Graduate Application Information

The application cycle for 2024-2025 is now closed. Application cycle for 2025-26 will open in October 2024.

General Admission Recommendations

Admission to our graduate programs is highly competitive. Successful applicants typically have qualifications higher than the minimums listed below.

We welcome applications from all students, but applications from students who have completed at least 6.0 full credits with a B+ average in History tend to be more successful. 

All students who are planning to apply to our graduate programs are strongly encouraged to apply for SSHRC and OGS awards through their current university.

Language Requirements

Applicants are encouraged to develop research skills in languages appropriate to their area of study prior to entering the program. However, we recognise that not all applicants will have had the same opportunities for language learning. Applicants should be specific about their language skills and needs so that we can offer the right supports and guidance if they are accepted.

Further information on language requirements can be found on the "PhD Program application and admissions stage" section of the 'Language Requirements' tab on the 'PhD Program Requirements' page. Potential supervisors can offer more specific advice about requirements in specific fields. 

English-Language Requirements

If your native language is not English and you graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction was not English, you must submit your English-language test score no later than January 19, 2024 (PhD applicants) and February 9, 2024 (MA applicants).

The minimum test scores our department accepts are:

  • Paper-based TOEFL score: 600 overall, with a TWE score of 5.0;
  • Internet-based TOEFL score: 100 overall, with a 22 in Writing and Speaking
  • IELTS: 7.0 (Academic) with at least 6.5 for each component

For further details, including exemptions and test-result submission instructions, see the School of Graduate Studies policy on English-language proficiency.

MA Program - Minimum Requirements

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with at least a B+ standing.
  • Must have attained a B+ standing (GPA of 3.3) or its equivalent in the final 5.0 full credits of the BA

Part-time MA applicants must meet the same admission standards as full-time applicants.

These are minimum requirements and do not, in themselves, guarantee admission.

PhD Program - Minimum Requirements

Most students will enter the PhD program through this route. 

  • Must hold an MA degree in history or its equivalent
  • Must have attained at least an A- (3.7 GPA) standing in the MA
  • Must satisfy the department of their ability to do independent research at an advanced level

PhD Program (Direct Entry)- Minimum Requirements

Students who are currently completing or hold their BA may apply to be admitted directly into the PhD program without first completing a Masters degree.  We welcome such applications but admission via this direct entry route is rare. Unsuccessful direct entry applications will automatically be considered for admission to the MA program. 

  • Must hold an BA degree in history or its equivalent
  • Must have attained at least an A- (3.7 GPA) standing in the BA
  • Must satisfy the department of their ability to do independent research at an advanced level

How to Apply

All application instructions and materials for both the School of Graduate Studies and the Department of History are only available online. Before you apply, please read the graduate applications and admissions FAQ.

Online  Application

Log in to the School of Graduate Studies application. If you are a first-time applicant, click the link to Create an Account to begin your application. You will receive a verification code via email as part of the account creation process. After entering your verification code, you will create a password for your account.

You may save and return to the application at any point in the process. Complete each of the required sections of the application 

You will be required to enter information for 3 referees. Your referees will automatically receive a notification email that they have been requested to complete a reference for your application, along with instructions to submit their reference letter in the application system. 

Application Payment

Submit payment of $125.00 CAD (payable by credit card). The deadline to complete the application payment is January 5th, 2024 (11:59pm ET). Your application will NOT be reviewed if the fee payment is not made by this date. Any fee payment made after this deadline will not be refunded.

Choosing Your Fields of Study

As you work through the Program Selection section of the application, you will be asked to indicate at least one, and as many as three, fields of study.

Under "Proposed Area of Study, max. 250 characters," applicants are expected to provide a brief summary of their research interests or proposed topic. For example, if "American Foreign Policy under Ronald Reagan" is your research interest, enter "American" and "International Relations" as a field/concentration. The Proposed Area of Study field can be used to elaborate on it (ex. "American foreign policy under Reagan" or "American policy toward China under Reagan," if your research interest is more specific).

This is not an either/or choice or a ranked ballot. We are asking you to indicate the different field(s) or cluster(s) into which your research program or topic (as laid out in detail in your statement of interest) fits.

Many of our applicants indicate one geographic and one thematic field. We find that the option of more than one field provides a richer sense of a student’s interests and research proposal.

No matter how many fields of study you enter, your application will be judged according to academic merit.


  1. A student proposing to study political activism among indigenous peoples of the Caribbean could select Caribbean and Latin American History as the first field and Empire, Colonialism, and Indigeneity as the second field.
  2. A student proposing a study of American empire through the prism of food could select History of the United States as the first field and indicate thematic interest in food and in empire as the second and third fields.
  3. A student proposing a transnational study of sex workers moving between Europe and Africa could select: Gender, Sex, and Sexuality; European History; and African History.
  4. A student proposing a study of the Catholic Church’s approach to poverty in early modern Italy could choose to select only two fields: European History and the History of Religion and Society.

Admissions Process

Applications are judged by an admissions committee drawn from different historical fields, with input from all members of the graduate faculty. Academic merit and fit with the program are the key criteria. There are no quotas for specific fields.

Upload Materials 

Submission of all required application documents below is required by January 7th, 2024 (11:59pm ET). Your application will NOT be reviewed if documents have not been submitted by this date.

*Please note you will need to complete the application form in order to upload additional required documentation. 

Select the document type from the drop down and upload your file. 

Please review the detailed instructions below for each component of the application.

Note: We highly recommend that you look at our list of graduate faculty and email potential supervisors in advance, indicating your interest in coming to work with them.

  1. Field of study and area of historical investigation:
    • You will be asked to provide up to three fields of study at a couple of points in the application process. See: Choosing Your Fields of Study below. 
  2. Statement of interest:
    • In 500 words, describe your general area of historical investigation and your specific research interests. An ideal proposal will outline an original topic, and describe how you have or will obtain the training to carry it out. Many applicants also describe how their research interests intersect with those of faculty at U of T. When reading these statements, the Admissions Committee will look for originality, creativity of approach, awareness of theoretical issues, quality of writing. You need to articulate a feasible program of study with the understanding that it may evolve as you progress through the program. Students should be specific about the language skills required for their proposed reaseach as well as their level of training and research experience in that language. 
  3. Writing sample:
    • You will be asked to upload a sample of academic writing: maximum 3,000 words for MA applicants and maximum 6,000 words for PhD applicants, including footnotes, bibliography, etc. The writing sample should be applicant's very best paper and should demonstrate one's potential as an emerging historian. DO NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM WORD LIMIT. It is acceptable to provide an excerpt of a paper including a short paragraph to explain the assignment and what was cut for length. If possible the writing sample should demonstrate research facility in a relavent research language other than english. 
  4. 1-2 page CV:
    • Include such information as education; awards, scholarships and distinctions; conference presentations; professional and/or work experience; volunteer experience; language competency. 
  5. Three referees:
    • Be prepared to submit their institutional email addresses. Be sure to inform your referees that you are doing this and that the University of Toronto’s School of Graduate Studies will contact them by email. Note that due to high volume of applications, the department cannot accept references in paper format. The online submission process is described in the Frequently Asked Questions section. If referees do not have/use an institutional email address, an alternate email may be accepted. Contact the Graduate Office for instructions.
  6. Transcript:
    • You will be required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution you 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. If you attended a Canadian university, you may upload a PDF copy of your academic history from your 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.

More Information

If you have difficulty accessing the forms or need further information about application procedures, please contact our graduate assistant.