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What is the difference between enrolment and registration?

  • To enrol, you sign up for courses (this can be done before you register).
  • To register, you pay your tuition and incidental fees, or register without payment (defer fees). It's how you officially become a student at OISE and U of T.

Whether new or continuing, students must register at the beginning of each year. OISE does not regularly offer summer start programs.

Students are required to be registered during any sessions, including the Summer Session if they are working on their program. This includes completing coursework, working on a coursework extension, writing comprehensive examinations, performing research or working on their thesis.

Each program has a minimum degree fee, which is the minimum amount of academic program fees that every student, whether registered full-time or part-time, must pay upon completion of the program prior to graduation, see the tab below for details.

This page contains everything you need to know about registration.

  • Looking for information on course enrolment? Click here
  • Need information on graduate fees? Click here. (Note: the Student Choice Initiative was a provinicial directive allowing opting out of certain ancillary fees. This was struck down in court and is not in effect.)


You can register if you are a:

  • Continuing student who is within the time limit for your degree program.
  • Student in good academic standing. Doctoral students must achieve candidacy by certain timelines in order to be allowed to register. 
  • Student with no outstanding U of T tuition fees
  • New student: New students are allowed initial registration, however all conditions of admission must be satisfied before final registration is permitted.  



  • July 18, 2022: Registration via  ACORN for Fall/Winter session(s) opens (becomes available)
  • September 1, 2022: The recommended date to pay fees through your bank in order to for your ACORN status to be Registered by the Deadline of September 16th 
  • September 16, 2022: Deadline to be Registered for those in the Fall Session or Fall/Winter sessions
  • January 13, 2023: Deadline to be Registered  for those who are starting in the Winter Session only
  • early May 2023:  Summer Session-May start courses
  • early July 2023: those who are only enrolled in July-to-August Summer courses are required to register by this date.

Note: Newly admitted students are not permitted to register or begin their program in the Summer Session. 

Late Registration:

After the registration deadline, enrolment in and access to courses through ACORN will be cancelled for students whose status on ACORN is not "Registered."

In extenuating circumstances, a request for late registration may be considered. If approved, you'll be required to pay a late registration fee of $44.00. For more information, contact your Registration Specialist in the Registrar's Office and Student Experience.

Tip: Register by the registration deadline so that you don't lose credit for full-time attendance for income-tax purposes by Revenue Canada (T2202A) or lose your space in the courses of your choice.

How to register

Note: In order to register, you need a UTORid or JOINid, and access to ACORN

Before the Fall-Winter and Summer sessions, your sessional registration status on ACORN is set as “Invited to Register.” 

You can enrol in courses but your registration status has to be changed to “Registered” by the published registration deadline. Otherwise, both your sessional registration and course enrolment will be cancelled.

you status changed to Registered when your payment through your bank is processed or via fee deferral based on approval of funding (OSAP)

To register, you must pay the Minimum Payment to Register Amount displayed on your current session ACORN invoice before the deadline. Note that some types of payments can take up to 10 business days to be recorded in ACORN. Once your payment has been received and recorded, ACORN will change your sessional registration status to “Registered”.

As most students are are exempt from summer fees, our office will automatically REGISTER those who do not owe fees for the summer or before, those who must make a payment are INVIT and await payment to become registered

For information on how to make a payment, visit the Student Accounts website


How to register: Additional information about Summer Session registration

All students are required to register for the Summer Session if they are taking courses. However, not all students are required to pay fees in order to register.

Fees not required

Summer fees are not required for:

  • Students continuing in the same degree and who were registered in the previous Fall or Winter Sessions, either full-time for one session or part-time for both sessions.
  • Students returning in the Summer session from an approved leave (see General Regulations section 6.1.15 Leave Policy) do not pay Summer session fees.

If you are not required to pay fees and are taking courses, you'll automatically be registered by the OISE Registrar's Office. 

Fees required

Summer fees are required for students continuing in the same degree who were not registered in the previous Fall or Winter Sessions, either full-time for one session or part-time for both sessions.

