Frequently Asked Questions - Students

Course & Enrollment

If the course you are interested in is open to all students,  enrol via ACORN. You can see restrictions on the OISE Course Schedule.  If the course is restricted to a particular group, you will need the permission of the instructor to enrol (via a course Add/Drop form, which is then submitted to the ROSE).   

If no instructor is listed and no alternative contact is in the enrolment notes section, you will need to wait until an instructor is listed. The course schedule will be updated as soon as an instructor is assigned.

To take a course outside of OISE, contact the course instructor and/or the host graduate department to see if you are eligible to take the course and if there is room. Once you obtain permission from the course instructor, complete the SGS Add/Drop form. Once signed by the host instructor and unit, submit this form to the LHAE department, where the GLO team will have a Program Coordinator sign off on the request. If you have a supervisor, they would also need to sign off on this form.  

  • Some courses are restricted to specific programs or student cohorts. Even though students from other programs are blocked from enrolling in the courses, there is still a possibility that there are spaces available and students meet the requirement/prerequisite of the course. You may contact the Course instructor to see if there is an opportunity. If the instructor approves, you could sign a Course Add Form and send it to the LHAE GLO office ( for further processing. 
  • If no instructor is listed and no alternative contact is in the enrolment notes section, you’ll have to wait until an instructor is listed. The course schedule will be updated as soon as an instructor is assigned.

Individual Reading and Research (IRR) courses can be arranged between you and an instructor who agrees to work with you. When an Individual Reading and Research course is undertaken for graduate credit, it must be supervised and evaluated. An IRR course form, which includes a course description and a rationale explaining the relevance of the course to the individual degree program, must be completed and approved by LHAE and the supervising faculty member, and then submitted to the Registrar’s Office & Student Experience. To learn more about IRR courses, please review the information on the OISE Registrar’s Office & Student Experience website in the “Student Forms” section under the “Other Forms Related to Courses” tab. 

  • Full-time students may take a maximum of 6 half-courses, normally 3 in each of the Fall and Winter sessions, and a maximum of the equivalent of 2 half-courses in each term of the Summer session. For more information, please review the Course Enrollment page on the OISE website.  

Summer Course Load for Full-Time Students 

Students are not required to take courses during the summer session (May to August). However, they can choose to take up to 4 half courses during the Summer session. The maximum course load for a full-time student in the summer session is 2 half courses in the first term (May to June) and 2 half courses in the second term (July to August). 

Elective courses can come from any graduate program at U of T that is part of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Even though electives can come from any SGS graduate program, most students take electives within OISE. We also strongly recommend that you select your electives in consultation with your Faculty Advisor.

  • If the department offering the course has opted to allow a waitlist and either your enrolment category in the course or the course itself is full, you can choose to join a waiting list. ACORN will inform you of your place on the waitlist for your category (not necessarily on the whole waitlist) and how many spaces are allotted for that course. Some courses have multiple waitlists due to multiple enrolment categories (x spaces for this group of students and y spaces for this group of students). You would only see where you are on your waitlist.  
  • If space becomes available in your category and you are next on the list, you'll be automatically enrolled, and a notification will be sent to your U of T email address. If you are on the waitlist for a course in one student category, and you change to a different category (e.g., if you transfer from one program to another), this can positively or negatively change your ranking on the waitlist. Being on the waiting list does not guarantee you a space in the course. Waitlisted courses do count towards your maximum course load. There are no fees associated with being on the waiting list for a course. Graduate program fees are based on program status: full-time or part-time.   
  • At some point during the enrolment process, waitlists are cancelled. You'll have a few days to add another course via ACORN.  After the ACORN deadline, complete the appropriate Course Add/Drop Form which will be routed to the appropriate person for approval and then to ROSE for processing. The form must be approved by the course instructor or coordinator as indicated on the course timetable/schedule. 

Coursework extensions are submitted towards the end of the term upon agreement between the student and the instructor. Informally, students can work with their instructor to accommodate them without submitting this paperwork, if both parties agree. The Coursework Extension Form

RST9999Y is not a course and does not count toward your maximum course load. It is a placeholder that is added to the record of all students with research-based degrees. It appears on your ACORN/transcript for the first semester until you finish your program.  

The OISE Registrar’s Office and Student Experience (ROSE) Registration Team typically adds the Major Research Project (MRP) course (LHA2001Y) once a student is no longer taking other courses but needs to remain registered to complete their MRP requirement.  

“Interim” means that the course is not approved, and the instructor’s approval is required. Please note: 

  • After you add a course, be sure the course is listed as “APP” (approved). If the course is not approved and your status is interim “INT”, please refer to the ROSE Course Schedule and confirm whether instructor approval is needed to take the course.   
  • In order to change your status from INT to APP, please complete an Add/Drop Form. To complete an Add/Drop Form, you would complete your portion of the online form. The next step is for the instructor to complete the form. Completed forms must be sent to the Graduate Liaison team. 
  • Please note that not all instructors complete Add/Drop Forms right away. Many will wait for the first week of class. You may wish to have a backup plan in case you do not get into the course.   
  • Courses that require instructor approval cannot be added on ACORN/ROSI. Submit a Course Add/Drop Form with the instructor signature to If you enrol in a course requiring instructor approval, your status will be INT (interim) until you submit the signed form.  

