Frequently Asked Questions

Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETDs)

1. If I publish a paper as a graduate student at U of T, can it still be used as part of my thesis?

Yes, we do allow graduate students to include research published in a conference, book, or journal as part of their thesis; indeed, this has become standard practice in many disciplines. It is important, however, to be aware of copyright issues. When you have your research published, you usually sign some type of agreement with the publisher. You should read that agreement carefully before signing, making sure you understand and agree with the terms and conditions. If you don't, you may want to request changes to the agreement to ensure you can use the material in your thesis. The agreement should be explicit about what future rights of use you retain. If you want to include the material in a dissertation, the best way is to retain your copyright.

2. If I publish a paper as a lapsed graduate student and am currently working at another university, can I still use this publication as part of my thesis later on? Do I have to be enrolled at the time of publication?

Any thesis research or data collection must be done as a registered University of Toronto graduate degree student and not as an employee at another institution. A publication on work done while a registered student that you submit while lapsed may be included in the thesis subject to the approval of your department and SGS.

Keep in mind that as a registered graduate student you own or co-own the intellectual property that you create as part of your work for academic credit; however, if you are employed for the purpose of doing the work, the work usually belongs to your employer.

3. Does the University have any rules concerning a joint paper as part of a thesis at U of T?

Scholarship is often pursued through collaboration with other scholars and researchers so intellectual property can be jointly created and jointly owned; this is usually the case in laboratory sciences where research is often the result of group interaction. There are no clear rules concerning how much or what kind of contribution is required in a joint (co-authored) paper if it is to be part of a thesis; this should be determined in conjunction with the supervisor and/or the graduate unit.

Joint (co-authored) papers may be included as part of your thesis if intellectual property issues are worked out in advance and approval is sought from your graduate unit. In all cases of joint publication, there should be a statement in the thesis explaining the nature of the collaboration and the contribution of the thesis author. Note however, the University of Toronto does not permit joint (co-authored) theses.

4. When is my thesis ready to be submitted to the SGS?

Once your thesis is in final, defended, corrected, approved form, it is ready to submit. Be sure that your thesis, ETD meets the technical and production requirements. (See the Formatting web page). You will find the checklist on this page helpful.

5. Do I still need to submit a paper copy?

Maybe. SGS does not require a paper copy, but your department or graduate unit may require you to provide a bound paper copy or copies. Please check with them.

6. If I need to submit a bound copy to my department, where should I go?

If you require a binding service, this is available through the BookPOD at U of T Bookstore, 214 College Street, Information Desk, 416-640-5849. You may bring a USB key or a paper copy of your thesis. This is only an option; you may use any binding service that you prefer.

7. What are the advantages of submitting an electronic thesis?

Electronic theses have many advantages. Electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) submissions will be online in full colour, while microfiche and digitized versions of paper theses were processed in black and white only. ETD submissions allow the author to retain the highest quality of embedded images. In addition to the principle text-based PDF thesis file, ETD submissions can also include supplementary files in a variety of formats, enriching the text-based thesis in ways not possible with a paper submission.

In addition, accessibility and ease of use are greatly improved, better achieving the goal of enriching the world with the knowledge that your work has produced. For you personally, citation rates have been found to increase dramatically, and plagiarism of your work is inhibited because it could be so readily detected.

8. What documentation is needed?

Paper copies of the following documents must be handed in to the Doctoral Examinations Office or the Master’s Office in order to be authorized to submit an ETD:

 

  • Restrict Release (attach PDF) form signed by the chair of your department is required if an embargo/restriction is to be placed on the release date of your ETD
  • written confirmation (email is fine) of completion of minor corrections or minor modifications specified by a doctoral final oral exam committee

 

9. Are there specific formatting requirements?

Yes. Please see the Formatting web page. There is also a file naming convention that you must follow.

