2016-17 Decanal Memoranda

Funding Letter Best Practices

To:       Graduate Deans, Graduate Chairs, and Graduate Administrators

From:   Locke Rowe, Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education

Date:    March 16, 2017 

In order to ensure that students understand their funding amounts, composition, and timing, graduate units should distribute an annual funding letter by early September. This letter would inform students about when and how they will be paid, and, where possible, would include a chart showing the monthly amounts and sources of funding. Both the supervisor and student should read, review, and sign the funding letter/chart.

In addition, the funding letter can be used to ensure that students understand rules and expectations around funding.

Funding Payment Principles

We also recommend that graduate units endeavour, where possible, to:

  • Ensure that students receive monthly payments that are consistent, net of tuition; and
  • Ensure that funds for tuition are aligned with tuition payment due dates.

Guidelines to Maintain Funding Eligibility

Graduate units should inform students about the terms and conditions of their funding eligibility so that students have a clear understanding of what is required to maintain their funding. Such requirements include maintaining full-time status and maintaining good academic standing.

Major External Scholarships

Graduate units should inform students about expectations and requirements regarding major external scholarships; for instance, offering program-level recommendations to apply for external awards, and disclosing which awards are paid directly to students. Units should also specify how external awards affect base funding packages.


Eliminating IVGS Application/Admission Fee

To: Graduate Deans, Graduate Chairs, and Graduate Administrators

Cc: Graduate Associate Deans/Vice Deans, SGS Staff

From: Locke Rowe, Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education

Date: March 6, 2017

As part of an ongoing effort to decrease barriers to internationalization, the School of Graduate Studies is, effective immediately, eliminating the $400 application and administration fee for the International Visiting Graduate Students (IVGS) Study Abroad Program. IVGS students will still be responsible for incidental and ancillary fees during their study period.

In eliminating the IVGS application/administration fee, we hope to encourage additional qualified international graduate students who are pursuing a graduate degree at their home university to undertake advanced Master's or Doctoral research at the University of Toronto for up to 3 sessions (normally a maximum of 12 months). To date, the contributions of International Visiting Graduate Scholars -- to our graduate students, our faculty, and to the research community here at U of T -- have been inestimable. Thank you for continuing to foster these relationships in your units and programs.

If you have any questions regarding this change, or are interested in initiating an IVGS agreement, our Admissions and International Student Advisor Rory McKeown will be pleased to assist you. Feel free to contact him at 416.978.7756 or sgs.international@utoronto.ca.


Travel Restrictions: Support for Grad Units

To: Graduate Deans, Graduate Chairs, and Graduate Administrators

Cc: Graduate Associate Deans/Vice Deans

From: Locke Rowe, Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education

Date: February 3, 2017


The recent travel restrictions introduced by the United States require a timely and flexible response to prospective and current graduate students who may be impacted by these developments.

Please be assured that the School of Graduate Studies will support graduate units in any or all of the following initiatives:

  • Waiving an application fee for new students applying from the seven countries most directly affected by the travel restrictions (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen);
  • Extending your unit's International admission deadlines; and
  • Extending academic deadlines for current students impacted by such restrictions.

The SGS Admissions and International Student Advisor (sgs.international@utoronto.ca) and SGS Student Services will work closely with you and your unit to accommodate your requests. As previously communicated, we also encourage graduate administrators with students whose Final Oral Examinations may be impacted by students or examiners unable or unwilling to travel to contact the School of Graduate Studies Doctoral Exams Office (sgs.doctoral@utoronto.ca) so that alternative arrangements can be made.

Thank you in advance for your continued commitment to our graduate students and to promoting excellence in graduate education at the University of Toronto.