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What program of study should I apply to?

Deciding what to apply to can be difficult. We make choosing a little easier because you can apply for one, two or three OISE programs within the same academic year under one total application fee and if the program is open for application. To identify a program that’s a good fit for you:

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The first consideration date for OISE's funded PhD and full-time MA programs is November 1. It is after November 1st. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply after November 1. Applicants to funded programs can apply for first consideration by November 1 in order to be considered first for awards and fellowships. The final deadline is November 15.

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It's past the November 15 application deadline, can I still apply?

It depends. To be sure your application will be considered for admission and financial support, complete and officially submit your online admissions application by 5pm (ET) on November 15. After November 15 some programs will close and others will stay open. Bottom line: if a program is open and still accepting applications after November 15 you can apply.  

Important reminder - an application is officially submitted only after payment of both application fees (total 235.00 CAD) and you pay each separately:

  1. SGS Application Fee (125.00 CAD)
  2. Supplemental Application Fee (110.00 CAD)

After you start an application, we recommend finishing it as promptly as possible (including payment of both application fees).

It’s possible to start an application, but subsequently a program closes for application. Do not pay an application fee after a program is closed for application (see Application Deadlines and Closing Dates). A late application will not be considered and all application fees are non-refundable. 


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I'm an international applicant – are there special things I need to know?

Absolutely. English language proficiency and financial considerations are two key issues, and along with other helpful information, they're tackled within Information for International Applicants.


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Do I have to be a teacher to apply to OISE?

Most programs don't require professional teacher certification. For admission to an MEd degree, generally a year of professional education for teaching (or the equivalent in pedagogical content) and at least one year of relevant successful professional experience is helpful.


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What is the difference between a special student and a regular student?

Fundamental difference is a special student (whether full-time or part-time) is not enrolled in a program leading to a degree. Reasons for taking courses as a special student include preparatory work, prerequisite study, transfer credit and professional development.


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Can courses I complete as a special student be credited to a degree program? And fees I pay?

Yes to course credit, no to fee credit. Subject to approval courses completed as a special student may count for up to one full course or equivalent, or twenty-five percent of the course requirements for the degree, whichever is greater, in a subsequent degree program at the University of Toronto. Credit is possible only if the courses have not already been credited towards another degree, diploma, certificate, or any other qualification. Tuition fees paid as a special student cannot be transferred to a subsequent degree program.


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Should I speak with an OISE professor before submitting my application?

Sometimes it's beneficial. If you're applying to a doctoral program you may want to identify OISE faculty with whom you're interested in studying. If you have questions about their focus or the possibility of working together there may be value in contacting a professor before submitting your application. Faculty profiles are a good place to discover who's doing what.


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I'm currently enrolled in a graduate program, can I transfer to OISE and get credit for my studies?

If your current program is based at a university other than the University of Toronto, transfer is not possible and an application for admission is required.

If you’re currently undertaking a University of Toronto graduate program an application for admission is not necessary, but a completed Degree/Program Transfer Form must be submitted to OISE's Office of the Registrar and Student Services. Deadlines to request a transfer may be applicable and you're responsible for ensuring all supporting documents (such as official transcripts and letters of reference) accompany the transfer request.

If you receive an offer of admission or your transfer request is successful, subject to approval transfer credit for graduate work completed in another program is normally limited to one full course or equivalent, or twenty-five percent of the course requirements for the degree, whichever is greater, provided the courses have not been credited towards another degree, diploma, certificate, or any other qualification. Transfer credit will not reduce the total degree program fee (in other words fee credit will not be given for transferred courses).


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I'm having problems with the online application – help!

We're here to help! There are different sources of assistance.

For technical issues (access interrupted or denied, error message, field not functional) contact the School of Graduate Studies at admissions.sgs@utoronto.ca (416-978-6614).

Most questions about our application process, admission requirements, deadlines, applying via the online admissions application, supporting documents (and more) are answered within this OISE Admissions website. If not, contact us at admissions.oise@utoronto.ca (416-978-4300).


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The online application won't let me apply to the program I want – what's wrong?

The most common reasons are ...

The correct OISE department associated with the program you want has not been selected from the Graduate Unit drop-down menu:

The program is closed for admission.
 

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I want to apply to several programs, can I?

Yes. You can apply for one, two or three OISE programs within the same academic year under one total application fee and if the program is open for application.

Your choices are final, so choose carefully.

Each OISE application is a separate application – but subsequent application fees are waived.