If you are unsure whether the instructor has reviewed your Course Add/Drop Form, please reach out to them to confirm. Furthermore, if you are a student outside the program of the course you are seeking to enroll in, ask the instructor when they will start reviewing requests from students outside of the program. We also encourage you to write a rationale on why this course is relevant to your academic goals and career. 

Because LHAE houses three graduate programs, we use the second digit of the course code to differentiate between AECD, ELP and HE.    

  • LHA 1000, 3000, 5000, and 6000 series are ELP courses (e.g., LHA1003H or LHA6002H)  
  • LHA 1100, 3100, 5100, and 6100 series are AECD courses (e.g., LHA1100H or LHA3102H)  
  • LHA 1800, 3800, 5800, 6800 series are Higher Ed courses (e.g., LHA1803 or LHA5804)  

Transferring Programs

Students cannot transfer between the EdD and PhD programs. 

Students cannot transfer between the full-time and flexible-time Ph.D. options 

  • Students can request to switch from the MEd to MA option after completing their first year of study. Students who are interested in transferring programs are encouraged to speak with the faculty advisor who was assigned to them at the beginning of the program if they haven’t already done so.   
  • It is also recommended to review the requirements of the program students wish to transfer into to ensure that the credits they have earned will be eligible to be carried over.   
  • In addition to the Program Transfer Form, degree transfers from an MEd to MA must also be accompanied by a signed Thesis Supervision Form. This includes a detailed rationale on why this program is a good fit for you, your professional background, and how this program will help you achieve your future goals. Once completed, please send this to as soon as possible. 
  • MEd students in ELP are not admitted directly into the Major Research Project (MRP) option. They must apply for a transfer to the MRP option after completing a minimum of 3 courses. 
  • Additionally, students’ part-time or full-time status from their previous term must be maintained until graduation (i.e., if their last course is taken in Winter as a full-time student, they must stay full-time until their MRP or thesis is finished). While the department usually supports such requests, students must meet several requirements prior to requesting a transfer:  
  • Begin by consulting their advisor to discuss the feasibility of undertaking an MRP.   
  • If recommended by their advisor, students should then identify a research topic.     
  • Find a core faculty member in ELP, who agrees to supervise the project.    
  • Complete the Program Transfer  Form and MRP Supervision Approval Form and submit them to the program assistants for Chair approval. 
  • Ensure all fields in the forms are appropriately filled, including a good rationale for the MRP, contains proof of supervisory commitment, such as a signature.    

To learn more about the MRP option, please review the information on our  website under the heading “Transferring from Coursework Only to Coursework Plus Major Research Paper Option”    

Fees and Financial Assistance

Minimum Degree Fee 

  • All master's students studying at the University of Toronto must pay a minimum degree fee, which is based on the full-time program length for each graduate master's program and is assessed prior to graduation. 
  • Students who finish their degree program requirements in less time than the defined program length will be subject to a balance of degree fees, whether registered full-time or part-time. If you finish your program earlier, it is highly likely that the balance of degree fee will be issued upon assessment of your application to graduate form.   
  • For information on how to calculate your balance of degree fee, consult the ROSE Balance of Degree Fee page and direct further questions to  

Summer Fee 

  • For most OISE students (with some exceptions), summer fees are exempt. This means that if you are a full-time student, you would need to have been registered in either the Fall or Winter sessions to be exempt from summer fees.  
  • If you are a part-time student and you have been registered in the Fall and Winter sessions, you will not be asked to make another payment for the summer.  
  • For more information on funding opportunities, please review the Tuition and Financial Support page on the OISE website. Additionally, you can contact Anne Marie Kwan, the Financial Aid and Awards Coordinator for OISE, for finance-related questions and advising. Her contact information is listed below:  

Anne Marie Kwan (She/Her)
Financial Aid & Awards Coordinator 
(Bursaries; OSAP; scholarships; loans; internal awards payment; financial advising; liaises with central financial aid) 
Phone: 416-978-2237

OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program)

 For OSAP information, please contact Anne Marie Kwan, the Financial Aid and Awards Coordinator for OISE. She can be reached at  

To inquire about the tuition waiver and balance of degree fee, please reach out to Student Accounts. You can contact Student Accounts at or 416-978-2190. We recommend you also speak with your HR staff as they can advise alongside Student Accounts.  

Faculty Advisor & Supervisor

For academic-related questions, students are encouraged to speak with their Faculty Advisor, as they can provide guidance and information regarding their program, help with course selection based on a student’s academic and careers goals, support the student through the degree process, and other queries. 

Step 1: Speak to your Faculty Advisor, if you have not already done so. They are a great starting point for any academic matters. They can also help you through the degree process and assist you in selecting a thesis supervisor. The School of Graduate Studies Supervision Website is also an excellent resource for students and faculty.    

Step 2: Check which faculty member would be a good fit. Review the list of our faculty and their research interests. Learn more about each faculty member, their background, and publications.   

