School of Graduate Studies Admissions Application
FAQ | Help

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the Frequently Asked Questions that we at the University of Toronto receive regarding this site and the application process.

Questions

  1. When should I apply? What is the application deadline?
  2. I missed the application deadline; can I have an extension?
  3. What are the admissions requirements?
  4. I am an international applicant. Will you recognize my degree?
  5. How much is the application fee?
  6. How should I pay the application fee?
  7. I am an international student and I am unable to obtain Canadian funds as required above. What can I do?
  8. I made a mistake and selected the wrong method of payment on the application. Can I change to a different payment method?
  9. Can my application fee be waived?
  10. I changed my mind and do not want to go to graduate school anymore; can the application fee be refunded?
  11. I accidentally applied for the wrong program; can this be changed, or can the application fee be refunded?
  12. I want to apply to more than one program; do I have to submit more than one application?
  13. English is not my first language. Do I need to take the TOEFL/TWE exam?
  14. My name as it appears in my official transcripts is different from my passport/other documents; do I need to provide a document explaining the discrepancy?
  15. Do I have to list all the schools and institutions I have attended in the "Academic Background" section?
  16. How and when should I submit my academic transcripts?
  17. My institution will release transcripts to me, but not the institution in demand. Can I submit these transcripts to the University of Toronto?
  18. My transcript does not include course titles/grades. What should I do?
  19. What do I do if my educational institution has closed?
  20. I have not completed my current degree yet, what should I do?
  21. My academic records are in a language other than English or French. Shall I also submit English translations of my documents?
  22. I would like my transcripts to be returned to me after my application is processed. Is this possible?
  23. How many reference letters are required for admission?
  24. What is the submission process for my referees?
  25. My referee did not receive the automatic reference request email from the School of Graduate Studies. Could you please resend it?
  26. My referee’s contact information has changed. I have already submitted my online application; how can I edit the referee's contact information?
  27. Where can I find information on the status of my application?
  28. I have to send some required supporting documents in hard copy. Where do I send them?
  29. How will I know when the graduate unit has received my supplemental materials?
  30. I sent my application but I have not heard back from the graduate unit. How do I know my application and supporting documents have been received?
  31. All of my required documents are showing as “Received” in the system; why is my application still showing a status of “Documents Pending”?
  32. Do I apply for funding at the same time as I apply for admission?
  33. When will I hear a decision on my application?
  34. Who should I contact if I need further information?

Answers

When should I apply? What is the application deadline?

Application deadlines vary from program to program. Please visit the admission requirements page for the program you have selected, or contact the appropriate graduate unit for the exact deadline date.


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I missed the application deadline; can I have an extension?

Your application should be received by the program’s application deadline. You must contact the graduate unit if you wish to request approval to apply after the deadline.

If you have missed the application deadline, you will not be permitted to submit an Online Application until you have received approval from the graduate unit.


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What are the admissions requirements?

SGS sets minimum admissions requirements as follows:

- Master’s Programs: An appropriate Bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution is required, with at least a mid B average in the final year of study.
- Doctoral Programs: A University of Toronto master’s degree or equivalent is required, with at least a B+ average.
- Direct-Entry PhD: Some departments will allow exceptional applicants to apply for a PhD program directly from a bachelor’s degree. Applicants for these programs require an appropriate Bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, with an average of at least A-.

Many departments have higher minimum requirements than these. As we receive many more applications each year from excellent candidates than we have places available, meeting the minimum admissions requirement does not guarantee admission.


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I am an international applicant. Will you recognize my degree?

Please refer to our listing of international degree equivalencies (here). If your degree is not listed there, you may contact us at admissions.sgs@utoronto.ca for confirmation.

Please note that the confirmation of degree equivalency process is separate from the review of your application that will be completed by the graduate unit after you apply. We will not review or assess your academic record without an official application to a graduate degree program at the University of Toronto, including payment of the appropriate application fee. All we are able to do prior to application is to confirm if the degree you have received is considered equivalent to our minimum admission requirements.