After payment of the total application fee for your first OISE application (235.00 CAD), you can return to the online admissions application to apply again. The Application Management (Home) page lists all your applications. Click-on Start New Application to Create Application. You’ll again select the Graduate Unit (OISE Department) and Program of Study you wish to undertake (this drop-down menu includes all OISE programs and if a program of study is not open for application a message will be displayed).

For each application referee information must be entered (you can designate same referees or new ones) and responses to faculty questions must be provided. Upload all required supporting documents for each application (such as resume and unofficial electronic transcripts).

No application fee is charged for a second and third OISE application (don’t apply to the same program of study more than once). For University of Toronto graduate programs outside OISE, a separate application (plus fee) is required and you need to review relevant websites for information.

You should not submit more than one application to the exact same program. The Registrar's Office and Student Experience will only move the first submitted application forward, and subsequent applications to the same program will not be considered. There are no exceptions to this policy and no refunds will be considered.


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I applied last year / I'm a current or former OISE student – do I have to re-submit documents?

You do. If you have previously applied to OISE, or if you're a current or former OISE student, you must submit all necessary supporting documentation for your present application. Previously submitted documents (such as letters of reference and transcripts) will not be carried forward to a new application.


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How much is the fee to apply and do I have to pay it?

All applicants must pay the total application fee (235.00 CAD). There are no refunds, waivers, exemptions, or deferrals of an application fee.

If you're presently registered in an OISE master's program and continuing into an OISE doctoral program, or if you're a former OISE student, payment of the fee is compulsory just like for all other applicants.

An application is officially submitted only after payment of both application fees (total 235.00 CAD) and you pay each separately:

  1. SGS Application Fee (125.00 CAD)
  2. Supplemental Application Fee (110.00 CAD)
     

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What if I can't get an official transcript?

First, applicants are required to submit online unofficial electronic transcripts. Online transcripts are unofficial electronic records you upload to your online admissions application.

Only if you receive an offer of admission is an official transcript required as a condition of admission. All conditions of admission must be satisfied before final registration is permitted.

School of Graduate Studies’ regulations require admitted applicants provide an official academic record/transcript from all post-secondary institutions attended. This is a required condition of registration in graduate programs at the University of Toronto.

The majority of newly admitted students can provide official transcripts – and that is our expectation.

Occasionally, obtaining official transcripts may be challenging particularly for internationally educated students. If so, our first step is to confirm all avenues for getting the official transcript (paper or electronic) have been exhausted. If a student provides sufficient written evidence that they made every effort but without success, we’ll review their situation to determine an appropriate pathway forward (often in consultation with the School of Graduate Studies).

We'll try to be as flexible as possible while respecting University of Toronto policy. 
 

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I prefer to submit an official transcript instead of uploading an unofficial one – is that okay?

An official transcript (whether electronic or paper) is different from an unofficial transcript (see Satisfy your conditions of admission).

An official transcript is not required at the time of application and should not be submitted. Official transcripts are required only if you receive an offer of admission (as a condition of admission).   

If you have a paper official transcript, you can open the sealed/stamped envelope, scan it (.pdf) and upload it yourself to the online admissions application. If you have an electronic official transcript, you can access it and upload it yourself to the online admissions application. Note when you upload a document yourself it’s no longer an “official” document.

It’s your responsibility to upload all required supporting documents (and ensure a referee uploads a reference letter). We will not upload a document for you – such as electronic or paper transcript received in the Registrar's Office & Student Experience. 
 

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My current transcript shows courses in-progress. Should I submit another transcript when new grades become available?

No. Applications are evaluated based on transcripts uploaded at the time of application; we don’t revisit an application if new grades become available. If an updated transcript is required, we’ll let you know.
 

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My degree includes transfer credit/exchange study, is a transcript for that needed?

If you've been granted credit towards your degree for study done outside your home university, a transcript may or may not be required.

If transfer credit or exchange study is thoroughly detailed on your home university transcript (session, course title, course weight, final grade), a supplemental transcript is not needed. If it's not thoroughly detailed, a transcript from the outside university must be submitted (list this study as a separate Academic History entry in the online admissions application in order to upload it).

If you’re applying to the Master of Teaching program and transfer credit/exchange study includes courses to be counted toward fulfillment of a teaching subject course prerequisite, we recommend you submit the applicable transcript (list this study as a separate Academic History entry in the online admissions application in order to upload it).


For University of Toronto students, a transcript of your exchange study is likely available from the Centre for International Experience


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A referee I want doesn't have an institution or organization email address – what should I do? 