10. How do I create a PDF file of my thesis?

A PDF conversion tool is included in the digital library repository. Adobe Acrobat writer or Acrobat Professional software (or other PDF writer programs) are required. University of Toronto Libraries (416-978-4357) has computers equipped for PDF conversion. Your Department may also be able to provide you access to PDF conversion software. Student versions of Adobe Acrobat software can be purchased at the Computer Shop of the U of T Bookstore. Other PDF authoring software is also available online for little or no cost.

11. What if I need help formatting my thesis?

First, see the Formatting web page; the template may solve your problems. Colleagues are an obvious source of information, and the Doctoral Examinations Office or the Master's Office can assist you or direct you to further help. Technical support is available through the digital library repository.

The Information Commons at Robarts Library, 416-978-4292 or digital.studio@utoronto.ca, has computers equipped with all the software you need. Staff there are knowledgeable about most of the issues you may encounter.

OISE students will find the necessary equipment and software in the OISE library; staff can provide assistance. Workshops may also be planned. OISE students can inquire at the registrar's office, 416-978-1639, or the OISE library.

12. How do I submit an ETD?

Follow the online instructions on the digital library repository.

13. I want to use previously published material in my thesis. What permission is needed?

Please visit the Copyright web page.

14. When will my ETD be available online?

ETD submissions are available on the ProQuest website approximately five to six weeks following your convocation, and at T-Space a few weeks after that. Your thesis will be part of the T-Space collection at the library and part of the National Library of Canada's collection.

15. What if I notice mistakes and/or changes that need to be made after submitting my ETD?

Contact the Doctoral Examinations Office or the Master's Office, respectively, for a doctoral or master’s thesis issue. A correction or change can only be made with the authorization of SGS prior to the release of your thesis after convocation, and it may require the written approval of your supervisor. Your ETD must be the approved, final version of your thesis. You will not be able to make a change to your thesis once the thesis has been released after convocation.

Fees

1. How do I register for direct deposit?

a) Update your local mailing address on ACORN
b) Follow the step-by-step instructions on the ACORN's website to learn how to add your banking information.

Students must register by either paying or requesting to register without payment (deferring fees)* no later than the sessional registration deadline indicated in the SGS Sessional Dates. Faculty of Arts & Science and Medicine students with inquiries about U of T Fellowships must contact their graduate units.

*When you defer your fees, they are still considered outstanding and owing to the School of Graduate Studies. Please review related service charges and other info on the Student Accounts web page.

2. Why were fees deducted from my award when I requested to register without payment?

When you request to register without payment, your fees are still considered outstanding and owing to the School of Graduate Studies. Please review related service charges and other info on the Student Accounts web page.

3. I am in the funded cohort; can you tell me what my financial package is going to be this year?

That we cannot do, as the funding packages are decided and controlled at the departmental level. Please consult your graduate unit; they should provide you with a written letter detailing your funding package at the start of each academic year.

4. Fee Invoices

Please note that the University of Toronto does not mail fee invoices to students.

You are informed of fees payable by way of the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN). Simply view your account in invoice format, which lists every transaction posted to your account. All students are expected to view their account on the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN) to monitor all account activity. Tuition is updated in real time and always reflects the most current situation.

Ensure that you notify all graduate units of your decision to accept/decline their offers of admission. Otherwise you will be invoiced for all programs to which you have been admitted.

5. I have received transfer credit; will my tuition be reduced?

There is no financial credit awarded for transfer credit (only academic credit). In other words, a student transferring a credit from any other institution or U of T program is still required to pay the minimum total program fee.

6. May I be exempted from paying the non-academic incidental fees (e.g., student society and athletic fees) which are listed on my invoice?

Incidental fees are a compulsory part of your tuition. The campus fees are set on the understanding that all students will contribute to the cost of these services. The student society fees are set by the student members of the society. For more information and links concerning compulsory non-academic incidental fees and the applicable policies, regulations and relevant approval processes at the University of Toronto, see www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca.