If you do need to email us to inquire about your specific degree, please be sure to include the country and university in which it was earned, and the full official name of the credential awarded (in the original language, not translated), with date of award and length of study period.


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How much is the application fee?

The base application fee is $110 Canadian Dollars. A supplementary application fee may be assessed, depending upon the program to which you are applying. The supplementary application fee can be found at the program's web site or at the payment step of the Online Application. The application fee is required, non-refundable, and non-transferable.


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How should I pay the application fee?

Payment is made at the time of application online using only a Visa or Mastercard credit card. Applications will not be processed until the application fee is received.


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I am an international student and I am unable to obtain Canadian funds as required above. What can I do?

Please contact payment.sgs@utoronto.ca for information about alternative methods of payment. Include your Application number for faster communication.


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I made a mistake and selected the wrong method of payment on the application. Can I change to a different payment method?

No. When you select your payment method, you will be asked to confirm your selection; after that you will not be able to make changes.


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Can my application fee be waived?

No. The application fee may not be waived, refunded, or deferred.


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I changed my mind and do not want to go to graduate school anymore; can the application fee be refunded?

No. The application fee may not be waived, refunded, or deferred.


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I accidentally applied for the wrong program; can this be changed, or can the application fee be refunded?

No. If you have applied for the wrong program, you must begin a new application for the correct program. The fee for the incorrect application cannot be refunded.


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I want to apply to more than one program; do I have to submit more than one application?

In most cases, yes. If you wish to apply to more than one program, you must pay separate application fees and submit separate sets of documents for each.

Exception: Applicants to any of the programs administered by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) may apply for up to three programs in a single application.


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English is not my first language. Do I need to take the TOEFL/TWE exam?

If your primary language is not English and you graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, then you must demonstrate your facility in English by successfully completing an acceptable English Facility Test. This requirement should be met at the time you submit your application, and must be met before registration is allowed. The TOEFL is just one of the many tests that we accept.

Note: You are not required to complete an English Facility Test if you are a Canadian citizen who studied at a Canadian university where the language of instruction is French.

For more information, including the acceptable English facility tests and minimum required scores, please see the SGS English Proficiency Requirements page here.


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My name as it appears in my official transcripts is different from my passport/other documents; do I need to provide a document explaining the discrepancy?

Yes. If your name does not appear consistently across all of your documents, you must provide original documentation of your name change (such as a marriage certificate or a notarized name change certificate) to SGS Student Services.


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Do I have to list all the schools and institutions I have attended in the "Academic Background" section?

You must list all post-secondary institutions you have attended. You do not need to submit any information or documents related to your high school studies.


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How and when should I submit my academic transcripts?

Please read all of the information below regarding the submission of both electronic and paper transcripts.

Electronic (Scanned) Transcripts:
All applicants are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution attended.

Scanned copies of transcripts must be up to date and must include the transcript “legend” which is usually printed on the back of the paper transcript. More detailed requirements for scanning and submitting can be found below. The admissions committee will make its decision about your application based on this scanned transcript. Please ensure that the file is complete and readable before submitting.

The following option applies to transcripts from Canadian universities only: In lieu of a scanned copy of a paper transcript, applicants may upload a .PDF file of their academic history from their university’s student web service. Printing to pdf directly from your web browser is ideal; if this is not possible you may copy and paste the information into a word processing program and print to pdf from there. Where possible, the file should include the university’s grading legend and your name. Some universities do not include the same information on the student web service as they do on the transcript (e.g., class size or average). If the admissions committee determines that the file is incomplete you may be asked to submit a copy of the transcript instead.

