SGS Grants, Bursaries & Emergency Funding

​Master's Completion Bursary (MCB)

Award Overview

Student Deadline to SGS:

Fall 2018 competition: January 31, 2019
Winter 2019 competition: April 30, 2019

*Please see below for more important dates.

Value & Duration:

Provides assistance to reduce full-time fees for final registered session

Level of Study:


Required Legal Status:

Domestic or International


End of February 2019 (Fall cycle) or end of May 2019 (Winter cycle)


The Master's Completion Bursary (MCB) was formerly named the Master's Tuition Fee Bursary (MTFB). The MCB is a financial aid program aimed to assist master's students who must register beyond the program length required for their degree, in order to complete a minimal amount of work remaining due to unanticipated factors beyond their control. See the FAQs page for further details.


You are eligible for the MCB if:

  1. You were unable to complete your master's degree by the program length due to factors that were unanticipated and beyond your control;

  2. Your remaining academic requirements to be completed during the final session were minimal and completed by the required deadline. Minimal work includes the following:

  3. Thesis based programs: final thesis (this must be defended and submitted to the ProQuest digital library repository OR Major Research Paper/Project (MRP) submitted to the department on or before November 8, 2018 (Fall applicants) or March 5, 2019 (winter applicants);

  4. Course-based programs: 0.5 course, project, paper or language exam (this must be completed within the final registered session)

  5. You are beyond the program length required for your degree, and the program length must have ended:

    • on or before August 31 (Fall 2018 applicants); or

    • on or before December 31 (Winter 2019 applicants)

  6. You are still within the time limit for your degree;

  7. You have been registered full-time from the beginning of your program (i.e. no part-time registration, leave of absence or program transfers);

  8. You received minimal funding for the additionally required session ; and

  9. You are currently registered full-time in your final session before graduation.

NOTE: Students who transfer to programs are not eligible for the MCB.

Application Process

Applicants must:

  1. Complete sections 1, 2, and 4 of the MCB application form.

  2. Have sections 3 and 5 completed by the supervisor and graduate unit.

  3. Obtain any necessary letters or documents (such as a medical note and letter of support from the graduate unit).

  4. Submit the completed application with all supporting documentation to Financial Aid and Advising in person or by email to within two weeks of completing the degree requirements or application deadline date, whichever is earlier.

    Download application

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria:

  1. Were the factors preventing the applicant from completing the program within the usual program length unanticipated and beyond the applicant's control?

  2. Was the amount of outstanding work required to complete all degree requirements minimal, and were all degree requirements completed and recorded prior to the relevant SGS deadline(s)?

  3. Was funding already provided to the applicant during the final session of registration (e.g., fellowships, scholarships, OSAP, TA/RA-ships)?

  4. Has the applicant met all other eligibility requirements?

Contacts & Resources

Financial Aid and Advising
(416) 978-2839

Doctoral Completion Award (DCA)

The aim of the Doctoral Completion Award (DCA) is to support full-time PhD and SJD students who are beyond the funded cohort and within the time limit for the degree.

Students who have experienced a delay in their program due to unfortunate personal circumstances should refer to the SGS Emergency Grant program (details below).

Visit the SGS Completion and Postdoctoral Awards page for more information on the DCA.

The DCA is administered by individual graduate units. Be sure to check with your home unit about applying.

SGS Emergency Grant

The SGS Emergency Grant program aims to assist currently registered, full-time graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency. The grant is intended to help provide immediate short-term relief of such financial need and is not intended as a source of long-term funding. Students should also consult the information on SGS Emergency Loans which may be appropriate depending on the situation.


All graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency are encouraged to meet with the SGS Graduate Student Financial Advisor to discuss options and determine eligibility. Basic eligibility criteria for an SGS Emergency Grant are listed below.  More detailed information can be found on the application form.


  • Registered full-time in the School of Graduate Studies;
  • Normally have applied to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or other government student aid programs and received an OSAP Notice of Assessment; and
  • Have encountered an unanticipated serious financial emergency along with a demonstrated financial need.


  • Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Students (OISE students should apply to the OISE Bursary Program)
  • Students deemed by OSAP as having sufficient resources
  • Non-degree, visiting, and part-time students
  • Programs ineligible for OSAP and UTAPS (visit the Enrolment Services website for more details)


When completing the financial section of the grant application, students should take note of the following list of eligible and ineligible expenses. More detailed information can be found on the application form.

Eligible Expenses

  • Rent & Living Expenses
  • Debt servicing
  • Child care expenses
  • Travel due to a death or terminal illness in the family
  • Health care and emergency dental care expenses
  • Prescriptions
  • Exceptional unanticipated expenses

Ineligible Expenses

  • Debts and obligations
  • Tuition and program-related expenses
  • Support for partner or family expenses
  • Delays resulting from research and supervision complications

Grant Application

All graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency are encouraged to meet with the Graduate Student Financial Advisor and asked to fill out the Financial Information Sheet before the appointment.

Students should submit the completed grant application form and required documentation (e.g. OSAP Notice of Assessment) together with any other relevant additional documents (e.g., letter from supervisor/advisor) via email to

Students can apply for an Emergency Grant at any time throughout the year. Before applying, we encourage students to discuss their needs with someone from their graduate unit, such as their supervisor or their graduate coordinator. They may be able to help with other sources of financial assistance and/or provide useful advice.

Students may normally only apply for an Emergency Grant once per academic year. In exceptional circumstances, a second application may be considered, but only if new and compelling information can be provided. Students should discuss their circumstances with the Financial Advisor before applying.

Notification of Results

All of the applications will be reviewed and decisions will be communicated within two weeks upon receipt of a completed application (including all support documentation). Emergency Loans may be approved in the interim.

The decision will be communicated via the student's official U of T email address unless reasonable alternate arrangements of notification are requested.


Normally, Emergency Grants that are awarded will first be applied to fees or institutional loans that are outstanding. Upon request (see section 2 of the application form), students may be able to receive payment personally. Students must ensure that their current mailing address and associated address expiry date is updated on ACORN to avoid delays in payment.

Students who would prefer to receive payments via direct deposit to their personal Canadian bank account will need to add banking information to their ACORN account authorizing the University to deposit ACORN payments directly. If banking information is not provided on ACORN, payments will be issued by cheque and sent by Canada Post to the personal mailing address as provided on ACORN.

Contacts & Resources

Financial Aid and Advising
(416) 978-2839

SGS Emergency Loan

The SGS Emergency Loan alleviates temporary cash flow problems for students who are expecting the release of funds in the near future (i.e., 30 to 120 days) from employment, a major award instalment, OSAP (Ontario Students' Assistance Program), teaching assistantship, or research assistantship payment, etc.


Loan applications are processed on an ongoing, continual basis throughout each academic session. Applications need to be submitted to the SGS Graduate Awards Office by 2 pm in order to be evaluated. A decision will be released within two business days upon receipt of the complete application by SGS.

Value & Duration

The average loan is approximately $1,000 to $1,500, but may be requested and approved for a larger amount depending on the value of the expected funds, the current outstanding balance on the student's fees account, and any relevant circumstances. The loan amount is charged to your fees account but will remain interest-free until the agreed upon repayment date. The repayment date is normally no more than four months (120 days) from the date of issue. Any outstanding balance on ACORN will prevent students from registering for the fall session, accordingly. Loan repayment dates (due date) will not be dated past Aug 31.


Students must be registered in the academic session for which the funding is provided and be able to show documentation verifying the expected release of funds and the ability for repayment.

How to Apply

Obtain the SGS Emergency Loan application and complete it electronically and email it to the SGS Financial Aid and Advising Office (OISE students should submit the application to OISE Student Services) along with the documentation verifying the availability of funds expected to repay the loan. The application form serves also as the loan agreement and payment activation form.