Step 3: Prepare for a meeting with a faculty member. The faculty member will give you a brief overview of the research they conduct. Be prepared to ask them questions about their research and to clearly express your interest in working with them.    

Step 4: Communicate your interest to be supervised by your prospective supervisors. It is important to remember that some faculty may not respond right away or at all. This does not mean that they are not interested in your application. They are just not able to get back to the many students who are contacting them.    

Step 5: Fill out the supervision form and ask your supervisor to sign it. Then, please submit the signed form to your department.    

Tips for communicating with faculty:  

  • Identify your goals (academic and career oriented) and emphasize any research or leadership experience that might be relevant for them to know about.  
  • State why you are approaching them in particular, as well as why your research interests and goals are a good match with them.  
  • Limit your questions to those about their research and contact information. 


For questions about graduation, please reach out to the Registrar’s Office at  To graduate, students are required to submit an Intent to Graduate Form

  • For Masters students finishing in Summer (for November convocation), submit from June 15 to July 15  
  • For Masters students finishing in Fall (for either March or June convocation), submit from September 15 to October 15  
  • For Masters students finishing in Winter (for June convocation), submit from February 15 to March 15  

Once this is done, the ROSE team will then:   

  • Review for required courses, and that all completed courses have grades.   
  • Calculate your degree fee to see if you will owe a balance upon graduation.   
  • If you are currently enrolled in a Collaborative Specialization, the team will check for a letter of completion in your file.   
  • Email a letter to you with our assessment.   

This can take some time to be completed, so please ensure you submit your Intent to Graduate form in a timely manner. 

MA Students – Important Dates 

Be aware of extra steps required before submitting an Intent to Graduate Form. Consult the Important Dates section of the ROSE website for more information on: 

  • Deadline for electronic submission of thesis 
  • Deadline for submission of the recommendation for master's degree form  

A first step should be to get a thesis approved by a committee well in advance of the above deadlines (i.e. have your thesis read, edited, and approved by both of your readers).  

Following this, please upload a thesis to TSpace in the correct formatting outlined on the platform (your supervisor can assist you with this), after which they should send a confirmation of upload to the registrar’s office.  

All the aforementioned steps need to be completed by the deadline outilined on the Important Dates. You will also need to submit an application to graduate. Both the application to graduate and the recommendation for master's degree forms can be found on the ROSE website in the Student Forms section

Registrarial Services

  • Please refer to this website for more information 
  •  The Leave of absence form can be found on the OISE Office of the Registrar and Student Experience website in the Student Forms section.  

Students can request a program extension of up to one year (we recommend that students request the whole year) and this should be discussed with your supervisor/faculty advisor as soon as possible. To do so, completion of the Program Extension (Current Regulations) form available on this website is required. It can also be found in the Student Forms & Letters section of the SGS website.     

  • For students whose current time limit has not yet expired: you can request up to 1 year (3 sessions) at a time; the ROSE recommends that you request the full year even if you anticipate completing your program sooner. 
  • All students can request a 1st or 2nd program extension (i.e. to extend the time limit up to 2 years later than the original time limit), subject to department approval.  
  • Master's students can request a non-standard 3rd (and final) program extension (i.e. to extend the time limit more than 2 and up to 3 years later than the original time limit), subject to SGS approval.  
  • More information on Program Extensions.

Third or fourth (FINAL) program extension requests for doctoral students, and third (FINAL) program extension requests for master’s students, require additional SGS approval. To obtain this approval, the student, supervisor, and graduate chair/coordinator must provide additional information in a separate letter of support to SGS. This can be a single letter co-signed by all parties, or separate letters, that outline the following: 

  • a reflection on the progress to date, including progress in the previous extension periods, 
  • a detailed plan or timeline for completion, 
  • a confirmation that the degree requirements can be met within one year of the final program extension, and 
  • a confirmation that the student has been made aware of support services that are available to help the student complete their thesis. 

All program requirements must be completed within a specific period of time. The time limit for a degree is the maximum period of registration permitted for the completion of the program. The time limit for all graduate degrees and combined programs is as follows: 

Degree Type Time Limit to Complete Program
Doctoral  6 years (except for the Dentistry PhD: 7 to 8 years depending on specialty) 
Direct-entry Doctoral  7 years 
Flexible-time PhD program option  6 to 8 years (depending on program) 
Professional doctoral  5 to 6 years (depending on program) 
Full-time master’s  3 years (exceptions: March (4 years); Dentistry MSc (3 to 5 years)) 
Part-time master’s  6 years 
Combined degree programs  Time limit is established for each combined degree program. The time limit will be set at one year (or two for doctoral programs) beyond the established combined program length. 

Time limits to complete program by degree type. 

A reinstatement allows a student to return for a period of 12 consecutive months to complete any outstanding requirements for a flat rate fee. All outstanding requirements must be completed during this time. If a student is considering this option, they should not apply for a withdrawal from their program since they cannot be reinstated into a program they withdrew from. 

For questions about service charges, please contact Student Accounts within the University Registrar's Office.