Technical Requirements
• Please scan your transcript in grayscale at the lowest dots per inch (dpi) setting that results in a legible document. We recommend 72 dpi whenever possible.
• The file must be in .PDF format. Image files, such as those in .jpg or .bmp formats, must be converted to .PDF before uploading.
• The file size of each scanned transcript file to be uploaded must not exceed 3 megabytes (Mb).
• If a transcript from a single institution has multiple pages, it must be scanned into a single PDF document before uploading. You will not be able to upload transcript pages individually.
• If your transcript is double-sided, please be sure to scan the front and back of each page.
• The transcript legend (usually printed on the back of a paper transcript) must appear at least once for every scanned transcript submitted.
• Scanned documents must be clearly legible and print on standard CDN/U.S. 8 1/2" x 11" paper.
• Do not upload a document that is password-protected or that contains macros.


Official (Paper) Transcripts:
No newly admitted student may register in graduate studies at the University of Toronto without submitting an official transcript that confirms the information provided on the scanned transcript that was submitted with the application. Each graduate program determines the deadline for receipt of the official document. This deadline will be one of the following:

Immediately: Although the committee will make its decision based on the scanned transcript, an official paper transcript is still required at the time of application. The offer of admission will not be released until the official transcript has been received and the information on the scanned transcript verified.
Before the unit finalizes their admissions decision: The application review process will begin with the scanned transcript alone. Applicants who reach a second stage in the process (e.g., invited to attend an interview) will be asked to submit an official paper transcript before an admissions decision is finalized.
As a condition of registration: The applicant may be admitted to a graduate program on the basis of the scanned transcript, but presentation and verification of the official paper transcript will be a condition that must be met prior to registration.

The University of Toronto requires an official transcript from each post-secondary institution that you have attended; it is your responsibility to submit transcripts PRIOR to the deadline, unless otherwise noted by the program's instructions. Each institution will have its own procedures for issuing transcripts, and in some cases this can take weeks or even months. You must consider this timeline when requesting your transcript(s).

Transcripts can be submitted in one of two ways:
1. Instruct your institution(s) to mail an official transcript directly to the UofT graduate unit to which you are applying: The transcript must be issued directly to the University of Toronto and sent to the mailing address provided by the UofT graduate unit in their application instructions. Documents must be sealed in the original envelope from the issuing institution, with a signature across the seal.
2. Obtain an official, "issued to student" transcript from your institution and mail it to the UofT graduate unit to which you are applying: Documents must be sealed in the original envelope from the issuing institution, with a signature across the seal.

In either case, photocopies, faxes, or documents arriving in previously opened envelopes will not be considered official. All non-English language documents must be officially translated into English and submitted to the University of Toronto together with the originals. If you are unable to submit official documents, please contact the graduate unit directly.


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My institution will release transcripts to me, but not the institution in demand. Can I submit these transcripts to the University of Toronto?

If the institution will only release the verification to you, please request that they put it in a sealed envelope so that you can forward that envelope directly to the graduate unit. Do not open the envelope, as doing so will void the verification. The documents must be received in their original, sealed envelope to be considered official.


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My transcript does not include course titles/grades. What should I do?

You should provide the graduate unit with course descriptions and/or an official statement of academic standing from an appropriate academic officer of the institution concerned.


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What do I do if my educational institution has closed?

If the school(s) you attended is no longer in existence, or if it is impossible to obtain official documents from any school(s), you should ask the Ministry of Education in the country in which the credential was awarded to furnish an official statement testifying to the impossibility of obtaining records. The Ministry should also be requested to supply the graduate unit at the University of Toronto with a list of courses taken and grades received by the applicant in that school or university.


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I have not completed my current degree yet, what should I do?

If you have not completed your bachelor’s degree (or master’s degree if applicable) at the time of your application to the University of Toronto, please request transcripts from your university showing the work you have completed to date. Please indicate the date when the final result will be available. If you are issued an admissions offer based upon your course work to date, all degree requirements must be completed prior to registration, and a final transcript must be received by your graduate unit indicating the date of conferral of your degree.


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My academic records are in a language other than English or French. Shall I also submit English translations of my documents?

If your transcripts/documents are in a language other than English, you must also submit notarized English translations. Translations do not replace original documentation. Both the original documents and translations must be submitted.