7. I am unable to defer my fees. Why?

You may request to register without payment (i.e., make a fee deferral) through the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN) if you have no outstanding fees from a previous session and are the recipient of one of the following which exceeds the Minimum Payment to Register amount on your Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN) invoice:

  • Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP) loan

  • Other provincial government loan

  • US government loan

  • University funding package (major award, research stipend or teaching stipend)


You will not be able to defer fees if there is a severe condition on your Offer of Admission.


Graduate Awards

1. Why were fees deducted from my award when I completed a Request to Register Without Payment form?

Your January and May award instalments are posted to your fees account and automatically put towards tuition and/or any outstanding charges. When you request to register without payment, you are eligible to register without paying the Minimum Payment to Register amount on your SWS/ROSI invoice, but your fees are still considered outstanding and owing to the School of Graduate Studies. Please review related service charges and other info on the Graduate Fees web page.

2. I'm in the funded cohort. Can you tell me what my financial package is going to be this year?

Funding packages are decided and controlled at the departmental level. Please consult your home department as they should provide you with a written letter detailing your funding package at the start of each academic year.

3. Why is it important for me to keep my Mailing Address, Permanent Address, and UTOR email address up-to-date on Student Web Services (ROSI)?

Each type of address is used differently at the University of Toronto and both should always be accurate. The Graduate Awards Office uses the Mailing Address and utoronto email address when sending out award notifications and processing award payments. Whether a student has direct deposit or receives award cheques in the mail, ROSI will NOT process a student's award instalment unless the student's ROSI Mailing Address� is active.

Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program

1. Why should I participate in GPS?

GPS will provide you with skills beyond those conventionally learned within your disciplinary program. GPS will help you develop other skills critical to success in the wide range of careers that you may enter, and help you adjust to the changing requirements of a career in academe. GPS will equip you to communicate effectively, plan and manage your time, be entrepreneurial, understand and apply ethical practices, and work effectively in teams and become leaders.

2. Who can participate in GPS?

GPS is designed for all graduate students.

3. Is there a fee for participating in GPS?

While there is no fee for registering in the GPS Program, some of the individual GPS Offerings have a small charge. For complete details, visit the GPS Portal Community.

4. I completed a GPS Offering prior to registering for the program. Can I claim GPS Credits "retroactively"?

Students who completed GPS offerings prior to May, 2009 may apply for retroactive credit, provided (1) the offering has not changed in any substantial way, (2) the program partner can confirm that the student has completed the offering. Retroactive credit will only be approved if the offering was completed in the context of a student's current program of study.

5. I went to a workshop that seems relevant, but wasn't listed as a GPS Offering. Can this be counted toward GPS Completion?

A workshop cannot be counted toward GPS Completion unless it is listed in the GPS offering webpage (www.sgs.utoronto.ca/gps). If you have suggestions for workshops that should be included in GPS, please submit them to gps@sgs.utoronto.ca.

6. How do I apply for GPS Completion?

Apply for GPS Completion by downloading and submitting the appropriate form from the "Completing GPS" section of the GPS Portal Community.

Grad Room

1. What is the Grad Room lounge?

The Grad Room lounge is a bright, naturally lit, accessible environment with comfortable chairs, wireless internet access and space to meet, relax, or study. In addition, Grad Room student staff assistants are available to help you with your questions about graduate student resources at the University of Toronto.

2. What is the Grad Room Multi-Purpose Space?

The space is designed to host a range of academic, social, and professional programming for graduate students and is fully equipped with audio-visual equipment.

The Multi-Purpose Space is located on the lower level of the Grad Room, seating approximately 30 people in boardroom style or 40 in lecture style. This space can accommodate more people in a reception-style event. When available, the Multi-Purpose Space can be accessed for quiet study.

3. Who can use the Grad Room?

The Grad Room is designed to serve members of the graduate community at the University of Toronto.

