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How to Apply

The Language and Literacies Education program is offered through the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. All OISE graduate studies programs operate under the umbrella of the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies, so all applicants must submit their application through the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies online application system.


General Requirements

  • Appropriate bachelor's degree or its equivalent with an academic standing equivalent to at least mid-B in the final year from a recognized university. Please refer to the OISE Graduate Studies Bulletin and the Graduate Admissions website for further information.
  • Applicants from outside Canada whose primary language is not English must be able to communicate effectively in English for studies at the University of Toronto. Please refer to the English Language Proficiency guidelines for further information.


Preparing your Application

We are looking for applicants who have a sound academic background and a deep interest in education. Our degree is designed to provide opportunities for study, research, and theoretical analysis. It attracts a wide range of educational professionals, including teachers, health workers, community-based educators, educational activists, school board administrators, postsecondary faculty, individuals in corporate and not-for-profit industries, and people in other education-related fields.

Your complete application should include the following:

  • Online application
  • Postsecondary transcripts
  • Resumé
  • Statement of intent
  • Reference letters
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable.
Please ensure that your application is complete (including submission of all supporting documents) within seven business days of applying (including payment). If not, the application may be considered with documents missing.

Online application: 
Please complete the online application form at the  University of Toronto Online Admissions Application web site.  Your first step will be to create an account with a  valid email address.   Once you login, choose "MA, Language and Literacies Education" from the selection list.  Be sure to choose OISE as the Graduate Unit.  Please upload supporting documents (Transcripts, Resumé , Statement of Intent, Reference Letters) to the Online Admissions Application web site.

Please submit an official transcript of your academic record from each and every post-secondary institution that you have attended. Official transcripts are paper records received in the Registrar's Office in a sealed envelope, signed/stamped by the issuing institution.  Transcripts should be sent directly from the post-secondary institution to the Registrar's Office.  Also upload an electronic version of your transcripts to the Online Admissions Application web site.  Further information about submitting transcripts can be found here.

Your resumé should describe your education history (both academic and professional), research experience, employment history (including names of employers, job titles, position responsibilities, dates employed, whether full- or part-time), awards, business and professional achievements, community activities, as well as any special skills.

Statement of Intent: 
Please prepare a concise two-page document (single-spaced, Times New Roman font size 12 point) in which you describe why you wish to undertake a research-oriented program of study. Discuss your academic interests, experience and professional concerns. We ask each applicant to:

  • Highlight research activities in which you’ve engaged (e.g., action research in your classroom, work as a research assistant on a funded research project). Discuss how you will build on these experiences or what you have learned that will inform your graduate work.
  • Write about professional experiences (teaching and those related to education), as well as contributions to education (e.g., involvement on curriculum-writing teams, mentoring new teachers), and discuss how you will build on these experiences in your graduate work.
  • Discuss the contexts for your research and other types of publications.
  • Identify potential research topics for your thesis or dissertation, providing background information on why these topics are important to you. Show that you have read the bios of LLE faculty who might be potential supervisors of your research and explain why they would be a good match to supervise your work.

Applicants might want to sketch out a potential research project they would pursue. This doesn’t have to be a formal research proposal, but can give reviewers a sense of your command of a particular topic, relevant literature, and how you would design a study of it. 

Don’t leave reviewers guessing. If there is something about your previous studies or your professional background that might stand out, address it in the statement of intent. One common example of this is a master’s degree that is in a field quite different from LLE research. In this case, you might tell us about professional experiences that prepare you for doctoral studies if your masters degree did not. Another common example is not having a full master’s thesis. In a few words, explain to us how the writing sample you’re including in your application provides evidence of your readiness to pursue doctoral studies. 
Reference letters: 
The MA degree requires two reference letters: one academic and one professional.  The academic letter should be from a university professor who has taught you in the past.  If you are unable to secure an academic reference, the program will accept a second professional reference letter in its place (in this case you should direct the most suitable referee to include some comments pertaining to your intellectual abilities and potential).  Further information about submitting reference letters can be found here