Completion Grants & Emergency Funding

Master's Tuition Fee Bursary (MTFB)

Award Overview

Student Deadline to SGS:

Fall 2016 competition: January 31, 2017
Winter 2017 competition: April 28, 2017

*Please see below for more important dates.

Value & Duration:

Reduces full-time fees to part-time fees for final session

Level of Study:


Required Legal Status:

Domestic or international


End of February 2017 (Fall competition) or end of May 2017 (Winter competition)


The Master's Tuition Fee Bursary (MTFB) for students beyond program length is a financial aid program aimed to assist masters 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.


You are eligible for the MTFB 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 department on or before November 10, 2016 (Fall applicants) or March 7, 2017 (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 applicants); or

    • on or before December 31 (Winter 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 did not receive or received minimal funding for the additional 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 MTFB.

Application Process

Applicants must:

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

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

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

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

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? (See application instructions for examples).

  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

See FAQs for more details.


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 emergency grant program (details below).

Visit the SGS Doctoral 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 intent of the emergency grant program is to assist currently registered, full-time graduate students beyond their first year of study who generally are not part of the funded cohort and who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency. It is not considered to be a source of routine or long-term funding.


All graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency are encouraged to fill out the application form before making an appointment with the SGS Financial Advisor (if necessary). Please also view the information below on SGS emergency loans, which may be appropriate depending on your situation.

To be eligible for emergency grant assistance:

You must currently be registered full-time as a graduate student. Normally, you must have already applied to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or other provincial government assistance and received your notice of assessment. In accordance with the University of Toronto's Policy on Student Financial Support, OSAP is the common mechanism used to assess student need. Note that any assessed need, which remains unmet above the OSAP maximum, is automatically covered by the University of Toronto Advance Planning for Students (UTAPS). Students with federal/provincial student aid other than OSAP must apply separately to UTAPS.

Students Normally Ineligible for the Emergency Grant

Students in the categories below are normally not eligible for this emergency grant. However, if you have a financial emergency, please contact the financial advisor even if you believe you are not eligible for emergency grant assistance.

First-Year Students

If you are entering the first year of your program, it is expected that you will have already created a financial plan for yourself in order to cover all of your upcoming expenses.

Students in Graduate Programs With Guaranteed Funding

If you are a beneficiary of the funding guarantee, you are unlikely to be eligible for emergency grant assistance unless you qualify for OSAP.

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Students

You should apply to the OISE Bursary Program.

Students Deemed by OSAP as Having Sufficient Resources

If your OSAP application is rejected because your resources are deemed sufficient to cover your needs, you are unlikely to be eligible for emergency grant assistance.

International Students

You are expected to have already created a financial plan for yourself, before arriving in Canada, on how you will support your studies and other upcoming expenses. Therefore, you are not normally eligible for emergency grant assistance. If, however, you do encounter an unexpected short-term financial emergency, you may still apply.

Non-degree Students and Part-Time Students

If you are a special student or a part-time student, you are expected to have other sources of financial support and are not eligible for emergency grant assistance.

Programs Ineligible for OSAP and UTAPS

Certain programs are ineligible for OSAP and UTAPS; please visit the Enrolment Services website for more details.

Grant Application

Please submit the completed application form and required documentation together with any other additional documents you feel relevant (e.g., letter from supervisor/advisor) to the SGS Graduate Awards Office at 63 St. George Street. We are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. (July and August hours are 9:30 am to 4:00 pm)

You can apply for an emergency grant at any time throughout the year. Before you apply, we encourage you to speak to someone from your home department, such as your supervisor or your graduate coordinator. They may be able to help you with other sources of financial assistance and/or provide useful advice.

You may normally only apply for an emergency grant once per academic year. New and compelling information would be required for a second application. If you do believe that your situation warrants a second application, please contact the financial advisor.


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), you may be able to receive payment personally. Please ensure you have your current mailing address updated on ROSI to avoid delays in the event that you are awarded funding.

Notification of Results

We will notify you of the results as soon as possible after your completed application has been submitted to the emergency grant committee, which normally meets several times per session. You will be notified of the results, typically within two weeks via your official U of T email address unless reasonable alternate arrangements of notification are requested.

Contacts & Resources


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 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 ROSI will prevent students from registering for the fall session, accordingly. Loan repayment dates (due date) will not be dated past Aug 30.


Students must be registered in the academic year 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

You can obtain the SGS emergency loan application form and complete it electronically, but also sign and submit it in person to the SGS Graduate Awards 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 application by SGS. If approved, the funds will be transferred via ACORN/ROSI directly to your Canadian bank account within 48 hours of approval. Please ensure the direct deposit information is provided and active on your ACORN/ROSI account. See how to set up direct deposit on ACORN/ROSI.

Contacts & Resources

For further information and if you have questions, please email

SGS Summer Gym Bursary

Part of a three-year pilot project, this bursary offers financial support to registered doctoral-stream students who have purchased summer gym memberships beginning May 15, 2017. Learn more.