When is the next application deadline?
The next application cycle will be for the September 2013 session and the application deadline for this will be January 15, 2013.
Is the GRE an application requirement?
No, this is not one of our admission requirements. If you’ve taken the test already (for other institutions) and want to send your scores to us, we will use them but they are not required. The Institution code for the University of Toronto is 0982.
Does the Department admit students to a January session?
No, all of our programs begin in September.
Does the Department offer part-time programs?
The PhD program is offered only full-time. It is possible to complete our MA programs on a part-time basis; however it is not possible to complete program requirements if you are only available in the evening. There are very few evening classes. There is no difference in the application and program requirements for part-time students. There is a difference in course enrolment limits – part time students are able to take a maximum of 2.5 full credit equivalents per session (i.e. September to April). A full-time student would ordinarily take 4.0 full credit equivalents.
Does consideration for a collaborative program require a separate application?
In some cases, yes. See the websites of the interdisciplinary programs you are considering and review the application requirements of the relevant program to be sure of the application procedure(s).
Do MA students receive funding?
Most internal fellowships are not available to MA students. It is possible for an MA student to be hired as a teaching assistant or research assistant; however, neither of these is guaranteed with admission. There are external fellowships that MA students may bring with them to the program (such as OGS and CGS).
Who is in the ‘funded cohort’?
The Department considers PhD students in Years One through Five as members of the funded cohort. The ‘funded cohort’ are students included in the Minimum Funding Guarantee (for details see (http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/graduate/scholarships). Both MA students and PhD students beyond year five are excluded from the funded cohort though they may still, of course, hold external fellowships, or work as teaching assistants or research assistants.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The MA program is one year full time. In some cases it is possible to complete coursework in as little as 8 months, beginning in September, completing coursework in April and graduating in June. Most commonly though, students take from 9 to 12 months to complete their coursework and graduate the following November.
For the PhD program, the department does everything possible to facilitate completion of the program within four years for students who enter with an MA degree or five years for those entering directly from the BA. Six years is the maximum length permitted, after which students must apply for a formal extension in order to remain in the program.
How do I apply to be a non-degree student?
If you are interested in taking courses at the graduate level as a non-degree student it is still necessary to formally apply to the department using the application material on our website. All posted deadlines and application requirements/procedures apply to non-degree applicants.
What will it cost to study in Toronto?
You will find information regarding tuition costs (domestic and international) at http://www.fees.utoronto.ca.
If I am applying from another country how do I compare my grades and degree(s)?
Students applying with degrees completed in other countries sometimes have difficulty assessing their credentials. We have an equivalency list, which can help with a basic assessment, available at
What if I do not meet the admission requirements?
If you don’t meet the admission requirements for the program you wish to apply to, in most circumstances it will make you less competitive and in some cases inadmissible. Most applicants do meet or exceed all admission requirements. For advice with regard to qualifying coursework you should be in touch with the appropriate graduate advisor. If you are applying to the PhD program contact Professor Steven Bernstein. For the MA program, contact Professor Courtney Jung. If you do complete qualifying courses as advised it does not guarantee admission to the program. It is not possible to determine in advance how strong the group of applicants in the year you are applying will be.
If it is a minimum language proficiency score you do not meet then you will need to repeat the test to meet our English Facility Requirement.
Do I need to find a supervisor before I am admitted to the program?
MA students do not work with a specific supervisor in our program. Although PhD students will need a supervisor, you do not need to secure agreement from a faculty member before you are admitted. We recommend that PhD students discuss their dissertation topic with several appropriate faculty and the Graduate Director in order to find the most appropriate supervisor and members of their dissertation committee.
Is there any way to improve my chances of admission if I do not have a strong background in undergraduate political science courses?
In such cases, we recommend that you take several 400-level courses in Political Science, as a non-degree student. Succeeding in these courses will demonstrate that you’re capable of succeeding in our M.A. program. Please note that for admission we do require a political science background, typically 5 full-year courses in Political Science, or the equivalent.
Once I arrive on campus, how and when will I determine my selection of courses?
Our MA supervisor will meet with you to finalize course selection in mid-September. You should begin to sign up for courses electronically, on the university’s system (known as ROSI), as soon as we make courses available in the beginning of September. We encourage you to experiment with several courses you might take in the first few weeks. The graduate seminars are not normally oversubscribed, so we do not normally face the problem of students being excluded from classes that they wish to take.
In applying to the MA program, which topics or issues should I address in my statement of purpose?
In this section of your application, you should explain your research interests with reference both to your previous studies and the academic work you plan to undertake at the University of Toronto. It is also reasonable to indicate how your proposed studies fit into a larger career or personal trajectory.
What is the minimum GPA for entrance to the MA program? What if my academic record has improved considerably over the course of my undergraduate career?
For admission to the MA program, we normally expect a B+ cumulative GPA or above. We take into account improvement over the course of your undergraduate career.