4. Do I have to show my student card?

Visitors are expected to be members of the graduate community but we do not require identification to be shown for use of the lounge space. Students wishing to book the Multi-Purpose Space for study must present their student card to the Grad Room Student Staff Assistant.

5. What programs are offered at the Grad Room?

A range of graduate student academic, social, and professional programming is offered at the Grad Room. Visit the calendar for a list of upcoming activities. New events are always being added, so be sure to visit the calendar at least once a week.

6. What are the Grad Room operating hours?

The Grad Room is open Monday to Friday, from 7 am to 8:30 pm, and from 9 am to 7 pm on weekends when the University is open.

7. Where is the Grad Room located?

The Grad Room is located at 66 Harbord Street across from the Athletics Centre.

8. Is there a fee to use the Grad Room?

There is no fee for graduate students to use the lounge or attend events hosted in the Multi-Purpose Space from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm. For eligible groups booking the Multi-Purpose Space outside of those hours, a fee may be applied. For more information, please email gradroom@sgs.utoronto.ca.

Registration

1. How do I register?

You are considered registered as soon as you have paid tuition and incidental fees or have requested to register without payment (i.e., fee deferral). For information on registering without payment (i.e. tuition fee deferral), visit the Graduate Fees web page.

2. I have a student loan or major scholarship (NSERC, SSHRC, OGS, etc.) and I plan to use this to pay my fees. How do I register before I receive my award or loan?

You may request to register without payment (i.e. make a tuition fee deferral) through the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN) if you have no outstanding fees from a previous session and are the recipient of one of the following which exceeds the Minimum Payment to Register amount on your Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN) invoice:

  • OSAP loan

  • Other provincial government loan

  • US government loan

  • University funding package (major award, research stipend or teaching stipend)

The Register Without Payment (Fee Deferral) form must be used if you are receiving a major award, research stipend or teaching assistantship that is not part of a funding package or if you are registering after the deadline. If you are receiving a major award, research stipend or teaching assistantship that is not part of a funding package, the form is submitted to your graduate unit.

If you register after the final date to register without financial penalty, you are required to pay a late registration fee of $44.00. Please complete the online late registration form and online payment here. Once completed, SGS will change your ACORN/ROSI status to "invited", which will allow you to register.

*When you request to register without payment, your fees are still considered outstanding and owing to the School of Graduate Studies. Please review related service charges and other info on the Student Accounts website.

3. How do I register if I have an admission condition?

You must bring the necessary documentation to clear admission conditions to your graduate unit. Once the condition(s) is cleared, you may view your Fees Invoice using the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN). Once you have paid your fees, bring proof of payment to your graduate unit and then proceed with enrolment, etc.

4. I applied to two programs and was accepted. I see two fees invoices on the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN). What do I do now?

You must cancel the invited registration for the program in which you do not intend to register. You may do this through the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN) or by contacting the School of Graduate Studies or the graduate unit in which you do not intend to register. It is important that you do this, otherwise fee charges will remain on your account for all programs to which you were accepted.

5. What is the deadline to pay fees?

Please see the sessional registration deadline indicated in the SGS Sessional dates. A late registration fee of $44.00 will be charged when students register after the sessional registration deadline (payable at SGS). You will be required to show proof of payment and register at SGS if you register after the sessional registration deadline. Enrolment in and access to courses via the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN) will be cancelled for those who fail to register by the registration deadline. You may also lose credit for full-time attendance for income tax purposes by Revenue Canada (T2202A).

6. What is the minimum fee I have to pay by the registration deadline?

The minimum required payment (MRP), as well as the due date, is indicated on the fees invoice. The MRP is:

  • Fall session: Arrears + 100% of Fall (September to December) tuition fees
  • Winter session: Arrears + 100% of Winter (January to April) tuition fees
  • Summer session: Arrears + 50% of Summer (May to August) tuition fees

If you are an international student, you must pay your University of Toronto Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) fees (indicated as an item on your fees invoice) before registering, even if you have requested to register without payment.*

*When you request to register without payment, your fees are still considered outstanding and owing to the School of Graduate Studies. Please review related service charges and other information on the Student Accounts website.

