeal
a. Notice of Appeal to GAAB2
b. Appeal begins here for students who wish to appeal failure of the Final Doctoral Oral Examination or termination of registration in a graduate program.
8 weeks from filing of Notice of Appeal to GAAB2
90 days from decision of GAAB2
4. Governing Council Appeal
Notice of Appeal to GCAAC3
Note A: A student may apply, in writing and with reasons, for an extension of time. Such applications may be made to the chair of GDAAC for graduate-unit-level appeals or to the GAAB for SGS-level appeals. Any extension is within the discretion of the GDAAC chair, or the GAAB, as appropriate, where the view is that compelling reasons exist.
Note B: Informal mediation is available via the SGS Vice-Dean at any stage before filing an appeal with the GAAB. Consultation with the SGS Vice-Dean at an early stage is encouraged. In cases where SGS has approved the termination of a student’s registration or in cases where perceived or actual conflict of interest is identified, the student will have access to an alternate informal mediator.
Note C: The chair of the appeal body retains discretion to extend time limits applicable to its response at any stage where, in its view, compelling reasons exist.
1 Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee
2 Graduate Academic Appeals Board
3 Governing Council Academic Appeals Committee
11 Policies and Guidelines
Important School of Graduate Studies policies and guidelines affecting graduate students are included in the SGS Calendar. However, there are numerous additional policies and guidelines affecting graduate studies on the SGS website.
Furthermore, University of Toronto-wide policies affecting students are posted on the Governing Council website.
11.1 University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy
The University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy sets out the principles and key elements that should characterize the assessment and grading of student work in for-credit programming at the University of Toronto.
For graduate programs and students, any reference to “division/Faculty” should be understood to refer to the School of Graduate Studies, and any reference to department should be understood to refer to the relevant graduate unit.
The School of Graduate Studies is the only division that may develop additional grading regulations and guidelines for graduate studies. Where undergraduate and graduate practices differ, this has been indicated explicitly in the text. Otherwise, all clauses should be understood to apply equally to students at either level of study. Divisions/Faculties may wish to develop procedures for implementing these policies according to their needs. These procedures must be consistent with this policy. In case of conflict or lack of clarity, this policy will be understood to take precedence.
See the full text of the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.
11.2 Academic Continuity Policy
This policy provides a framework that will guide the University in enhancing its ability to fulfil its academic mission in the face of potential threats to academic continuity. It is intended to apply to circumstances and events that are potential threats to the continuity of the academic operations of the University and relates entirely to the principles and processes that should guide the University in this context. It applies to instances when the academic continuity of one or more programs, one or more departments or Faculties, one or more campuses, or the whole University is disrupted and changes need to be made to the normal academic operations of the University.
See the full text of the Policy on Academic Continuity.
11.3 Intellectual Property
The University believes that all contributors to the successful realization of new technologies and knowledge should share fairly and appropriately in the benefits. For details and further information, visit www.research.utoronto.ca.
11.4 Research Ethics
The University's Policy on Ethical Conduct in Research requires each academic division to formulate its own guidelines. The divisional guidelines apply to graduate students enrolled in graduate units within those Faculties. For details and further information, visit www.research.utoronto.ca.
11.5 Policy on Academic Sanctions for Students Who Have Outstanding Obligations to the University
Academic sanctions are applicable to any student who has an outstanding obligation to the University. Recognized obligations are as follows:
academic and other incidental fees
residence fees and other residence charges
loans made by colleges, Faculties, or the University
health service accounts
unreturned or damaged instruments, materials and equipment
orders for the restitution, rectification, or the payment of damages, fines, bonds for good behaviour, and requirement of public service work imposed under the authority of the Code of Student Conduct.
See the full text of the Policy on Academic Sanctions for Students Who Have Outstanding University Obligations.
11.6 Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters
The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters addresses the responsibilities of all students and faculty to the integrity of the teaching and learning experience.
See the full text of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.
11.7 Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
The Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment protects students, faculty, and staff from sexual harassment within the University community.
See the full text of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment.
11.8 Code of Student Conduct
Non-academic offences are defined in the University's Code of Student Conduct. The Code addresses offences, procedures, interim conditions and measures, and sanctions.
See the full text of the Code of Student Conduct.
