Graduate Studies FAQ



Results are usually communicated:

  •  By end of February (PhD program)
  •  By end of March (MA program)

As part of your application, you will be asked to list potential supervisors. Our graduate faculty directory allows you to filter listings by fields of study. You may also be interested in looking at our graduate students profiles, which include their research field and supervisor information. Prior to submitting an application, it is a good idea to email potential supervisors (more than one, if you wish) to share some information about yourself and the topics you are interested in studying. You do not have to make a commitment to a certain supervisor until later in the process. If you are unable to find a supervisor, you can submit your application as is. Since most faculty members read all of the applications in their area(s) of interest, a supervisor sometimes emerges during the adjudication process.

For application purposes, you are required to scan all post-secondary transcripts and upload them to your application profile. If you attended a university outside North America, you must upload notarized English translation to accompany all foreign documentation not written in English or French. DO NOT MAIL hard copies of your transcripts/notarized translations unless you are specifically asked to do so. Official paper format transcripts (with notarized translations as applicable) would be required upon acceptance to the program.

All components of the admission package including letters of reference are submitted online. Due to high volume of applications, the Department CANNOT accept admission documents in paper format.

Online reference submission process is very straightforward. There is no template. Referees are contacted via their institutional email applicants are required to supply. Referees receive a weblink to take them to a webpage with very detailed instructions. Reference letters can either be typed directly into a text box, or prepared in advance to be inserted. Referees are allowed to save changes, exit and re-enter the system using the same weblink, as necessary. When a reference letter is ready, clicking on "Submit" makes it available to the Department.  

All of your references must be academic in nature. Do not provide more than three letters of reference.  

You must indicate at least one field of study, but can select up to three. These choices do not determine admission, but are meant to flag your file as of interest to graduate faculty in each field.

The Department of History participates in a number of collaborative degree programs. A complete list of collaborative programs will pop up when you click on the tab “collaborative programs” within the School of Graduate Studies online application.

If you are applying to a collaborative program, you may be required to submit separate application information directly to the office of your chosen collaborative program, in addition to the information you submit to the Department of History.

Application deadlines to the collaborative programs could be different from ours. Please contact the administrators of collaborative programs for their application deadlines and detailed program information.

Due to high volume of applications, the Department of History can only accept reference letters in electronic format (to be uploaded to the application system). If you are unable to enter your referee's email address into the system, contact the Graduate Office for assistance.

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, you must provide proof of English-language proficiency. Scores are self-reported as part of the application process with official results sent by agencies directly to the University of Toronto. Take note of required scores and test completion dates. For further details including exemption rules, refer to the School of Graduate Studies website.  

Step 1 Fill out the online application form. During this step, you have the option of uploading your transcripts and CV, but it is not required at this point. You can submit the online application form without these documents. The "Review" page of the application form will alert to any missing required fields. If there are no issues, click "Continue". 




Once you click Continue, you can no longer edit the application form. It will be officially submitted, and from there you are taken to their applicants status portal (Step 2). This is where you will pay the fee, see your checklist of all required materials, and upload those items.



Newly-Admitted Students

Course registration for the fall term typically begins in August (see our graduate courses page for the exact date).

In July, we will email you a welcome package that explains the course registration process in detail, including exact dates of course registration for the upcoming academic year. If you haven’t received this package by the course registration date, please contact our graduate administrator.

The University of Toronto offers a number of resources:

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods, each with its own character. There are many great areas in which you could live, but our graduate students recommend the following neighbourhoods:

  • The Annex (immediately north and west of the St. George campus)
  • Little Italy (west of the St. George campus along College Street)
  • The Danforth (east of the St. George campus along Danforth near Pape)
  • Church and Wellesley Village (east of the St. George campus)

Programs and Courses

It is your choice, but the thesis option is rarely approved. We encourage applicants and students to choose the course and major research paper option.

Yes. MA and PhD candidates can take up to 0.5 full-course equivalents outside the Department of History with the approval of our associate chair, graduate. You should consult other departments’ websites to learn about their course offerings.