7. I recently became a landed immigrant in Canada. How do I change my immigration status and claim exemption from international fees?

You are eligible for the domestic tuition rate if you are claiming Status in Canada exemption. For more information on eligibility for international fee exemptions, please consult the Student Accounts website.

A change of status is not retroactive to any previous session.

Bring original documents to substantiate the claim to SGS by the following deadlines:

November 1 for reassessment for the complete Fall and Winter session.

February 1 for the reassessment for the Winter session only.

June 30 for reassessment for the complete Summer session. This only applies to students that have tuition fees charged for the Summer session.

Students who are assessed annual fees will have to claim Status in Canada exemption in the session that they are charged their annual fees.

Note that upon graduation, all students in master's programs will be charged at least the minimum degree fee associated with their program. The minimum degree fee differs depending on your immigration status in Canada during the length of your program (i.e., the time that a full-time student is expected to complete the program). If your immigration status changes from international to domestic after you have completed the program length, your minimum degree fee will be based on your international status.

8. How do I get my student card?

 

Government-issued photo ID and your offer of admission letter are required to obtain your TCard. Email service, wireless network, and access to the Learning Portal will be available upon receipt of your TCard and authentication of your UTORid. You can obtain your TCard from the following locations (visit the TCard website for details):

St. George campus: First floor of the Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College Street

Mississauga campus: Information & Instructional Technology Services help desk
Room 3133, Communication, Culture and Technology (CCT)building

Scarborough campus: University of Toronto Scarborough Library
1265 Military Trail

Proof of citizenship is required in order to receive a TCard. Your citizenship will also determine your fees. Students whose citizenship documentation does not match their status in the University's records system will not be issued a TCard and will instead be directed to SGS.

More information.

 

9. How do I create a UTOR email address?

To create a UTOR email address, please follow the instructions at www.utorid.utoronto.ca. You will need your TCard to active your UTOR email address. It is important to activate your UTORid to receive communications from U of T, SGS, and the Graduate Awards Office. Only University-issued email accounts will be accepted by the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN). Also, you must activate your UTORID to access the University's student portal.

See also: UTmail+

10. How do I get my OSAP money?

After you have submitted your OSAP application and provided OSAP signature pages and supporting documentation to Enrolment Services (173 St. George Street), you will need to take your personalized Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) along your Social Insurance Number Card, valid photo identification issued by the federal or provincial government and your banking information (voided cheque) to a Canada Post outlet to be forwarded to the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC).

U of T will confirm your registration through an electronic process for eligible students who have completed their MSFAA. You are considered registered as soon as you have paid tuition and incidental fees or have requested to register without payment (i.e. fee deferral). For information on registering without payment (i.e., fee deferral), visit the Graduate Fees section of this website. See further information.

11. I am having a financial emergency. What are my options?

You should speak with staff in your graduate unit or the SGS Financial Counsellor. To book an appointment with the SGS Financial Counsellor, please call the Graduate Awards Office at 416-946-0808, or visit the office at the address listed below.

If you have encountered an unanticipated serious financial emergency, you may be eligible for an SGS Emergency Grant. Visit the SGS Graduate Awards Office, Room 202, 63 St. George Street or or the SGS website for more information.

12. What financial support options are available to PhD students who are no longer receiving a cohort funding package?

If you are in the fifth or sixth year of your doctoral program, you are eligible for a Doctoral Thesis Completion Grant.

Contact your graduate unit or visit the Graduate Awards section of this website for more information.

Furthermore, you may wish to book an appointment with the SGS Financial Counsellor, who may be able to direct you to additional resources; to do so, please call the Graduate Awards Office at 416-946-0808, or visit 63 St. George Street.

13. Why is it important for me to keep my Mailing Address and Permanent Address up-to-date on the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN)?