11.9 Access to Official Student Academic Records
Academic records of students are ultimately the property of the University. The Guidelines Concerning Access to Official Student Academic Records establishes University-wide aims, objectives, criteria, and procedures that apply to the academic records of students.
See the full text of the Guidelines Concerning Access to Official Student Academic Records.
The School of Graduate Studies will withhold access to statements of results and transcripts of students, alumni, and former students who have outstanding debts or obligations to the University in accordance with the Policy on Academic Sanctions for Students Who Have Outstanding University Obligations. The School of Graduate Studies will not release the official diploma to such persons nor will it provide written or oral certifications of degree on their behalf.
11.10 Transcript Policy
This policy sets out the principles that underpin the University’s understanding of its official academic transcript and to describe the minimum information that the transcript must include. The academic transcript is the primary, official, consolidated record of a student’s academic performance and achievement.
University of Toronto consolidated transcripts are limited to degree-level studies.
See the full text of the Transcript Policy.
11.11 Policy on Official Correspondence with Students
The University and its divisions may use the postal mail system and/or electronic message services (e.g., electronic mail and other computer-based online correspondence systems) as mechanisms for delivering official correspondence to students. Official correspondence may include, but is not limited to, matters related to students' participation in their academic programs, important information concerning University and program scheduling, fees information, and other matters concerning the administration and governance of the University.
Students are responsible for maintaining and advising the University — via the University's student information system (currently ACORN) — of a current and valid postal address as well as the address for a University-issued electronic mail account that meets a standard of service set by the Vice-President and Provost.
Failure to do so may result in a student missing important information and will not be considered an acceptable rationale for failing to receive official correspondence from the University.
The University provides centrally supported technical services and the infrastructure to make electronic mail and/or online communications systems available to students. University correspondence delivered by electronic mail is subject to the same public information, privacy, and records retention requirements and policies as are other University correspondence and student records. The University's expectations concerning use of information and communication technology are articulated in the guidelines on Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology.
Students are expected to monitor and retrieve their mail, including electronic messaging account(s) issued to them by the University, on a frequent and consistent basis. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time critical. Students have the right to forward their University-issued electronic mail account to another electronic mail service provider address but remain responsible for ensuring that all University electronic message communication sent to the official University-issued account is received and read.
See the full text of the Policy on Official Correspondence with Students.
11.12 Policy on the Framework on Off-Campus Safety
The Policy on the Framework on Off-Campus Safety is designed to provide University staff and faculty involved in the planning and execution of University-related off-campus activities with a set of core planning principles with respect to safety.
See the full text of the Policy on the Framework on Off-Campus Safety.
Students are also encouraged to review the Guidelines on Safety in Field Research produced by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
11.13 Statement on Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology
The University of Toronto provides guidelines on the appropriate use of information and communication technology (ICT) within the University community. ICT resources are made available for all employees, students, and other members of the University community, but remain the property of the University. Users are expected to limit their use to the performance of University-related activities, although a reasonable allowance will be made for personal use. Users should not have an expectation of complete privacy in using the University's ICT and related services.
See the full text of the Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology.
11.14 Statement on Human Rights
Acknowledging its fundamental and distinctive commitment to freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression, the University of Toronto affirms its commitment to the values of equal opportunity, equity, and social justice.
See the full text of the Statement on Human Rights.
11.15 University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy
The University is committed to providing students with the opportunity to pursue their educational goals. It is also committed to maintaining a safe environment for study and work. Pursuant to the University's commitment to providing supports and accommodations for students and its obligation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the University provides accommodative resources through a number of services, each involving specialized attention by experienced and qualified staff to the specific needs of students.
In most circumstances, these resources, combined with the engagement and cooperation of the student, will allow a student to obtain their educational goals. However, on a small number of occasions, this approach may not be successful, or a student, for whatever reason, may not engage with the supportive resources, and the result may be an impact on the health and safety of the student or others, or on the ability of the student to engage in the essential elements of the educational activity. In these infrequent circumstances, the potential application of the Code of Student Conduct will not be suitable, since it entails a disciplinary approach. Similarly, it may not be consistent with the duty to accommodate to merely let the student confront significant negative academic consequences in these situations. This Policy, therefore, sets out additional options to better reflect the needs and the situation of the student.
This Policy will be applied in a manner that fully complies with the Ontario Human Rights Code including (where applicable) the duty to provide reasonable accommodation to the point of undue hardship.
See the full text of the University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy.