Historical Timeline

Croft Chapter House, University College 

In 1922, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) became a distinct academic division within the University of Toronto, 95 years after the University's founding. Master’s degrees were awarded by the middle of the 19th century, and the doctorate was established in the 1890s. Today, SGS comprises over 80 graduate units (departments, centres, and institutes), offering approximately 280 graduate programs.

1827: U of T is established by royal charter, the largest research-intensive university in Canada.

1897: The PhD degree is introduced.

1899: Frederick Scott is the first student to receive a PhD degree, in Physiology (his thesis topic: nerve cells).

1900: John McLennan is the second student to receive PhD degree (in Physics).

1903: Clara Benson (Chemistry) and Emma Baker (Philosophy) are the first women to earn a PhD.

1906: Clara Benson and Annie Laird become U of T's first female professors. They teach in the Faculty of Household Science.

1922: SGS becomes a distinct academic division within U of T. James McMurrich is the first Dean, and 300 students are enrolled​.

1962: The cornerstone of Massey College is laid (U of T's first graduate college).

1965: SGS is reorganized and expanded.

2006: Launch of the first-ever graduate program at U of T Scarborough (UTSC): the Master of Environmental Science degree program.

2007: Launch of the Professional Graduate Programs Centre to administer professional graduate programs at U of T Mississauga (UTM).

2013: Over 80 graduate units offer more than 150 graduate programs.

A Path Not Strewn With Roses: One Hundred Years of Women at the University of Toronto, 1884–1984 by Anne Rochon Ford (1985).

University of Toronto: A Brief Sketch of its History and its Organization(1947).

The University of Toronto: A History by Martin L. Friedland (2002).