You can enrol in a reading course with the permission of the instructor and the associate chair, graduate. Once you have obtained permission, please fill out the School of Graduate Studies’ Request for Reading and/or Research course form (PDF) and submit it to the graduate administrator.

You can take a course at another university through the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Agreement. You will need to complete the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student agreement form (PDF) and obtain all of the required signatures. We encourage you to complete and submit this paperwork well in advance, as it can take up to four months to process.

Yes, you can. This is quite common. You need your supervisor’s permission, and you should be sure to inform our graduate office so your course registration can be approved in ACORN (otherwise, you will not be officially registered in the course).

Yes, you can. You may take up to 0.5 full-course equivalents outside the department, including transfer credits. Please complete the School of Graduate Studies’ Transfer Credit and/or Course Exemption form (PDF) and submit it to our associate chair, graduate.

Appeals, Extensions and Other Policies

Please send in a completed Extension to Complete Coursework form (PDF), and contact our office to discuss the possibility of an extension.

If you would like to appeal a grade, your first point of contact should be the professor who assigned the grade. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of that discussion, you can submit a formal appeal to the Department of History Graduate Appeals Committee. Contact our graduate office for more information.

You can request an extension by completing the appropriate forms from the School of Graduate Studies and submitting it to our graduate office.

You can request an extension by completing the appropriate form from the School of Graduate Studies and submitting it to the graduate office:

Language Exams

All Master’s candidates must demonstrate their ability to read a language other than English by passing a language exam. Visit our MA Program page for more information.

Doctoral language requirements vary depending on your field of study. Visit our PhD Program page for more information.

Yes, you can. However, when enrolled in an undergraduate course, you still need to meet the School of Graduate Studies’ standards. This means you will need to earn a 70 or better to pass the course. Many of our students request to audit undergraduate language courses instead. If you are interested in auditing an undergraduate course, contact the course’s instructor for permission. Note: Undergraduate language courses do not normally fulfill the Department of History’s MA or PhD language requirement(s).

French exams are handled within our department, but most other languages are handled by their respective departments, which means the content and format of the exams varies. For more information about French exams, contact our graduate administrator. For information on other language exams, contact the relevant department.

PhD students must complete their language requirements before beginning comprehensive exams. For MA students, the deadline is August.

Tuition, Funding and Awards

Tuition and ancillary fees vary by your program of study, citizenship, enrolment status (part-time or full-time) and campus. Visit the School of Graduate Studies website for a list of current tuition fees.

The School of Graduate Studies website provides an overview of base funding amounts for graduate students. Only PhD candidates are eligible for base funding; Master’s candidates are not eligible.

If you are a doctoral candidate in years one through five of your program, you are eligible for the Faculty of Arts & Science’s base funding package, as long as you remain in good standing and apply each year for major external awards.

Your funding level will not drop below the base funding package offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science, but external awards do affect the funding package.

Teaching Assistantships (TAships) and Course Instructor Positions

A teaching assistantship is one part of the base funding package for PhD students. MA students do not normally hold a teaching assistantship.

Yes, there is. In fact, all students who are new teaching assistants or course instructors must attend at least three hours of paid training. You can also access programming, training and resources through the University’s free Teaching Assistants’ Training Program or the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation.

As a teaching assistant, you are a member of CUPE 3902 Unit 1. Your hours of work and other aspects of your employment are governed by the CUPE 3902 Unit 1 collective agreement.

Research, Supervisors and Committees

No. Your supervisor has to be a graduate faculty member within the Department of History.

Any graduate faculty member at the University of Toronto can serve on your comps committee or dissertation committee. However, your thesis supervisor has to be a graduate faculty member within the Department of History.

Many students change focus over the course of their academic experience. You should talk to your supervisor about it. You can also talk to the associate chair, graduate.

If you have an issue with your supervisor or committee members, consult the graduate office for advice. We are here to help you with such issues. You might also find it helpful to consult the School of Graduate Studies’ supervision guidelines.