1 Organization of the School of Graduate Studies

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​< back to General Regulations​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is responsible for the oversight of all gra​duate programs in the University of Toronto and for developing and implementing appropriate regulations and operating procedures for admissions, programs of study, and completion of degree requirements.

According to its constitution, the School of Graduate Studies has a council and is organized into four divisions. Each of the departments, centres, and institutes (referred to generally as graduate units) belongs to one of the divisions.

1.1 The Divisions​

  • Division I—Humanities

  • Division II—Social Sciences

  • Division III—Physical Sciences

  • Division IV—Life Sciences

1.2 Graduate Education Council

​The Graduate Education Council is an academic advisory and regulatory body. It exercises powers and duties, subject to the approval of Governing Council, as required, under the provisions of the University of Toronto Act. The Graduate Education Council consists of 35 elected members and numerous ex-officio members. Each division elects five faculty members and three graduate students to the council; a senior representative of the Graduate Students’ Union is a voting member. There are three administrative staff seats. The Graduate Education Council is chaired by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and ​Education.

The Graduate Education Council is primarily responsible for determining policies and regulations affecting the administration and operation of graduate studies, and for advising Governing Council on initiatives in graduate studies. The Graduate Education Council is concerned with the quality of graduate education across the University.

1.3 Graduate Units​

Graduate units (departments, centres, and institutes) offer degree programs and courses and conduct research. A number of graduate diploma programs are also offered.

Each graduate student is enrolled in one of the graduate departments/centres/institutes that offer graduate study. The graduate unit is responsible for ensuring that each student is admitted and enrolled in an appropriate program of studies and is responsible for thesis/research supervision in conformity with the policies and procedures of the School of Graduate Studies.

The Coordinator of Graduate Studies is responsible for the administration ​of graduate affairs wit​hin the unit, as delegated by the unit’s Chair or Director.

1.4 Graduate Programs​

Graduate programs are listed alphabetically in the Programs by Graduate Unit​ section of this calendar.

1.4.1 Degree Programs​

A diverse range of both research-oriented and professional degree programs​ are offered at both the master’s and doctoral levels.

1.4.2 Collaborative Programs​

Colla​borative programs (CPs) emerge from cooperation between two or more graduate units and their graduate programs. The student has a broader base from which to explore a novel interdisciplinary area or some special development in a particular discipline.

The student must be admitted to, and enrol in, one of the collaborating graduate units (known as a “home” unit) and must fulfil all the requirements of the degree program in the home unit and any additional requirements of the CP. Each CP is designed to allow a focus in the area of specialty. On successful completion of the program, the student receives a transcript notation indicating completion of the collaborative program, in addition to the degree.

​1.4.3 Combined Degree Programs​​

Combined degree programs​ (CDPs) allow a student to study in two approved degree programs at the same time and to complete the requirements of both, providing a distinctive academic benefit to the student either through academic enrichment or academic acceleration. CDPs build on a strong academic rationale or synergy between the programs in the combination.

CDPs may embody the following combinations: undergraduate/graduate, second-entry undergraduate/graduate, or graduate/graduate. A CDP is an entity; the student is registered in a CDP as well as in the two participating degree programs. On successful completion of the CDP, the student receives two degrees.

1.4.4 Diploma Programs

Graduate diplomas may be ​offered at the master's, post-master's, and doctoral levels. They consist of approved graduate courses or other graduate academic activities appropriate to the diploma level. The University of Toronto offers graduate diploma programs in conjunction with a master's or doctoral degree and also graduate diplomas as a stand-alone program with direct admission.​

1.4.5 Conjoint Programs

The University of Toronto and the Toronto School of Theology​, in accord with a Memorandum of Agreement between the two institutions, offer specific and approved conjoint programs, some of which may be graduate degree programs. Students in a conjoint program are students at the University of Toronto; however, they are not registered at the School of Graduate Studies.

1.4.6 Joint Programs

A graduate joint degree program is a program of study offered by two or more universities, or equivalent institutions, in which successful completion of the requirements is confirmed by a single degree document.​

1.4.7 Dual Degree Programs

A dual degree program (DDP) is a program of study offered in partnership by the University of Toronto and an international peer university, or equivalent institution. In a DDP, a student’s successful completion of the program requirements of two existing degree programs is conferred with two degree documents or parchments. DDPs build on a strong academic rationale between the programs in the combination and provide a distinctive academic benefit to students. DDPs​ are governed by a memorandum of agreement.​

1.5 Graduate Faculty

Responsibility for directing all elements of graduate teaching and supervision of students rests with members of the graduate faculty.

Graduate faculty membership is initiated by the Chair/Director of the graduate unit. With the approval of the School of Graduate Studies, the Chair confirms graduate membership to the faculty member. Membership is offered in the following categories:

1.5.1 Full Members

Full members may

  • act as the sole or major supervisor of a doctoral or master’s thesis for students in the graduate unit

  • act as a member of thesis committees of students in any graduate unit, as appropriate

  • serve as chair or voting member of a Final Oral Examination committee

  • assume responsibility for the setting and marking of comprehensive (general) examinations

  • teach, set, and mark examinations for a graduate course

  • give such other graduate direction as may be required

1.5.2 Associate Members

Associate Members may be permitted to undertake all the duties of a full member but shall not serve as a sole or major supervisor, whether formally or otherwise, of a doctoral student nor act as the chair of a Final Doctoral Oral Examination.

1.5.3 Associate (Restricted) Members

Associate (restricted) members​ may be permitted to undertake the duties availab​le to an associate member, but only as specified in writing at the time that the graduate membership is offered.

1.5.4 Members Emeriti

Members emeriti may perform all duties of a full member, but may only take on new supervision with the approval of the Graduate Chair or Director.