Exception: French is an official language of Canada and we therefore do not require English translations of transcripts in French.


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I would like my transcripts to be returned to me after my application is processed. Is this possible?

Once supporting documents are submitted, they become the property of the University of Toronto and cannot be returned.


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How many reference letters are required for admission?

The minimum requirement is two letters of reference. However, individual graduate units may require additional letters. You should review your program-specific list of admission requirements to determine if additional letters of reference are required.


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What is the submission process for my referees?

You will enter your referees’ names and (institutional) email addresses into your Online Application. The system will automatically email an electronic reference request to each referee. It is highly recommended that applicants contact their referees ahead of time to confirm both their availability their preferred institutional email address.


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My referee did not receive the automatic reference request email from the School of Graduate Studies. Could you please resend it?

Referees are advised to check their email system’s Junk Mail folder if they do not receive the reference request email. If they still do not find the email, you should contact the graduate unit to which you are applying to confirm the referee’s email address and to request that the email be re-sent.


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My referee’s contact information has changed. I have already submitted my online application; how can I edit the referee's contact information?

If you need to update your referee’s contact information, you should contact the graduate unit and provide them with the new information.


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Where can I find information on the status of my application?

You can log in to the Online Application for information on the status of your application. You will need to use your 12-digit Applicant Number and password.


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I have to send some required supporting documents in hard copy. Where do I send them?

All hard-copy application materials must be mailed to the graduate units to which you are applying.


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How will I know when the graduate unit has received my supplemental materials?

Applicants may monitor the status of their application by logging into the Online Application. Once you have mailed your supporting documents, please allow two to three weeks from the time you submit your application for your account to reflect receipt of these materials. If you require direct verification of receipt, please use a delivery method that will provide confirmation of delivery. Please note that the overall status of your application will not automatically be changed once all of your documents have been entered as “Received.” The application will remain in “Documents Pending” status until it is manually updated by the graduate unit.


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I sent my application but I have not heard back from the graduate unit. How do I know my application and supporting documents have been received?

Graduate units do not normally confirm the receipt of applications or supporting documents. You are responsible to ensure that you have read and understood the application requirements for that graduate unit, and that you have gathered all the necessary components of your application package. You can check the receipt status of your documents by logging into the Online Application and viewing the details of your application. A delay can be expected between the time of receipt and when the status is updated.


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All of my required documents are showing as “Received” in the system; why is my application still showing a status of “Documents Pending”?

The status of individual documents is updated automatically as they are received. However, the overall status of your application is not updated automatically; it will remain in “Documents Pending” status until it is manually updated by the graduate unit.


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Do I apply for funding at the same time as I apply for admission?

There is no separate application for funding. You will automatically be considered for any available funding for which you are eligible.

If you are pursuing a doctoral-stream degree, the University of Toronto has a guaranteed minimum funding package of at least $15,000 plus tuition and fees for up to five years. Some departments may offer packages above the guaranteed minimum. The funding package may include: internal awards, external awards, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for external awards for which they may be eligible well in advance of applying for admission. For more information applying for graduate awards, visit the SGS Website here.


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When will I hear a decision on my application?

This varies by graduate unit, and is affected by the volume of applications received. Some early offers of admission are sent out in January or February; however, the majority of offers normally come in March. SGS generally advises applicants to expect a response by April, although decisions continue to be made after this point.


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Who should I contact if I need further information?

For specific questions about admissions and program requirements, please contact the graduate unit to which you are applying. A full list of our graduate units with contact information is available here.

For information on international degree equivalencies, please see our Admissions Requirements page here.

If you have a question about the online application or the application process in general and your question is not answered in this FAQ or the above resources, please contact the SGS Admissions and Recruitment office at the email address or phone number below.

Please be sure to always include your name and 12-digit Applicant Number in any emails or phone messages.

Email: admissions.sgs@utoronto.ca
Phone: (416) 978-6614


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