Each type of address is used differently at the University of Toronto and both should always be accurate. The Graduate Awards Office uses the Mailing Address when sending out award letters and processing award payments. Whether a student has direct deposit or receives award cheques in the mail, the Student Web Service (ROSI/ACORN) will NOT process a student's award instalment unless the student's mailing address is active.

14. What do I do if I miss a test or exam because I am ill?

If you miss a test or final examination for unforeseen reasons, notify the graduate office within 24 hours of the scheduled test/examination. If the office is not notified within this time frame, you may receive a grade of zero for that test/examination. A final examination may be deferred for the following reasons:

  • documented medical grounds;

  • documented compassionate grounds. Please use the University of Toronto Student Medical Certificate if you are submitting missed exam reports based on medical grounds. If you write a scheduled examination, you will not be allowed to ask for an alternative assessment or special consideration in marking after the fact.

 

15. What do I do if I become ill during an examination?

If you become ill at an examination, you must notify the instructor immediately. You cannot do this at the end of the examination or just before the examination ends. Seek medical attention immediately. You may then request through your graduate office for another opportunity to write the examination and provide the University of Toronto Student Medical Certificate to support your request. Having once abandoned an examination, keep in mind that consideration may not be given again for the same circumstances.

16. My course is non-standard. What are the add/drop dates?

If your course is not a standard 12- or 13-week academic activity, please check add/drop dates with your graduate administrator. Graduate units may establish their own add/drop dates which vary from the SGS sessional dates.

Student Record

1. I have legally changed my name; how do I update my U of T student record?

To change your name (this includes middle names), you must complete the University of Toronto Name Change Form and bring an original legal name change document (e.g., court document specifying change of name; birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or passport may be required depending on the nature of the name change) in person to SGS Student Services at 63 St. George Street.

2. I do not want to legally change my name; how do I update my U of T student record?

If you would like to have your name and/or gender changed on your student record at the University of Toronto but do not wish to legally change your name, some exceptions may be permitted with supporting documentation (contact SGS at graduate.information@utoronto.ca for further information regarding supporting documentation). Please complete the University of Toronto Name Change Form and submit it in person to SGS Student Services at 63 St. George Street.

Supervision

1. How do I find a supervisor?

Your graduate unit will advise and assist you. Some graduate units assign a supervisor -- but with doctoral programs the responsibility, generally rests with the student. The Graduate Supervision Guidelines discuss strategies students might use when beginning to look for a supervisor.

2. Do master's students need a supervisor?

Some do. Master's program supervisors may be assigned at the time of admission. Practice varies across disciplines. Ask your graduate administrator.

3. Is there a deadline for finding a supervisor?

University regulations require all doctoral students to have a supervisor and supervisory committee in place not later than the end of the second year of their program and to meet at least once a year there after. Some graduate units have even earlier deadlines. Talk to your graduate administrator.

4. Can I change supervisors?

Yes, of course. But changing supervisors, and research focus, can set back progress in your degree program. Graduate departments have procedures in place if a dispute or concern arises between a graduate student and supervisor. Conflict resolution is also addressed in the Graduate Supervision Guidelines.

5. Do I need to speak with my supervisor about course selection?

Normally you would discuss course selection with your supervisor, as you would discuss your research interests, a research plan, timelines and so forth. Once you confirm acceptance of an offer of admission, your graduate unit follows up with appropriate direction/advice on supervision and course selection.

6. How often do I meet with my supervisor?

You and your supervisor should have shared expectations about how often to meet. You will prepare a research plan and timetable in consultation with your supervisor and report on your progress and results. Doctoral students will spend several significant years, working with their supervisor. Supervisory committees for doctoral students are required to meet at least once per year.

7. Who owns intellectual property developed through my research?

Consult the SGS Intellectual Property web page. Establish clear shared expectations with your supervisor. Discuss questions such as: who owns what, order of authorship on publications, co-authorship, potential patent agreements, etc.