A valid institution or organization email address is necessary for a referee to upload their letter. Email addresses that are shared, anonymous, generic or not linked to an institution, organization or business are not acceptable (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo!). References submitted through dossier services such as Interfolio are also not acceptable.

We strongly suggest you choose a referee who has a valid institution or organization email address. If an individual doesn’t have a valid email address, look at designating a different referee.

If (despite your best effort) absolutely no alternative referee with a valid institution or organization email address is possible, you can enter a non-institution or non-organization email address in the online admissions application (it’s not necessary to contact us). Be aware this may delay review of your application as we must verify the authenticity of reference letters received in this manner. For every referee, enter a telephone number where they can be reached for our verification purposes.


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What if it's really difficult for me to get an academic (or professional) letter of reference?

The online admissions application provides you with information about recommendations/letters of reference specific to the program of study to which you’re applying. It’s your responsibility to select your referees with these requirements in mind.

Two letters of reference are the standard: one academic and one professional. Sometimes it’s challenging to obtain one of these letters. For example, if you graduated many years ago and have since not been active in an academic setting you may be unable to readily call upon a university instructor with whom you studied.

You're strongly encouraged to obtain the required letters of reference. However, an alternative combination can be submitted (such as two reference letters from a professional source). Two tips:

  1. You’ll still need to choose the appropriate Recommender/Referee Type in the online admissions application to fulfil a specific program’s requirement (such as an Academic Recommendation).
  2. If you’re submitting two professional reference letters, designate the most suitable referee as the Academic Recommendation and direct them to include comments in their letter pertaining to your intellectual abilities and potential.

Note an "Employer" Recommender/Referee Type reference letter is not required by any OISE program. 


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Can I submit more than two letters of reference?

Don’t designate more than the required number of referees. Any extra or supplemental documents will not strengthen an application, are not permitted and will not be evaluated.

The online admissions application provides you with information about recommendations/letters of reference specific to the program of study to which you’re applying. Two letters of reference are the standard (only a few programs ask for three).


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Should I submit my GRE score?

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores are not currently required by any OISE program. 


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How do I know if I require a TOEFL score?

As English is the primary language of instruction and communication at the University of Toronto, applicants must demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English, regardless of citizenship status or country of origin. The School of Graduate Studies establishes English language proficiency requirements for admission. We require minimum scores for all tests and Academic Division Social Sciences for TOEFL.

You're not required to provide proof of English language proficiency if:

  • your native language is English (language first learned and still used on a daily basis); or 
  • you are a Canadian Citizen who studied at a Canadian university where the language of instruction is French.
     

Also, if you obtained the admitting degree associated with your application for admission from a recognized institution where the language of instruction and examination is uniformly English, typically you don't need to submit proof of English language proficiency. For admission to a master’s degree, the admitting degree is an appropriate bachelor’s degree. For doctoral studies, the admitting degree is an appropriate master’s degree.

Determining whether the requirement is applicable can be complicated; we cannot provide a determination prior to submission of an application.


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If I need to provide proof of English language proficiency will I get an offer of admission?

No. When evidence of English language proficiency is required an offer of admission will not be issued until the requirement is fully satisfied. Additionally, because available spaces in a program are limited a department may not reserve an offer of admission if the English language requirement is not fulfilled at the time of application. So, you're encouraged to submit satisfactory evidence of English language proficiency as part of a complete application for admission.

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How do I know if I'm admissible?

The School of Graduate Studies establishes minimum academic requirements for admission. Be assured all applicants will be considered on their individual merits for admission to any graduate program at the University of Toronto.

For a master's degree, admission requirements include an appropriate bachelor's degree with high academic standing (equivalent to at least mid-B or better in final year or over senior courses) from a recognized university. For a doctoral degree, admission requirements include an appropriate master's degree with high academic standing (equivalent to B+ or better in master's degree program) from a recognized university.

The Office of the Registrar and Student Services cannot provide an assessment of credentials prior to submission of an application. But you can calculate your own academic standing using these guidelines:

For admission to a master's program:

  • If your bachelor's degree was completed on a full-time basis, average the final year.
  • If your bachelor's degree was completed on a part-time basis, average the five (approximately) most recent, senior-level, full courses or equivalent (students enrolled in fewer than four full course equivalents in their last academic year – including Summer Session – are considered part-time).

For admission to a doctoral program:

  • Average all courses completed for the entire master's program.
     

