Application Information

Domestic and International Students

Graduate degree programs are open to Canadian and international applicants. Canadian applicants are encouraged to apply to either program. Due to the  allocation of financial support at the University of the University of Toronto, we strongly encourage international applicants to apply to the PhD program rather than the MA. Canadian applicants are very welcome to apply to either program.

Cohort Sizes

Depending on the applicant pool, about 4 applicants are admitted into the MA program and 5 applicants are admitted into the PhD program (4 and 5 year). All incoming students are guaranteed a funding package that covers tuition and living expenses. For details, see our funding and fellowships page.

If you do not find answers to your questions in the following sections, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies:

  1. Admissions Requirements
  2. Application Procedures
  3. Application Deadline
  4. Visiting and Special Students

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the MA program requires a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with a minimum average GPA of 3.5.

Admission to the PhD requires either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from a recognized university. A student seeking admission to the PhD on the basis of a master’s degree must have a GPA of 3.7 in that master’s program. The PhD program is intended primarily for those interested in an academic career and doing advanced research. Applicants must satisfy the Admissions Committee that they are capable of independent research at an advanced level.

Note to International Applicants

The academic records of applicants who completed their final degree(s) at a non-Canadian university will be evaluated to determine their equivalency to a University of Toronto four-year bachelor’s degree and a minimum academic standing of A-.  Please refer to the School of Graduate Studies website to verify your qualifications.

Note that admission to our MA and PhD programs is highly competitive and selective. Those who merely meet the minimum conditions should not expect admission without exceptionally favourable supporting considerations. Students who wish to be considered for both graduate-level programs should apply to the PhD program.

Application Procedures

Note: The required documents and application procedures are the same for the MA and PhD programs.

The application and all supporting must be submitted through the of the School of Graduate Studies.

More detailed application instructions

  • You may need to disable pop-up blockers in your browser if you have difficulty completing the online process.
  • If you are applying to the PhD program, you will be asked to choose between two versions of it: PhD (direct entry) – IHPST, and PhD – IHPST.
    • The former is our standard 5-year PhD program, which requires two years of coursework;
    • The latter is our 4-year PhD program, which is designed for students entering with an MA and requires one year of coursework.
    • If you are uncertain about which program you would like to apply to, select the 5-year PhD, even if you already have an MA.
  • If you are applying for external funding (e.g., SSHRC), check the box on your application next to “Awards/Scholarships/Fellowships applied for and related to this application.” This box is for record-keeping purposes only; the status of any external funding applications is not a consideration that is taken into account during our admissions process.

Supporting documents 

  1. All documents must be submitted in PDF format.
  2. The Research Proposal/Research Statement is a statement of about 300 words that indicates your areas of interest at the graduate level. If there is information about you that you would like the committee to share with the admissions committee, and cannot include it elsewhere in the application, you may include it here.
  3. The Writing Sample is a piece of your written work (in English or French), such as a term paper. It need not be on a topic in your proposed research area. Submit one writing sample only. The writing sample should be as recent as possible and should provide evidence of your ability at an advanced level.
  4. All applicants are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. The School of Graduate Studies online application instructions explain how to do this. Admissions decisions will be made on the basis of the scanned transcript; however, if you accept an offer of admission, you will then be required to send official paper transcript(s) to our department.
  5. Scores on English Proficiency Tests: All applicants whose primary language is not English and who are graduates of a non-Canadian university whose language of instruction is not English must satisfy the School of Graduate Studies requirements for English-Language Proficiency; scores should be reported directly to the University of Toronto (Enrolment Services) by the testing agency, electronically for TOEFL or IELTS; or by mail from MELAB.
  6. Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must provide contact information for at least two from instructors who have indicated they are willing to write a recommendation. Upon completion of the application form (including payment), the University of Toronto online system will generate an email that will be sent to those referees, requesting letters from them. As letters of reference are due at the same time as all supporting materials with the application – by the next deadline of January 15 – it is important to request them from your referees as early in the process as possible.  Email addresses for referees must be institutional emails – not personal email addresses like or
  7. Curriculum Vitae: Applicants should submit an up-to-date CV.

Application Deadline

The closing date for applications, including all supporting documentation, is January 8. Processing of applications will begin after this deadline, and decisions will be announced by mid-March. You can check the status of your application on the School of Graduate Studies website after the 3rd week in January. The status of your application will be updated from “Documents Pending” to “Under Review” by mid-February. Your application is complete, however, and you needn’t take any further action unless and until you are notified of your admission by our department.

Visiting and Special Students

Students wishing to take one or more graduate courses offered by the department as non-degree students should apply for admission as Special Students. In particular, graduate students in other institutions are welcome to apply to spend a year studying at the University of Toronto. The application procedure and deadline are the same as for the PhD program.

Graduate students from other Ontario universities may apply to take courses through the Ontario Visiting Graduate Students Exchange program. Contact your home university for information about the required paperwork.

Graduate students from institutions outside Canada who wish to visit the department to do research under a particular faculty member should contact that faculty member and consult the Centre for International Experience.