Register without payment (i.e., fee deferral)

A fee deferral is a special financial arrangement available to a qualified student who cannot make the deadline for the minimum tuition payment to be officially registered. This arrangement is temporary and you are expected to pay your tuition as soon as you can

Deferrals are not automatically considered. Students must submit a formal application to defer. If approved, ACORN will change your sessional registration status to "Registered."

Who is eligible? 

Consideration is given to students whose only option for making the minimum payment is the arrival of internal or external funding, such as government loans, major awards, or sponsorship by a third party.

How to apply for a fee deferral

1. Government loan or graduate scholarship/award deferral

You may request a fee deferral on ACORN if you are the recipient of an:

  • Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP) loan;
  • Other provincial/territorial government loan;
  • US government loan; or
  • University funding package (graduate base funding package, major award, and research or teaching stipend).

The deferral request is conditional on the following:

  1. That you have no outstanding fees from a previous session. 
  2. That the loan, scholarship or award exceeds the Minimum Payment to Register amount on your fees invoice. 

To make the request, click on the relevant deferral button on the “Financial Accounts” section on ACORN.

2. Major external or internal award, or graduate/teaching assistantship deferral

You must request a fee deferral by completing a Register Without Payment Form if you are:

  • receiving a major award, either external or internal; or
  • awarded a Graduate Assistantship or Teaching Assistantship, but not receiving a Graduate Base Funding Package. 

The deferral request is conditional on the following: 

  1. That your award is greater than or equals the Minimum Payment to Register amount on your fees invoice. 
  2. That you have no more than $100.00 in outstanding fees from a previous session. 
  3. That all admission conditions have been met.

3. Sponsorship by a third party (e.g., First Nations band)

The student must request a sponsorship arrangement/deferral with the Student Accounts Office for each academic session in which a sponsor will pay for current session tuition fees.  Submission of the annual letter from your sponsor to the Student Rec. & Acctg Office is required to complete registration for each academic session and avoid having registration financially cancelled and course enrolment cancelled.. Information on applying for a fee deferral on this basis can be found on the Student Accounts website. 



Continuous registration and Status Change restrictions

Every graduate program has a specified program length, which represents the expected amount of time it'll take to complete a specific degree program. The program length is stated in the Offer of Admission, and in the Graduate Calendar program entry.

Status change is moving from full time to part time or the reverse and is allowed only in some programs but there are restrictions.  See below for specific program details.

Once you've gone beyond the program length or begin your last required course (whichever comes first), you are required to register annually until all degree requirements are completed on the following basis: 

Doctoral programs

  • Standard PhD programs: Students are required to maintain full-time, year-round registration for the duration of the program. (A minimum of one year of full-time registration is required.)   
  • Flexible-time PhD programs: Students are required to maintain full-time, year-round registration for the first four years, after which part-time registration may be permitted upon request with program approval. Student's must send a request using their Utoronto email to the Registrar's Office and copy their department for program approval.  Status changes cannot be backdated.
  • EdD programs: The pattern of study varies for EdD programs. Most programs may be commenced on a part-time basis. However, a minimum period of 12 months of full-time registration is required. After, full-time registration must be maintained.  


Master’s programs  

  • Full-time master's students undertaking a degree that requires a comprehensive examination/requirement, Major Research Paper, or Thesis, must continue to register on a full-time basis and pay the full-time fee once they have completed the defined Program Length or have begun their last required course (whichever comes first), until all degree requirements have been completed.

    If full-time master's students wish to change to part-time status, the change must be requested for the Fall/Winter Session before they begin their final session of the defined Program Length or before they begin their last required course, whichever comes first (Restrictions may apply).  If the last required course is taken in the Summer Session, a change to part-time status must have been made for the previous Winter Session.  Students will be required to maintain continuous registration and to pay part-time fees until all degree requirements have been completed. 

  • Part-time master’s students register in those sessions in which they are completing course requirements for the degree.  A change of status in the Summer does not affect a student’s status in the following Fall/Winter Session. Once they have begun their last required course, these students must register annually and pay the part-time fee until all other requirements have been completed. Failure to register as required will cause a student's status to lapse.