For all degrees evaluated, only academic liberal arts and science courses are counted in our calculation. For example, BEd study or professional training or courses with a significant practical component are excluded.


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What do you mean by an "appropriate" degree?

An appropriate admitting degree satisfies the following criteria:

  • Issuing institution recognized as having degree granting authority by the appropriate jurisdictional body.
  • Degree has appropriate breadth and depth in a discipline deemed suitable for the intended field of study.
  • For a bachelor's degree, it's a standard first entry degree which gives access to advanced research-based graduate programs in the country of origin (typically a four-year Honours degree in North America or a three-year Bologna compliant degree).
     

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What are qualifying courses?

Basically, post-degree courses undertaken for academic upgrading purposes. Qualifying courses are an option if you're interested in a master's degree and your bachelor's degree was not completed with the required academic standing, or if your bachelor's degree is a three-year degree, or if your bachelor's degree is not considered an appropriate admitting degree.

Normally, qualifying courses:

  • consist of 2.5 full courses at the senior-level (third or fourth year);
  • consist of academic (liberal arts and science) courses (for example BEd study or professional training or courses with a significant practical component are not acceptable);
  • consist of courses that are reasonably relevant to the proposed graduate-level study;
  • are completed at a recognized university; and 
  • are completed with an average standing equivalent to mid-B or better, with no grade lower than B-.


OISE courses undertaken as a special student are not appropriate qualifying courses.

It's important to understand successful completion of qualifying courses does not guarantee admission; all admission decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.


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My previous program is ungraded – what should I do?

Some programs don't assign standard grades in the evaluation of a student's performance ("credit" or "pass" shows on a transcript). Because our consideration of an application includes academic standing an ungraded program presents a challenge.

If possible, we ask you to upload as part of your transcript a statement confirming your study was completed with a minimum standing (for example B, B+, A-, A, A+). Such a statement can often be given to you by your university’s Registrar's Office or equivalent administrative office.

If a statement is not possible, your application can still be considered based on your transcript(s), reference letters, resume, other supporting documents (if required) and your answers to faculty questions.


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When will I know the results of my application?

Notification of results are provided to applicants via the online admissions application. We start uploading letters in early March and continue into March, April, and sometimes later months. If you submit a complete application by November 15, you should receive a decision sometime in March. If you submit an application after November 15, decisions are available approximately eight to ten weeks after the application submission, but no sooner than early March.



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If I'm offered admission can I delay starting my program?

A later start may be possible, but only if special approval is granted by the Office of the Registrar and Student Services.

Admission is valid only for the beginning date specified on an offer of admission in the section "Program Begins." If you're unable to attend the session for which you have been accepted, normally you must re-apply and compete with all other applicants for admission to a later session.

In exceptional circumstances a department may recommend deferral of admission for a maximum of twelve months following the date of initial acceptance (in other words to the next academic year). Requests for deferral should be submitted in writing to the Registrar's Office & Student Experience as soon as possible, but must be received prior to registration and no later than the deadline to register for the session to which you have been accepted. Note: For the Master of Teaching and the Master of Arts in Child Study and Education programs, the deadline to request a deferral of admission is July 31.

A start date delay to Winter Session (January) is generally not supported. Only in exceptional circumstances may some programs permit a shift from Fall to Winter. Requests for a change of start date to Winter Session should be submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar and Student Services as soon as possible, but must be received prior to registration and no later than November 1 of the year of acceptance.


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I was offered admission to one program, but now I want to transfer to another. Can I?

You should apply to a program you genuinely want to undertake. Programs and degrees are not interchangeable and there is no back-door admission. Only in exceptional cases will a request for transfer between OISE programs be considered. Such requests should be submitted to the Registrar's Office & Student Experienceearly in a program and are subject to approval.


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I was refused admission – can I appeal?


No. The official results pertaining to an application are final. Per School of Graduate Studies' policy, decisions related to admission to an academic program, including admission to a doctoral program for current master's students, are not subject to appeal.

If you receive a Notification of Refusal and you want to be re-considered, you must re-apply in competition with all other applicants for admission to a future year.


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How can I determine specifically why I was refused admission and get feedback?

Admission is competitive, and in a pool of applications some do not rank high enough to be awarded an admission space. Other applications rank higher for a variety of reasons: academic preparation, letters of reference, resume, answers to faculty questions, or professional experience and development.


In-depth feedback cannot be provided because deliberations of an Admissions Committee are confidential.


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