Notification of Results

You will be notified of your loan's status within two business days upon receipt of the completed application by SGS. If approved, the funds will be transferred via ACORN directly to your Canadian bank account within 48 hours of approval. Please ensure the direct deposit information is provided and active on your ACORN account. See how to set up direct deposit on ACORN.

Contacts & Resources

Financial Aid and Advising
(416) 978-2839

SGS Parental Grant

The SGS Parental Grant program aims to provide financial support to doctoral students within the funded cohort by helping to offset the loss of funding as a result of taking an approved parental leave of absence at the time of birth or adoption in order to provide full-time care during the child's first year or the first year the child comes into care (see SGS Leave of Absence Policy). Parental Grants of up to $4,000 will be provided to eligible student parents during the approved leave of one session or more. Birth mothers may be eligible for a second instalment of up to $4000 to support parental leaves of two sessions (8 months) or more in duration. The total amount of the Grant will be calculated based on other non-employment related supplemental university funding the student may have available.

Award Overview

Student Applications Due:

Prior to the start of the session of approved parental leave


Up to $4,000 one-time-only per student ($8,000 for birth mothers)

Level of Study:

Doctoral students within the funded cohort

Required Legal Status:

Domestic or international


In order to be eligible to receive a Parental Grant, a student must be:

  • Registered full-time in a research-stream doctoral program and have been granted an approved parental leave for at least one academic session (or 4 months). Birth mothers requesting a second instalment must be granted at least 8 months of parental leave;


  • Eligible to receive their regular base funding package prior to and upon return from parental leave;

  • The primary caregiver for the duration of the parental leave; and

  • Receiving less than $4,000 in pregnancy/parental leave benefits from external sources for the same child within the 12 month period after birth or adoption.

Please note:

  • Students receiving Tri-Agency scholarships or research grant stipends are eligible for Tri-Agency Paid Parental Leave supplements and will receive benefits that normally exceed the value of the Grant; such students are ineligible;     

  • Benefits from employment income through the University may be received in addition to the SGS Parental Grant, and would not impact the student's eligibility to receive the full Grant value;

  • Grant recipients who return to their program prior to the approved leave of absence end date, may be required to return a portion of the Grant for the incomplete session;

  • Multiple births upon the same occasion (e.g., twins) do not increase the duration or the value of the Grant;

  • Students may apply for a Parental Grant for every occasion of birth and/or adoption that occurs during the course of their program provide they continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

Application Process

While students are asked to initiate the application process, graduate units are expected to complete the Parental Grant application including details about the student's funding and submit the necessary supporting documentation to SGS.

Download Application

Please note:

  • Students apply for a parental leave of absence through their graduate unit by submitting a Leave of Absence Form;

  • Upon approval of the leave, students can initiate a request for a Parental Grant by accessing the SGS Parental Grant Application and completing the student section;

  • Once initiated by the student the application is forwarded to the Graduate Unit complete and submit it to SGS;

  • Students will receive an email notification via their U of T email address regarding the application status, expected payment date and/or a request for additional information (e.g. supporting documentation);

  • Proof of pregnancy, birth or adoption will be required to activate payment of the Grant;

    The following documents are accepted as proof of pregnancy/birth/adoption:

    1. Doctor' s certificate or certificate from a midwife stating that the student (or co-parent) is pregnant and the expected date of delivery;

    2. Long form birth certificate; or

    3. Confirmation of adoption letter issued by the Adoption Agency.


Grant funds will be disbursed in one instalment (two for eligible birth mothers) and payable to students in the first session the approved parental leave. Birth mothers receiving a second instalment will do so at the start of the second session (or fifth month) of leave. Grant applications submitted after the parental leave has commenced will be processed within 7-10 business days of SGS receiving the completed application. In all cases, payment is conditional upon the proper submission of proof of pregnancy, birth or adoption as noted in the application process.

Contacts & Resources

Financial Aid and Advising
(416) 978-2839

SGS Summer Gym Bursary

Part of a three-year pilot project, this bursary offers financial support to registered students who have purchased a summer 2019 gym membership. We'll announce the 2019 launch date for the SGS Gym Bursary in May. Learn more.