  • Exemptions: Students in Master of Education (MEd) programs that don't require a thesis, major research paper/project, or comprehensive exam are exempt from the requirement to maintain continuous registration. However, a switch from full-time to part-time status is not permitted once the program length defined for a program has been completed.
  • Counselling Psychology students in the Counselling and Psychotherapy and Guidance and Counselling fields must obtain APHD Department permission via a Degree/Program Transfer form to request status changes part-time to Full-time and the reverse.
    The Global Mental Health and Counselling Psychology field is only offerd full-time.


  • The Master of Teaching program is a full time program only, thus status changes cannot be made.
  • Changes to Registration Status can only be made by the Regiistrar's Office upon Student request, dependent on  restrictions, course add/drop deadlines and if allowed by individual programs. Students dropping a course will not  auromatically change status to part-time (lower tuition), a request must be sent to a registration advisor. 


  • Changes to full-time/part-time status cannot be made retroactively.


  • Status changes can result in an increased Balance of Degree fee owing at the end of the program.

Program length and time limit

The program length is the period of time for an academically well-prepared student to complete their program requirements. It is usually defined in number of sessions for master's programs and in number of academic years for doctoral programs (there are 3 sessions per academic year). If you finish a masters degree program before the end of its program length or if you are part-time, you will be required to pay a minimum degree fee (see section further below).

The time limit for a degree is the maximum number of years permitted for the completion of the program. If you do not complete your degree program within the time limit, you will not be permitted further registration without an approved program extension.

You can find both the program length and the time limit in the Graduate Calendar entry for your program. An approved leave of absence (see following section) extends both the program length and the time limit.

Program leave of absence or withdrawal

Leave of absence

Graduate students whose programs require continuous registration may apply to their Graduate Coordinator for a one-session to three-session leave during their program of study for the birth or adoption of a child or on the grounds of health problems or personal circumstances that make it temporarily impossible to continue in the program. The leave period is not included in the time limit for completion of the degree. Learn more about the Leave of Absence Policy on the SGS website

A leave of absence is not permitted in your first session of registration. You must be registered for a minimum of one session prior to requesting a leave of absence. 

Students may make application for a leave by completing the Leave of Absence Request Form available on our forms webpage (under "Registration").


Program withdrawal is permanent. When you withdraw, the fee refund schdule (available from Student Accounts) will apply. You may be required to refund all or a portion of your funding and/or awards to the University. Contact your graduate unit with any funding-related questions and the Graduate Awards Office at SGS with any awards-related questions.

For the above reasons, consider your decision carefully and discuss it with your Faculty Advisor/Supervisor and Graduate Coordinator. If you do decide to withdraw, complete the Program Withdrawal form available on our forms webpage (under "Registration"), and submit it to your department for the Chair's signature; it wil then be be forwarded to the Registrar's Office. The effective date will be the date signed by the Chair.

After you withdraw, you may not re-enter the program. You may apply for admission to a new program (which can be the same program offering as the one you withdrew from) in competition with all other applicants that year. Note that having been previously admitted to a program does not guarantee admission in future. If you are admitted, your graduate unit may allow for some coursework completed prior to withdrawal to be counted as transfer credit toward the new degree program.

Minimum degree fees

Each program has a minimum degree fee, which is the minimum amount of academic program fees that every student, whether registered full-time or part-time, must pay upon completion of the program prior to graduation. Learn about your minimum degree fee here


Refunds are based on the date of withdrawal, as per the relevant refund schedule on the Student Accounts website.

The date by which the Registrar's Office receives written notification of withdrawal from the session is the date used in determining fee charges for the session/year (if any).

Please note that the last day to cancel a course or registration with no academic penalty is not the same as the last day to be eligible for a refund.

Also, graduate programs charge a program fee, not a course fee. Fees are charged based on registration in a session either full-time or part-time in those programs that allow part-time registration.  Dropping courses without cancelling your registration or changing your registration status (full-time, part-time) will not result in any refund.